CLASS OF 1996 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Hey fellow ’96ers. Hope this message finds you all well in our 25th Wesleyan Reunion year. It warmed my heart to see so many of you at the Reunion festivities.Thanks to the Reunion committee that put together a superb program to reconnect us all.

Over the summer months I have connected with other Wes folks that crossed paths with us in 1996—Lucius Outlaw ’93 and Brande Fulgencio ’97, Andy McGadney ’92 and Robert “Bobbito” Garcia ’88.

   Stacey Samuels sends news that she joined a Midwest college tour with Kristen Worrell and her next generation college students—both her twins. Of course their first visit was to dear old Wesleyan at the start of the process.

   Tracie Broom is happy to report that the branding and marketing agency she co-founded in 2010, Flock and Rally, made it through the pandemic and recently was honored with five South Carolina Public Relations Society of America Mercury Awards of Excellence and three Palmetto Awards of Excellence from the South Carolina chapter of the International Business Communicators of America. Tracie and her business partner were just recognized by the regional alt weekly paper in its “Power List” of the top 30 people who shape Columbia, South Carolina’s culture, and the firm just landed a two-year contract to provide communications services to the National Science Foundation’s new Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA). When she’s not practicing the fine art of delegating at work, she can be found chilling in the pool with her partner Scott and his teen daughter, harvesting zinnias, okra and eggplant in her garden, and making long overdue travel plans to visit fellow Wes alums like Kate Baker in Mexico.

   Shola Olatoye and Matthew Strozier send news that they moved their brood of three (15, 13 and 6) kids to the West Coast during the pandemic from New York City. Matthew is still with The Wall Street Journal and Shola is heading up Oakland’s housing and community development department. They scored housing by renting Susan Yee and her husband’s lovely house. Their Oakland Wes “campus” saw socially distanced visits from Jake Ward and his family and Phil Cho ’95 and his wife. They have since bought their own place in this crazy Bay Area housing market (someone should really do something about that!). They have frequent Zoom cocktails with Tracey Gardner, Randy Slaughter and Aisha Cook, who all now live in Westchester County.They look forward to a fall holiday trip East where we can see all our Wes peeps in real life!

   Cathy Thomas writes that she is an assistant professor in the Department of English at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She writes, “My research and teaching covers Caribbean literature and carnival culture, Black feminist thought and play, comic books, science studies, TV/visual and media culture.”

   Danièle Côté (formerly Daniele Bucar) writes that she made the move to Maine about 15 years ago, got married, changed career to nursing, and now has two kids—an 8-year-old girl and a 6- year-old son—with her husband who is an occupational therapist. She’s worked in a number of areas of the nursing profession but is currently a circulating nurse for a local hospital’s surgical department.

She keeps in touch regularly with a few of our 1996 classmates and one of her best friends who is class of 1997, but if anyone is in the Maine, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts area, she would love to hear updates on her fellow New Englanders!

That’s all for now and I am sticking with it—I always enjoy catching-up with all of you so feel free to always drop me a line with news to update folks with!

Yours in the MoCon bond.

CLASS OF 1996 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Hello, ’96ers! While we are not able to gather in person this year, it has been a lot of fun seeing what everyone is up to in the Reunion Class Book! Hope everyone has made it through this year not too much worse for wear, and that your friends and family are well.

      There were some things to celebrate in 2020! Elena (Pavloff) Dwyer met and married her husband.  They bought a house in Connecticut built in 1761 that her husband is restoring and renovating.  They can still be found in New York City during the weekdays.

      Marysol Castro still works for the New York Mets as the PA announcer. She is the first Latina PA announcer for MLB, as well as the first female PA announcer for the Mets. She gets to see Jed Hoyer, the president of baseball operations for the Cubs, when the Cubs are in town. Marysol writes, “Shereem Brown has yet to come to a game, but that might be because he is building an empire with his wife, Keri, while also putting in work on the Peloton. Christianne Phillips (nee Renke) appears to be aging in reverse while making the most delicious food and completing the most ridiculous workouts in Miami. Amin Gonzalez and I serve on an educational board together (Go to College NYC), so I get to see him on Zoom. He likes to put College Way as his background, and I get nostalgic. He’s the head of Admission at Wes. When I’m not at the ballpark, I host a morning show in NYC (PIX 11 Morning News) and a podcast for PBS (Seasoned). I’ve discovered with some water and sunlight and the occasional arroz con pollo, children grow. My two boys are 11 and 14 as of my writing this.  They still don’t think I’m cool, and I’m still trying to impress them.”

     Kelly Butler writes, “Since we were stuck at home due to COVID, my family decided to take that as an opportunity to move further outside of Boston to a more rural community. We’re now surrounded by farms and green space—so very grateful. And before things went sideways, we made a long-overdue visit to my old stomping grounds in San Francisco and reconnected with Kristin McBride and Arwen Anderson. Aside from that, I’m on the verge of hitting my 20-year work anniversary with GMO (an investment management company) and contending with the fact that my son will officially be a teenager by year-end!”

     Kristin Mercer lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, Joel, and daughter, Ines (9), where she teaches and does research on plant ecology and evolution at Ohio State University. Kristin says, “The pandemic has been tough, but we have kept our health and have done what we can to get out and about in the woods.  I’m in close touch with Jesse Wegman, Mike Cantor, Dan Helfit-Marshall, and Miriam Colvin.  We were glad to welcome Benjy Flowers and Jenn Clark ’95 to OSU last year.”

     Dacque Tirado sends news that he met up with Chung Ma in Richmond, Virginia in mid-March­—the two had not seen each other in 25 years! Chung and his wife played gracious hosts as they all had a socially distanced cocktail party outside on a gorgeous day in the city.

      Last but not least, Stacey Samuel shares her news: “I’m coming up on 10 years here in Washington, DC—leaving New York City to cover politics in the capital for CNN in 2011. Several network newsrooms later and a few promotions, I am now the executive producer of Al Jazeera’s flagship news and current affairs podcast, The Take. Covering international news and geopolitics is the culmination of 24 years in the field.”

      Thanks for sharing your news!  Keep the updates coming!

CLASS OF 1996 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

We start with the very sad news that Noah Clay Lemert passed away on March 27 from complications from colon cancer. Contributions in his memory can be sent to the Appalachian Mountain Club. You can read his obituary at magazine.wesleyan.edu. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

Kelly Bird and her wife, Jane, are moving from Philadelphia to West Hartford, Conn., with their newly adopted daughter, Josephine, and Kelly’s children, Kieran (18) and Jacquo (14). Kelly is going to be the early childhood director at Renbrook School, and her wife is going to be a trauma surgeon at Hartford Hospital. Kelly is entering her last year of UPenn’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in school leadership.

Sabrina McCormick writes from Brooklyn that she released her first scripted feature film, Sequestrada, and has also established a new company, PandemicProof Productions, to get film and media up and running in the face of COVID-19.

It’s hard to believe, but our 25th Reunion is coming up next spring! Save the date: May 21-23, 2021, for the Class of ’96 25th Reunion. If you’d like to be involved in planning the Reunion, please contact Nelson Albino MALS ’19, assistant director of annual giving, at nalbino@wesleyan.edu.

We hope this issue of class notes finds you healthy and safe. We look forward to hearing more updates soon!

Dara Federman | darasf@yahoo.com 

Dacque Tirado | dacquetirado@yahoo.com

CLASS OF 1996 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Howdy, classmates—I hope this message finds you all well in 2020! I made sure to send out last year with a bang by experiencing an amazing trip to Albania and The Balkans (Montenegro, Croatia, and Bosnia)—a must see part of the globe for all of you world travelers.

I’ve also enjoyed catching up with Kristen Worrell, Kwesi Fraser, and Javaid Khan via text and email over the last few months.

Marysol Castro sends in news that she’s returned to television as the host of the 9 a.m. hour of the PIX11 Morning News. You can catch it Monday through Friday on channel 11 in New York or stream it on pix11.com. She will continue her duties as PA announcer for the New York Mets. She mentions she has no idea when she’ll sleep, but tell ’96ers to come visit her in the booth if you find yourself at CitiField!

Stacey Samuel (a fellow DMVer) is now executive producer of Al Jazeera America and we might link up soon at a local concert venue, the famed 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

Jake Sussman and Jessica Flaxman are living outside of Cambridge, Mass., with their two daughters, Julia (17) and Lydia (11). Jake is a managing director of The Justice Collaborative, a criminal justice reform project. Check out its journalism arm, The Appeal (theappeal.org). Jessica is in her first year of a doctoral program in educational leadership at Penn and consulting with a number of schools. Their biggest family news is that Julia, a senior at Concord Academy, received word that she will be a member of Wesleyan’s class of 2024! Woohoo!

Rallie Snowden writes to say. “Happy New Year,” and to update all that she adopted a second child last year. His name is Miguel and he is joyful and heavily loved by his mama and his sister, Porter. She says that other than being a full-time mama, she’s about to reach her six-year mark of being a university counselor and the LGBTQ coordinator at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

Lazar Treschan started a new job as vice president for policy and impact at Here to Here, a new nonprofit in the Bronx that is trying to change NYC high schools and colleges to make them more experiential and utilize more internships and other work-based learning approaches. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, who also works in the nonprofit youth field, and his two kids, Celia and Elodie.

Kelly Bird is living in Philadelphia with her wife, Jane. She’s working on her doctorate in school leadership at UPenn and coaching student-teachers from the master’s program at Penn, working in a South Philly public school. Kelly’s daughter, Oona, is headed to college in the fall, her son, Jacquo, is headed to high school, and she has a baby named Josephine that she and Jane adopted last year.

Dara Federman | darasf@yahoo.com 

Dacque Tirado | dacquetirado@yahoo.com

CLASS OF 1996 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Hello, ’96ers! Just a few updates this time:

Jesse Wegman, his wife, and their two daughters, Sami and Natalya, live in Brooklyn, surrounded in all directions by Wesleyan alumni from all years. He is still on the New York Times editorial board, where he writes about the Supreme Court and legal issues. His first book, Let the People Pick the President, is being published in the spring. It’s an argument in favor of the national popular vote.

Sara and Colby Evans moved to Edinburgh temporarily in February with their children Quinn (11), Malcolm (10), and Ruby (8). They had a great time exploring the city and returned home to Austin, Texas, in time for the school year.

Nina Erlich-Williams writes: “In August, I brought my two kids (ages 11 and 13) to NYC for a few days to give them a taste of life in the Big City—much different from their small-town life in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. We were lucky enough to stay with Dara Federman in her lovely Park Slope apartment. One of the highlights of our visit was spending a day with Dara and her two daughters kicking around some of the sites. So fun to get the next generation together!”

Thanks for the news. Keep it coming!

Dara Federman | darasf@yahoo.com 

Dacque Tirado | dacquetirado@yahoo.com

CLASS OF 1996 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

Happy June to all the ’96ers out there. I am writing these notes from Buenos Aires, Argentina—it’s my fourth time—magical city. Salute to Jason Rosado for giving me the skinny on the city of Buenos Aires a few years ago as I traveled to Argentina for the first time. Gracias, maestro.

Tom Constabile moved to New Rochelle and is vice president of business development, North American, for DAZN, a sports streaming service. He joined the BRC Leadership council with Miguel Guadalupe ’98. He still plays hoops and his 1-year-old son Tommy Jr. just graduated from preschool. Que cute!

Stacey Samuel is NPR’s supervising editor. She was nominated to participate in the U.S. Army War College’s National Security Seminar as one of the few civilians to attend, where she met with leading foreign policy thinkers, military commanders, and former U.S. top intelligence director James R. Clapper. Stacey is a longtime member of the National Association of the Black Journalists and she is the D.C. chapter leader for the German journalist exchange, Radio in the American Sector.

Christianne Renke, after completing culinary school, is opening a restaurant in Miami where she and her husband are developing a commercial waterfront property for boat enthusiasts and foodies.

Lauren Elmore earned a doctorate from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is now the director of academic administration of the MFA theater program at Columbia University. She is resident of Inwood, a great neighborhood in Uptown Manhattan.

Angela Tucker is a filmmaker in New Orleans. Her latest short documentary, All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk, got a lot of buzz.

Kristen Greenidge is a successful playwright living in Boston and teaching at Boston University.

Freddy Rolon is a vice president and general manager of ESPN Deportes overseeing all aspects of the ESPN Deportes business.

Shereem Brown will celebrate 20 years of marriage to his wife, Keri, in December. His son attends Georgetown Prep, where Dacque Tirado is a teacher and administrator.

Javaid Khan, whom I saw in December in Nashville at the NAIS/POCC conference is leaving his alma mater—the Bank Street School—and going to Horace Mann, where he will head the middle division. He is tapping into Wes talent base for his assembly speakers—Jose DeJesus ’97, the new head of Lake Forest Academy in Chicago, Stacey Samuel at NPR, and filmmaker Ben Selkow. He saw Shola Olatoye and Donaldine Temple ’95 at Alvin Ailey in New York and saw Kali Harrison ’97 out in California.

Daniela Bell ’96, MA’98 spent the last year living in Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico. She said it was an unbelievably amazing year. Her daughter, 10, has spent the school year at a local school, so now naturally she speaks Spanish better than her mother. They will head back to St. Paul, Minn., in July and will begin the work that goes into opening her husband Eric’s new restaurant.

Alissa Deitz sends greetings from Austin. She has been there for 10 years now. Although she does not know any Wes folks there, she still stays in touch with her roommates from frosh year: Jake Ward, Koyalee Chanda, Kate Baker, and Mara Kailin. They are hoping to rendezvous at the 25th Reunion. She is a tutor for children diagnosed with dyslexia. She read Ben Foss’s [’95] book, The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan, on the subject and it was immensely helpful.

Leigh Needleman and Andrew Frishman ’97 along with their two kids met up with Daniela Bell’s family in Oaxaca for a wonderful week of exploration and discovery. Steve Uydess and Leigh got to hang out for a few stinky days running a Ragnar relay in Oregon. Steve is a secondary school teacher at Highline School in Seattle where he lives with his wife, Gaby, and three kiddos. Leigh works at Harvard as a building designer. is now the sole scientist on the design team for a new building in Harvard’s new frontier in Allston.

Sara Kirchhoff Evans and Colby Evans are living in Edinburgh with their three children. They are having a great time exploring Scotland together and will return to Austin later this year.

Rallie Snowden adopted a baby boy last summer. Miguel will turn 1 in July and he is very loved by big sister Porter.

Big ups to Pritha Mittal’s election to Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees—so our class knows we have a voice. She is so excited to hear from anyone and everyone!

Michael Brotchner, Seattle resident, was hired by YouthBuild USA as its chief strategy officer, where he will be responsible for implementing the organization’s new five-year strategic plan and overseeing the nonprofit’s fundraising efforts.

Kem Poston ’97 is celebrating a productive second year as a LA transplant. He is enjoying his work producing unscripted docuseries and documentaries.

Dara Federman | darasf@yahoo.com 

Dacque Tirado | dacquetirado@yahoo.com

CLASS OF 1996 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

William Kheel’s window display

Hi, fellow ’96ers! Hope everyone is well! The notes are short but sweet this round. Let’s get to them.

Billy Kheel writes, “I just installed a 17-foot window display of felt quilts at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, inspired by Parliament Funkadelic’s 1994 Wesleyan Spring Fling performance. That Spring Fling was so legendary I thought it only appropriate to immortalize it in felt in the largest record store in the world. Amoeba let me do it because I was just on Making It with Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler (which you can still check out on NBC.com).”

Rallie Snowden’s son, Miguel, was born over the summer.

Anne Genereux is living in a rural mountain town in Montana, working as a therapist, and finishing her dissertation on healthy relationship education. 

Sara and Colby Evans are moving temporarily this spring and summer to Edinburgh, Scotland, along with their three children (Quinn, 10, Malcolm, 9, and Ruby, 7). They are excited to try someplace new for a while and will be returning to Austin in August.

Thanks for the updates! Keep them coming. 

Dara Federman | darasf@yahoo.com 

Dacque Tirado | dacquetirado@yahoo.com