Class Correspondent

Hi, all. These are our first-ever Class Notes! Hope all of you have been enjoying life as alumni. I am really excited to learn about what you have been doing. As for me: Through Teach for America, I am a seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher at 
St. Hope Leadership Academy in Harlem.

Wei-Huan Chen lives in Waltham and works at GateHouse Media, a newspaper company. As a Needham Times staff writer, he has covered bears, thieves, British plays, congressmen and gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. He is happy to remain close to Boston and would love to get a cup of coffee or some frozen yogurt with fellow Brandeis grads in the area. Dan Katz enjoys his job as a research assistant to David Gergen, working with CNN (and other news outlets) and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He worked with CNN at the Republican Convention in Tampa, Fla. Ben Henig works as an actuary for The Hartford in Hartford, Conn. He writes, “Work is going well, but I am waiting for the rest of the Brandeis Class of 2012 to move out to Hartford with me.” Adam Cohen works for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, where he is helping the group’s lobbying efforts to reduce the U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan. Nick Petrocchi moved to Madison, Wis., to work for Epic, a health-care software company that implements health-care systems for hospital radiology and cardiology departments. Dara Rosenkrantz lives in Vigo, Spain, where she works as an English language assistant (auxiliar de conversación) at CEP da Cruz, an elementary school in Nigrán. Ben Harel works for a fast-growing solar company, Next Step Living, and continues to work on political causes as well. Usman Hameedi is a research technician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He is also exploring New York’s slam poetry circuit. Raechel Banks works at the Religious Action Center as a legislative assistant. She loves Washington, D.C., and welcomes visitors! Josh Basseches spent an exhausting but rewarding summer managing a state Senate campaign. He is looking forward to moving into his new home in Brighton, Mass., and hanging out with Brandeisians once again. Marla Merchut moved to New York with girlfriend Nicole Izbicky ’11. Marla is working toward a JD at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Angela Chau is a health-care consulting associate at Hayes Management Consulting in Newton, Mass. She works with three other Brandeis alums and is looking forward to visiting many others on her business trips around the country. Dafna Gutfreund lives on New York’s Upper West Side and works at Behrman Communications, a beauty and lifestyle public relations agency, where she promotes skin-care products to the media. As a result of her media outreach, client LightStim for Wrinkles was featured in a regional ABC morning talk show in Utah. Brian Dahlben, MS’12, recently started a two-year position as a research assistant in the psychiatry neuroimaging lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Though he hopes to go on to medical school, for now he is enjoying working in Boston. Amber Kornreich is a first-year student at Florida International University College of Law in Miami. She invites Brandeis classmates to contact or visit her. Christopher Lau was accepted into the 2012-13 Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, one of 75 U.S. students chosen from an applicant pool of more than 500. The yearlong program provides orientation seminars in Washington, D.C., and Frankfurt; two months of intensive language study; four months of classes at a German university; and six months of work or internship in Germany. He plans to go to law school and hopes to secure an internship in Germany related to immigration or LGBT law. At the American Academy of Sciences International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology in Houston, Meda Kisivuli and two other students, Liza Ansher ’13 and Vivian Zeng ’14, presented their findings about the dangers faced by nail salon employees. Their study, conducted through Professor Laura Goldin’s Environmental Health and Justice Program in cooperation with the Boston Public Health Commission, found the presence of fine particulate matter, carbon dioxide and total volatile organic compounds in the salons was much higher than generally accepted guidelines. In excess, these substances are known or highly suspected to cause skin, respiratory and reproductive-health problems. Several members of the Class of 2012 received prestigious Fulbright grants for the 2012-13 academic year to further their studies and contribute to the international community: Jesse Appell, who is doing a performance art project in China; Olivia Edelman, who is an English teaching assistant in Turkey; Skye Fishbein, MS’12, who is conducting research in South Africa into co-infection of TB and HIV; Kelsey Grab, who is an English teaching assistant in Malaysia; and Rachel Klein, who is an English teaching assistant in Nepal.

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