CLASS OF 2000 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Can you believe it’s been 20 years since we graduated from Wesleyan?

Bakley Smith writes “Since I last checked in, I got married in 2013 and live in Brooklyn with my wife and our 3-year-old daughter. After a few years in very entrepreneurial projects (with, um, limited success), I began working for a small investment bank here in NYC that focuses on better-for-you food and drink products. I’m still in touch with and good friends with members of the Class of ’00 and will be more so as a class agent this year.”

Claudia Cruz accepted the position of director of internships and experiential learning at the Reynolds School of Journalism of the University of Nevada in Reno. This means that after nine years of living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area she’s headed to the Reno-Tahoe community. She’d love to connect with Cardinals in the area or with those just passing through.

Last but not least, Shawn Green, in Western Massachusetts, is working for Sunpower, helping homeowners convert to solar power.

Avery Esdaile | wesleyan2000@gmail.com

CLASS OF 2000 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Thank you for all the updates. Reunion year! More details to follow, but plan to attend Reunion Weekend in May.

Khary Cuffe writes, “I moved to Los Angeles last year. I worked at a start up in San Diego for a while as head of business development, but the commute was vicious so now I am an adjunct professor at LMU and work full-time as the director of MBA Career Services at USC Marshall School of Business. I would love to connect with Wesleyan alumni if they are in town.”

Trace Peterson published her second book of poems, Since I Moved In (New & Revised), which features an introduction by Joy Ladin. Trace works as a mentor for the Emerge-Surface-Be program at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, and also works at Hunter College, where she teaches an original course that she designed in the English department titled Trans and Nonbinary Poetry.

Nicole Lesperance writes, “I signed two book deals this year. The first, a middle grade book called The Nightmare Thief, will be published in fall 2020. The second, a young adult book called The Wide Starlight, will be published in 2021.”

Andrew Bancroft (aka rapper “Jelly Donut”) makes his Broadway debut with Freestyle Love Supreme, a fully improvised hip-hop musical created by Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Anthony Veneziale ’98, and Thomas Kail ’99. Andrew is also co-creator of FLS Academy, a school teaching freestyle rap, beatboxing, improv, and storytelling. Learn more and get tix at freestylelovesupreme.com.

Freestyle Love Supreme. Left to right: Arthur Lewis, Andrew Bancroft, Chris Sullivan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Chris Jackson, Anthony Veneziale, Tommy Kail.

Abby Rosenthal Burd drove to San Diego after graduation and hasn’t left. She is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice. Her perinatal online school just launched its first course, Prevent Postpartum Depression. Abby, her husband, Matt, and two daughters often play with Jenessa Pascoe Daugherty and Matt Daugherty ’99, and their daughters.

Leora Wein writes, “I completed my certification in educational therapy. I work in both school and clinical settings as part of a group private practice in LA.”

Ku Yoo writes, “I changed my law firm and joined as a principal at Axenfeld Law Group to grow and head its corporate practice. Still living in Philadelphia.”

William “Billy” Chun reports, “I’m serving as deputy mayor of economic development for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. My responsibility covers all the thriving and emerging industries in Los Angeles: aerospace, sports, tech, entertainment, real estate, tourism and hospitality, health care, cannabis, and mobility. My projects can range from large-scale events like the upcoming 2028 LA Summer Olympics, to infrastructure projects like the expansion of LAX, to bringing Netflix and Warner Music Group into LA, and to promoting economic opportunity. On that last point, I created the Evolve Entertainment Fund, which is an initiative to promote diversity in the entertainment industry. We kicked off the initiative with Ava DuVernay last year and we just launched our summer program with Issa Rae in June.”

Ami Student writes, “I’m living with my boyfriend in downtown Los Angeles, having moved south from San Francisco three years ago. I work for the VA as a psychologist. I primarily work with rural veterans via video telehealth technologies in their homes or local community clinics. Our program’s aim is to provide mental health care to veterans with little-to-no local mental health resources.”

Ali Haider says, “I am a practicing interventional cardiologist in Massachusetts and an assistant professor of medicine. One year ago, I married Uruj Kamal ’09, whom I met at my hospital when I first moved here. I am also a health care influencer on Instagram: @yourheartdoc!”

Daniel Gomez-Ibanez designed electronics for a remotely operated underwater vehicle specially designed to work under ice. He was in the Arctic Ocean on the icebreaker Kronprinz Haakon in September and October at 87 degrees north latitude exploring hydrothermal vents on the Gakkel Ridge.

Working out of Western Massachusetts, Shawn Green was promoted to senior residential solar energy consultant. He represents Sunpower and offers a free analysis and custom design/quote for homeowners. He can be reached at sgreen@wesleyan.edu.

Avery Esdaile | wesleyan2000@gmail.com

CLASS OF 2000 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

Molly Bruce Barton highlights: “I raised $4.5 million in venture capital for my company, Serial Box. Announced a partnership with Marvel to release original stories based on Black Panther, Jessica Jones, Black Widow, and Thor. And my husband, Jack Turner, and I had a second child. My daughter, Sylvie Ray Violet Turner, was born Feb. 8.”

After completing another degree (in engineering), Shawn Green has entered the field of renewable energy, working as a solar energy consultant (representing Sunpower) for homeowners in Berkshire County, Mass.

Cindy Chen writes, “After spending most of my career in health care communications and STM publishing, I pivoted three years ago to work in technology and now I’m  a manager of the ITS project management office at Weill Cornell Medicine. In that role, I was first-author for two papers about clinical research informatics. Definitely not what I’d thought I’d publish back when I was an English major at Wes!”

Matthew Freeman says, “My wife Bethany Caruso ’03 and I welcomed our second child, Olin Wilder, last May. I’m a faculty member in the department of environmental health at Emory University in Atlanta, conducting research on water and sanitation access and enteric infection.”freemanreserachgroup.org

Anna Holland Edwards updates, “Erica Grossman and I just won a case in the 10th Circuit related to police brutality. We are law partners in Colorado and do civil rights litigation. We still have to go to trial and see what happens, and they could ask the Supreme Court to reverse, but this is such a hard area of law to get good law made in these days that I thought we’d share!”

Diana Chuke writes, “Miracle In The Green has finally launched a beauty line. These products change lives, as we strive to empower women across the globe. We offer grants that sustain women-owned businesses. We also give scholarships toward education for less priviledged children. Support us at miracleinthegreen.com.”

Susan Sakash writes, “I’m celebrating six years of living in New Orleans and five of being married to Casey Coleman. We are truly in the land of Wesleyan with friends who span the graduating classes of 1992-2012. Dana Hale and I celebrated our 40th birthdays last September with our families and a bunch of friends including Jason Schwartz, Melissa Stevens and Rob Debbane, Chloe Garcia Roberts, and Mara Voukydis ’01 on beautiful land and a swan-infested pond in Little Compton, R.I. In addition to being deep in the throes of raising 2.5-year-old Levon Alan Danger Kashman, I’m still playing brass music and am in three or four bands, depending on the season, here in New Orleans. I’m about to start The Next Economy MBA, a program designed to help entrepreneurs and consultants learn business fundamentals from a regenerative economy approach.”

Paley Dreier is the president of Type Network. Previously, he served as the general manager of Type Network for two years and of Webtype for six years. In his new role, he will manage all aspects of the business, focusing on content strategy, enterprise and multinational licenses, and custom design projects on behalf of the foundry partners.

A.J. De Ases Hernandez Anderson is living in Miami with her husband Mauricio. Daughter Sienna just finished kindergarten and son Ronin just turned 2. A.J. left her commercial litigation and employment law practice of nine years to join the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project as a senior staff attorney. A.J. is working on impact litigation cases regarding immigration enforcement and immigrants’ rights in the south with a focus on Florida issues.

Scott Fairchild was named the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He will be leading the work to get Democrats a senate majority in the 2020 elections.

Stephanie Eddy Popescu writes from the Upper West Side, where she lives with her husband, Tudor, and two daughters. Clara is 7 and in second grade at PS 333. Natalie is 4, taking pre-K by storm. “I’m thrilled to have joined Glossier as director of programs last summer, and am immensely proud to be part of this innovative beauty company.”

Jenessa Joffe writes, “I’m living in Los Angeles directing films and video content. Last year I directed a comedy and social activism web series called Radical Cram School for comedian Kristina Wong. The series is on YouTube and distributed by women’s comedy platform, WhoHaHa. We successfully crowdfunded for a second season which we are making this year. I’m also collaborating with Amanda Palmer ’98 on a documentary that ties in with her current album. In December, I got married to a wonderful guy named Jim who happens to have grown up right near Wesleyan.”

Avery Esdaile | wesleyan2000@gmail.com

CLASS OF 2000 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

Scott Mayerowitz is the deputy global business editor for the Associated Press. He’s also hosting AP’s weekly travel podcast, Get Outta Here!

Shawn Paunchai-Green and wife Chaba welcome their first child to the world, Isana Sylvie, born on July 8.

Adam Zeller writes, “After 18 years in New York, my husband and I have moved to LA. I’ve taken a new role as SVP of global digital marketing at 20th Century Fox and we’re living in West Hollywood. I see Emily Bronkesh-Buchbinder and Melanie Lewis often. Wesleyan is everywhere here, and I’ve connected with Matthew Greenfield ’90 and John Penney ’87 here at Fox. Any Angelinos who want to say hi, e-mail me at adamzeller@gmail.com!”

Alua Arthur joyfully turned 40 this year! As most of us also turned 40, she would like wish us all a very happy 40th trip around the sun!

Mandy Snyder writes “I am living in Norwich, Vt. Inspired by my dance background and years of mindfulness practice, I developed an embodied healing process to help people feel more at home in their bodies and to heal from trauma. You can read more about it at mandysnyder.com. I am also enjoying the Contact Improv community in Montpelier and loving spending time in woods around my home.”

Anne Obelnicki writes, “On Sept. 18, my husband, Chris, and I welcomed our daughter Rosalia Margaret Obelnicki Weiler to the world. Big brother, Alden, is especially proud!”

Te-Ling Nai and Tak Wai Chung had another baby girl, Chun Yan, in last April. All three kids are doing well in Singapore.

Diana Ify Chuke-Nwobi is now in the fourth year of her wellness startup, Miracle in the Green. She says, “We provide our customers with clean and natural alternatives for baby, kids, and adults, with skin care products using the seed oil of the miracle plant named Moringa. Also, Oringaa is our 100 percent moringa powder which can be used in smoothies, juices, soups, salads, tea or in just plain water. Find us on miracleinthegreen.com.”

Avery Esdaile | wesleyan2000@gmail.com

CLASS OF 2000 | 2018 | ISSUE 2

Leah Grabelsky is an assistant principal at a NYC public high school and recruiting math, science, and visual/digital art teachers for 2018-2019. E-mail LGrabelsky@hsartstech.org to set up a visit.

Lily Oglesby completed her MFA in choreography from Wilson College in May (and on her graduation day got a job offer to teach at Dickinson College). The San Francisco native relocated to Pennsylvania five years ago for her husband’s tenure-track position in philosophy (though they still spend several weeks each year back in SF Bay). She has enjoyed her time back on the East Coast, choreographing, teaching, performing, seeing old Wes buddies, and raising her 5-year-old son, Benjamin, who starts kindergarten this fall. She adds, “I am writing this from Smith College, where I am at a conference, serendipitously, with recently retired Wes professor of dance, Susan Lourie.”

Suhi Koizumi was honored by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association as one of 17 recipients for the prestigious Best Lawyers Under 40 Award (BU40 Award). The BU40 Award recognizes talented individuals in the Asian Pacific American legal community who are under the age of 40 and have achieved prominence and distinction in their respective fields—be it the practice of law, academia, business, civic and charitable affairs, the judiciary, or politics—and who have demonstrated a strong commitment to Asian Pacific American civic or community affairs. Suhi practices immigration law at Minami Tamaki LLP in San Francisco.

Melanie Grubman purchased 93 acres of land with friends in the beautiful Mad River Valley of Vermont. Located on trails, rivers, and connected to the local school, Living Tree Alliance is a multigenerational, ecologically-oriented initiative, dedicated to redefining community, regenerating land, and revitalizing culture. She writes, “We are building a residential community, a regenerative working lands cooperative, and offering place-based transformative, education programs that nourish the mind, body, and spirit of all participants. We have four more plots available for people to build their homes on our pedestrian village and share in our dream of creating a vibrant space for collaborative land-based businesses, community, and festival life. Check it out at livingtreealliance.com or come camp on the land during one of our regional family festivals.”

Tim Howard writes, “My wife and I are moving to Berlin in May. I will continue to edit the podcast Reply All (replyall.limo), and will be reporting stories from Europe for the show. I’m very excited to meet journalists from anywhere in Europe, and also to get a drink with anyone in Berlin. Please contact me on Twitter: @newtimhoward. Also, I just released my eighth Soltero album, Western Medicine Blues.”

Jordyn Bonds says, “I’m coming up on my 15th year living in Boston, which is just crazy to think about. The big news for me right now is that I started my own company to finally focus full-time on my side project. It’s a data diary app called TallyLab and everyone is welcome to try it out: tallylab.com. Boston-area alumni who I get to see with some regularity (though never often enough!) are Rhiannon Luyster and Lenore Tsikitas Maniaci.”

Dana Hale writes, “I am the sales director for Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, Mass. We are an oyster farm who sells our own farm-raised products like wild razor clams, mussels, and a handful of other shellfish grown locally in Cape Cod. We have five sister restaurants and have just purchased a large property that will house our farm, hatchery, events, and some alfresco oceanside dining. My partner, Rafael, is attending MGH, studying to become a physician assistant, and my son, Santiago, works on climbing upstairs when I’m not looking and eating cheese. I’m still in touch with so many Wesleyan classmates. I am most closely located to Chloe Garcia-Roberts and Mara Voukydis ’01. I see them and their lovely families as much as I can. Other dear friends are more far flung, when they read this they’ll know who they are and how much I miss them.”

Ify Chuke-Nwobi writes, “I am the founder of a leading moringa brand, Miracle in the Green. We also have a line of all-natural baby skincare, Mummy’s Miracle. Running this baby and enjoying life with my husband and four kids in sunny Orlando, Fla. Will love to meet up with any Wes alumni in central Florida.”

Avery Esdaile | wesleyan2000@gmail.com

CLASS OF 2000 | 2017 | ISSUE 2

Tony Ducret received his MFA from the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC in May. He screened SPARKS, a short film that he produced and directed for USC, the night before graduation. Tony will remain in Los Angeles as he pursues opportunities in the television writing and independent feature producing spaces.

A.J. (DeAses) Hernandez Anderson and her husband, Mauricio (Swarthmore ‘00), welcomed their second child, Ronin Quetzal, on February 9, in Miami, Fla. Ronin’s big sister, Sienna Metztli, is almost 4. A.J. is back to practicing civil and banking litigation at Lapin & Leichtling, LLP.

Andrea McKnight sent the following update: “I am still on Cape Cod with my son. I am proud to announce my selection to the 2017 Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star list! This is my fifth consecutive year. It is such an honor! I am still coaching lacrosse, which gets me out of the office for some fun in the spring. Maura Trail-O’Brien, Stacia Poulos Rozanitis, and I went to Florida a few months ago to celebrate Adrienne Smith Chang’s birthday. It was so much fun. I see Julie Hook Bunnell and Jeanne Gabbay a few times a year. I had lunch last weekend with Emma DeSimone ’01!”

Luke Davenport writes, “I am still analyzing data for public schools in the Bronx and Harlem with my business, District Public. I have also gotten involved in grassroots political organizing through a new group called Empire State Progressives. If you live in New York and are looking to get involved, give me a shout!”

Lauryn Siegel continues to not be married or have any children and is extremely grateful for this. She’s been bicoastal between NYC and LA, where she makes commercials/content with her consultancy, Team Collective, and multimedia art with herself.

Dylan Reilly writes, “For the past year, I have been working for Oscilloscape, a startup in the Hartford, Conn., area. We create technologies for listening to sound (like music) using neural networks. After having just completed a grant from the U.S. Air Force, we are gearing up to release our first product based on the tech: Synchrony. It’s an LED controller that can react to music like a human. As the CTO, I’m responsible for all the software and hardware engineering. If you want to check it out, go to synchronyleds.com. Before that, I had a fun run working as an engineering team lead for the game developer, Venan Entertainment—right down the street from Wesleyan. Unfortunately, Venan fell victim to the fickle nature of the freemium gaming industry and had to close its doors just about a year ago, but you can still find our games in the app store.”

Avery Esdaile | wesleyan2000@gmail.com

 

CLASS OF 2000 | 2017 | ISSUE 1

NEWSMAKER

EDUARDO MEDINA ’00

Eduardo Medina ’00, MD, MPH, co-authored “Structural Racism and Supporting Black Lives—The Role of Health Professionals,” published last December in the New England Journal of Medicine. Working with colleagues at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, the article addresses the link between premature deaths, both in the criminal justice system and in the healthcare system in America. Medina’s integration of social justice and medicine, he notes, actually echoes a history of political activism among Latin American physicians, like Che Guevara and Salvador Allende, something he studied as a Latin American Studies major, even while on the pre-med track at Wesleyan. After Wesleyan, Medina earned advanced degrees at the University of Minnesota.

Scott Cunningham and his wife, Christina Frigo, recently celebrated the birth of their daughter, Ada. Scott lives in Miami where he serves as the director of the O, Miami Poetry Festival. Melissa Stevens and Robert Debbane welcomed their second son, Sami Alexander Debbane, born July 8. Shawn Green is attempting a career change, from education to engineering. He’s working on a degree and working at Covestro, a polymer company.

Caroline Cho writes, “I’m enjoying my new job as communications manager for WW Sales at F5 Networks based in Seattle. Juggling a career and managing the role of mom to three keeps me pretty busy and leaves little time for myself. When I do have some free time, you can find me training for Ragnar or aspiring to be a CrossFit athlete. Would love to sync with other Wes grads in the area!”

Eric Steffen writes, “After having great difficulty finding jeans that fit my soccer player’s thighs, I recently started my own custom denim business in Brooklyn called FITTED Underground. Find out more about us at fitted.nyc or on Instagram at FITTED.underground.”

Trace Peterson writes, “I’m a trans-woman poet, publisher, and professor. I currently teach at Yale University and Hunter College. I run a small press called EOAGH Books. A book I published and wrote the foreword to, Succubus in My Pocket, by Kari Edwards, won the first-ever Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry this past year. It’s a new award that was just created, and a significant milestone in LGBT literature.”

If anyone is interested in joining the Class of 2000 secretaries, please let us know. We would love to have you on the team!

Avery Esdaile | wesleyan2000@gmail.com

CLASS OF 2000 | 2016 | ISSUE 3

Zachary Hurwitz writes, “My wife of five years and I welcomed our first son, Ilan Mateo, in January 2016. We both found new jobs in the D.C. area, where we’ve been living since 2015, after two moves from Oakland, Calif., and Austin, Texas. We’re grateful to have reconnected with Eric Hoover and family, and Chris Saenger ’01 and family, and hope to do so again soon.“

Molly Bruce Barton writes, “In 2014, I taught a course at Wesleyan, the senior seminar in the Writing Certificate program. I left my role as global digital director at Penguin Random House to found Serial Box (serialbox.com), the HBO of reading. Last year, I married television and film producer, Jack Turner, at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden in Staten Island, N.Y. And this year we had our first child, Clyde Lucien Turner. He was born on March 30, weighing 8 pounds, 9 ounces, measuring 22.5 inches. Tall boy.”

Keefe Murren writes, “This year I started as managing director of FilmAid International. I’m really interested in getting the Wesleyan community involved with our work. E-mail me at keefemurren@gmail.com.”

Avery Esdaile | wesleyan2000@gmail.com