Please write to your class secretary.
Juliana McLain and her now husband Zach Silversmith officially tied the knot at a beautiful and dancing filled Jain-Jewish fusion celebration in Pier 60 in New York City that I and many Wesleyan alums including Ferhad Sultani, Reina Barnswell, Jake Smith, Esthefany Castillo, Nicole Softness, Jessica Titlebaum, Nicole Okai, Lauren Seo, Will Durney, and Oren Cook had the privilege of attending. The Wesleyan fight song was definitely featured at the end of the night. Mazel Tov!
Jenna Lamm reports: “I’ve been in NYC since graduation and am now the associate director of Disability Programs at the City University of New York. Would love to connect with fellow alums who are in the field or work at an organization trying to ramp up disability hiring efforts. My students are amazing and many are looking for opportunities!”
Rachel Warner is earning her PhD in 20th-century American literature and gender and sexuality studies from UNC Chapel Hill this spring 2022.
Jay Benedith is leveraging her expertise as an instructional coach and a life coach, and founded J. Benedith Coaching Services (https://www.jbenedith.com/). Through her business, she facilitates workshops for educational entities and coaches Millennial and Gen Z educators to reach their professional goals. Furthermore, she is a contributing writer and podcast speaker for Truth For Teachers (https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/). Last but certainly not least, she is a doctoral candidate in Educational Sustainability at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point and lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their mini-aquarium.
Take care of yourselves and keep shining.
Tyler Holzschuh graduated with an electrical engineering Master’s degree from UCLA in 2016. He became a licensed engineer in the State of California in 2019 and is now working at the California Public Utilities Commission on wildfire issues.
At the end of 2020, Ella Dawson left the social media industry to write full-time. She signed with Jamie Carr, a literary agent at the Book Group, and is supported directly by her readers on Patreon, where she publishes exclusive essays about intimacy and relationships.
Jay Benedith reports that she is an EdD candidate in Educational Sustainability at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point, and started her own business called J. Benedith Coaching Services (www.jbenedith.com).
Julian Theseira is deepening his engagement with climate policy research and advocacy in Southeast Asia. He worked on a climate adaptation policy proposal together with Justin Liew ’18 and others which made it to the finals of an international Youth Adaptation Policy Case Competition organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. They have since submitted elements of their policy proposal to the Ministry of Environment and Water Malaysia as a civil society contribution to the process of the updating of Malaysia’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. Julian has also been elected to serve on the board of the Climate Action Network Southeast Asia, a coalition of climate NGOs and the regional Southeast Asian node of the global Climate Action Network.
Will Dubbs has just settled in DC after 7+ years on the campaign trail—most recently working for Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign in Iowa. While waiting for his next gig, he spends his days losing at board games to his friend Cpt. Dr. Jake Barack.
Jeremy Judelson is living in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and just began a new job as a Creative Strategist at TikTok’s Creative Lab.
Jennelle Herrick is celebrating her fifth year in Maui working for the high end luxury developer, Discovery Land Company. Jennelle is a licensed realtor and notary for the State of Hawaii. In 2020, Jennelle launched her company Maui Apothecary Magic, LLC where she makes organic soy candles with essential oils and healing crystals.
After returning from his travels in Bhutan a few years ago, Richie Starzec has since taken over his father’s former business and is in the middle of shifting the focus of the company from open capital to defense technologies.
Andrew Cohen recently started a second job alongside his work in entertainment PR, co-founding small animation studio, Confidential Creative, where he recently worked to animate music videos for musicians including Journey, Kesha, P. Diddy and Maroon 5. He has also been spending his quarantine playing Mafia over zoom with new friends.
Tess Keller reports: “My life since Wes has led me from a double major in French and Anthropology to a career as a bilingual digital marketer. After graduation, I moved to Burlington, Vermont and started learning digital marketing at Dealer.com, one of the companies that led to our being able to purchase a car completely online today. From there, I moved on to a marketing agency, where over the years I rose from an account manager to running the digital marketing division of the company, really making my mark in adopting and implementing Agile methodologies to turn a new page on the company’s capacity. Most recently, I moved to the Boston area, and now work as a strategic digital marketing architect, helping connect a rich but outdated database with the modern practices and software available to harness automation to grow sales and marketing reach exponentially. I’m able to also employ my language skills in this role, and am managing the website launches in five more languages. I miss my Wesbesties all the time, but it’s been great when I can connect with fellow Cardinals, especially during the pandemic. It has meant a lot to rekindle conversations and friendships during such a trying time. It was awesome when the West Coast members of Notably Sharp resurrected the old group thread just to check in to say hey. I still don’t know if we ever got everyone on the same thread (will Androids and iPhones ever play nice?) but it helped to feel connected to some of the people that are part of who I am as a person today. I’m looking forward to when we can again visit each other in our cities across the world. And of course, I can’t wait until Reunion can be the real deal again.”
Jason Shatz just moved back to the New York City area to work as a software engineer for Barclays.
After six years in New York, Maureen Gorman is currently pursuing an MBA at INSEAD. Upon graduating in July 2021, she and her husband Aurélien will be settling in Paris.
Joshua Krugman continues to work for the 57-year-old political theater company, Bread & Puppet Theater, based in Glover, Vermont. He invites Wesleyan folks to come up to see a show Friday to Sunday this summer—socially distanced and outdoors in the beautiful North East Kingdom landscape—and to get in touch if you’d like to bring a touring show to your city.
Mia Rossi is continuing to produce music both solo and with other artists. She has also started her own life and mindset coaching practice based in Los Angeles where she meets online with clients as far as New Zealand! You can find her on IG as @mia.c.rossi.
Nikolai Muth and Rehan Mehta were honored to be groomsmen at Ismet Jooma’s wedding. Congratulations!
Jackson Ulrich shares: “Russell Madison is living in sunny Encinitas, California, having recently completed his masters degree in bioinformatics this spring. His graduate studies are especially impressive considering he’s already balancing a full-time career in data science with an intense surfing habit and an ambitious pursuit of the perfect homebrewed kombucha.”
Alex Nunez is pioneering the burgeoning field of in-game esports advertising as the lead ad rep for Madden at EA Sports. He is proud to have brought on some of his favorite snacks as official Madden partners, including Snickers and Pizza Hut. He kindly asks his classmates not to bother asking for a Madden code.
After a stint at AI startup Innoplexus that had him traveling the globe like a software-slinging Carmen Sandiego, Chase Hochman has settled down in Brooklyn and is now working at Kenshoo, an ad-tech shop. When he’s not playing squash with Alex Nunez or basketball with housemate Jackson Ulrich, Chase spends his free time acquiring new kitchen gadgets to be used once.
Amber Bruckner graduated from Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine with a DDS in 2019 and will finish her residency as a pediatric dentist this summer. She claims to have single-handedly caused a jigsaw puzzle shortage in the Tri-State area last spring.
Troy Sampson is still importing and exporting allegedly-legal goods in Los Angeles, where he lives in Marina Del Rey. Give him a ring if you’re ever in town and have a couple of hours to spend learning about cryptocurrencies.
Just across town from Troy is Patrick Newman, who is still managing and representing a variety of creative talent at Mosaic Media Group. He specializes in comics, illustrators, and fielding multiple intraday FaceTime calls from Gustav Gregor.
Gus Gregor obtained a masters degree in business communications from Northwestern University and completed a tour of duty for the Danish Trade Council in Chicago in 2018. Since finishing up at the Trade Council, Gus has been working in Spark Foundry’s pharmaceutical division. An avid rider over the past year, he boasts over 400 Peloton badges.
And finally, as for me, I am living the first year attorney life as a Law Clerk at Walden, Macht, and Haran LLP in New York City where I mostly focus on white collar matters, after graduating from Fordham University School of Law last spring. Suits ain’t got nothing on me! In my spare time I’ve been getting creative in the kitchen and with my cocktail shaker and am constantly on the quest for the latest and greatest HIIT workout. It’s been great connecting with Wesleyan friends (even if just via Zoom) who have kept me sane during the pandemic. Looking forward to connecting with more of you once things go back to normal.
Much love to the Class of 2014 from your class secretary.
Please write to your class secretary.
Mary Diaz | email@example.com
I hope you and your families find yourselves safe and healthy during these tough times. While these are challenging times, I find beauty in how we’ve found ways to come together as a community. Part of what I loved most about my Wesleyan experience was exactly that—the community. That community does not go away after graduation, so I hope you are remaining connected, are using the values Wesleyan cultivated in us as a call to action, and are keeping the innovative and fierce Wesleyan spirit alive. I am an email or phone call away if you ever want to reach out.
Speaking of community, here is what the Class of 2014 has been up to:
Emily Mullaney is enrolled at Parsons in their industrial design program, and one of her studio partners is also a Wesleyan graduate. They recently won a grant from the Design for Aging Research Fund. Congrats, Emily!
Ellen Alexander received her PhD in geology from UCLA in March. She has since moved to Boulder, Colo., to begin a postdoctoral research fellowship at CU Boulder in order to work on the geology and petrology of the lower crust under the Colorado Plateau.
Joshua Krugman works for Bread and Puppet Theater, the 57-year-old political theater company based in Glover, Vt. He encourages fellow alumni to come up (post-COVID) to the beautiful Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to catch a summer show, and look out for B&P touring dates near you in the U.S., Europe, or Latin America. Contact Josh about bringing B&P to your school, synagogue, theater, or town square.
Jake Barack is wrapping up his doctorate in clinical psychology at The Chicago School and is heading towards his internship at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He also was commissioned as a captain in the Army and would prefer if his friend, Will Dubbs, would please stop saluting him.
In March, Ella Dawson joined the founding team of Meet Cute, a new entertainment startup, to run marketing, brand, and social media strategy. She is revising her first romance novel.
After six years in Brooklyn, Maureen Gorman and her husband, Aurélien, have moved to Paris, France. Maureen will attend INSEAD’s MBA program starting in the fall.
Jeremy Edelberg writes: “After 3.5 years, I’m still living and working in Hong Kong. I just hit my two-year anniversary working for Myriad Asset Management, a Hong Kong-based, multi-strategy hedge fund. I hope that everyone is staying well, and I still welcome anyone coming through Asia to reach out once this virus subsides.”
Leah Khambata (who earned an MBA from Cornell in 2018) moved back to Mumbai in December from LA where she was acting in films and singing at concert venues such as the esteemed Hotel Cafe. She released seven original songs on Spotify/Apple Music last year, including an EP, and two music videos for her originals “Higher At Last” and “Something Still Here” (both directed by Wes graduates!) premiered on VH1India on Feb. 27. She recently performed an online concert for the Indian edition of one of the world’s greatest music/pop culture magazine, Rolling Stone, and is set to star in an Amazon Prime series. Instagram @Leahkhambata.
As for me, I graduated from Fordham University School of Law in May and look forward to this new chapter of life as an attorney! I always enjoy connecting with alumni and invite other Wesleyan attorneys to reach out to me and chat. Congrats to those who have graduated during these unexpected times! In other news, I’ve been taking advantage of this new downtime with plenty of Zoom video calls and book club sessions with Lauren Seo, Nicole Okai, Esthefany Castillo, Reina Barnswell, Lizzy Steiner, and Juliana McLain on top of the Netflix, wine, and cooking.
Be well and take care of each other.
Your Class Secretary,
Mary Diaz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Some great class news coming your way:
Julian Theseira started a new job with Deloitte Consulting Southeast Asia and is based out of the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, office. Outside of work, Julian volunteers actively with the Malaysian Youth (Climate) Delegation, with whom he co-organized the only Local Conference of Youth (LCOY) in Southeast Asia in 2019, part of a global network of LCOYs that gathered youth input about climate change governance in the leadup to COP 25 in Madrid. Julian has also been catching up with other Wesleyan Freeman Asian Scholar alumni in Malaysia and Singapore. He is active with the Taizé ecumenical movement and attended the 42nd annual Taizé European Meeting in Wroclaw, Poland, alongside 15,000 other pilgrims. His testimonial about the spiritual impact of the philosopher Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) was translated into Polish and featured by the Edith Stein House Foundation in Wroclaw.
Remi Ojurongbe happily reports: “Alexander Mehner and I got married last month and were lucky enough to celebrate with lots of Wes Folks!” Congratulations to you both! #gowes
Jason Shatz writes: “In August, I finished up my master’s degree at the University of Chicago for software engineering while working for a consulting firm called Cognizant. I have been relocated to the Raleigh area for a Big Data project. I hope to return to the NYC area soon, but I will let you know of my whereabouts whenever they change.”
Adele Bubnys received her PhD in biomedical sciences from Rockefeller University last spring. After traveling around Europe over the summer and stopping by Wesleyan for our five-year Reunion, she started a postdoctoral position at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. There, she is using novel 3D cell culture techniques and self-assembling “mini-brains” to model neurodegeneration in a dish.
I always look forward to hearing updates from our awesome class. Keep them coming.
Your Class Secretary,
Mary Diaz | email@example.com
Randy Linder writes: “After getting YTT [200-hour yoga teacher training certification] certified in Rishikesh, India, I traveled for eight months all around India and Southeast Asia. I returned to Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth at the UCSC site to teach my favorite course, Paradoxes and Infinites. After that, I joined Facebook as a data scientist. I can’t wait to see all of you this summer at Reunion.”
Amy Lindland reports: “I’ll hit my five-year anniversary with Indeed.com in June and am a director of sales on our national franchise accounts team. I am also getting married in September. So much to look forward to this year!”
Leah Khambata graduated from Cornell University with an MBA in May and is now in the post-production phase of her short film, (t)here, which she wrote, produced, and acted in while in NYC. She is in LA now working at
ShortsTV while also acting, with hopes to eventually have her own production company that bridges the gap between Hollywood and Bollywood.
Leslie Lai is finishing up her PhD. in psychology at Brown University this spring. Meanwhile, she and her husband are expecting their first child!
Remi Ojurongbe is graduating from Harvard Law School in May and Alexander Mehner is graduating from American Law School in May, too. They are getting married (to each other) in November. Mazel tov!
Andrew Cohen launched a small animation company, Confidential Cartoons, in Los Angeles, alongside his work as a publicist for composers, cinematographers, and production designers in TV and film.
Russell Madison has been applying his analytical skills as a data scientist for Foundation Medicine in Cambridge but will be moving to San Diego this summer to pursue his lifelong dream of having unfettered access to fish tacos and learning to surf. He eagerly anticipates telling people in his new home that if the weather isn’t nice, they just need to wait five minutes.
Alex Nunez has been working for EA Games in NYC, maximizing brand value by slinging partnership deals and playing FIFA at his desk.
After stints in banking in Cleveland and Denver, Troy Sampson migrated west to Los Angeles, where he’s been running the West Coast operations of a customs broker and supply chain shop. He “singlehandedly keeps Bottega Louie in business.”
Dylan Keegan will graduate in May from Vanderbilt with a JD and master’s in finance. He will join the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison as an associate after graduation, where the demands of being a corporate lawyer will be challenged by his commitment as the commissioner of one of the “most active fantasy football leagues in North America.”
Patrick Newman is working at Mosaic Media Group in Los Angeles, representing and managing talent.
After working at IBM Watson alongside faithful henchman and close friend, Blair Corbin ’15, Chase Hochman left for greener pastures at Hoboken-based AI startup Innoplexus. When he’s not slinging SaaS or playing squash with Alex Nunez, he “spends his days debating which CAVA server gives the most generous portion sizes with roommate Jackson Ulrich.”
As for me, I am in my second year of law school at Fordham University School of Law (still reppin’ the red and black everywhere I go). I am hoping to become a litigator in the area of white collar/securities.
See you all in May. Let’s make our five-year a good one!
Mary Diaz | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Class of 2014 still continues to shine. Take a look at their updates: Sarah Burkett has acted in multiple short films with a handful of other projects. Her most recent role was the lead in the feature film, Phaedra. Phaedra was one of five projects selected for Robert Rodriguez’s show, Rebel Without A Crew: The Series, based on his book of the same name documenting his experience creating his first film, El Mariachi. Phaedra had its world premiere screening at a special press event during SXSW. The project has been submitted to film festivals and will be featured on the El Rey Network later this year. She and her two crazy cats will be moving from Houston to Los Angeles this fall to continue acting.
A little blurb on the series: “The series coincides with the 25th anniversary of Rodriguez’s groundbreaking film, El Mariachi, which he made for just $7,000 without a crew, across just 14 days of filming. In the show, Rodriguez gives five independent directors the same amount of time, and the same amount of money, with a few advantages of having the legendary director involved (gear, costumes etc.), to make a brand-new feature film.”
When not at her day job at Ballet Hispánico, Cynthia Tong is a producer for two Wesleyan-related projects: If Sand Were Stone, a new musical created by Carly Feinman ’16 and Cassie Willson ’17, and choreographed by Nora Thompson ’15, which is making its off Broadway premiere at the New York Musical Festival in July; and Reflux, a new play written by Carly Feinman ’16 and directed by Miranda Haymon ’16, which is premiering at the Broadway Bound Theatre Festival in August.
Simon Riker’s NYC premiere of Me Prometheus: Caveman Love Story was a success. The three-night run at the New York Theatre Festival was extended to four based on strong ticket sales; ultimately every performance sold out. The festival nominated it for Best Musical Score, and leading lady, Korra O’Neill, for Best Singer. Simon is a product manager at Axial and is always happy to connect and talk tech and startups. This summer, he will be traveling to England as a staff singer with the Christ’s Church Choir of Rye, N.Y., where he sings weekly with Nathan Repasz ’14.
Josh Krugman performs year-round with the Bread and Puppet Theater (B&P), touring nationally and internationally, and spending summers in residence at B&P’s farm in Glover, Vt. He encourages Wes alumni to come up to enjoy a weekend of performances in the summer, and to look out for B&P performances in a city near them. Josh is also B&P’s booking manager, so if you’d like to bring this radical theater company to a venue or institution near you, reach out to him.
Jeremy Edelberg is living in Hong Kong and working at Myriad Asset Management, a Hong Kong-based multi-strategy hedge fund. “I welcome all to drop me a line if they ever find their way out to HK!”
Since graduation, Leo Liu has been living in D.C. and working in the progressive election movement. He’s the lead scientist at Analyst Institute, where he runs randomized experiments with progressive groups to learn about how the movement can win more elections. He lives with Emma Golub ’16 in a group house called The Burrow, after the Weasley family home. Although 2018’s going be hectic, when you stop by D.C. you should visit him anyway! He misses his Wes peeps a lot and is eager to plot and strategize around next year’s five-year Reunion.
Your Class Secretary,
Mary Diaz | email@example.com
The class of 2014 still continues to demonstrate talent. Take a look at some of the diverse and interesting things the members of the class are doing:
Ella Dawson has had two essays about sexuality and relationships published on ELLE.com, both as part of the larger conversation about #MeToo and consent.
Josh Krugman continues to perform nationally and internationally with Bread and Puppet Theater. On Josh’s recent travels with the company he has met Susan Katz ’88 in St. Petersburg, Zoë Toulouse ’16 in Paris, Sophie Becker ’16 in New York, Dan Schniedewind ’12 in Santa Cruz, Eppchez in Philadelphia, and Evan Weber in D.C. Contact Josh to bring the company to your city or school.
Andrew Cohen co-founded Impact24 PR to promote behind-the-camera talent. In his free time, he is searching for the best taco truck in LA.
Gigi Breland writes: “I purchased my first home in New Jersey and became engaged to my boyfriend in January. I am working in the very difficult field of social work and looking to branch out into a more creative field.”
Miche Aaron reports: “I just got accepted into Johns Hopkins University Earth and Planetary Sciences PhD program. I also started a position at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory as a researcher studying ways to transform acquired CRISM data sets into scientifically compelling derived data products by geometric data processing, radiative transfer, graph theory, numerical optimization, GIS, controlled and uncontrolled image mosaicking, and spectral/mineralogical analysis.
“My research I did while at NASA Langley Research Center was accepted for submission to be presented at the Planetary Science Informatics and Data Analytics international conference in St. Louis. I will present this research in April.”
On Jan. 8, Patrick Ortiz was sworn in as a career firefighter in his home town of Lakewood, N.J. He had previously been a volunteer there for over three years.
Nathaniel Elmer is living in Helsinki, Finland, designing and building a 70-seat theater using only Finnish wood construction techniques. He spends his free time in the sauna with a bottle of vodka.
Amy Lindland was promoted to director of sales at Indeed.com (“One of the youngest directors ever”). If anyone is interested in working there, reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Diaz | email@example.com
Jalen Alexander has returned to NYC to work as a data specialist with College Board’s Access to Opportunity team which focuses on creating new pathways for student academic preparedness and college readiness. Jalen chairs the Wesleyan Center for African American Studies Advisory Board, and coordinates outreach for the Invisible Men Summer Experience Grant Program, which annually grants two Wesleyan students $5,000 each to pursue professional summer opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.
Let’s take a moment to congratulate lovebirds Mary Foster and Jeffrey Legunn ’13 who recently got married at the Tradition Golf Club in Wallingford, Conn. They started dating while at Wesleyan, and have been together ever since. Leah Rosen ’13, Ross Berger, and Adam Watson were in the wedding party. Mary works at PepsiCo in their supply chain department, and Jeff works in the private equity division at LGT Capital. They live together in NYC.
Tennessee Mowrey left the Bay Area in October. “I will go east without using a plane until I get to the Bay Area again, collecting all the sounds I can find—city sounds, linguistic sounds, travel sounds, musical sounds, environmental sounds. When I return to the Bay Area I will make a soundscape that will bring the listener east around the world in 24 hours. Check it out! Follow my journey on my website at headedeast.art or on Instagram @headed.east.”
Jennelle Herrick celebrated her one-year anniversary on Maui working for the leading high-end developer in the real estate industry, Discovery Land Company, at the Makena Golf and Beach Club. She obtained her Hawaii real estate license and is a member of Realtors Association of Maui. Jennelle’s night activities include poetry, occult studies, and launching a tarot card business for those seeking spiritual development guidance. Her Instagram is @bluewolfeoracle.
After adventures in D.C. and Brussels, Andrew Gottlieb moved back to Connecticut. Getting involved in the local political scene, he met David Knapp ’49 and Matt Hoey ’78, on whose campaign Andy is volunteering to defeat Ken MacKenzie ’82 in the race for Guilford first selectman.
Jeremy Edelberg moved to Hong Kong to continue his career with Citigroup, after working for the company in New York since graduation. He’s hooked up with the Wesleyan alumni community, and enjoys the travel opportunity around Asia, having been to 10 different new countries.
I am very proud of you all. Hold each other close and become beacons of light for each other. The Wesleyan way is one of compassion and kindness. Let us share this with the world, especially in these times.
Mary Diaz | firstname.lastname@example.org