CLASS OF 1996 | 2015 | ISSUE 3

Michael Roberts and Leslie Feldt Roberts ’97 celebrated the birth of their third son, Adrien Justis Roberts, last April. To accommodate their growing clan, they purchased an old VW van, which they use for beach adventures near their home in Marin County, Calif. They enjoy occasional multi-family hikes with Andrew Levine ’97, and his wife and two daughters.

Colby Evans and Sara Kirchhoff ’96 have expanded their practice, Evans Dermatology Partners, the largest, locally-owned and family-operated practice (evans-dermatology.com) in Austin, serving three locations with eight medical providers. Their children are well and happy and keep them busy, Quinn is 7, Malcolm is 6, and Ruby is 4. They are hoping to attend the big upcoming Reunion!

In addition, they shared the great news that Colby Evans MD has been named chair of the board of directors for the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Official Wes old-head Shereem Herndon-Brown will present at the Education and Career “Next Steps” for Entrepreneurs dinner/talk on campus this December. He will bring his expertise as founder and director of strategic admissions advice as he covers options for educational or career next steps for entrepreneurs and change makers, and also shares tips and tricks to prepare students for what the future holds.

Tracie Broom writes from flood-stricken Columbia, S.C., that she and her loved ones faced no direct hardships, but she has good friends with kids, pets, etc., who lost their homes, cars—everything. She mentioned that one PR clients, the nonprofit Central Carolina Community Foundation, has established a Flood Relief Fund to address the pressing needs of flood victims—both short and long term, with zero overhead. One hundred percent of monies donated will go directly to local grassroots organizations aiding those in need. If you’d like to donate, go to yourfoundation.org and click on ’Help SC Flood Relief.’

Shelby Hyvonen writes that after more than 15 terrific years on the West Coast, she has finally made true to her promise to move back East near family and friends in the western Massachusetts Pioneer Valley. She is now working as a clinical child psychologist at Baystate Health in Springfield, while her husband, Seth Koen, is situating his art practice out here and looking forward to having more opportunity to visit the NYC art scene, now that it’s just “down the road.” Her children, Fern (7) and Otto (5), are happily settled into their new school, and weekends have been spent picking apples, enjoying the autumn foliage, and catching up with East Coast pals.

Jullia Chowdhury-Quazi recently joined PricewaterhouseCoopers as a managing director and is leading their corporate finance healthcare practice. I guess 15 years on Wall Street was enough!

Sarah Huard-Leffert writes that she is back in San Francisco leading advancement efforts for Convent & Stuart Hall, the school where her daughters, Piper and Arden, are in second grade and kindergarten. She mentioned that one daughter’s teacher is the proud parent of Wes sophomore Tess Holland ’18. Sarah was in an extremely short-lived running club with Sophie Middlebrook Hayward this spring. She hopes to see all at the Reunion in 2016!

Rallie Nepveux Snowden is living in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Lexington, Va., with her wife and their nearly 5-year-old daughter. She says she is lucky to live in the same town as her father, stepmother, and older sister. She has her dream job at Washington & Lee University, where she gets to divide her time between counseling graduate and undergraduate students as one of the university counselors, and as the LGBTQ coordinator.

Lastly, shoutout to my big brother Robert “Bobbito” Garcia ’88, who just released his documentary called Stretch and Bobbito: Radio that Changed Lives, which takes a look at his historic radio show in the 1990s introducing the “world to unsigned artists like Nas, Bigge, Wu-Tang as well as an unknown artists like Jay Z, Eminem and the Fugees.” Check out the film in your town at stretchandbobbito.com/screenings.

DARA FEDERMAN | darasf@yahoo.com

DACQUE TIRADO | dacquetirado@yahoo.com

CLASS OF 1996 | 2015 | ISSUE 2

Greetings, fellow ’96ers! Can you believe our 20th Reunion is coming up in May? Hope to see many of you there!

Let’s start with the Olatoye-StroziersShola writes: “Matthew, big brothers Alexander and Rowan, and I were pleased to welcome Isabel to our family in May. We are managing the fun and chaos while I run the NYC housing authority and Matthew is the editor of a new Dow Jones site called Mansion Global. We see Tracey GardnerRandy Slaughter, and their beautiful daughter. I was so excited to celebrate the success of Sarah Wildman’s new book, Paper Love, during her many NYC book tour events this year. At my 40th birthday party, Aisha CookDonna Temple ’95Joy Connolly ’97Ian Halpern, Saeyun Lee ’93, and others were in the house. Thrilled to get to talk to Tanya Schneider Robinson ’94 and her husband, Earl Robinson ’94, who are in New Orleans. Love that you can still run into people on the street and not just on Facebook. Loved seeing Jason Rosado on lower Broadway.”

When Laura Dine Million wrote in, she also mentioned Sarah Wildman’s book: “I’m still in Los Angeles with my husband, Mike, and two kids, Chloe (7) and Nathan (3.5). I am the producer of the NPR political discussion show Left, Right & Center. I loved seeing Sarah Wildman out here this spring for her book tour!”

Speaking of books, Mary Pagones has published her second one. It’s a novel titled Fortune’s Fool, and you can find it on Amazon.

Benjamin Meyer’s first feature film, Fools, had its world premiere at Dances With Films, in Los Angeles, where it won the Audience Award for Best Competition Feature. He wrote and directed the film and put the final touches on it at Bill Macomber’s Fancy Post.

Aruna Chandran and husband, Kelly Miller, welcomed twins, Lucas Nihal and Nicole Anjali, in May of 2014. Syryna, the family cat, is still waiting for the new “house guests” to leave!

Leigh Needleman and Andrew Frishman ‘97 moved within Cambridge, Mass., to the Central Square area. Leigh works in a neuroscience laboratory at Harvard University. Andrew is co-directing Big Picture Learning. They have two kids (2.5 and 5.5 years old) and try to spend most weekends at Lake Wequaquet on the Cape.

Barrett Feldman relocated to NYC four years ago. After practicing architecture for 13 years, she recently founded an architecture firm—PSF PROJECTS—with two other partners, based in Brooklyn. She writes, “I would happily welcome the chance to work with anyone from the Wesleyan community, as it is a place I continue to hold close to my heart!”

Pascal Pinck also sent an update: “I joined a Seattle-based software company called Socrata, focused on helping government organizations make public data accessible to citizens, researchers, and app developers. If there are any civic hackers or open data nerds out there in Wes-land, I’d love to get in touch!”

Mark Davis continues to work at Wesleyan as the director of planned giving. His daughter, Minerva (or Minnie, 5), is starting kindergarten, and son, Ollie (3), is starting preschool. He hopes that both his children are able to meet other ’96 kids at our 20th Reunion in May.

Thanks to everyone who sent in updates! Please continue to send in news.

CLASS OF 1996 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

Hello, fellow ’96ers. I hope this finds you well. I know during winter months we all think back to the wonderful memories of our years at Wes!

Nikki Lewis, living in Raleigh, is director of marketing at Epic Games, the makers of Gears of War, Unreal Engine, and the upcoming Fortnite.

Chung Ma has moved south of the Mason Dixon, from NYC to RVA (Richmond) with his family. He landed a sweet gig managing money for Virginia’s pension fund. He says leaving NYC was a tough choice but the proximity to skiing, beach, and myriad outdoor activities has kept his entire family busy. RVA is a wonderful blend of smaller city and progressive mindset. He further added he went out to Las Vegas to be a part of Alex Fong’s and Sylvia’s wedding. Big Wes reunion there—13 in all!—John Kong, Jason Kim, Ingrid Wong, Phil Cho and his fiancée Wendy Wu ’97, Howie Bae, Susan Yee, Diana Ip, Emily Chang, Andrew Fuys, Susan Ha, Barrett Feldman, Chung Ma, and of course Alex Fong.

Arwen Anderson calls San Francisco home and is happy to be a working theater actor, and along with partner Rod, to have welcomed a son, Rowan Anderson Gnapp, into the world. He is absolutely amazing and keeps them on their toes!

Darrah Carr and husband David Byrne welcomed their daughter, Ettamoya Darrah Byrne, on Nov. 24th; she joins big sister Cavan and big brother Eamonn. Darrah’s dance company, Darrah Carr Dance, celebrated its 15th anniversary season at NYC’s Irish Arts Center.

Elana Pavloff moved back to NYC from Toronto in June; she says she missed real bagels and humid summers. She just started a new job at OMD as the NA Lead for the Visa client. Since her clients are in San Francisco she travels to the West Coast a great deal, so much that the flight attendants know her by name.

Nine years ago, Amalia Mayita left photojournalism to join her family’s coffee business in El Salvador, where they’d been growing coffee for five generations. If any NYC Wes alums want to try this delicious coffee, they can find it at Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, which offers Talnamica and Natamaya. This year’s harvest is available this spring and summer. Amalia admits to being obsessed with Instagram, so check her out @AmaliaMayita.

Alejandro Wyss and Marissa Wyss ’97 have re-located to Los Angeles, where he now runs operations for SpeedNews Aerospace & Defense Events.

Anuj Desai and his wife, Joanna Baum, have a baby girl. Little Ziya is happy and healthy, and Anuj lives close to veteran parents Billy Kheel, Ben Bell, and Becca Cutter ’97.

Colby and Sara Evans live in Austin with their three children, Quinn (7), Malcolm (5), and Ruby (3). They have expanded their dermatology practice, which now has seven medical providers across three locations. In July, Colby will become chair of the board of directors of the National Psoriasis Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (psoriasis.org).

James Weinberger is living happily in Brooklyn along with half of the alumni of all of Wesleyan, his wife Erica of 15 years, and sons Eli (11) and Nate (7). (Both were kindergarten students of the amazing Semeka Smith-Williams ’97 at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights.) He is lucky enough to be practicing copyright and trademark litigation as a partner at Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu and recently gave an appellate argument at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, where he represented DC Comics in a lawsuit about whether the Batmobile was protectable under copyright law. He is looking forward to our 20th Reunion next year.

Mary Pagones published her first novel, The Horse Is Never Wrong, available on Amazon and from most other major booksellers in e-book and paperback form: amazon.com/dp/B00RYFUDCY/

DARA FEDERMAN | darasf@yahoo.com

DACQUE TIRADO | dacquetirado@yahoo.com

CLASS OF 1996 | 2014 | ISSUE 3

Check out Sarah Wildman’s new book, Paper Love: sarahwildman.com/books/. It’s the story of Sarah’s search for the woman her grandfather left behind when he fled Vienna during the Holocaust. Her interest was first kindled when she found pictures of an unknown woman with her grandfather. Her search took her to Vienna, the Czech Republic, Berlin, and Israel. Kirkus Reviews calls the book “a poignant and humane memoir.”

In news from Connecticut: Mark Davis works at Wesleyan and lives in Middletown with his wife, Megan (a Middletown native), and their children Minerva (“Minnie”), 4, and Oliver (“Ollie”), 2. He is always happy to see fellow ’96ers on campus!

Across the country, Cathy Thomas is working on a PhD in literature, with a focus on comics and contemporary Caribbean writing, at UC, Santa Cruz.

Pamela Stumpo published an article about Egyptian politics. You can read it here: layalina.tv/new_at_layalina/pamela-jean-stumpo/.

Elura Nanos Kish writes, “I’m enjoying life being a TV and radio lawyer, and I regularly do appearances on Fox News, HLN, Sirius Radio, HuffPost Live, and others. I’m also being featured in a new show on Reelz called Celebrity Damage Control, and I’m working hard toward landing a new show where I can tell it like it is with no holds barred. Marysol Castro and I had lunch to discuss life as a Wes ’96 New York Big Mouth TV personality (which was so fun), and in the middle of our lunch, we ran into none other than Matthew Strozier. Total Wes moment! I’m also starting my seventh season playing flute and piccolo with the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, and have joined its board as well. Still living in Cherry Hill, N.J., with my husband, son, and daughter.”

Mara Kailin and Daniel Cohen are celebrating 11 years in Denver. Dan is training for the NYC Marathon in November, and Mara recently got a great promotion at work. Dan reports, “Our kids are in first and third grades, and as they get older we like Colorado more and more because of all the things the family can do. We just celebrated our joint 40th birthday party by renting a house in the mountains with a group of friends, including Sean O’Connor and his wife, Lisa. Turning 40 is not so bad….”

Anand Nayak lives in Florence, Mass., with Polly Fiveash ’98 and their two sons. He is a Grammy-nominated guitarist, singer, and producer. You can find him on tour (along with Scott Kessel ’88) with folk band Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem.

That’s all for now. If we haven’t heard from you in a while, send in your updates!

DARA FEDERMAN | darasf@yahoo.com 

DACQUE TIRADO | dacquetirado@yahoo.com

CLASS OF 1996 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Koyalee Chanda writes in that she and Neal Brandenburg had their second baby girl, Noa Jayne Chanda Brandenburg, in August. Their older daughter, Ruby, is 5.5 years old and is very excited to have a real-life baby doll as a roommate. They are still living in Brooklyn (it will be 18 years this fall—yikes!) and regularly see a bunch of Wes folks (too many to mention by name!). What’s really cool is that their kids are starting to become close friends, so they’re back to doing dinner parties, only starting a couple of hours earlier. Neal is working as a lawyer for the Department of Education of New York City, where he sees Debbie Marcus, who also works there, on a regular basis.

She also mentioned that another Wes ’96er, Adam Peltzman, has created a new animated series for Nickelodeon called Wallykazam!. It’s a comedy-adventure series with a literacy curriculum, set in a world of trolls, goblins, and dragons. Koyalee is producing it, so they work very closely together every day. Sascha Paladino ’98 wrote a couple of episodes as well. It’s been really amazing to work with such close friends and colleagues. Definitely check it out. It’s on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.— and you can find it On Demand and on iTunes. There’s also an app available on iTunes that had a very successful launch in April.

Sam Effron, his wife, and 2-year-old twins just decamped from NYC after almost 18 years. They are moving to Hastings-on-Hudson, in lower Westchester along the Hudson River.

Ernest Koe is working on his second software company, Proof, which provides integrated data management software to schools. He escaped the cold of New England and now lives in Jacksonville, Fla., with his wife, Charmaine Chiu, and two children (Beckett, 4, and Declan, 2).

Margaret Wright is happily living in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Jon, daughter Olivia (age 3), and two dogs. She recently made a career change, and works as a senior grant writer at the best non-profit organization in the world—The American Academy of Pediatrics. Last fall, she traveled to New York City and caught up with old pals Mark Davis and Jeremy Bernstein ’97, who are both doing well. Margaret and Mark spent most of the time commenting on what tremendous chefs Jeremy and his wife are, and how amazingly cute their kids are.

Jim Leiken writes that he and his wife, Candice, recently moved out to Napa, Calif., from West Palm Reach, Fla. He worked for Daniel Boulud close to 12 years, mostly in NYC (Restaurant Daniel, DB Bistro, and as the opening chef at DBGB in the East Village), but for the last two year in Palm Beach, running the kitchen at Café Boulud. He took a job in Cali with Cindy Pawlcyn, as the exec chef of Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena. Their twins, Maggie and Charlie, 2, are adapting really well to life in the country—they like climbing on the tractor and feeding carrots to the neighbor’s horse and donkey every morning.

Joel Levin drops us a line that after creating MinecraftEdu (an educational version of the popular sandbox game, Minecraft), he left his teaching job to start a company called TeacherGaming which brings games into the classroom. His business travels let him visit some other classmates recently: Jonah Hershowitz ’97 who runs an acupuncture and pain management clinic in San Francisco, and Ian Kavanagh, who is a programmer in Stockholm, Sweden.

Mark Davis and his wife, Megan, live in Middletown with their two kids, Minerva (“Minnie”), 4, and Oliver (“Ollie”), 2. Mark works at Wesleyan, so feel free to look him up if you’re visiting campus!

Colby and Sara Evans are expanding their dermatology practice to three offices in Austin, Texas, this summer. They are kept constantly entertained and on the move by their sons, 6 and 4, and daughter who is 2. Colby is the chair-elect of the board of trustees of the National Psoriasis Foundation, a role he will assume next year. The NPF is the largest national charitable organization that advocates for the over 7 million Americans with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Jacob Ward writes that he was editor-in-chief of Popular Science from 2012 to 2013, and just left to join Al Jazeera America as the network’s science and technology correspondent. He has two young daughters with his wife, Julie, and they live on Lake Merritt in Oakland. He sees Walter Einenkel ’97 and Emily Weinstein ’97 all the time, and he believes Vivek Asija just moved to the neighborhood, and that Susan Yee is there as well, but he hasn’t bumped into them yet.

Sabrina McCormick is a producer on the new Showtime TV series about climate change, The Years of Living Dangerously­—she produced a story with Matt Damon about heat waves and another with Michael C. Hall in Bangladesh.

Anya McMurray and her husband, Andrew, welcomed their second child, Zev Thomas Keller, to the world in March. Big sister Thea has reserved judgment regarding her level of excitement over this event but they are optimistic she’ll join in their enthusiasm soon.

Tori Peglar and Tom Rutkowski are living in Boulder with their two daughters and looking forward to this year’s season, as they have family passes to Winter Park for the first time. Tom’s an environmental engineer cleaning up water at mine sites and Tori works at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They see Dan Cohen and Mara Kailin in Denver with their kids. Tom also works with Jake Waples ’95, who lives in the area with his wife, Sandy Miller ’95, and their daughters. They had the opportunity to visit them when they lived in Chile two years ago. Time flies!

DARA FEDERMAN | darasf@yahoo.com

DACQUE TIRADO | dacquetirado@yahoo.com

Class of 1996 | 2014 | Issue 1

Let’s start with news from Julia Morrison, who wrote in for the first time! She produced, wrote, and edited her first narrative feature film, the indie romance Hank and Asha, which won the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival and will be released in spring 2014. Watch the trailer at www.hankandasha.com and follow at facebook.com/hankandasha.

Sally Lee lives with her husband and two sons, Zach (4) and Marcus (2), on the Lower East Side. Her organization, Teachers Unite, just produced a documentary, Growing Fairness, about how schools are stopping the school-to-prison pipeline with restorative justice. Check it out at teachersunite.net.

Kirsten Greenidge’s play Luck of the Irish was at the Huntington in 2012 and Lincoln Center Theater in 2013. It won an Independent Reviewers of New England Award in May. Kirsten also received a PEN/America Laura Pels Award for midcareer playwright and a New England Theater Conference Special Award. She was happy to exchange a big hug with Lauren Elmore at a post-show discussion of Kirsten’s play Splendor in Boston, in the same afternoon that Kirsten got to see the closing performance of Ginger Lazarus ’96’s production of her play Burning, also in Boston.

Chung Ma moved from NYC to Virginia when he accepted a new role at the Virginia Retirement System in Richmond, managing an emerging markets equity and currency portfolio. The entire family (Emily, Zoe, and Desmond) moved in mid-August. He writes, “It’s a big change from NY, as we’re living in a place that is three times the size at the same price. We’re going to miss our friends in NYC, but we hope to come up and visit regularly.”

Jimmy Liao is in his fifth year as a professor of biology at the Whitney Lab for Marine Biosciences at the University of Florida. He just received his second grant and tells us that he is also “fishing bass tournaments at the semi-pro level and surfing badly.”

Kelly Bird Pierre is director of enrollment and admissions, K–12, at The Hewitt School in NYC. Children Oona, 11, and Jacques, 8, attend public school in New Jersey, where the family lives.

Emma Jacobson-Sive is still in Los Angeles, sometimes acting and often doing PR for a local museum. She regularly sees Ariel Levy (godmother to her daughter, Charlotte Eve Lapin, named after Eve Crowell), as well as Rebecca Cutter, Mike Stabile, and Kenny Barnett ’94.

Justin Navarro writes, “I recently became a homeowner in Cheshire, Conn., a mere half hour from ol’ Wes! After moving back to Connecticut with the husband for his residency training at Yale back in 2007, we decided to settle down here. Not coincidentally, I’m working for the Yale School of Medicine doing Web project management. Speaking of resettling, I accompanied John Favretto on a cross-country drive from Washington, D.C., to Santa Fe, N.M., where he has now lived for almost a year. Last but not least, I was thrilled to attend Chris Shepard’s wedding to Christopher Norwood this month.”

Ashraf Charania has been with Virgin Galactic for over a year now, as their business development manager, based in Washington, D.C.

Elura Nanos Kish’s reality-TV series, Staten Island Law, completed its first season on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Elura has also been making weekly TV appearances as a legal analyst for Fox News, HLN, Sirius Radio, Current TV, and HuffPostLive—where she aims to bring that Wes-brand of common sense to legal news. Elura still lives in South Jersey with her husband and two kids. She also serves on the board of several charitable organizations and plays piccolo in the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey.

Maria Lourdes Chen Quinn now lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Chris Quinn, and their four children (a son and three daughters). Her youngest child was born in August.

Merry Weaver reports that her son, Adam, was born on Aug. 20, joining his sister, Danica (who turned two in October).

Sarah Wildman writes: “Ian Halpern and I welcomed a baby girl in mid-June (Hana Dorothy Wildman Halpern—named in honor of Ian’s grandfather Harry and my grandmother Dorothy), joining big sister Orli. We’re very conscious of our grandparents’ generation, it seems. I am working on a book for Riverhead/Penguin press on the lover my grandfather left behind when he fled Vienna (tentatively due out in fall 2014).”

Congrats to all on the exciting news! Keep the updates coming.

DARA FEDERMAN and DACQUE TIRADO
darasf@yahoo.com
dacquetirado@yahoo.com

MARGARET (MEG) L. ZUPANCIC ’96

MARGARET (MEG) L. ZUPANCIC, 36, a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland Medical School, died Oct. 7, 2010, one day after giving birth to her second son. After receiving her degree from Wesleyan magna cum laude, she received a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a doctoral degree in biochemistry from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her research centered on the interaction of the human microbiome with the genetic bases of obesity. She was also a talented clarinetist and an accomplished backcountry explorer. Survivors include her husband, Bill Vinje, her parents, two children, and her sister, Nellie Zupancic ’00. Her brother died in 1999.

EVE ERIN CROWELL ’96

With deep grief, I submit this obituary of my daughter Eve Erin Crowell ’96. She was proud of graduating from the school.

Thank you,
Barbara Crowell Roy

Eve Erin Crowell, 30, of 1232 North Flores, West Hollywood, California, died suddenly at her home on February 24, 2005. The daughter of Barbara (Lepley Crowell) Roy of Newport, Rhode Island and Sachseln Switzerland and Dr. Robert Crowell of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Eve was born on November 4, 1974,in Boston, Massachusetts.

Eve Crowell was educated at Williston Northampton School, in Easthampton, Mass., and was a 1996 graduate of Wesleyan University. In May of 2002, she received a JD degree from the Law School of UCLA.

In October 2002, Ms. Crowell joined the prominent law firm of Kirkland and Ellis in Los Angeles. There she rapidly gained a reputation for intelligence, hard work, and collegiality. Eve worked in the litigation division, and she distinguished herself by winning the firm’s national mock trial competitions in 2003 and 2004. She was a member of the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association.

Eve Crowell was an excellent athlete, and she participated in numerous triathlons and marathons in California.

She is survived by her parents and her brother, Wyatt E. Crowell of Dallas, Texas. Other survivors include her stepmother, Mary Woodson Crowell, her stepfather, Dr. Vance Roy, her stepbrother, John P. Dennis III of Houston, Texas, and her stepsister, Jennifer D. Farley of Saugerties, New York.

A memorial service was held on March 3, 2005 at the Forest Lawn Mortuary in Glendale California. Burial will be private. Donations in her honor may be sent to Eve’s Fund for Native American Health Initiatives in care of Mr. William Heckel, 210 Montezuma, Suite 100, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501-2681 (telephone 505 983-8699).