CLASS OF 1999 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

In 2019, Davis Thompson-Moss opened Crown Heights Healing, a community yoga, reiki and sound healing studio in Brooklyn.  After the pandemic hit, it became a Zoom space for people to meditate, do yoga and stay connected, open to all people, all levels. Much to his joy, Wesleyan friends come through regularly: Chris Coyle, Jake Kheel, Kabir Sen, Phil Frank, Allegra Jones, Josh Harris, Daniel Lawren, Rachel Ostrow, Miriti Murungi, Danny Forster, Keith Witty ’01.  If you’re seeking a physical or meditation practice, reach out at

Although Tara Cohen and her family relocated from the Bay Area to southeast Michigan more than five years ago, it still feels new in many ways. One of her all-time favorite things in Michigan is the wild black raspberry season in their backyard; the gorgeous pinks and purples mark the beginning of summer. There’s never a dull moment at their house with two energetic kiddos (a rising first grader and a preschooler) and their elderly dog and cat. Tara works for the county’s Community & Economic Development Department where she manages the CDBG program for affordable housing and public infrastructure improvement projects. In November 2020, her spouse was elected as Clerk of the Township, so she’s also getting a taste for being married to an elected official, something no one trains you for 🙂 If anyone is passing through the Ann Arbor area, please say hello!

   Katie Redwine has been having an inappropriate amount of fun these days. She has the pleasure of meeting new people every week performing autism assessments virtually and loves the cognitive rigor and emotional depth of those experiences. In her other waking hours, she’s fascinated watching her 12-year-old son navigate adolescence and her 10-year-old son fling himself headlong into every new situation. Both boys earned their black belts in tae kwon do this spring. Katie and her husband have tackled many home projects, and can now do so with harmony, which everyone who’s gone through the renovation process knows is a feat in itself!  Her family has been hosting outdoor bashes during COVID and they’re traveling again, complete with surf lessons in Sayulita.  Plus, Katie was told by several folks that she can now speak Spanish like a 6 year old, which makes her inordinately proud.

   Chad Bartell and his wife Julie took a two-week trip to the Galapagos Islands in May and saw wildlife both above sea level and below. After a COVID-related downsizing at his company of nearly 10 years where he was in-house counsel, Chad now practices business law with a small firm in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. He performs regularly in the summer with the steel drum band he founded in 2016. He and Julie have two boys, 11 and 13.

Rachel Ostrow showed new paintings at Planthouse Gallery in NYC this fall.  The opening was on October 28th.

   Leander Dolphin was elected co-managing partner of Shipman & Goodwin LLP. She previously served on the firm’s Management Committee.  She continues to practice law as a member of and partner in School Law Practice Group and has dedicated her career to advising educational institutions and organizations.

   Erik Rueter gave a webinar about diversity, equity and inclusion for Project Management Institute that has almost five thousand viewers (live plus on demand). He also guest lectured about structural racism in oncology care for Mattitiyahu Zimbler’s ’01 classes on prejudice at Boston College and at Emerson.  His paper on strategies to address racism in oncology care is in review and will hopefully be published in Oncology Nursing Journal.

   Rachel Afi Quinn earned tenure at University of Houston where she was promoted to associate professor in the Comparative Cultural Studies Department and the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program. Her first book Being La Dominicana: Race and Identity in the Visual Culture of Santo Domingo was published with University of Illinois Press in late July. Rachel and her partner Eesha Pandit have been building the social justice South Asian feminist community South Asian Youth in Houston Unite and coordinated their fifth annual summer institute for South Asian youth in Texas this year.

As for your class secretaries, it was a summer of reconnecting and change!  Kevin and his family escaped from their house in New Jersey and spent the summer on Sebago Lake in Maine.  He caught up with Darryl in Freeport and visited Professor Emeritus Richard Miller, who hasn’t lost a beat of his sharp wit.  In September, Kevin started a new gig at Virta Health, working on reversing Type 2 diabetes.  Meanwhile, Darryl and his husband traveled to New Jersey and Ohio to see family who they hadn’t seen for nearly two years.

May the new year be full of good health and wonderful surprises! Hope to hear from you in 2022!

CLASS OF 1999 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Diana Glanternik is riding the pandemic out in Brooklyn with husband and two little ones, Ila (4) and Amara (1). Mari was born in December 2019, so Diana was just coming off maternity leave when this hit. “I am in the ranks of moms whose work hours have been drastically reduced by additional childcare responsibilities. We are lucky that at this age, our kiddos are perfectly content to have more time with their parents and it’s still a time for lots of play-based learning. The pre-pandemic aspect of life that my husband and I miss most is dinner gatherings, many of which involved Wes friends who live nearby. As soon as everyone is vaccinated we hope to host those weekly! Feeling grateful for security and health.”

     Gloria Milagros Plaks is sharing pandemic time with three kids (14-year-old nephew and 13- and 9-year-old children) who are learning remotely while she is teaching high school math from home and taking care of her 18-month-old baby. “Thank goodness my mother is near and takes the baby most of the work week! Life is interesting and I am thankful that my family has been spared (hopefully will continue to be) and my heart aches for those families who have had difficult experiences during this time.” She sends many hugs and blessings to her Wes fam.

     Ellen Sluder (Cohen) is now head of marketing for software startup smrtStudio Global. Their client base is 100 percent North American, but Ellen is the first U.S. employee. “I’ll be working shifted hours to bridge between Romania and New York, which leaves me open in the afternoons for my kids (10 and 7). We’ve been lucky this school year that they have mostly been in school full time. Although it can be hard to find the silver linings, the extra time to keep up with text messages and group chats with other Wes alums has been a bright spot!”

     Nina Kontos reports she is “ever grateful for my badass network of Wesleyan friends who have been a support system through the pandemic (and the past 20+ years)­—whether through text trains, phone, Zoom or socially distant outdoor gatherings. I still live in forever resilient New York City, I have a kindergartener, and recently started a new job at Pinterest leading internal and executive communications for the company.”

     Abbie Goldberg has been on a daily running streak for 11 months (hoping to make it a year), and has run over 3,000 miles since mid-March. “We also got a #pandemicpuppy this winter. She is bringing much needed joy into our lives. I am a visiting professor at UMass during my sabbatical, working on projects involving the intersection of education, adoption, and foster care.” Her latest book, the SAGE Encyclopedia of Trans Studies, is coming out this March.

     Jennie Rabinowitz is coping with pandemic limitations by volunteering with the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project (DCVLP), where she helps survivors of domestic violence obtain civil protection orders, divorces, and custody of their children. “Demand for DCVLP’s services is up 300%. Being able to help my wise and resilient clients has kept me sane. The extent to which they’ve educated me has been a huge gift. I was honored to be one of DCVLP’s Volunteers of the Year for 2020, and while I hope the need for my services dissipates, I’ll be here as long as my clients need me.”

     Chad Bartell lives in his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, where he practices corporate law by day and plays in a steeldrum band by night (check out “Panchromatic Steel” on Facebook or YouTube). Ed Holzwarth and wife, Aline, just welcomed a baby son, Nico Holzwarth to their family! The digital health company where Ed is co-founder and CTO, Pattern Health, just closed $1.5m in funding. Exciting times!

     The second hardest part of writing the Class Notes is getting people to take the time to send in submissions . . . thank you to everyone who sent the stories for us to share this time around! The hardest part of writing the Notes is when we have to share sad news, such as the passing of our classmate Catie Lazarus last December. She was a bright light with boundless energy and wit, gone too soon. The New York Times carried a nice piece on her.

     Kevin continues to find purpose in his work at Quartet Health, which is striving to help everyone with a mental health condition get the care they need. This need has been growing for decades, and has exploded over the past year. One pandemic pastime that Kevin and his wife, Keara, have enjoyed is watching the entire How I Met Your Mother series from the beginning. The numerous Wes references have been a welcome shot of nostalgia!

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 |