CLASS OF 1998 | 2015 | ISSUE 2

Jason writes: Greetings from Charlottesville, Va. My husband and I finally made the jump and left the NYC area. We’ve been in Virginia for a year now and opened a restaurant called MarieBette Café & Bakery, named after our two daughters, Marian & Betty. It has been an incredible experience for us and, thankfully, we’ve thus far been successful. One of the best things about the restaurant is that we have been visited by many Wes alums.

Our friends Emily Lieberman and Jules Cohen came in with their three wonderful daughters while on their way to visit Jules’ parents in the D.C. area. Jules and Emily are living in Seattle where Jules works for Microsoft. Emily left life as a lawyer to be a full-time mom and, as you might expect, is truly one of the most fun moms I’ve ever met.

Dena Rosenberg also visited us at the restaurant with her daughter, Odessa, while visiting her in-laws. I hadn’t seen her in more than 10 years and it was nice to catch up. Dena writes: “Heather MarciniecMaria Stasavage and I went to see Catie Lazarus’s ’99 amazing Employee of the Month show at Joe’s Pub! Maya Seiden and her husband brought their two sons (prospective classes of ’32 and ’34, respectively) to Wes for the first time last weekend! Jehan Manekshaw visited the States this spring and had a mini reunion with Claire HrubyPolly FiveashAongus Burke and Anand Nayak ’96. Jehan also met up with Nitin Kochhar and Omar Rahim ’96 in NYC, and caught up with Sean Dague in Poughkeepsie! Jehan married Shaizia Jifri and they have a lovely baby boy, Aden. Jehan runs two theatre organisations in Mumbai: The Young People’s Theatre Programme and The Drama School, Mumbai.”

Anthony Veneziale writes: “I started a new company called Speechless and we are taking Silicon Valley by storm, helping people to make presentations that matter, one improvised PowerPoint at a time! It’s I am still performing with Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 (now Dr. Miranda thanks to Wesleyan) and Bill Sherman ’02 in Freestyle Love Supreme. I basically still get to make up stuff as an improviser for a living.”
Stevie Caldwell bought a condo last year with her wife, Jill Clark ’99, in Somerville, Mass. They have a 4-year-old daughter and Jill is still working for the Family Planning program under the Department of Public Health in Massachusetts. Stevie works in the tech sector and is also pursuing music with her band, Six Times Seven, and a side project called “And Then There Was One.”

Nicole Macotsis Hefny is working hard to finish her MA in cultural sustainability from Goucher College, while teaching dance, doing cultural programming, and raising her son between Brooklyn and Egypt, as her husband has joined the Egyptian National Boxing Team after a several year hiatus.

That’s it for now. Please be sure to send any updates to Marcus and me.


MARC J. AUGUSTINE, an artist who specialized in structural displays and graphics, died Oct. 26, 2014, at age 38. He also studied at Dartmouth College and received his BFA degree from the University of Connecticut. An award-winning artist in creative design concepts, he created unique environments for Urban Outfitters and had won numerous best of show awards throughout the Northeast for his unique sign-making, structural displays, sculpture, and graphics. He also carried on his grandfather’s roofing business in Middletown, Conn., and was an avid street rod enthusiast. Among those who survive are his wife, Cynthia Bland Augustine, two brothers, two aunts, and several cousins.


MICHELLE L. SALISBURY, a senior project manager for the State of New York, died Nov. 9, 2014. She was 38. After receiving her degree in government and psychology with honors, she worked for the Cadmus Group as a project manager. In 2007 she received a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University. She then returned to the Albany, N.Y., area, where she was selected as a Carey Fellow for the New York State Division of Budget, and later joined the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as a senior project manager. She was killed when the car in which she was riding was hit from behind. She was 31 weeks pregnant with her son, who later died. She is survived by her husband, Jon D. Orris, her mother, her grandfather, her brother, and two nieces.

CLASS OF 1998 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

Embarrassed by my paltry previous edition of class notes, I turned to the handy mass-email strategy of soliciting information—and boy, did you all respond! We have an abundance of news to share, so please make sure to go online to view those notes that didn’t fit in the printed magazine.

Sadly, I begin this edition with tragic news. Our classmate Michelle L. Salisbury passed away on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. Michelle worked at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as a senior project manager. She is survived by her husband, Jon D. Orris; mother, Judy Salisbury; grandfather, Edward M. Salisbury; brother, Brian E. (Cristen) Salisbury; and nieces, Elliote and Reilly.

In 2014 Sara Brenneis, published her book Genre Fusion: A New Approach to History, Fiction, and Memory in Contemporary Spain, welcomed her son Charlie in October, and achieved tenure in the Spanish department at Amherst College.

Nadia Khan also welcomed a son in October 2014: Iago Khan Martell. She and her husband, Hector, left the Bay Area for Austin, Texas. Hector works at Mell Lawrence Architects and Nadia is “‘working from home’ as I scheme up where to put my modern, sustainable architecture stamp moving forward.”

Anthony Veneziale and his partner welcomed their second child, Ociela, in 2014. Anthony partnered with Thomas Kail ’99, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, and Bill Sherman ’02) on a live improv rap show, Freestyle Love Supreme, that aired on Pivot. He also started a new show/company, Speechless, which gives improvised PowerPoint presentations and helps companies make better presentations on stage and on camera.

President Obama recognized Dave Lubell, executive director of Welcoming America, for their immigration integration efforts. In a Dec. 2014 event in Nashville, President Obama said, “David’s initiative is expanding across the country… This is what makes America exceptional. That we welcome strivers. We welcome dreamers from all around the world.”

Nadine Forrester Mills and husband Gregory welcomed daughter Angelique. Nadine was also inducted into the Middletown, Conn., Hall of Fame for her accomplishments in track and field.

In Paris, Becky Cohen is enjoying the semester abroad she never experienced. She, husband Jake and two daughters moved there from Boston last summer. Becky teaches at the Lycée International: “Jake is taking care of the homestead and finding more time for biking and art; the girls are immersed in French schools! It is a fantastic adventure, and we are trying to see as much as we can before heading home, either this summer or next!”

Dahlia Schweitzer is pursuing a PhD in cinema and media studies at UCLA. She published Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer: Another Kind of Monster, a book examining artist Cindy Sherman’s only film.

Also in LA, Guillermo Brown is working on his next music releases with his bands Pegasus Warming and Thiefs, with whom he’s touring.

Jessica Cortes hosted a Wesleyan Lawyers Association (WLA) cocktail event in New York at her firm, Davis & Gilbert, LLP. The event attracted approximately 40 alumni; see the group’s LinkedIn page for more information.

Lia Salza Goldstein encourages those in D.C. to visit the neighborhood art space for children that she calls Little Loft in Capitol Hill. A second location is about to open in Takoma Park, where Lia lives with her husband and three children.

Michael Sternhell and his wife expanded their family in Dec. 2014 with baby girl Iris Sternhell.

Georgia Silveria Seamans also welcomed a daughter, Colette, in March 2014. She encourages all in NYC to check out the projects she’s planning for Washington Square Park Ecology.

For the past 12 years, Amanda Green has taught film studies and English at Berkeley High School. When she’s not teaching or spending time with her husband and two children, Amanda finds time to teach jujitsu and aikido in nearby Oakland.

The faux bois furniture that Mike Christie-Fogg makes was recently featured in Architectural Digest and Traditional Home magazine. His furniture is distributed through David Sutherland.

Abe Forman-Greenwald is filling our FaceBook feeds with content as a video producer at BuzzFeed Video. His short videos have racked up more than 150 million views in total. Recently he’s been focusing on documentary shorts about subjects of identity and social justice. He tweets about his projects at @filmingdocs.

As founding VP of Operations, Tali Schmulovich is working to build Global Health Corps, a nonprofit developing a pipeline of leaders focused on global health. While she is based in New York, Tali has worked in Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi.

Laura Polania, a psychiatrist focusing on women’s mental health, has expanded her private practice to Brooklyn, where she lives. She keeps up with Christine Rizkalla, an emergency pediatric doctor, Rebecca Preiser, who’s finishing up her doctorate in clinical psychology, and Sarah Kless Seigel, who is practicing pediatrics.

Thanks to Instagram, I learned Penelope Linge and her family were vacationing on Maui at the same time I was. I loved having an unplanned Hawaiian get-together with my former Wes swimming teammate who’s now the CFO at HelloGiggles, an online community covering pop culture, love, friendship, style, and news.

Sourav Guha is back at Wes: a visiting instructor of government, teaching contemporary Indian politics. This follows earlier stints back on campus as assistant dean of admissions, institutional research associate, and assistant provost.

In Cairo, Jaime Nelson El-Helw opened FLOW Wellness Center, which offers activities for mothers to develop positive bonds with their children. She, her husband, Sherif El-Helw, and their three children return to New England every summer to visit Jaime’s family, including her grandfather, Ted Nelson ’41, who lives in Rhode Island.

Arshad Chowdhury and his wife, Anika, welcomed a baby boy to their family in Brooklyn. Arshad is CEO of an exercise app company, Power 20, and co-founder of Crowd Interactive, a Web development company.

As Director of Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Makaela Kingsley inspires current Wes students to create projects and organizations that change the world for the better. She also gets to connect with classmates focused on social impact, including Amir Hasson, CEO of Oxigen USA and a serial social entrepreneur, and Rebecca Knight, who writes about business and will be presenting a business plan and pitch workshop for social entrepreneurs at Wesleyan during the spring semester. Of course, Makaela also spends time with husband Matt Kingsley, associate head coach of men’s basketball at Yale, and their children, Amelia and Eli.

Nathan Eddy, his wife Clare, and their two children, Mahalia and Elise, landed in Marylebone, London, in Aug, 2014. Nathan is pursuing a PhD in Hebrew Bible and Clare is serving as a minister in the Church of England.

Jessica Browning and her husband, Jerad, are busy with two daughters who arrived within the last year-and-a-half! Although sleep deprived, Jessica is hanging in there and is a college counselor at a K–12 school in Asheville, N.C.

David Schleifer is working with Chloe Rinehart ’14 at Public Agenda, where they conduct research on domestic policy issues including healthcare, education, and democratic participation.

In Brighton, England, Erica Nelson is an independent consultant on global public health projects, having completed a post-doc research fellowship in anthropology with the University of Amsterdam. She and husband Dylan Howitt have been in England since 2008. Their daughter Sylvie, 4, just started school in Sept, 2014.

Aimee Miles co-founded FOGG Theatre, a musical theatre company in San Francisco that commissions, develops, and produces musicals with a Bay Area focus. The company’s first musical, The Cable Car Nymphomaniac, enjoyed rave reviews and sold-out shows every night. Aimee also leads the education wing of the company, which offers performing arts programming and summer camps for kids. Aimee adds, “Thank you, Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown, for all you taught me!”

Scott McCracken received a fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. He will be teaching a course at UPenn in March.

In Cambridge, Mass., Nella Young runs a fellowship program that places architects with community development organizations through Enterprise Community Partners. She regularly bumps into Kirsten Von Trapp in Davis Square, where Nella lives with her husband and son.

David Greengrass and wife have a son, Ben, born June 2014. They live in D.C.; David works as a counsel on the House Judiciary Committee.

Joshua Steadman’s company, Videoo, is the technology behind a new campaign aiming to connect people through acts of love. The #Share1Love campaign will donate $1 to “charity: water” for every “random act of kindness or love” video uploaded.

Angela Pellegrino-Grant welcomed twins Lena and Silas Pellegrino-Grant in June 2014.


Jason Becton |

CLASS OF 1998 | 2014 | ISSUE 3

Hello, Class of ’98! We have just a few updates this round, so please send me or Jason your news if you’d like to be included in the next installment.

In February 2015, Kate Wetherhead will be releasing a book she co-wrote with her collaborator Andrew Keenan-Bolger. The book is titled Jack & Louisa: Act 1 and is the first in a three-book series for Penguin Young Readers Group.

In June, Meredith Hoffa and husband Nick ’97 expanded their family with the addition of Bo Hoffa. Meredith writes, “I am really, really into him.”

I had the chance to catch up with Sarah Margon while in Washington, D.C., for a meeting with the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. While Sarah caught me up on her great work with Human Rights Watch, we ran into Amanda Bowker, who was a few tables away! Amanda had just moved into a new home and was enjoying the summer with her husband, Dave, and two daughters.

That’s it for this round … short and sweet!


Jason Becton |


ANDREA Z. DEANE, a freelance food stylist and the chef at the president’s house at Wesleyan for 10 years, died Feb. 2, 2014. She was 55. A graduate of the University of Vermont, she received an MALS in 1998. She studied cooking at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, apprenticed at The Four Seasons restaurant in New York City, and was associate food editor at Weight Watchers magazine. She went on to a successful career as a freelance food stylist with her work featured in several cookbooks as well as for Bon Appétit, Cuisine, and Parade magazines, before moving to Haddam, Conn., in 1986, to raise a family. At the Wesleyan president’s house she oversaw all official catering functions for three presidents. Since 1999 she focused on her fine art painting career and had several successful exhibitions. Among those who survive are her husband, Eric Deane, two children, her mother, four siblings, and an extended family.

CLASS OF 1998 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Happy spring, fellow classmates! I hope this issue finds you nice and warm after a terrible winter. Here’s what’s going on…

Laura Kirk’s baby, Theo Kirk, arrived Aug. 19, 2013, and he is a total love.

For the last two years Ysette Guevara has been working to transition youth from NYC’s foster care system into fulfilling adult lives. She works most closely with a group of aspiring social entrepreneurs, ages 21 and up. You can read about their work at

Marcus Chung married his partner, Ryan Black, on April 4 in a small ceremony in San Francisco with a big party on April 5 to celebrate. It was a bit of a swim team reunion with Neil Seth, Jill Kantrowitz, Abby Posner, Emelie Gunnison, Penny Linge, Meaghan Reilly ’00, Alison Hirsch ’00, Leah Rosenblum ’99, and Lena Sadowitz ’99. Several other Wes friends arrived including Kate Haviland, Rebecca Knight, Meredith Hoffa, Sarah Margon, Sophie Middlebrook, Lisa Winegar and Doug Sabo ’95, and Becky Wildman-Trobriner ’03. Ryan and Marcus are grateful for the opportunity to be legally married in the state of California after nearly six years together.

Please make sure to keep us updated so we can share your news with our classmates. Take care.


Jason Becton |

Class of 1998 | 2014 | Issue 1

Hello, Class of 1998! I’m writing this installment of Class Notes on a cross-country plane back home to San Francisco. I spent today back at Wes during Homecoming & Family Weekend, so I feel the Wesleyan spirit pretty acutely right now! For this California native, it was as special seeing the fall foliage as I drove to Middletown from New York as it was to simply be on campus again. It’s been well over a decade since I was at Wes in the autumn and it was fun to be back during a time where the promise and excitement of the new academic year is so palpable.

I made the trip to campus for an advisory board meeting of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Makaela Kingsley, the Center’s new director, is doing an excellent job leading the organization and it feels like we have so much potential to make this Center a hallmark of the Wesleyan experience. To me, it simply makes sense to harness the spirit of social and civic engagement so prevalent in all Wesleyan students and channel it to make a real impact through new models in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

Anthony Veneziale, his partner Caricia Catalani, and daughter Jettaya returned to New York after working on a tuberculosis project with Indiana University in Kenya and Rwanda. He spends time in New York City with Thomas Kail ’99, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, and Bill Sherman ’02 for their improv rap show, Freestyle Love Supreme. Anthony occasionally sees Abe Forman-Greenwald in Los Angeles and looks forward to catching Giants games in San Francisco when Tom Kawano comes to town.

Another of our class making her impact on the world is Lauren Berliner, who finished a PhD in communication at UC, San Diego. Her dissertation about media pedagogy was based on work facilitating a film program for queer youth. After completing her PhD, Lauren and her partner, Minda Martin, moved to Seattle, where she is now assistant professor in interdisciplinary arts and sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell.

David Edelstein is “living the good life in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, while telecommuting to Japan to help support a global network for peace.” David’s two sons keep him and his wife quite busy and very happy.

Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Daniel Gilbert has just published a new book, Expanding the Strike Zone: Baseball in the Age of Free Agency.

My co-class secretary, Jason Becton, has some exciting news to share. He and his husband, Patrick Evans, finalized the adoption for their second daughter, Elizabeth Elaine, in September. She joins 2-year-old Marian, who is thrilled to have a little sister to complete the Becton-Evans family.

Adam Hinds moved back to New York after two years in Jerusalem with the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. Before Jerusalem, Adam spent two years in Iraq as team leader of a UN-led negotiation on disputed internal boundaries in northern Iraq. In New York he is switching gears and taking on a “very easy” assignment: the Syria crisis.

Peter Isbister lives in Decatur, Ga., with his wife, Robyn Painter, and their 3-1/2-year-old daughter, Mira. They regularly see Rachel Wellborn, as well as David Lubell and his family, who also live in Decatur.

As for me, in addition to my new role supporting Makaela at the Patricelli Center and waxing nostalgic about Wesleyan in the fall in these notes and on Twitter, I’ve been bouncing back and forth between San Francisco (home), Asia, and New Jersey, in my role as vice president of social responsibility for The Children’s Place. I’m excited for my next visit to New Jersey so I can visit with Neil Seth and his wife, Sylvie, who just moved to Hoboken.

MARCUS CHUNG and Jason Becton


ALEX T. HANDLER, 31, died July 5, 2007. He had majored in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Among those who survive are his parents, Dr. Mark and Leslie Handler, two brothers, his grandmother, and a cousin, Julie A. Burstein ’80. (For more information, contact Vielhauer-Clepper funeral home.)