Class Notes

Winter 2016:  Updates

Katherine Gerber, Lauren Keller, Sara Scott and Meredith West gathered in Stowe, Vermont, on a weekend in July for the bachelorette party of Blair Rapalyea, who was married over Labor Day weekend in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.  The official hashtag for the trip was #BlairSubmitsToThePatriarchy.

In spring 2015, Norabelle Greenberger became a full member of the American Planning Association’s professional institute—the American Institute of Certified Planners—and began her third year of employ as an urban planner in New York City.

Ariela House has been living in Catalonia since shortly after graduation and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Barcelona. Her research focuses on the control of the French-Spanish border in the 1960s and 1970s. She will be spending part of the 2015-2016 academic year as a visiting student at the University of Konstanz, on the German-Swiss border.

Lariss Jude was married to Roger Maldonado on July 4, 2015, in Minneapolis, MN. A dear mentor officiated the wedding, including a beautiful excerpt from the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision. Naturally, two lawyers could not properly be married without quoting SCOTUS. Laura Kilberg and Amanda Keammerer were in attendance, accompanied by strapping young men.







Amanda Keammerer is excited about my final year of grad school at GW’s Elliott School. She would love to hear from my fellow Smithie Latinas! The Association of Latina Alumnae of Smith (ALAS) needs more updated info for alums. Contact her or Monique Chavoya ’02 por favor!

After 5 years with Chevron’s Policy, Government and Public Affairs team in Washington, DC and Midland, Texas, Elana Marion recently relocated to Austin, Texas, to embark on a new career in non-profit fundraising. She has discovered a previously unknown passion for grant-writing, and is reminded of time spent in the Neilson Library, checking and rechecking drafts! Despite missing the East Coast, she is having a blast living in Austin and would love to connect with any Smithies in the area!

Ester Matlock and Rachel Pryzby both started new jobs this fall: Ester is teaching calculus at Northampton High School, and Rachel is a Health Communication Manager at the Northampton-based consulting firm CommunicateHealth. During Rachel’s four month stay in Northampton, they drank bourbon, had philosophical discussions, and laughed until it hurt. In that order.

Melina Alice Moore married Kel Morin ’06 at Look Park in Florence, Massachusetts, on June 6, 2015. Courtney Fields ’08, officiated the ceremony, and Smithies Meg Bernstein ’08, Elisabeth Parker, Elizabeth Smith ’10, Caroline Framke ’10, Alessandra Amin ’12, and Priscilla Swan ’04 were in attendance to help them celebrate! They live in Brooklyn with their rescue dog, Griffin.







Christina Nyquist had a wonderful time traveling to Juneau, Alaska, for the wedding of Catherine Hatch in June, where she reconnected with (and went on an epic hike with) several other Smithies. She continues to work as a communications professional in DC, and was excited to take on a new role at the Pew Charitable Trusts in July.

After graduating with a Masters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut, Rachel Rock-Blake is thrilled to be starting a career in public gardens as the Assistant Curator of Outdoor Gardens at the New York Botanical Garden. She is grateful to the Smith Botanic Garden for kindling this passion; and has the good fortune to often see Lynden Miller ’60, a prominent public garden designer who designed two of the gardens at The New York Botanical Garden.







Ayla Schlosser is still living in Kigali, Rwanda, where she is building Resonate, a social enterprise working with women to lead change. She was selected to be a 2015 Unreasonable Fellow and spent the summer at the Unreasonable Institute social enterprise accelerator program in Boulder, Colorado. While in Colorado she met up with Harleen Gill and Lucy Foma for a weekend mountain adventure.

In October, Annie Schmelzer was honored as one of the Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina for 2015.  Annie also went to India in May to celebrate the wedding of Shriti Verma ’11, with fellow Smithies Anna Allen ’11 and Sara Milrad ’11.









Marice Uy and her husband Nathan summarize the second half of 2015 as a “San Francisco Smithie Summer.”  They sipped wine in Sonoma and spent time in Napa with Joyce Cheung, Luisa Tsang ’10, and Loretta Cheung. They then tackled the heat and vertical feat with Lianne Zhang, her husband Neil, and Vicky Chan as they hiked along the Big Sur Coast. They enjoyed the mesmerizing waves as they crashed along the rocky western shore. Additionally, Marice mentored her first Smithie Engineering Intern, Dakota Murray ’16, at Tesla Motors. Over the course of 12 weeks this indestructible Industrial Engineering duo tackled exciting and challenging problems that are revolutionizing the automotive industry!









Dior Vargas was selected by the White House as a Champion of Change for Disability Advocacy Across Generations. She was honored at an event in the White House for her tremendous work and leadership as a Latina Feminist Mental Health Activist.

Claire Wilson Wilde married Haley Rhoden Wilde (University of Oregon ’09) on July 26th, 2014, in an outdoor ceremony at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon—it’s hard to believe it’s been a year! Smithies in attendance included bridesmaids Courtney Fields ’08, Maribeth Kniffin ’08, Kathleen Reutter, Maggie Hanson ’05, and Kate Rood ’07. Several members of the bridal party—and the brides themselves—biked the 60 miles from Portland to Silver Falls.-3







Caroline Winschel married Jordan Rock on June 7, 2015, in Philadelphia. Fellow Lawrencians and JYA Paris alums Emily Clare Casey and Kirin McElwain were on hand to celebrate.



Fall 2015

Julia Beaty moved to Dover, DE, and started a new job with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council in February. She’s looking forward to exploring the mid-Atlantic region and connecting with Smithies in the area.

Mary Bergman, Abbey Harlow ‘08, and Alexandra Pratt  competed in the Nantucket (MA) Historical Association’s history quiz bowl and had a strong showing. Mary weathered the Valentine’s Day storm (and her 28th birthday) with Corey Fabian Borenstein ’08, who was also living on Nantucket this past winter. Mary enjoyed a summer of swimming in the ocean and the successful opening of her first exhibit at the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum.

Emily Casey spent the summer in London studying old-timey maps and nautical notions on a research fellowship at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. She also had the pleasure of spending time with dianne mitchell. Now back in the States, Emily is continuing work on her dissertation at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, as the Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art.

Alexandria Chiu and Jennifer Chain climbed Mount Merapi in Central Java, Indonesia, in March and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on an active volcano. Alexandria is so happy to return home after serving her two years in the Peace Corps in Indonesia.

Alexandra Ferrara returned stateside after living in London and Florence with her husband, artist and curator Lorenzo Durantini. They now live in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Alexandra is enjoying her new role at Weber Shandwick, helping lead the public relations firm’s executive equity and engagement practice.

Marilyn Flores is back in her hometown of Worcester, MA, where she bought a house with her mom. They have a new addition to the family—a boxer puppy named Phoebe—and are starting an organic vegetable garden in their awesome backyard.

Caroline Fonseca accepted the position of assistant to the managing director of the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston and is thrilled to be working in theater full time.

Gretchen Hahn started a job managing the “closed room” launch tour of the new BMW 7 Series for Octagon and moved to Westport, CT. She is loving all of the travel and the exciting world of luxury automobiles.

Cheri Hardy has been singing shape note music and building her graphic design, photography and illustration business, Arhwana Arts. When she’s not doing either of those things, she is still working as a children’s librarian at a small library in western Massachusetts, mediating conversations between her cat and her roommate’s dog and watching shows on Netflix that she missed for lack of a television.

Laura Itzkowitz’s first book, New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants, will be published in October. Look for her sections about Greenpoint and Williamsburg in Fodor’s first-ever guide to Brooklyn, out in September.

Sarah Kulig loves living in Vermont, particularly now that kate lucy has returned to the Green Mountain State to share spontaneous road trips and cookouts. She enjoyed seeing Katy Gray, Julianne Siracusa ‘08, and other Smith loves at her wedding in August, officiated by Hillary Collins-Gilpatrick ’08.

Lyudmyla Kovalenko is in the final year of a doctorate at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain. This summer she attended the Tuck Business Bridge Program at Dartmouth to prepare for the next step of her career. She was looking forward to catching up with Rachel Disbrow and jingping zhang during her US trip.

Andrea Rosen accepted a position as curator of the Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont in Burlington and moved there from Brunswick, ME, in July. She was looking forward to connecting with Sarah Kulig and other Vermont Smithies.

In April Annie Schmelzer relocated to Miami to join Nicklaus Children’s Hospital as its neurocardiac development nurse coordinator for children with congenital heart disease. She is very happy to be reunited with Emerson House friends Sara Milrad ’11 and Susie Paterson ’08.

July 2012

Liz Bieber is in her second year as a Senior Program Officer at Partners for Livable Communities, a national nonprofit in Washington, DC. She hopes to go exploring soon out in the wild west.

Risa Lander

Risa Lander graduated from the University of the District of Columbia–David A. Clarke School of Law in Washington, D.C. on May 11th, 2012. She plans to pursue a career in family law and estate planning in the D.C. and NYC areas.

Alexandra Ferrara recently left her position at Deutsche Bank on Wall Street to join a Washington DC based consulting firm, The Glover Park Group. She joins the Public Affairs & Issues Management team as a Senior Associate based in their Park Avenue office. She is excited to put her Government degree to good use and work with the team in Washington D.C.

Keziah Rosenberg writes, “After two years of working at a non-profit, I took a job as a Consumer and Market Knowledge manager at Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble in February 2011. I love that traveling for work gives me an excuse to visit fellow Smithies, like this weekend I spent in NYC with fellow ’09ers Marcella Viktorin, Kearney Egerton, Rachel Crowe and Mercedes Pepper.  We threw a Cinco de Mayo party like we used to back in Gillett House…some things never change.”

Rachel Appel was recently hired as the Digital Asset Manager for the University of Texas at Austin’s Marketing and Creative Services department. To celebrate, she visited some of her favorite Smithies in New York City: Chelsea Cochrane ’09, Rachel Lerner-Ley ’08, Kelsey Olwell ’10, Alicia Maye ’09, and Jenny Snyder ’09 with her friend from grad school, Alison Clemens Scripps College ’09.

Emily Casey with Katy Mohrman and Neela Wickremesinghe

Emily Casey spent the summer traveling in Peru and Mexico on a predoctoral fellowship and vacationing in Utah with Katy Mohrman ’09 and Neela Wickremesinghe ’09. In August, she moved to Philadelphia where she is looking forward to being neighbors with Caroline Winschel ’09 and to hanging out with Kirin McElwain ’09. In between the hustle and bustle, Emily is beginning to prepare for her comprehensive exams in art history for her Ph.D. at the University of Delaware.

Kate Lofgren completed her last year in a global health statistics fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. She spent the summer working on a health financing research project in Nairobi, Kenya and watching the great migration across the grasslands of Africa.

Christina Brown writes, “I recently completed a White House internship in May. I have had the honor of meeting the men and women that set the course of the President’s and Vice President’s agendas each day for the American people. It was a one in a lifetime opportunity and I encourage not only current Smith students, but Smith alumni as well, to apply. Smithies have rich histories in public service and leadership and we need more women to lead this globalized world.”

Jes Champagne will be enjoying the last few months at her job as a victim advocate for a rape crisis center before heading off to NYC to start her MSW program at NYU.

Nerey Esparza

Nerey Esparza received her MPhil in Latin American Studies from Oxford University on May 4, 2012.

Jes Versace is enjoying her third year in San Francisco and working as a bicycle mechanic. She organizes queer bicycling club, is on the organizing committee of the annual Bring Your Own Queer Festival, and has created an urban garden out of her little back deck.

Lauren Fisher writes, “I’m leaving my job as a legal assistant to go to law school.  I’m going to Western New England University’s School of Law and I was selected as one of six Public Interest Scholars. I’m going to be concentrating in agricultural and environmental law.  I am chair of the City of Easthampton Community Garden Committee (I founded the garden three years ago) and this year I am implementing a partnership with the Easthampton Community Center, wherein gardeners will provide fresh produce to those who receive food through the community center’s food pantry.  Additionally I’m looking forward to a visit from Ali (Tebaldi) Beattie ‘10, who is flying over from England to spend time with me this fall.”

Caitlin Flynn is working at Random House Children’s Books and living in Manhattan.

Sarah Kulig continues to enjoy discovering surprising people and places in Somerville MA, where she is starting her second year at Lesley University in the art therapy Master’s program.  You might find her spending time with Dewey Cyr ’10, Aarin Murray ’10 and Hillary Collins-Gilpatrick ’08, and always is up for porch potlucks, musical events, and bike rides with other Smithies.

Sydney Tichenor swapped a proofreading job an accounting firm in Washington, DC for an instructor position at Outward Bound Australia. She will spend the month of June finishing up her master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland before relocating to Australia to begin work in July.

Lyudmyla Kovalenko has just been accepted as a doctoral student at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain and is excited to start her PhD in Neuroscience this fall. She will continue to work in the field of visual neuroscience, specifically investigating how eye movements contribute to perceptual stability.

Ayla Schlosser with Caroline Rex-Waller and Harleen Gill

Ayla Schlosser is still chillin in Washington, DC cheering on the vegetables in her garden and working as the Field Program Manager at Groundswell. In April she had the good fortune of embarking on a glorious adventure with Caroline Rex-Waller ’09 and Harleen Gill ’09 – she is already looking forward to their next trip together.

After spending three years working and acting in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, Emily Cordes will be attending Columbia University Teacher’s College in Fall 2012 to obtain her M.A. in Arts Administration. She is looking forward to entering into New York’s vibrant theatre and arts community, and hopes to reconnect with some of her Smithies in the area! Emily also stars in “Nevermore: The Series,” a darkly comedic web series based on the works of Edgar Alan Poe (

Kelly Forbush, Emily Floyd ‘09, and Lillian Jackman ‘09 graduated from Yale Divinity School in May. Kelly is excited to start her dream job doing creative justice-minded ministry at Broad Street Ministries in Philadelphia.  She would love to meet up with other Smithies in the area!

Lauren Robertson has been published as a second author in the January issue of the journal, Science Translational.  The article, “Surgical Stress Resistance Induced by a Single Amino Acid Deprivation Requires Gcn2 in Mice,” has been picked up by the popular press for application in humans—and featured in the Washington Post, ABC News, Fox News, and the Boston Globe. Lauren was recently accepted to PhD programs, several in Neuroscience and others in Biological Sciences and decided to matriculate to Harvard University, starting in July. She welcomes Smithies to come visit her in Boston—she will be here for at least 5 more years!

Meg Schmitt is living in Bondo, Kenya from September to December, working with a program that provides family planning and nutrition services to postpartum women.

Samantha Fisher will continue working with conservators at Colonial Williamsburg throughout the year.

Sarah Brickey with Patricia Brazee ’10, Elizabeth Brasington ’11, and Ellen Cormier ’11

Sarah Brickey was married on May 5th in Maine. She had an amazing time and loved reuniting with her three favorite Smithies, Patricia Brazee ’10, Elizabeth Brasington ’11, and Ellen Cormier ’11. Other than the wedding, she has been living in Boston since graduation and is happily working at Simmons College in Graduate Studies Admissions.

Noelle Bittner is living in Tucson, AZ and just finished her first year of a PhD program in evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. She loves living in Tucson and is most looking forward to a mini-reunion here with Sophie Ragone and Emily Pratt, other Albright ’09-ers.

Marlowe Dieckmann graduated from UC Berkeley in the spring with her Masters in Public Health in Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition. She is currently applying to medical schools and is happy to be thinking about many more years of education.

Margaret Bresnahan is continuing her studies for an MLS at the Palmer School in NYC, and also works as a contributing producer at WNYC’s Soundcheck, a front desk person at the Center for Architecture, and is the Garden Steward Volunteer at the Noguchi Museum in Queens.