CLASS OF 2016 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Ani Acopian has been living in Los Angeles and was recently selected as Young Guns 18 winner!

      After a couple of years working in fintech marketing, Maria Massad recently joined G2, a tech startup, as a senior product marketing manager. She also advises on digital strategy and directs social media efforts as a volunteer for the Walt Disney Birthplace, a 501c-3 focused on the historical restoration of Walt Disney’s first home. Also, she is working on getting her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and picking up a couple of fun hobbies in quarantine. She wishes everyone well!

     Melissa Leung writes, “It should be no surprise that I have once again hurt myself partaking in winter sports thinking my potato sack of a body is equivalent to that of a pro skier’s and skater’s. MBA culture has taught me being bullish extends beyond the classroom and into ice rinks and hills. At least this time I’ve downgraded to a cane and have all of my grandma carts at the ready for a trip to BJ’s (best place eva in the upper valley).”

     Lainey Hellman is in her fourth year of teaching elementary special education in Baltimore, Maryland. She was recently awarded Baltimore Teacher Network’s Beacon of Light Award as the Champion of Education Honoree. Then her mom told her to submit that to Wesleyan class notes, and here we are.

    Over the past eight months, Kai Leshne has been producing a full length album in collaboration with several nonprofits focused on affordable housing issues. The crowdfund campaign for the project will be launching soon (more info here). Feel free to back the project and help directly aid in the affordable housing challenge in urban areas across the states!

     This past summer after working on COVID research in Boston, Mariam Torres moved to Atlanta to start medical school at Emory. Things have been going well with school, but she hopes the pandemic ends and the vaccine/herd-immunity kicks in soon so she can finally meet her classmates!

     Helena Awad and Noah Hamlish decided to start PhD programs amid a global crisis. Both live in California now—Helena is at Caltech and Noah is at UC Berkeley. Naturally, they went to school during the state’s worst housing crisis in recent memory.

     Jared Jacobs is currently working at Blumhouse Television Studios where he focuses on non-scripted content.

    Lisa Kremen is graduating from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the spring, and will be starting her psychiatry residency in July (location TBD). She also moved in with Jack Trowbridge this past year, and they recently celebrated their six-year anniversary!

     Kristin Bumsch is graduating from medical school and excited to start radiology residency this summer. She married Ted Kim ’15 in a small ceremony, and they are looking forward to a larger party at some point in the future. They also just celebrated their rescue dog Willow’s fourth birthday.

CLASS OF 2016 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Pierre Gerard is helping develop the City of Oakland’s Slow Streets Program by mapping proposed streets to be closed to vehicular through-traffic. While the program may not close all 75 miles of streets as announced, they have closed 20 miles of streets so far, and are working on a number of new traffic safety improvements throughout the city.

He is also helping his bicycle shop, The Missing Link Bicycle Cooperative in Berkeley, stay in business. They raised $30,000 through a successful business crowdfunding campaign ($10,000 more than their initial goal), and look forward to keeping the community rolling during and after the pandemic.

Last year, Matthew Stein left his job at YouTube to start an immersive puzzle design studio. He released an album of Romanian folk music and is working on a new collection of forest-inspired Yiddish songs with his klezmer trio, Baymele.

Melissa Leung moved back home to NYC and has been settling in by taking Kate Davis, Vanessa Chen, and Ammar Zafar to her favorite dumpling shop. Their adventures have also included Teresa Wu introducing the group to vegetarian char siu, which is pretty dank.

Madeline James just received her master’s in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is beginning her PhD in the same department (history).

Mariam Torres ’16, MA’17 and Martin Malabanan have been roommates in Boston for the past three years. Mariam has been busy conducting clinical trials for an antiviral drug that could help treat COVID-19 patients, while Martin has been making sure the apartment is full of freshly baked goods for Mariam to come home to.

Ellen Paik | epaik@wesleyan.edu

CLASS OF 2016 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Melissa Leung spent Thanksgiving with Taran Carr’s family which presented both a turkey and duck and let her assist in putting up the Christmas tree! Thereafter, she took on the honorary title of third roommate to Sarah Mi and Taran, making delicious quiches and apple pies at the Carr-Mi residence in Baltimore. Melissa stopped to say hello to Lars Berg at the University of Maryland, Baltimore library. “Shout out to Whole Foods delivery for making the cooking sessions possible,” says Melissa.

Last summer, Jamie Ember and Arthur Halliday got engaged. Jamie is working as an associate casting director, with credits on Hulu and CBS and upcoming on Netflix, TBS, and CBS All Access, while Arthur is in his first year at Columbia Law School. Their dog, Stanley, is perfect.

Willie Zabar is pursuing stand-up and character comedy in New York City. He is currently developing a comedic one-man show as part of a fellowship with LABA: A Laboratory of Jewish Culture. The performance will take place in April.

Rohan Shriram got a new puppy named Laddu. His older dog, Waffles, likes to steal Laddu’s toys and then lie on them. Tim Israel and Atreya Sinha saw all this firsthand when they visited Rohan in Delhi.

Ellen Paik | epaik@wesleyan.edu

CLASS OF 2016 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Max Dietz and Anna Cocuzzo got married in June!

Torie White lives in Oakland, Calif., where she spends her days working at a community-minded café called The Well. Her afternoons and evenings are spent organizing with Resource Generation, a group that engages young people with wealth and/or class privilege to radically redistribute their resources to social justice movements. She’s also writing a screenplay and making space for as much fun, play, and pleasure in her life as possible. Hit her up if you’re about any of that.

Max Winter is training to go on American Ninja Warrior and firmly believes 2020 is going to be his year!

Lainey Hellman is entering her third year of teaching special education at an elementary school in Baltimore. She completed her master’s at Johns Hopkins. She is much more patient with her students than she was with customers at WesWings. If you are interested in supporting her classroom, visit donorschoose.org/hellman.

Taran Carr and Sarah Mi tied the knot on July 28 and live in Baltimore. Wedding party included Ethan Quinn, Jack Trowbridge, Emerson Obus (Taran’s roommates at Wes), Scarlett Harris, Melissa Leung, Mariam Torres ’16, MA’17 (Sarah’s roommates at Wes), and Deborah Mi ’14 (Sarah’s sister). Their wedding rehearsal ended up being Wes themed, thanks to Melissa, Scarlett, and Mariam, who drove to Wes the day before to pick up Wesleyan gear and banners. Most important, Melissa hit up Wes Co-Op’s local bakery in Connecticut and brought five delicious, fresh loaves of garlic asiago bread to share at the reception.

Tarran-Carr Wedding
Tarran-Carr Wedding

Sophie Breitbart is entering her second year as a PhD student in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Toronto. She’s investigating how urbanization influences the evolution of urban-dwelling plants, like the monarch butterfly’s darling common milkweed. She may extend her study to other cities, so if your area is a milkweed hub, she’d love to hear about it!

Lili Borland celebrated her marriage to Manan Dhulia on July 27 near her hometown in sunny California. The two met in Boston while working at Amadeus, and fell in love skiing and snowboarding the Northeast. Big shout out to Denise Francisco, who was a phenomenal bridesmaid and choreographed the couple’s first dance. Lili and Manan will move cross-country to the Bay Area.

Ellen Paik | epaik@wesleyan.edu

Newsmaker: Miranda Haymon ’16

Miranda Haymon ’16 is the winner of Columbia@Roundabout’s 2019 New Play Reading Series for her directing of The Colony. The reading series awards three playwrights from the current Columbia MFA program and recent alumni with a cash prize as well as a reading in Roundabout’s Rehearsal Hall, followed by a post-reading reception. Haymon’s recent projects include Everybody at Sarah Lawrence College, In the Penal Colony at Next Door @ NYTW, Mondo Tragic at The National Black Theatre, and Eclipsed at Dartmouth College, where she co-taught Contemporary Theater. She has held residencies and fellowships with New Georges, Roundabout, NYTW, Arena Stage, and more. Haymond is making her off-Broadway directing debut this spring at Roundabout. At Wesleyan, Haymon double-majored in German studies and theater.

CLASS OF 2016 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

After completing law school in May, Nina Gurak is languishing in Philly libraries studying for the July bar exam. She is moving to Nashville soon and would love to connect with local alumni.

Zach Larabee has been living in South Boston the past three years with Jake Smith ’14. He’s been working happily as the enterprise sales coordinator for two years at Toast, Inc. along with fellow Cardinals Abby Cahn-Gambino ’18, Beau Butler ’18, and Alex Kamisher ’17. In his off time, he bowls with Cameron Rahbar ’15 and carries Jonathan Coombs ’15 in Fortnite on PS4. No one really knows what year Zach actually graduated.

Gabe Rosenberg is working at WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio, where he’s been the digital news editor for the last few years. He won journalism awards for his pun-filled headlines and for a series of stories he did on the city of Columbus tearing down a beloved kangaroo crossing sign—a tragedy that he accidentally caused himself. “All’s well that ends well though!” he notes. You can also occasionally read his reporting on NPR. “Oh, and I started a food blog called Oy Sauce, just for fun, and because the name was too funny to pass up,” Gabe adds.

Madeline Keane’s days have consisted of waking up at 6:25 a.m., eating cheese for breakfast, doing some paperwork, and then later taking a nap. Afterwards, she has an espresso and then goes on her daily stroll around Boston.

Pierre Gerard likes to ride his bicycle(s). He’s interning with the City of Oakland’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program to develop safer streets, and crunching the numbers with a worker-owned bicycle cooperative in Berkeley. He dreams of a day when we all stop driving.

Zarek Siegel is living on a cliff by the sea in La Jolla, Calif., finishing up the first year of his PhD in neuroscience at the University of California San Diego. He was living in NYC for two years, doing computational biophysics research at Weill Cornell Medicine with Mike LeVine ’11, and sharing an apartment with Mike Glasser and Conor Hunt. He definitely misses New York, especially his roommates and Central Park, but he’s finding it pretty difficult to complain about San Diego.

Samantha Hellberg, a graduate student in clinical psychology, received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Award. The award recognizes outstanding graduate students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Samantha will be recognized at the 2020 Graduate Student Recognition Celebration, hosted by UNC Graduate School.

Caroline Shadle will be starting a master’s program in dance studies this fall at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

After a stint in consulting, Michelle Li realized she really missed being a student and will be starting her PhD in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Becca Winkler returned to Philadelphia after living in Thailand for two-and-a-half years working with Mahouts Elephant Foundation, a U.K. charity dedicated to improving conditions for Asian elephants and the communities that coexist with them. She will begin her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in September studying cultural anthropology. She will the assist foundation part-time with the development of their projects and is excited to begin this new chapter in Philly!

Tim Israel visited San Francisco in May and went to a party, where he met four Wesleyan alumni he didn’t know. “They were chill,” he says.

Melissa “Melysaur” Leung has been roaming Germany searching for the best beer and pretzels with Wy Ming Lin. She has been studying German and learning about the dual health care system by working at Sana Klinikum. Sarah Mi was a lovely visitor but decided to fly just short of Germany, and instead went to Spain.

Bulelani Jili is in Cambridge, U.K. He earned an MPhil from Cambridge University, where he studied as a Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholar. His work examines the relationship between China and African countries, like Ethiopia, that have adopted its model of economic development and surveillance. This fall he will be starting a PhD at Harvard University.

Ellen Paik | epaik@wesleyan.edu

CLASS OF 2016 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Micaela Kaye was chosen by the Knowles Teacher Initiative as a member of its 2018 Cohort of Teaching Fellows. The Knowles Teaching Fellowship is an intensive and cohesive five-year program that supports early-career, high school mathematics and science teachers in their efforts to develop teaching expertise and lead from the classroom.

Ellen Paik left her job in investment banking and joined New Story, a San Francisco nonprofit that aims to pioneer solutions to address global homelessness. New Story helped develop a 3D printer that can print homes in less than 24 hours and will hopefully be putting this technology to use soon!

Tim Israel lives in Portland, Ore., and started exploring a newfound passion for karaoke. Reach out to Tim with any great go-to karaoke songs.

Chris “Gla” Glabicky is alive and well. Gla is working with Pierre Plantevin, Dara Mysliwiec, Theodore Eugene Sullivan, G. Foley, and Nicole Roman-Johnston on another full-length album. Stay in touch through pdgworld.net.

Abby Gruppuso is opening a liquor distillery in Patchogue, N.Y., The Better Man Distilling Co., with Peter Cornillie ’15. Doors open this summer!

Mike Greenwald is starting another year at the Westminster School in Simsbury, Conn., teaching math (calculus and algebra) and coaching lacrosse and basketball, and is planning to attend a graduate program at the Bread Loaf School of English up at Middlebury this summer. Mike is still running marathons and did a trail running vacation to New Zealand. Mike’s next big race will be the Burlington Vermont City Marathon in May, and the weekend after that he will be running the Covered Bridges Half Marathon with Liz Weinstein, Jordan Sapnar, and Greg Goldstone.

Tabitha Gillombardo is in Cleveland and totally stoked about the Browns. She is the John Lewis Fellow and paralegal at The Chandra Law Firm—a civil rights and constitutional rights law firm. She is learning every day from the firm’s high-stakes litigators, who—with co-counsel—secured the largest settlement in Cleveland history on behalf of Tamir Rice’s family.

Ellen Paik | epaik@wesleyan.edu

CLASS OF 2016 | 2018 | ISSUE 2

Melissa Leung wined and dined with Son Tran ’95, Taran Carr, and Sarah Mi before watching Hamilton on its opening night in D.C. 

Ceci Cereijido-Bloche is in rehearsals for a show called The Hunt, going up at HB Studio in July. It’s a series of five one-acts, each with a different take on the idea of a sci-fi world with different gender dynamics (think Handmaiden’s Tale).

Matt Chilton just finished a run of eight performances of an original production of An Iliad as The Muse, a role bridging improvisation, composition, and acting, at D.C.’s Atlas Performing Arts Center. He is working on sound for Specially Processed American Me, a multimedia play and workshop series focused on Spam in Korean and Korean-American food, culture, and memory, while playing electric sax in a femme-domme math rock ensemble, Wasabi Fox, and working in nonprofit admin.

Eki Ramadhan has been working for the Southeast Asia office of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab for almost two years. He had a chance to work with Jenna Juwono ’09, who is now pursuing a graduate degree in the Netherlands. He deferred his admission to a grad school in the States to 2019 and is working as a senior research associate and eager to welcome recently-graduated Aqila Putri ’18 to the J-PAL team at the end of June .

Mads O’Brien is wrapping up her job(s) at Stanford University, where she works part-time as library GIS support (basically being a QAC tutor all over again) and part-time at the front desk of the Rumsey Map Center for rare and antique maps. She gets to geek out over really awesome cartography everyday—ask her about it! This fall, Mads is heading back to Connecticut to pursue a master’s of environmental science at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where one of her personal goals is to learn how to fly drones for aerial photography. Mads is excited to reconnect with her people on the East Coast.

Since graduation, Sean Mihaljevich has been working as a research analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York but will soon be returning to his home state of California to pursue a JD at Stanford Law School. He comments, “It is unfortunate that I have to leave many of the close friends I made at Wesleyan behind, but I am excited for what the future holds!”

Ellen Paik placed second with her team in the Global Finals of the Goldman Sachs Analyst Impact Fund, securing a grant for a nonprofit called New Story, an organization that aims to incorporate 3D printing technology to alleviate global homelessness. The grant will go towards constructing the first ever 3D-printed community, to be built in El Salvador by 2019. Check out the amazing work of New Story on their website!

In August, Madeline James will be leaving D.C. and moving down to North Carolina to start a PhD program in history at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Aaron Morgan works in D.C. for Fund II-UNCF STEM Scholars Program, a $48 million Initiative that supports African-American students pursuing careers in STEM and technology.

Ellen Paik | epaik@wesleyan.edu