CLASS OF 1999 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

2020—what a year it’s been. As I write these notes, the election is a month away and the nation continues to struggle through two pandemics, COVID-19 and racism. I hope each of you has been able to stay connected, experience joy, and find the light even during the darkest days. 

Jennie Rabinowitz shared that her amazing husband, Dan Jamieson, has been working long, brutal hours as an ICU doc at Georgetown University Hospital in D.C. during the COVID-19 crisis. During the thick of it, regular Zoom calls with Wes friends including Paul Ohan, Heidi Golden, Demian Mason, Jessica Sanders, Kate Slevin, Danielle Feldman, Dave Cope, Avra Fox-Lerner, Steffie Kinglake, Rachel Ostrow, Vivian Lee, Simon Frost, and Jen Rizzuto Congregane ’01 kept him energized. Thanks, Dan (and all frontline workers), for all that you have done and continue to do to care for others. 

Adam Birnbaum got married in May 2019. He and his wife are living in Flatbush, Brooklyn and welcomed a new baby, Sonya Hiwot Tedeneke-Birnbaum, on May 22. 

In the fall of 2019, Suryo Soekarno and his family visited Ken Hijino and Kaoru Tokumasu ’00. Ken is a well-respected political science professor at Kyoto University while Kaoru is a freelance English-Japanese translator working with many local NGOs. They have a lovely house in the countryside just outside of Kyoto, Japan.

Last January, Erin Morris attended the Mentorship Workshop for Wesleyan Women’s Athletics. It was great to speak with current athletes and see Emily Rauscher. While walking through Freeman Athletic Center, she ran into Bob Chiapetta (manager of intercollegiate operations at Wes), who immediately said, “Hi, Smiley” (his nickname for Erin when she was a student playing ice hockey), as if 20 years had not gone by at all!

In June, Russell Isaacson and his wife moved to Lake Wylie, South Carolina from NYC, and they had their first daughter, Olive Corinne, on August 18. Russell started a new role at Ally Bank in October doing business development in their point of sale lending group.

This fall, Hong Qu started his PhD in network science at Northeastern University. His faculty advisor is another Wes alum, Professor David Lazer ’88. He plans to investigate networked social movements aiming to regulate technologies such as Big Tech and AI. He lives in Flushing, NYC with his wife and two boys (ages four and five), but hopes to move to Boston when the pandemic subsides.

Kareem George was recently appointed to the prestigious Travel + Leisure magazine advisory board, which is a select group of 27 of the country’s top travel advisors. As part of ongoing dialogue with Travel + Leisure’s editorial and business teams, these world-class advisors share their expert opinions and insider perspectives on the latest developments in the travel industry and their read on ever-evolving consumer trends. Kareem and his travel design company, Culture Traveler, continue to attract national attention. In the September issue of Luxury Travel Advisor, Kareem was profiled in the cover story, which explored his artistic background, entrepreneurial motivation, and the vital role of personal connections to the success of Culture Traveler. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to safely travel again in 2021.

In the meantime, Kevin and I wish you all peace, happiness, and good health in the new year. Be well, stay safe, and keep in touch.

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |

CLASS OF 1999 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Not surprisingly, the theme of these notes is “quarantine”, starting with NYC. Liz Garcia writes from self-isolating in Brooklyn, “where it’s deserted enough that you can hear the birds for once, but of course it’s not altogether relaxing. Our neighborhood gets out our tension every night at 7 p.m. by cheering wildly and banging on drums and lots for all the brave folks who keep the city running.” Liz is homeschooling two elementary school-aged sons and continuing to work from home as a screenwriter. “I feel incredibly lucky to be healthy and employed given the immense suffering of so many. I send love and strength and, dare I say hope, to all my beloved Wes folk.” Marianna Ellenberg has been working as photography teacher this year at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx, alongside writing a new play, to be produced in 2021.

Gloria Weber Plaks (aka Glo) writes from NYC, while her sister-in-law is telling her to “get the heck out of here.” She’s happily married to an awesome man, Eric Plaks, for almost 14 years. Glo has been a high school math teacher on-and-off since graduating from Wesleyan in 1999 and currently a special education math teacher at Vanguard High School for the last four years. “I am surrounded by a team of super dedicated, caring colleagues and just funny, hard-working students. I finally feel like I have found a place where I can stay for a while. Remote learning means that some of my days end with me falling asleep with my phone in my hand after texting with my student until 11:30 p.m. Remote learning and teaching, while helping my 12-year-old son, 8-year-old daughter, and 14-year-old nephew with their remote learning, while taking care of a 9-month-old, can be a bit of a hot mess. Yes, I have a 9-month-old. But one thing that I learned through all of this is that I really like my family!”

Moving to NorCal quarantine: Danielle Lazier and family are sheltering in place in Noe Valley, San Francisco. “The twins are almost 4 years old. Real estate sales are different but folks still need to move. I’m figuring out how to help my clients as safely and successfully as possible.” After 15 years building and leading community development finance for Charles Schwab, Sahra Halpern left in March to join Capital Impact Partners as senior director of strategic lending initiatives. Capital Impact Partners is a mission-driven lender that operates with the belief that equity, inclusiveness, and cooperation are keys to building communities of opportunity. “We deliver capital to address systemic poverty, create equity, build healthy communities, and promote inclusive growth. I’m beyond thrilled to be here!” On the home front, Sahra and Dan Engler are celebrating 10 years of parenthood (to Hanna, 10, and Adam, 8), 10 years of living in Oakland, Calif., and the milestone of having spent half of their lives together.

Katie Mayland Redwine lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons, ages 9 and 11. She works as a licensed clinical psychologist conducting psychological assessment and specializing in autism spectrum disorder. “I spend as much time as humanly possible taking my family on adventures (when I’m not quarantined) including to Australia, Italy, Mexico, and various U.S. states. Also to my favorite exotic locations, the gym and the supermarket, haha!”

There’s a chance Katie could have seen Leevert Holmes, who reported receiving our email request for notes submissions while standing in line at the grocery store. “Ahhhhh!!!! You didn’t ever think you’d be reaching out during a pandemic?” Leevert and his wife relocated to the South Bay of Northern California, where he taught math to middle schoolers in Palo Alto and his wife was a principal of an elementary school in San Jose. Next year, they plan to relocate even closer to family in the East Bay (Oakland) and work towards closing the achievement gap in San Francisco or Oakland. “I’m enrolled in Mills College to gain certification in math. In my free time, I moonlight as my alias, DJ Elbow Greasy and starting to craft my memoir as a schoolteacher.”

After 14 years at a large law firm, Allegra Jones has moved in-house as senior counsel at Pacific Maritime Association in San Francisco. “PMA is a trade association that negotiates maritime labor agreements with the union of 25,000 longshore workers on the West Coast. Staying in touch with our friends from Wesleyan is definitely keeping me going during this time of quarantine!” Nicholas Kyte is getting back to trail running when not working and homeschooling his two sons, Noah (9) and Benji (7). “Hit me up if you want to run with me in Martinez, Calif.”

Mike Hakim and family are holding up in LA: “Keeping the dream alive. I’m on my fourth kid Alaster Harrisson Louis Hakim who is turning 1 in June and celebrating life in the new normal. There are plenty of blessings through all the challenges life brings…I miss people and hope for only good vibes In the coming years! Please reach out to me just to say hi and what you’re working on in LA. If you need a new office or place to live or know someone please email:

Kabir Sen is in his 20th year teaching music at Shady Hill School in Cambridge and playing and recording music regularly. His most recent album The Good Life (If You Only Knew), a mix of hip hop and soul, is available on Spotify. Kabir’s wife, Rebecca, is still the head of her science department at Newton Country Day School, and their three kids (Eva, 10, Julia, 8, and Ethan, 5) are mostly doing well. “We are trying to balance our work and all the distance learning for our kids and it has been good to all be together despite these dire circumstances. My band Krush Faktory has been playing weekly and monthly residencies in the Boston area and I am really missing playing live music right now! From home I have been working on a new website for my music career ( and have been putting on Zoom plays with my students of my original musical, True Courage—A Whaling Adventure. Sending much love to the ’99 crew!”

Leila Buck is working from home in Brooklyn with husband Adam Abel ’98, grateful to be able to teach and work remotely. Since all theatrical productions are postponed until next year, Leila and her creative team are transferring their theatrical game show about immigration, citizenship and what it means to be(come) American, online for a virtual election tour this fall. If you’re interested in voting on who will be the next U.S. citizen, check out

“And most importantly, if you’re able to support our neighborhood hospital, one of the most under-funded COVID centers in NYC, please visit their GoFundMe.”

As for your class secretaries, we’re both bunkered down on the East Coast. Kevin continues to lead the growth of Quartet Health, a health tech company helping people get access to the mental health care they need, as COO. The pandemic is only increasing the need for access to high quality mental health care resources, and increasing the prevalence of mental health conditions. It’s really inspiring work. Darryl was recently interviewed for the Admission Leadership Podcast (aka The ALP), “a series of one-on-one conversations with people who have been climbing the leadership mountain in the world of college admissions.” As Darryl said to Kevin in an email, “if there were a silver lining from the pandemic, it is the need to stay even more connected now than ever before.” We hope you all feel a bit more connected to one another through these Notes, and hope you are inspired to reach out to a classmate to say hello!

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |

CLASS OF 1999 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

2020 marks the beginning of the second decade of the millennium, so it seems fitting to start some updates about several “seconds.” Greg Brodsky and his wife, Heather Mumford, live in Jamaica Plain and welcomed their second child, a boy named Benjy Mumford Brodsky. Jen Schockett and her husband, Dave, welcomed their second son, Zachary Ezra, joining big brother Max Lev. He was born August 31, three weeks early, eager to greet them. Jose Stevenson and his wife, Dalia, welcomed their second child, Javier Gelvin Stevenson on May 11. He’s a happy, chunky guy, quickly outgrowing any clothes they buy him, including his Wesleyan onesie! Older brother Emmanuel is madly in love with him and just wants to kiss him and make him laugh all day. The adjustment to two-kid life is tough but they are filled with love by these two! In October, David Faigin and his wife, Carol Ann, celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary and welcomed their second child, Acer. Six-year-old brother Westley is thrilled! For 12 years, David has been working as a clinical psychologist, serving veterans at the VA. 2020 is also meaningful for David and his wife because it marks 10 years living in the glorious state of Maine.

Arthur Baraf is in his 14th year as a high school principal, and in addition to his leadership at The Met High School in Providence, R.I., he is in his third year as featured speaker in the Nellie Mae Education Foundation Speakers Bureau, specializing in student-centered learning. His daughters are now 9 and 11, and he still plays Ultimate Frisbee.

Jeffrey Blumenthal finished his MA in geography (resource management and environmental planning) from SFSU in December.

After a year-long sabbatical at the University of Glasgow dental school, Aimee Dawson moved back home to Québec City, enjoying lots more snow, but fewer rainbows than in Scotland.

Shoshe Cole achieved her goal of becoming a professor at a liberal arts school in 2015, but quit academia a couple of years later, after helping her adjunct colleagues form a union and negotiate their first union contract. Since then she’s been focusing on homesteading on her property in Ithaca, N.Y., while figuring out a new career. Her latest project hails back to her PhD research in Martian geology: cataloging the data from the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, which is currently archived but not easily searchable. This is a huge task that should keep her occupied for many years, and she plans to recruit cataloging assistants who are interested in space science and exploration but chose not to major in a STEM field.

Real estate-focused law firm Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP promoted Daniel Engler to partner. Dan’s practice focuses on the buying, selling, leasing, and development of real property. He joined the firm in 2012 and is a member of firm’s San Francisco Real Estate and Renewable Energy Development team. Engler’s expertise spans the residential, commercial, mixed-use, health care, and renewable energy sectors. and he represents clients in complex real estate transactions and land use and entitlement matters.

Sarah Maine lives and works in New York City where she is the set decorator for CBS’s Blue Bloods. More importantly, she and husband Scott welcomed their son Maceo in November 2018. Whenever geography and busy schedules allow, Sarah tries to see Karen Correa, Rob Finn ’98, Allison Radecki ’98, and Neal Wilkinson ’98.

Leila Buck, based in Brooklyn with her husband Adam Abel ’98, has loved being in the Bay Area a bunch, working on a commission from California Shakespeare Theater. Her show, a contemporary response to One Thousand and One Nights, runs in August through September, so if you’re in the Bay Area or nearby, would love to see you there (

This July, Elsie Kagan and Carl Robichaud embark on a year-long world-schooling adventure with their children, Jasper (10), Lex (9), and Willa (5). Elsie will make art and teach at residencies in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Carl is leaving Carnegie Corporation of New York, where for the past decade he has led the foundation’s grantmaking on nuclear security. During their year away, their home in the Hudson Valley will serve as the site for Interlude Artist Residency, a new program they founded to meet the needs of visual artists who are actively parenting

An update from co-class secretary, Kevin. He’s nearly a year into his work at Quartet Health, where the team is trying to make it easier for people to get access to the mental health care they need. If you are working in health care or behavioral health, please let Kevin know! We continue to enjoy serving as your class secretaries and would love to hear from others. We wish you all the best as the new year/decade continues to unfold.

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |

CLASS OF 1999 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Eve Fox is helping to tackle our single-use plastic pollution crisis as the digital director of Beyond Plastics, a new effort started by Judith Enck, former EPA regional administrator (under President Obama) that’s based at Bennington College. Also, in New England, Erin Falkevitz Almond is married to Steve Almond ’88. They have three kids together, and live outside Boston. Her first novel, Witches’ Dance, is being published this October.

Mia Lipman Irwin and her husband welcomed their daughter, Alma, on June 7. Alma was born two weeks early at almost nine pounds. “She lights up our lives every day (so does our rescue dog, Etta, who’s equal parts jealous and protective of her little sister).” They live in Seattle, where Mia is the director of content at the University of Washington and Chris works as a 3D artist at a video game studio.

Classmates on the move: Kevin Black and his family moved to Madison, Wisc., last year after he and his wife were recruited to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They started their new positions as full professors of physics. After spending his first 18 years in California and his next 23 on the East Coast, they are now living in the Upper Midwest and enjoying their new city.

After 20 years on the East Coast, 20 years in NYC, and 15 years in Harlem, Leevert Holmes, has officially moved back to the West Coast. Although he chose not to return to Los Angeles, (“great place to visit”), he and his wife, Kerri-Ayn Seow, are settling into the Bay Area. Kerri is the new principal of Franklin Elementary School in East San Jose. Leevert is a middle school math teacher at Keys Middle School in Palo Alto. Leevert is looking to engage and connect with Bay Area and West Coast Wesleyan graduates. One of those Bay Area people could be Allegra Jones, who was promoted to special counsel for international law firm Duane Morris LLP. She is working out of the firm’s San Francisco office, Allegra specializes in employment law, civil litigation, and white-collar criminal defense, and her practice recently expanded to include cannabis law (a topic likely of interest to many classmates . . .).

Amelia Rachel Hokule’a Borofsky is winning the geography game. She lives in Hawaii and the Cook Islands. Amelia finished her doctorate in community psychology a while back and runs a consulting company “Most exciting, I’m now the mother of two daughters, Yinale and Reva, who turn 2 and 1 in September. As a solo super mama of two under 2, I don’t have much time, but am an avid surfing mom (” Amelia completed a collaborative short documentary, Our Atoll Speaks, about the island of Pukapuka and indigenous climate knowledge ( She shared her update in hopes to network with awesome Wesleyan folks around her projects. “Come visit Hawai’i or send me a virtual message! Mahalo!”

Like your faithful class secretaries, Rachel Afi Quinn didn’t make it to the Reunion. However, she didn’t let that stop her from sharing an update! Rachel is an assistant professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Houston. She just completed a year-long Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and was in NYC for the month of July on a fellowship from the New York Public Library, to do research at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for a second book project. “I hope to have my first book, Dominicana-Dominicana: Visualizing Contemporary Dominican Women’s Lives in Santo Domingo, finalized for publication in the year ahead.”

As for your class secretaries, we’re still in shock that two full decades have passed since we left Middletown. Kevin is a couple of months into a new gig as COO of Quartet Health in New York City. Quartet is working hard to bridge the gap between physical health care and mental health care. That work has already brought him back in touch with Matt Goldstein, who is building out a health care executive search practice at True. Matt is helping Quartet with a couple of C-level talent searches.

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |

CLASS OF 1999 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

Huge thanks to Kate Whitman Annis, Morley Cleary, Shashi Kumarashekhara, Hong Qu, Bozoma Saint John, Ellen Sluder, Jose Stevenson, Lauren Tobias, and Frantz Williams for serving on the committee that organized our 20th Reunion! The committee reported that “it was a big weekend for our class. Not only did many of our classmates participate on WESeminar panels (including Jessica Sanders and Carl Robichaud) but two of our classmates, Tommy Kail and Bozoma Saint John, received Distinguished Alumni Awards recognizing stellar achievements in their professions. After a welcome reception for the class on Friday night in the former Davenport Campus Center—which is no longer permeated by the smell of Otis Spunkmeyer cookies—the celebration continued at Eclectic into the wee hours.

“Saturday brought gorgeous weather for relaxing on Foss Hill, where many of us caught up with each other and our families. Saturday night was our class dinner, held on the President’s lawn. Shashi Kumarashekhara and Monisha Nariani served as our emcees, with guest appearances by Frantz Williams, Barbara-Jan Wilson, President Michael Roth ’78, and a very drunk alumnus from the Class of 2014. Ellen Sluder received a Wesleyan Service Award and did her best to document the night for the class Facebook page, where you can see video and pics: After good food, great conversation, and excellent music curated by Bryan Skowera, those who still had energy headed to the big tent and danced until the party shut down at 1 a.m. (not bad for a bunch of 40-somethings!). Sunday offered recovery-brunch food and a chance to say final hellos and farewells, as we all promised to do it again in five years’ time.”

Leila Buck had a great time connecting with classmates at Reunion, and was proud of ’99 closing down the dance party! She is performing in America Dreams, an interactive theatrical event that invites audiences into a game show run by the U.S. government where you decide who will be our newest citizen. The show is booking its Red State/Swing State 2020 Tour, designed to engage communities around the country in exploring whom we trust, what we fear, and what we really believe it means to be(come) U.S. citizens. If you live in a red or swing state and want to bring them to your community, contact

Eli Beckerman has launched a cross-partisan organization to open up the political debates—and political system—of our nation to new ideas, fresh voices, and better choices. Open the Debates is working with the Mediators Foundation and the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers to elevate and transform our political discourse. He would love to hear from others interested in political reform. He’s also the tired and proud papa of a rambunctious toddler, Maya.

In June, Jada Shapiro married her dear Wesleyan friend and next-door neighbor in Butt C, Dan Ryan. Dan and Jada have been blending their families for a few years and are now the parents and stepparents of four girls, ages 9-13. She just launched her second company, boober ( where expectant and new parents can find all their #pregnancytopostpartum care (think lactation consultants, doulas, pelvic floor therapists, mental health therapists, pre/postnatal massage, and more). Boober grew out of Birth Day Presence, launched in 2002, which provides childbirth classes to expectant parents in NYC. They live in Brooklyn, where every day is a Wesleyan reunion (there are three Wes couples alone on their block).

Although Michael Hakim’s family of five-going-on-six and their nanny were forced to evacuate their home in Malibu, Calif., due to the Woolsey wildfire, they are so appreciative and reminded of what life is all about—health, friends, and family. Michael writes, “Life changes rapidly and we are thankful. We’re balancing creativity and investments and wearing multiple hats in an ever-changing world. We’re living life in the moment and never looking back!” Glad that you and your family are safe, Michael!

Chad Bartell loves steel drums and the musical Hamilton. He first heard steel drums at a party during our first-year orientation at Wes and it changed his life. During his time at Wes, he met Bill Sherman ’02 (producer of the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton) and Tommy Kail. Check out the Wes alumni Facebook page to see a video of Chad’s band Panchromatic Steel performing his arrangement of “Wait for It” from Hamilton.

Finally, Jeffrey Blumenthal submitted the shortest update, “I got married, as promised.” He married Amelia Letvin, a geothermal geologist from Michigan. Congrats, Jeff!

Kevin and I were bummed that we weren’t able to attend Reunion, but we hope to see you at our 25th. In the meantime, be good, be safe, and be in touch!

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |

CLASS OF 1999 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

Mike Hakim lives in Malibu with three kids—Skyler, Lexi, and new arrival, Charleston! He is working to expand real estate investments across the U.S., specifically within opportunity zones, transit corridors, and near schools in underserved communities. He wants to congratulate the Division III lacrosse champs under John Raba and Frantz Williams on his promotion as the new vice president for university relations. Mike is going to dearly miss the one and only Barbara-Jan Wilson but was able to celebrate her in Beverly Hills over the summer at a Wes event.

Li Yu and his wife, Tamara, were in Australia between Christmas and New Year. They went to Canberra to visit Kim-Marie Spence ’00, who is finishing her PhD at the Australian National University and will be publishing her dissertation on the impact of reggae and k-pop on economic development in Jamaica and South Korea.

Katherine Goldberg is now a dual professional veterinarian and social worker, after passing her LMSW board exam in July. She is utilizing her DVM and LMSW to address human-animal relationships in veterinary environments and attend to serious illness and eldercare of both people and animals. Her recent publications include book chapters: “Considerations in Counseling Veterinarians: Addressing Suffering in Those Who Care For Animals”, “Issues in Serious Illness and End of Life Care,” and “Following the Loss of a Companion Animal: Aftercare and Pet Loss Support” in Clinician’s Guide to Treating Companion Animal Issues; “Euthanasia Considerations” in Textbook of Small Animal Emergency Medicine, First Edition, and “Veterinary Hospice and Palliative Care: A Primer for Mental Health Professionals,” in Pet Loss, Grief, and Therapeutic Interventions: Navigating the Human-Animal Bond (in press). She is editor of the forthcoming issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America, Small Animal Practice: Advances in Palliative Medicine, which is the first such volume within the veterinary literature.

Leander Dolphin still enjoys practicing law and was elected to the management committee at her firm Shipman & Goodwin this year.

Zack Becker published his first novel, a private detective thriller set in Houston. Gun Shy is available in paperback on Amazon and e-book pretty much everywhere.

Dan Young is living in the vibrant immigrant community of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. His wife, Liz, a native to the area, left a career in research science to become a science teacher at a local high school. Meanwhile Dan keeps busy as a freelance radio journalist covering politics and environmental issues. They spend a lot of their free time at Brighton Beach.

Abby Levine and Caddie Hastings were lucky enough to be in attendance to celebrate Dave Mahony’s wedding to a wonderful woman. Dave and his wife, Jennifer, live in the Bay Area, where they curate Chai Sessions, an evening of stories, songs, and tea aimed at fostering a sense of community.

Janel Davis is really grateful and proud for completing her master’s in marriage and family therapy from Southern Connecticut State University. She looks forward to seeing everyone at Reunion!

Kevin and I also look forward to seeing everyone at Reunion! Until then, be awesome, be well, and be in touch.

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |

CLASS OF 1999 | 2018 | ISSUE 2

Minona Heaviland is living in Santa Rosa, Calif., with her husband and two kids. She’s working part-time in planning and ecological restoration, loving being a mom in the North Bay, and is happy to connect with any Wes alumni around the Bay Area.

Lily Cook has a fellowship to study biomedical informatics at Oregon Health & Science University from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. She is a first-year predoctoral student.

From Zack Becker: “Amy Martin is the Democratic Party’s nominee for judge of the 263rd Criminal District Court, in Harris County, Texas. Amy has been a licensed attorney in Texas since 2003 and has spent the majority of her career representing indigent defendants charged with capital murder.”

Shannon (Kelly) and Jeff Tam ’98 have been living in Brooklyn for the last six years. She has been a midwife for 14 years and recently joined a great local practice (Park Slope Midwives). “I occasionally catch a Wes baby.” They have a son (11) and daughter (9). Jeff teaches chemistry at Trevor Day School.

Jeffrey Blumenthal has been getting back to his E&ES roots. “It rocks when a geographer and a geologist cross paths.” (in reference to his bae, Amelia Letvin).

Dan Jamieson and Jennie Rabinowitz welcomed baby Jonah River on May 14. Siblings Elijah (10) and Naomi (7) are over the moon about their new brother. Dan is a pulmonary and critical care doctor at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, and Jennie is busy raising up the wee ones. They live in Chevy Chase, Md.

Mike Hakim has been living happily in Malibu and Beverly Hills with the lovely Sophia for approximately nine years, raising Skyler (8), Lexington (7), and newborn Charleston. “All of us are Gemini and celebrate birthdays within a week.” Real estate investment and development support Michael’s writing, travel documentaries, and entrepreneurial endeavors. Instagram: @beverlyhillsmayor.

Seth Dellinger, a Feldenkrais practitioner, just released his 12-part audio program and e-book, ¡Reimagining Yourself!, a comprehensive program for life transformation through the vehicle of experimental and improvisational movement exploration. More info at or

Jake Kheel’s wedding

From Nina Kontos: “Jake Kheel had a beautiful wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and a number of us got to enjoy a few days there to celebrate (no kids!). Great crew, great times—a magical mini-reunion and we got to visit the beautiful ecological reserve in which Jake oversees. The crew included Dan Lawren, Danny Forster, Davis Thompson-Moss, Kabir Sen, Dan Shotz, Chris Coyle, Josh Harris, Billy Kheel ’96, Ben Selkow ’96, and Katharine Bailey ’97.

Ellen Sluder Cohen is a VP of marketing for RingBoost, the nation’s largest provider of vanity phone numbers. “It’s a fascinating business and I’ll be happy to talk anyone’s ear off about it at the 20th Reunion! My daughters are 7 and 4, and we’re living the full suburban NYC experience. In my time between jobs, I helped my husband build a professional-grade treehouse that will outlast us all. If anyone wants a sweet getaway, all are welcome!”

Sean Huse met up with several teammates at the Annual Wesleyan Men’s Basketball Golf Outing. It was a great day for the groups of Matt Hochstein ’00, Sean O’Brien ’00, Joe Griffin ’00, Josh Janelli ’01, Bryan McBeth ’02, and Brandon McBeth ’02. “Sadly, this group could hit more layups than greens in regulation so there was no winning prize. Coach Joe Reilly is doing a great job with the team, hosting this tournament, and with alumni relations . . . 10 years in a row for this group!” Sean, Pete Czerepak, Tim Syrett, and Geoff Dailey all work on State Street but have yet to have dinner in two years (of trying). “I’m sure many can relate to how busy work, travel, and family commitments can be at our age. We remain confident that a sit down can occur before 2019.”

Mark Zubko moved back to Westchester from London. He has three kids: Nico, Oliver, and Pia, who attend three different schools, which make the logistics somewhat complicated. His wife (Alex) remains way cooler than him.

You may have heard that the Notorious B-JW (Barbara-Jan Wilson) is retiring at the end of 2018. She welcomed in our class for our frosh dinner at the Freeman Center Ice Rink. It seems only fitting that her very large shoes will be filled by one of our own —Frantz Williams Jr. Congrats, Frantz!

As for your secretaries: Darryl and Bob bought a house and moved to Freeport, Maine. Kevin and his wife enjoyed a Saturday Wes ’99 double-header—brunch at Dave Feit’s new restaurant (the Stone & Rail) in Glen Rock, N.J., and getting to see the product of Tommy Kail’s directing brilliance, Hamilton. During brunch, Dave, his wife, and two kids were at the next table over celebrating their 11th anniversary!

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |

CLASS OF 1999 | 2018 | ISSUE 1

Jeff Blumenthal is modeling the spatial distribution of oyster drill snails (urosalpinx cinerea) across various environmental conditions in Richardson Bay, Calif. If he does a good job, SFSU will give him a master’s degree. He rents a house in Albany, Calif., with a girlfriend, two dogs, two roommates, some bicycles, and an old car with a lot of Richardson Bay mud on it.

Last spring, Aimee Dawson was in New York for a course in narrative medicine and stayed with Bessie Wilkerson, woke up to a view of the sunrise over the water in Hastings-on-Hudson, and met her two sweet children. On the same trip, she accidentally walked by Trump Tower with Aaron Yowell, but scampered safely home across the border to Quebec where they are well.

Greg Brodsky and his wife, Heather, were married in late 2016, moved from Somerville to Jamaica Plain, Mass., and welcomed baby boy Oscar on Dec. 4.

Eli Beckerman is happy to announce the birth of his first child, Maya Beckerman-Greenberg, on Jan. 26. He’s psyched to be a new old dad.

Tara Cohen and her partner, Jess, welcomed their second child into the world, Sage Humphrey Cohen-Flintoft. Sage brings lots of joy to his parents and big brother Oscar (the dog and cats aren’t so sure.) Tara grows more and more accustomed to the four-season lifestyle of Ann Arbor, Mich., but still experiences occasional pangs of homesickness for the Bay Area. Last November marked one year at her new job managing the Community Development Block Grant Program.

A new book by Kate Holbein Rademacher ’99

Kate Holbein Rademacher lives in Chapel Hill, N.C., with her husband, David, stepson Soren, and daughter Lila. She works in international public health with a focus on increasing access to birth control in developing countries. She got a fun surprise on her 40th birthday from Elsie Kagan, who showed up at her door unannounced. In addition to visits with Elsie and Carl Robichaud, Kate enjoys hanging out with Brook Wilensky-Lanford (who also lives in Chapel Hill), Erica Carpenter Witsell ’97, who lives in Asheville, N.C., and Shanna Handel (who also has a daughter named Lyla). Kate visited Mia Lipman Irwin and her husband in Seattle. Kate had her debut memoir published, Following the Red Bird. Kate is in regular touch with Gary Comstock, retired sociology professor and chaplain at Wesleyan, and she’s grateful for his support as she was writing and publishing the book.

Celina Su’s first book of poetry, Landia, came out last spring. After focusing on poetry at Wesleyan, she spent her time since then on social science research. These poems draw upon more than a decade of fieldwork, collaborative projects, and long-term relationships with specific immigrant communities and social justice organizations in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and throughout the U.S.

Leila Buck’s American Dreams & Arabian Nights was performed Dec. 7-8 at BRIC House Artist Studio in Brooklyn. Weaving storytelling, dreams, music, and more, this playful work-in-progress invites audiences into an interactive exploration of who we let into our hearts, families, and nations—and how those choices shape who we are.

Marianna Ellenberg’s new play, Pawel & Ebola, was performed at The Kitchen in NYC in February.

After 14 years in TV news, Aaron Weiss jumped into environmental advocacy a couple of years ago. He’s at the Center for Western Priorities, defending America’s public lands and holding Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s feet to the fire. He also hosts CWP’s Go West, Young Podcast, which has been a blast. It’s been great meeting all the Wes alumni in the conservation community. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the mountains outside of Denver with two kids, two dogs, two cats, a handful of chickens, and however many elk happen to be wandering through the front yard.

Last year, Danielle Lazier moved her real estate business to Compass. She works hard and still has fun selling San Francisco real estate. Her twins, Phoenix and Ari, are nearly 2 now, and they moved into a new home in Noe Valley.

Zack Becker’s wife, Amy Martin, is running for judge in one of the criminal district courts in Harris County, Texas (

Left to right: Gaby Alter ’97, Brandon Patton ’95, Josh Hanye ’95, Aaron Yowell ’99, Greg Tuzzolo ’00, Matt Steckler ’97, Dan Koulomzin ’99, Anand Nayak ’96, Divya Kumar ’99, Zak Patten ’95, Sara Mason ’00, Whitney Scharer ’99, Arthur Baraf ’99, Ryan Scharer ’99

In 2017, Dan Koulomzin and Divya Kumar celebrated turning 40 and being together for 20 years, and they had the good fortune of celebrating with many Wes alumni and a fantastic Wes band!

In February, Kevin went to the Stone & Rail, a great new restaurant that just opened in Glen Rock, N.J. He spotted one of the owners working to make sure they were off to a great start, and it was none other than classmate Dave Feit! Food was fantastic, and the crowd was a testament to great planning by Dave and team.”

Speaking of 20 years, next May will be our 20th Reunion! Email Jennifer Opalacz at if you’re interested in becoming a member of the planning committee. Hope to see you back on campus.

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |

CLASS OF 1999 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

Thanks to everyone who answered the call (begging?) for submissions this time around. Glad to have some good stuff to share!


Doug Russell and his family recently moved to Seattle, where he joined the child psychiatry faculty at the University of Washington. Dani Snyder-Young just moved back to Boston (with husband and toddler in tow) to join the faculty at Northeastern. Melissa Cantiello completed her lifelong dream of moving to the country last year when she relocated to the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York with her husband and two children. As a licensed clinical social worker, she continues to grow her local and web-based psychotherapy practice. Melissa recently enjoyed a visit from Jennifer Dorman. Jennifer is still based in Brooklyn, where she and her husband run a busy design-build landscaping company.

Jason Wong and Pao-Lin Tien moved to the D.C.-area in summer of 2016 with two girls (Zoe, 7, and Emma, 2). Jason works for Novavax, a biotech firm in Gaithersburg, Md., while Pao-Lin had a short stint at the Bureau of Economic Analysis as a research economist, and has now moved to a new position (assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies) in George Washington University’s economics department. They enjoy living in the Maryland suburb of Rockville, and there are lots of Wes alumni around including Rachel Mandal (who works only a few blocks away from where they live) and Nell Robinson. Naomi Huang ’00 also lives just a short drive away.


Jordan Vega recently started as a project manager at JPMorganChase in the Business Architecture and Transformation group. Living on the UES for about three years after too many years living in Murray Hill. “It’s ironic because JPM was my first job after Wes. Then after getting my MBA, and six-plus years at a smaller firm, I’m back to same bank where I began. Your email also reminded me the reach out to old friends today, so I’ve been playing phone tag and texting this evening with Geoff Dailey, who was my roommate freshman year in Clark. We both admitted to being the world’s worst former roommate since we only touch base about once year, but it’s always like no time as passed when we do talk to each other.” How about the rest of you? Reached out to your frosh roommate recently?

Ari Gerzon-Kessler had an eventful 2017. In late August, he married Sashi Gerzon-Rose in the mountains outside of their home in Boulder, Colo. William Messer blessed the couple with his presence at their small lakeside ceremony. After serving as an elementary school principal over the past six years, Ari was thrilled to start a new position for his local school district in October as director of parent and family partnerships, working primarily to empower Spanish-speaking families to engage more deeply in the school system. Ari is also working part-time as a financial wellbeing coach as he puts the final touches on a book about financial literacy aimed for people in their 20s and 30s. “Like all good Boulderites, Sashi and I spend much of our downtime in nature going on adventures with our Australian Shepherd pup.”

Katherine Goldberg’s editorial in the peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Record, “Exploring Caregiver Burden Within a Veterinary Setting” was press released and picked up by several news organizations including CBS, Newsweek, and Huffington Post. The article focused on the first research paper devoted to caregiver burden in owners of seriously and terminally ill pets. No surprise, stress, anxiety, depression, and psychosocial distress are elevated in owners of seriously ill pets compared with healthy pets, and the implications for veterinarian wellbeing are significant. One quote that was picked up in several of the articles, “Arguably, the greatest stressors and most difficult moments for vets have little to do with the animal-related aspects of professional life, but rather the people-related ones. The emotional labor of veterinary medicine is significant; much of this emotional labor is related to client interactions, which can be particularly intense surrounding serious or terminal illness.”


Bill Wilson and Mary Bridges welcomed Louisa Bridges Wilson to the world this February. Jennifer Schockett and husband, Dave, and welcomed their first baby, a boy, Max Lev, in 2016. They also bought their first house in Natick, Mass. “We’re so excited to be settling into our new life!”


Eve Fox met up with Sarah Benatar ’97 and Jonah Sachs ’97 and all their spouses in late September to celebrate the wedding of Ben Boothby ’97 to Darcy Yellin, overlooking the ocean in Bar Harbor, Maine.

In late September, Arthur Baraf celebrated his 40th birthday with Bill Foster, Alissa Farber, and Greg Tuzzolo ’00 in Providence, R.I., where he is in his 10th year as principal of The Met High School. These days, Arthur is also a Students-at-the-Center Distinguished Fellow, teaching graduate students at Providence College, producing the Student-Centered Learning Podcast, and fathering beautiful 6- and 8-year-old daughters.

Michael Hakim did his first triathlon and feels great! “The fear of long swims in the ocean is now over. It’s a mental and physical challenge and ready for the next challenge that comes my way.” If anyone is in the LA area, please reach out to him at “Wesleyan should postpone all sporting events on Yom Kippur!”

Marianna Ellenberg’s play Pawel and Ebola, which she wrote and will be directing, will premiere at The Kitchen in February. “I will be hosting a benefit for the play in November at David Lewis gallery in lower Manhattan, with a preview performance. All are welcome. The play stars rising independent film actor Hannah Gross as well as Tavish Miller and Erin Mullin from the Wooster Group.”

Suzanne Bouffard has a new book out! The Most Important Year. Here’s a link.


Several submissions from classmates who have never sent in notes or at least not in the past decade: Erin Morris and fiance, Michael LoCascio, live in Wilton, Conn., with their two pugs. They both work in Stamford where Erin is a market research manager for Charter Communications and Michael is a senior consultant at The Benefit Practice. Madhu Kannapiran finished OSU med school in 2005, and moved up to Minneapolis with his wife, Kelly, a med school classmate. She went to Williams, coincidentally. They’ve been in Minne ever since. “I’m in pulmonary/critical care, and she’s a pediatrician. We’ve got two daughters, a mastiff, two chickens, fish and caterpillars. Life moves fast…”

Kevin Black catching us up on his life as a first-time submitter (woohoo!). “After graduation in 1999, I enrolled in a PhD program at Boston University and received a PhD in experimental particle physics in 2005. For five years I was first a post-doctoral scholar and then a research scientist at Harvard University. In 2010, I returned to Boston University as assistant professor of physics and was promoted in 2016 to associate professor with tenure. In 2017, I became director of graduate studies and associate chair. I have worked at the Large Hadron Collider for the last 12 years and was part of the team that discovered the Higgs Boson in 2012. I got married in India in 2006 and had a daughter in 2010 who is now in the first grade and currently live in Wellesley, Mass., not so far from the college.”


Darryl and Bob are bracing for another Maine winter, after enjoying the sun of summer. Kevin and family continue to amortize their investment in an old Toyota Corolla. Professor Dick Miller would be proud.

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |

CLASS OF 1999 | 2017 | ISSUE 2

Ed Hong and a gang of other Wes alumni gathered on idyllic Lake Champlain in Shelburne, Vt., during Memorial Day Weekend to celebrate the marriage of their dear friend, Andrew Merz, to the equally hilarious and kind Simone Lichty. Joining their group were classmates Sam Hoyt, Grace Kim, Rebecca Slotnick, Chris Brody, Jesse Feldman, Richard Kruger, and Janice Gabucan Kruger ’98, and our various partners and kids. Ed is happy to report that they are holding up pretty well at 40. Also in attendance were Bill Purinton ’58, Eric Oliver ’88, and Nils Vaule ’98.

On January 9, Jennifer Karlin and her husband welcomed their first son. They have fun introducing him to all their friends, including Laura PlagemanJonathan BlochBen WorkChristoph Hanssmann, and Lauren Borowsky, and Jen’s current co-resident, Kaitlyn Krauss ’08.

Jose Stevenson and his wife, Dalia, welcomed their first son, Emmanuel Angel, on May 28, born 7 pounds and 15 ounces. They are head over heels in love with him and are adjusting to all the delights and challenges of new parenthood. Jose’s new favorite pastime is staring down at his son sleeping on his chest.

Elizabeth Shulman and her husband, Andrew Mastronarde, welcomed their second redheaded, Canadian-U.S. dual citizen baby on October 5. Her name is Mia Leona Mastronarde. She is a sweet, smiley girl who loves music and finds her brother to be hilarious.

Ike and Liz Botein Walker ’98 live in Acton, Mass., with their two kids, Rachel (12) and Izzy (9). In November, Ike ran the New York City Marathon for the first time, and classmates Dan Ryan, Jac Lahav ’00, Jada Shapiro, and Shanna Handel cheered him on in Brooklyn. In January, Ike started a new job, putting his computer science degree to use as a database architect for GitHub.

Lena Sadowitz moved back to Connecticut with David Andrews ’02 and their four kids (9, 7, 4, 1). Lena works for Loomis Chaffee and enjoys finding other Wes alumni on campus. She is getting used to a less urban lifestyle, including a barn full of bats and a pond full of frogs. They are happy to have more room for their coffee and baking equipment and they welcome Cardinal visitors!

Susan Landau is a neuroscientist at UC, Berkeley doing research on brain changes in Alzheimer’s disease. Susan and her husband, Pierre Garrigues, have a 4-year-old, Gabriel, and a 1-year-old, Claire, who keep them on their toes.

Dani Snyder-Young is joining the faculty at Northeastern University to teach theater. She and her husband and 2-year-old daughter are very excited to move to Boston.

Amy Martin was featured in the Houston Chronicle for her work representing an appellate client who was convicted of capital murder. Her husband, Zack Becker, sat a five-day zen session with friends at the Houston Zen Center—and survived!

Abby Levine, who has the privilege of teaching dance back at Wes, reports with a sad and heavy heart that her dearest friend and our classmate, Andy Williamson, passed away unexpectedly on May 5. Many Wes folks have come together in NYC and Los Angeles to mourn and celebrate Andy’s life. Donations may be made to the Andy Williamson Memorial Scholarship Fund at Shire Village Camp.

Eve Andrias, Hannah Blitzer, and Nina Kontos had a joint 40th birthday party with about a dozen Wes friends.

Kevin and I continue to enjoy life at 40 and hope each of you are celebrating this milestone by partying like it’s 1999. Be good, be well, and be in touch!

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |