Class Correspondent

Marielle Kress married Eric Goldstein on April 27 at the Pierre hotel in Manhattan. The couple met at Georgetown University, where they received master’s degrees in public policy. Marielle is a policy adviser in Baltimore focusing on Medicaid expansion at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After graduation, Nicole Gilliat worked at ExxonMobil in a management-training program for two and half years before moving to Israel and getting married. For the past two years, she has lived in Ra’anana and worked as an equity analyst at a hedge fund. She serves on the Brandeis Alumni Club of Israel steering committee. She writes, “We recently held a great event with the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro ’91. I love getting together with Brandeis alums and visitors in Israel.” Nicole’s younger brother, Nelson ’14, attends Brandeis. Michelle Minkoff works as an interactive producer at the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. She combines computer-programming and data-analysis skills with more traditional journalism to create maps, charts and other visual journalism on the Web. Eric Trachtenberg is pharmacy manager at a CVS in the Boston area. He promotes and organizes flu clinics; his pharmacy administered more than 1,500 flu shots during flu season. He graduated from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in May 2012 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In pharmacy school, Eric served as president of the American Pharmacists Association’s Academy of Student Pharmacists. He won several awards, including the CVS Caremark Pharmacy Excellence Award. Ashley Ruskiewicz moved to Los Angeles and received a certificate in film production from New York Film Academy. She is a project manager at a marketing firm and works on social media, search-engine optimization and content writing. She is writing a book about surviving a brain AVM (arteriovenous malformation), combining her story with stories of other survivors from around the world. Ilana Dvorin Friedman writes, “Wow, so much has happened the past five years. In 2010, I married Jeremy Friedman. He is a high-school science and Bible teacher, and earned a master’s degree in education from Northwestern. I am currently a PhD student at the Erikson Institute, studying child development. I earned my master’s there as well. I have been doing some community college/college teaching and working as a coordinator at an early-childhood center. Jeremy and I are expecting a baby in May, which is why we cannot attend the Reunion! We can’t wait to meet baby.” After four years of working in the Middle East, Chelsey Berlin returned to the United States last summer to serve as the associate director of B’Tselem USA, the Washington, D.C.-based headquarters of the leading Israeli organization monitoring, documenting and advocating to improve human rights in the West Bank and Gaza. Lauren Hamid-Shapiro graduated in 2012 from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs with a master’s degree in public administration in environmental science and policy. Lauren now works in the Environmental Assessment and Review Division at the New York City Department of City Planning. She promotes urban sustainability by facilitating city environmental quality review for building special permits and neighborhood-wide rezonings. Nicole Guertin married Robert Haigh Jr. on Dec. 21, 2012, at the Harbor Point Restaurant on Cape Cod. After graduating from Brandeis, she earned a master’s degree in social work from Smith College. She serves as supervisor of crisis services at the North Quabbin regional office of Clinical and Support Options in Athol, Mass. Robert is the police chief for the town of Orange. Jacob Kamaras and Megan Marcus were married on Jan. 20 at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego. Brandeis alumni in attendance included Binny Kagedan, Michael Bohen, Ross Felder, Josh Robinson, Jeremy Heyman, Asher Tanenbaum, Danny Wolfe, Anna Kerzner, Rebecca Wilkof, Andrew Brooks ’09, Justin Sulsky ’09, Frank Golub ’10, Jessica Kent ’09, Adam Gartner ’07, Oze Henig and Deborah Lyon ’06. Jacob, former editor-in-chief of The Justice, is now editor-in-chief of, a news service distributing content to Jewish newspapers across the U.S. Megan is founder and CEO of FuelEd, a startup training America’s teachers in social and emotional competencies. The couple lives in Los Angeles. Robert Schwartz was appointed assistant district attorney in Brooklyn’s Kings County District Attorney’s Office, where he works on a wide variety of cases. After two years of working in regulatory affairs for clean-tech startup Opower out of its Virginia and San Francisco offices, Rachel Gold is headed to the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, in the fall. Yael Kreitman completed medical school and is now in residency for oto­laryngology in Texas. Rayna Grossman is a first-year student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. After earning her master’s degree in social work from the University at Buffalo in 2010, she worked in prevention education, domestic violence (shelter work) and housing discrimination. Sam Vaghar, the executive director and co-founder of the Millennium Campus Network, was the keynote speaker at Lynn University’s commencement in May. At 26, he is the youngest commencement speaker in the Florida school’s 50-year history and this year was one of the youngest commencement speakers in the nation. Zachary Seeskin is engaged to Lindsey Epstein. He is pursuing his PhD in statistics at Northwestern University. Neena Pathak was one of 20 young American and Burmese journalists selected to participate in a two-week cultural exchange and journalism fellowship in Myanmar through a not-for-profit partnership among the Open Hands Initiative, the GroundTruth Project and GlobalPost. More than 400 journalists competed for the Burma Telling Its Own Story fellowships. Neena serves as associate editor at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis. Oze Henig was accepted into the pediatric residency program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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