CLASS OF 2005 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Ben Shestakofsky and Isheh Beck welcomed baby Milo into their family in January. They will be moving to Philadelphia this summer. Ben teaches sociology at Penn, and Isheh will be opening a private practice in clinical psychology.

Cathy Pyenson and Jonathan McKinney ’04 gave birth to Hudson Avery McKinney in April! He has been sporting his Wesleyan onesie thanks to Molly Greenberg, and his first (distanced) visitors included Molly and Ellie Terry.

A week after local shelter-in-place orders went into effect, Alexander Rich became a partner at Carter Momsen PC, a five-attorney law firm located in Mendocino County, Calif. His practice focuses on estate planning and administration, as well as general civil litigation. Alexander has also been mentoring two boys in a program for students who will be the first in their families to go to college. After five years in the program, his boys are now on the verge of graduating from high school, though given the current state of the world, it is hard to say what their experience will be like this fall.

In May, Nathan Victoria became the inaugural executive director and CEO for the Society for Personality Assessment, a nonprofit focused on advancing the theory, research, and applied practice of personality assessment. Many thanks to his Wes colleagues Alexis May, and Amy ’07 and Kevin Egolf for their insight into making this leap outside of higher ed and student affairs!

Maggie and Eli Brown ’04 had their third baby, a boy, in June. They have a 6-year-old son, Sebastian, and a 3-year-old daughter, Simone, already. They live in Nyack, N.Y. Eli is an ER doctor in the local hospital, Nyack Montefiore. Maggie is an assistant principal at a K-2 elementary school in a nearby district. They send their love to all.

Katie Walsh is living and working in Highland Park, Los Angeles, where she is a film critic for the Tribune News Service and LA Times. She contributes to Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, as well as other publications, and can be heard on KCRW’s Press Play, and on the Maximum Fun podcast, Switchblade Sisters. She also teaches a class, Practices of Writing About Film, at Chapman University in Orange County.

During the hand sanitizer shortage in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, Sivan Cotel ’05, MA ’06 coordinated a coalition of three distilleries, a kombucha company, and the University of Vermont Health Network (of which he is a board trustee) to produce thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer. Working with Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s office, the Health Network was able to distribute sanitizer to hospitals and first responders all around Vermont, New Hampshire, and Northern New York.

Todd and Adam Stone are excited to share that their web series Going Both Ways has received laurels from five different festivals and competitions! They are very proud of them and could not have created Going Both Ways without the support of their network (

I have to share the sad news that one of our classmates, Andrew Stuerzel, passed away suddenly in April. Andrew worked at Wesleyan for 10 years in various positions in admission, the advancement office, and University Relations. It’s always heartbreaking to hear of a classmate who passed away too soon. Give your loved ones an extra hug today and let us support one another in whatever ways we can.

Marcella Winearls |

CLASS OF 2005 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Captain Jesse Sommer is deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Stephanie Marcus and Jon Shestakofsky welcomed their own Wes baby, Theo, in November 2018. Last August they celebrated their five-year wedding anniversary. They have been living in Cooperstown, N.Y., for four years. Steph is an elementary art teacher and Jon is VP of communications and education at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Marcella Winearls |

CLASS OF 2005 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Nick Myers has spectacularly exited the corporate consulting world to work on opening an experiential, immersive gallery and bar space in Seattle devoted to his travels to off the beaten path locations around the world. He has the undying love and support from his besties Katie Walsh, Jackie Noh, and Anna Brown, who all continue to be spectacularly accomplished and fabulous women.

Kevin Egolf is continuing his impact investing career journey with a new company, The Capital Good Fund, while concurrently developing his own impact finance consulting firm, Trellis Capital L3C. The Good Fund is a Providence, R.I., based community development financial institution and Kevin now has a handful of social enterprise clients with Trellis. He has found a wonderful niche industry combining his finance career with businesses and organizations that are making positive social and environmental changes. He likes to remind folks that you can vote with your wallet and your investment account.

Bonnie Loshbaugh lives in Seattle with her husband and their 3-year-old. She says, “I’ve been training in martial arts for over a decade (in close company with Tyler LePard ’00), got my brown belt in kajukenbo last December, and am teaching regularly as well as mentoring new students in the art. Black belt is on the horizon!

“I published my first historical sports romance this spring under the pen name Irene Davis—I’m doing a series called The Whitford Crew, following eight heroes who rowed together at a small college on the Connecticut River in the 1880s (see if you can guess where I got that idea from). Book one, Anyone But the Earl, involves a sibling’s best friend, insurance fraud, and Victorian flower language. The next book, Head Over Wheels, will be out next spring and includes bicycle polo, Emily Dickinson, and lemon cake. Research is a blast—I’ve been learning about women’s bicycle costumes, Victorian medical procedure for concussions, marriage manuals (i.e. Victorian sex ed), incident reports from the NYFD, the night lunchwagons that were the precursors to O’Rourke’s and Athenian . . .”

Nora Bowman ’05, MALS ’08 married Paul Bomer on Oct. 13, 2018, at The Owenego in Branford, Conn. Her sisters Shaleen Bowman Thody ’03, MALS’05 and Kelly Bowman Allen ’07 served as bridesmaids, as did her Wes roommate of all four years, Susan Frost ’05. Also in attendance were her former basketball teammates, Kamica Lewis ’03, Amy Posocco ’04, Meeghan Ward Creeden ’04, Liz Walsh MacMillan ’04, Ashley Elia Weller ’04, and their coach Kate Mullen. Nora and Paul live in Boston, where she is a senior vice president at eSecLending.

Marcella Winearls |

Newsmaker: Tony Alleyne ’05

Tony Alleyne ’05 is the recipient of the Teach for America Delaware Markell Leadership Award. Alleyne is the executive director for Delaware College Scholars, a program is designed for first-generation college-bound high school students and those traditionally marginalized by the higher education system. “Dr. Alleyne’s leadership . . . has positively impacted the lives of countless students across the state,” said Teach for America-Delaware’s executive director, Tamara Smith, in a press statement. Recently, Alleyne has also received leadership awards from the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and the Delaware Business Times. At Wesleyan, Alleyne majored in African American studies and sociology and earned graduate degrees from Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania.

CLASS OF 2005 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

Natalia Ortiz has successfully defended her PhD in urban education from the CUNY Graduate Center. She is thrilled to have that seven-year chapter closed and is excited to continue her work as the training director at the Center for Racial Justice in Education. She is the proud mother of a 7-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy. Natalia sees her twin brother Nicholas Ortiz regularly. Not only is he a pretty cool uncle, he is training to run the NYC Marathon for the third time and is the director of HR at i-Mentor, where he has been for the last 12 years. That is all from the Ortiz twins.

Dylan Meconis wrote, “My debut middle grade graphic novel, Queen of the Sea, is being published by Candlewick/Walker. I both wrote and illustrated, and the Tudor historical setting is heavily influenced by my classwork in the College of Letters. It’s gotten starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and Booklist, which is pretty dang exciting for my first time publishing in the children’s book industry. I also co-wrote The Long Con, a two-volume graphic novel from Oni Press. The first half debuted this spring and the second half is out this summer. It’s a sci-fi comedy set in the world of comic book conventions; since I started working professionally in the comics industry while still at Wes, I have lots of material to draw on!”

Che Landon, an actor and producer in LA, shot a pilot for Fox directed by two-time Emmy nominee, Jon Massey, entitled Frank James, where she plays Coroner Casey McGrath. She is also on the Hulu series Work in Progress. She’s producing two projects, a feature film, Girl Clown, and Inside, being directed by Sundance Award-winning female filmmaker, Elise Salomon.

Katie Walsh is a film critic in Los Angeles writing primarily for the Tribune News Service and the LA Times. This spring she taught a class about the practice of writing about film at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, and moved to the Highland Park neighborhood of LA, where Che Landon is her new neighbor.

Miriam Gottfried married Trevor Williams on Aug. 4 in New York City. Sarah Hexter was a bridesmaid and Miriam’s cousin Annie Shepard ’08 held the chuppah. Also in attendance were Carolyn Wachnicki, who did the engagement photo shoot, Jonathan Hecht ’04, Catie Lazarus ’99, and Dan Goldstein ’96.

David Rood-Ojalvo lives in Rockaway Beach, Queens, and works for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens. The short film he made, which stars Ari Brand ’06, Jon Leland, and Diego Ortiz ’06, premiered at the New York Shorts International Film Festival in June.

Jessica Phillippi will be performing her latest play, Illegal, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August ahead of a U.K. tour. Illegal is a drama that intertwines two immigration stories: one inspired by Jessica’s struggle to remain in the U.K. and the other by a Guatemalan woman’s attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Stephen Lazer published State Formation in Early Modern Alsace, 1648-1789, a richly documented study of early modern state formation, sovereignty, legitimacy, and comparative political culture in Alsace between the Peace of Westphalia and the French Revolution.

Marcella Winearls |

CLASS OF 2005 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Maria Nankova with Anik Bernstein ’20 and Daniel Osofsky ’20

On a recent trip to Rome, Maria Nankova met the smart and lovely current students, Anik Bernstein ’20 and Daniel Osofsky ’20. They were accompanied by Daniel’s mother, Mariam Osofsky. They participated in a walking tour in the center of the eternal city, enjoying unbelievable sunshine and blue skies for the month of January, and later ended with lunch at Piazza Navona. They discussed everything from history, film, and psychology to cultural identities and life abroad but forgot to talk about politics. Well, that was for the better! One can easily forget such an important topic for a moment under the spell of fresh Italian pasta and sun.

Maria said that it was great to hear from current Wes students that they are able to thrive, enjoy, and appreciate Wesleyan as much as she did in the early 2000s. Wesleyan seems to change but stay the same—managing to preserve its unique character while evolving.

Tom Facelle lives in Golden, Colo., with his wife, Jenn, and their two rambunctious boys, Ryan, 6, and Wesley, 2. He spends most of his time practicing urology and shredding the mountains of the front range on skis and mountain bike with David Delcourt.

Sivan Cotel presented at the SiX State Legislator Conference, demonstrating how to utilize small-business owners to advocate for progressive policy and counter the conservative voices of big businesses and chambers of commerce. He is chairman of the board of Porter Medical Center.

Jeremy May moved back to the Bay Area, settling with his wife, Anna, and two boys, Magnus, 3, and Solomon, 3 months, in Oakland, Calif. Jeremy is practicing as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the area. He will began teaching residents part-time at Highland Hospital and performing cosmetic facial surgery and transgender facial surgery in the coming months. In his spare time, you can find him enjoying backside slappies and poorly executed flat ground skate tricks at the Rockridge BART station. He reconnected with David Wilson, Hannah Barr-DiChiara, and Chris Lake.

Eric Herman is celebrating the 15-year anniversary of Modiba Productions LLC, the music production and management company he cofounded at Wesleyan in 2004 with Jesse Brenner, Dave Ahl, and Adam Tuck. The album Deran that he produced with the guitarist Bombino has been nominated for a Grammy, the first-ever Grammy nomination for an artist from Niger.

Eliza Vitri Handayani initiated and directed a huge, collaborative art event called House of the Unsilenced. More than 20 artists, writers, and performers (including Molly Crabapple) worked with a diverse group of sexual abuse survivors to create artworks, installations, writings, performances, songs, and discussions that speak up against rape culture. Follow the art project on Instagram: @unsilenced_. Eliza was selected into the Australia Arts Council’s Arts Leaders program.

Marcella Winearls |

CLASS OF 2005 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

Kwei Chang and Bensen Gillespie ’04 are working within the architecture and construction industry in NYC and are collaborating on high-end new buildings and the restoration of pre-war buildings. While starting in the same place—studio classes with their beloved professor, Martha Anez—they then went their separate ways for grad school, and it was not until years later that they reconnected in NYC and are now collaborating on big projects.

Kwei is the design director of the development company China Overseas America ( and Benson is a partner of the façade design and consulting firm Surface Design Group (

Jane Morley celebrated seven years at Quirk Books, a book publisher in Philadelphia. She completed her first triathlon in July, racing as a member of Team Humane League, an athletic advocacy group that raises money to improve the lives of factory-farmed animals.

Lodro Rinzler co-founded MNDFL Meditation, a network of meditation studios based in NYC. Three years later MNDFL has had over 150,000 cushions booked, offers meditation in over 100 companies around the city, and has developed a nonprofit arm that brings meditation into underserved communities. He is also the author of six books, the first of which (The Buddha Walks into a Bar . . .) has now sold over 100,000 copies.

Ben Shestakofsky married Isheh Beck in Inverness, Calif., last March. Wedding attendees included Adam Freelander, Maxwell Greene, Caitlin Henningsen ’06, Stephanie Marcus, Seth Samuels ’06, Danya Sherman ’06, Jon Shestakofsky, Andrew Wachtenheim, and Kingston Wong ’06. After receiving his doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in July, Ben began a position as assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Ben and Isheh live in Newark, N.J.

Alexis May, Clara Moskowitz, and Sarah Woodbury traveled to Scotland to visit Jessica Phillippi and Gwyneth Harrison-Shermoen, who are both living in the U.K. The five of them, plus Sarah and Clara’s daughter, Esther, traveled through Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the highlands, saw bagpipers and puffins, ate plentiful shortbread, and had a ball.

Chris Gateman, and his wife, Kim, are pleased to announce the birth of their second child, James Hunter Gateman, born Aug. 29. In keeping with family tradition, James Hunter will be called by his middle name, just like his big brother, John Colton (2.5 years old).

Anna Zayaruznaya lives in New Haven with her husband, Yarrow, and daughter Aeliz. She was promoted to associate professor in the department of music at Yale. Her first book, The Monstrous New Art: Divided Forms in the Late Medieval Motet (Cambridge, 2015), was just rereleased in paperback. Her second book, Upper-Voice Structures and Compositional Process in the Ars Nova Motet, was published this summer by Routledge; see more at

Sara Bremen Rabstenek is a product director at the New York Times, where she’s been working on digital story forms and tools since moving back to New York four years ago. She and her husband, Tom Rabstenek ’03, are on the Upper West Side with their two girls: Abigail, who turns 2 in December, and Dorothy, who started kindergarten this fall.

Marcella Winearls |

CLASS OF 2005 | 2018 | ISSUE 2

Misa Dayson received her doctorate last year in anthropology from UCLA after submitting her dissertation. A chapter from her work was edited into an essay and published in The Black Diaspora and Germany: Deutschland und die Schwarze Diaspora. She is working for screenwriter Michael Arndt. She got married to Jules Hollander in Troyes, France, with Wes friends Ada Pinkston; Andrea Cortes-Juarbe; Xiomara Lorenzo and her wife, Cara Herbitter ’03; Julie Ren; and Tacuma Bradley ’04, his wife Leah Cohen, and their son, Kai, and Tavi Fields ’02 and Lisa Hoff.

Ada Pinkston received a $30,000 grant from Light City Baltimore to create a light-based public art work. Ada was also awarded $10,000 from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance Rubys Artist Project Grant in support of her performative intervention and arts installation, LandMarked. This fall, supported by a fellowship, Ada will temporarily move to D.C. to create the second iteration of LandMarked.

Andrea Cortes-Juarbe is completing training in body work and healing at the movement-based creative art therapy program, Tamalpa Institute. This summer she will be in Big Sur at Esalen Institute assisting at the Tamalpa Institute Expressive Body, Life/Art workshop.

Xiomara Lorenzo is the associate vice-president and director of Society of Grownups, a digital financial wellness initiative developed by MassMutual. She leads the organization in its efforts to position financial wellness as a way to empower clients as they articulate and take action towards their personal and professional goals.

Julie Ren received her doctorate in geography in 2015 from Humboldt University Berlin, graduating summa cum laude. She received two post-doctoral fellowships (City University of Hong Kong and the London School of Economics). Julie published her co-edited anthology, Art and the City: Worlding the Discussion through a Critical Artscape (Routledge). Julie is now research faculty in urban studies at the Humboldt University Berlin.

Niv Elis is covering Congress as a reporter for The Hill in D.C.

Tony Alleyne was honored with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Recent Alumni of Merit Award.

Becky Goldstein Albertalli writes young adult books, one of which was adapted into the film, Love, Simon (Katie Walsh actually wrote one of her all-time favorite Love, Simon reviews). Her next book, What If It’s Us, includes a scene that takes place at Wesleyan. She lives in Atlanta with her husband Brian and their two young sons.

Capt. Jesse Sommer has been selected to serve in the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as the 3d Battalion Judge Advocate. He returned from a 10-month deployment to Iraq as part of the mission to defeat ISIS. He received the Bronze Star for his service. He donates twice per year to the WESU-FM semi-annual pledge drive.

Doro Globus is managing director of David Zwirner Books, working with artists such as William Eggleston, Yayoi Kusama, Kerry James-Marshall, and the estates of artists such as Anni Albers, Donald Judd, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Still based in London, her job brings her to New York three or four times a year.

Max Goldblatt, in Los Angeles, will marry Vanessa Riegel next year. He completed work on In A Relationship, starring Emma Roberts, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival—Kellen Quinn and Dan Janvey ’06 joined him at the premiere. The film was picked up for distribution, so you can catch it later this year and enjoy a delightful Goldblatt cameo to boot. Max also cut the music video for MGMT’s  Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden recent song “When You Die” (co-directed by Hallie Cooper-Novack ’07, produced and visual effects supervised by Jamie Dutcher, produced by Lucia Pier ’08). Learn more at

Kate Mitchell is teaching ninth grade world history at The School for Creative Studies in Durham, N.C., and organizing with others to rebuild public schools in the South (#red4ed). Her beloved cat is 11.

David Delcourt lives in Boulder, Colo., with his wife and two boys. He started Seed Ranch Flavor Co., a natural food company focused on making sophisticated hot sauces that focus on flavor over heat. On the weekends he hits up mountain biking trails with Tom Facelle.

Leland Smith lives with his wife on a horse farm in Maryland, managing IT for international development projects. He spends weekends raising sheep and chickens, growing vegetables, and tending to endless farm work. His son, Augustus, turns 1 this summer.

David Rood-Ojalvo is director of field operations at Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens. He completed his first short film, Flight School, with the actors Ari Brand ’06, Diego Ortiz ’06, and Jon Leland. He lives in Rockaway Beach.

Kristin Juarez ’08 and Rafael Tapias, MD, moved from Atlanta to NYC. Kris is finishing her PhD, Raf is doing a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry, and both are nesting with their newborn, Rafael PJ Tapias.

Sarah Weigle is living in Seattle and had two kids—Maya and Joy. She will be teaching science at Garfield High School this fall.

Marcella Winearls |

CLASS OF 2005 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

Robyn Schroeder is now the director of the Humanities for the Public Good initiative at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is excited to get plugged into the art, culture, and activism circles of the Research Triangle.

Amy Crawford got married in Santa Barbara, Calif., on August 20. Amy and her husband, Jared Schonig, are living and making music in NYC and she is enjoying her work as vice president, supervising producer at Man Made Music. They moved into a beautiful new studio last year and she is always excited to connect with Wes folks working in the field.

Capt. Jesse Sommer is deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, serving as the deputy brigade judge advocate for the U.S. Army’s 3d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. (And yes, in the military, “3rd” is spelled “3d” and we don’t believe in superscript. I know.)

Heather Olins is on the teaching faculty in the biology department at Boston College, creating and teaching courses in ecology and evolution.

Anay Shah finished his MBA at Stanford University in 2013 and joined an early stage fintech startup in Seattle. After four years building the company, Anay and his wife are moving to Nairobi, Kenya! They arrive in January and hope to live and work there for a couple years.

Bob Coppola and Vanessa Jones Coppola and their 2-year-old son, Callan, moved to beautiful New Hampshire as Bob took a job at Dartmouth as the assistant director of athletic development. Vanessa is working remotely for the Handel Group out of NYC as director of operations.

Elizabeth Ody Leary lives in Massachusetts, where she and her two daughters chase frogs through the creek in their backyard.

Dr. Tony Alleyne, the founder and executive director of the Delaware College Scholars Program (DCS), has been named a 2017 “40 Under 40” winner by the Delaware Business Times. Tony accepted this honor at the publication’s cocktail reception in October.  The “40 Under 40” list recognizes “the region’s best and brightest young professionals…who are making a difference with their intelligence, initiative, and innovation.”

Marcella Winearls |