Class Correspondent

With our 10th Reunion right around the corner, it is hard to believe that a decade has passed since our graduation. I hope to see many of you back on campus in the spring to celebrate this milestone!

Deborah Eisner and Joseph Joffe were married on May 23 in Quincy. The bride and groom were joined by 22 other Brandeis alumni spanning more than 30 years, including the groom’s parents, sister, uncle and cousins, and the bride’s entire Mod! In attendance were Ruth Mindick ’75, Martin Joffe ’75, C. David Joffe ’67, Deborah Entine ’82, Joshua Irizarry ’00, Ita (Fischer) Irizarry ’00, Mindy Levit, Marjorie Bunch Pastena, Gabi Toth, Jana (Steiger) Pantaleev, Sara (Greenfield) Miller, Carrie Port, Daniel Aloma, Michael Grossman, James Brief (transferred to Cornell in 1998), Jenn (Klein) Seadia ’02, Elyssa Besen ’03, Alexia Sadun ’03, Joshua Levine ’06, Daniel Pievsky ’03, Charles Edman ’03 and Susan Mindick ’03. Deb and Joe vacationed in Hawaii, and then moved from Boston to San Diego for Deb’s job.

Erin Sheehan married Matthew Daly in June 2009 in Harvard, Mass. They recently bought a house in Charlton. Erin works at PTC, a billion-dollar software company based in Needham, where she manages global marketing programs related to the firm’s Microsoft partnership.

Sarah Chandler returned to her New England roots and Jewish environmental education as associate director of ADAMAH: The Jewish Environmental Fellowship. The leadership program for young Jewish adults integrates organic farming, sustainable living, Jewish learning, community building and contemplative spiritual practice.

Kimberly Truong reports that she graduated in May with a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania — in just 30 months. She’s just the second Vietnamese-American to earn a doctorate from the program. She is now disseminating findings from her dissertation study, “Racism and Racial Trauma in Doctoral Study: How Students of Color Experience and Negotiate the Political Complexities of Racist Encounters,” at conferences and invited talks. In addition, she is a senior project manager at Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit education and workforce development organization.

Cara Rosenthal graduated from Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business with an M.B.A. in December 2009.

Meera Bhalotra Reynolds and her husband, Robert, welcomed daughter Priya Charlotte on May 14.

Lisa Exler, Elie Kaunfer and big sister Maytal announce the birth of Amalya Shahar Exler-Kaunfer on May 20.

Mona Martinez Seno married Thomas Gundlach Jr. on Nov. 25 on the island of Maui, halfway between her birthplace (Philippines) and his (Massachusetts). They celebrated their wedding with family and friends on June 26 on the campus of the Darrow School in Upstate New York, where they work and met. Mona, a Wien Scholar, is chair of Darrow’s art department.

Amber Rohner writes, “Aloha from Hawaii! I wanted to send an update to my Floyd Street Divas and other Brandeis pals: On June 5, I married my longtime sweetheart Jason Sakuda, so my name will change to Amber Sakuda. I earned my M.D. a few years back and I’m currently starting my fifth and final year of training in child and adult psychiatry. After that, I can finally hang my shingle out and practice! I will eventually move back to Maui to be closer to family.”

Shannon Markley and her boyfriend, Erik Crocker, have a son, Patrick Henry. He was born on Nov. 21, 2009.

Matt Sieger completed an anesthesiology residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn after graduating from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He recently moved back home to start his first job as an anesthesiologist at Cape Cod Hospital.

Melinda Nelson-Hurst spent much of 2007–08 in Egypt conducting fieldwork and research, but has been back in Philadelphia for the last two years. She writes, “In March, I married my perfect match, and we’re both excited for me to finish my Ph.D. soon so that we can settle down somewhere permanently.”

Anna (Glozman) Munro and her husband, Andrew, welcomed their first child, Rebecca Leigh, on Feb. 6.

Julia Becker and wife, Ashley, are celebrating the birth of their son, Owen Paul Agerson, on June 30.

Marjorie Bunch Pastena and her husband moved to Boston. She is an epilepsy fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

On Jan. 16, Candice Gidney married Jonathan Macy at the Ritz-Carlton in Miami Beach; they met while they were students at New York Law School. She is a senior associate in the Miami and New York offices of Bryn & Associates. He is an investment associate for UBS.

Anna Natapova was named vice president in the New York office of Farient Advisors, a leading independent executive compensation and performance consulting firm. She was previously a senior associate at Executive Compensation Advisors.

Stephanie Kolin received a Women of Valor Award from Jewish Funds for Justice for creating a fellowship that trains rabbinical students to be community organizers. She recently left her position as associate rabbi at Temple Israel in Boston to become a California lead organizer for Just Congregations of the Union for Reform Judaism. The group counsels Reform synagogues in community organizing.

Laura Gleason married Jeffrey Brien on June 13 at the Normandy Farm in Blue Bell, Pa. They met during law school orientation at the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. Brandeis alumni in attendance included Georgia Gleason ’03, Laura’s sister; Yevgeniy Sirotin ’03, Laura’s brother-in-law; Miriam Aronin; Allison Brennan and Amy Sulds. Laura is an associate in the antitrust department at the Philadelphia law firm Berger & Montague.

Sachin Pai married Holly Smith on June 26 in Seattle. Sachin works in New York, where he analyzes consumer data for the credit card division of Barclays. He received an M.B.A. from Yale.

Rabbi Aryeh Leifert, wife, Michal, and children Yonah, Ahuva and Maayan moved to Israel from San Antonio in September 2009. 
Aryeh is currently studying to become an Israel tour guide. His website is

John Yu married Meesun Ahn in Korea in July. They live in Austin, Texas.

Zeynep Akcakoca works as a project assistant for the United Nations Refugee Agency in Ankara, Turkey. She had worked for IS Investment in Istanbul.

Leah Zweig was promoted to senior attorney adviser with the Social Security Administration and has relocated to New Haven, Conn.

Sam Wainer received an M.B.A. from the University of California, Davis. He moved to Cleveland and hopes to connect with other Brandeis alums in the area.

Diana Coben Einstein and her family took a two-week trip to China. Highlights included visiting the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Bird’s Nest (where the 2008 Olympics took place).

Aliza Saivetz Glasser and her husband, Daniel Glasser ’02, welcomed son Elliot Richard on Feb. 7.

Yevgeny Ioffe, M.S. ’03, of Brookline, Mass., and his wife, Chloe, who were married four years ago, now have a son, Ari. Yevgeny earned a master’s in computer science at Brandeis and is pursuing an M.B.A. part time at Boston College while working for Xplana as a business analyst.

Marina Voronina and her husband, David, had a daughter, Sarah Ariella, on Nov. 17, 2009. After spending a few months at home, Marina went back to teaching and directing the music program at the Village School in Waldwick, N.J. Sarah spends her days in the daycare baby room at the school.

Joel Christensen and Shahnaaz Nistar welcomed daughter Aalia Daneen Nistar on July 8 at Fort Hood, Texas, where Shahnaaz is a dentist and a captain in the U.S. Army. The happy family lives in nearby Round Rock.

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