Class Correspondent

Leanne Berge joined Community Health Plan of Washington, a 300,000-member health plan for Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries, as its new CEO. Since the organization is based in Seattle, Leanne moved there with her husband, Michael Jackson ’81, MA’83. Artist Philip Gerstein has been busy with two large solo shows, in Boston and New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. His painting website is at PhilipGerstein. com. Heidi Kaplan, P’16, a faculty member in microbiology and molecular genetics at the McGovern Medical School, University of Texas at Houston, received the 2016 Goldschmidt Mentoring Award from the Texas branch of the American Society for Microbiology. Her son, Ian Christie ’16, graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis in May 2016 with a double major in neuroscience and computer science. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After a yearlong internship at Google, Ian is now a software engineer at Square in San Francisco. Steffi Aronson Karp is looking forward to celebrating the 40th Reunion at Alumni Weekend in June. She continues to enjoy the community-building work of bringing LimmudBoston to New England. Over the past eight years, the organization has showcased several classmates — and some of their progeny. In May, Lauren Levenson Langevin and husband Richard acquired a Home Instead senior-care franchise in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. She writes, “For our last hurrah, we wanted a business that gives back to the community. Given our experiences with Richard’s parents in nursing homes and my parents, who had in-home care, we wanted to let people know the benefits of helping senior loved ones live safely and securely in their homes as they age.” Lauren still runs Langevin Designs, creating one-of-a-kind and custom quilts, and fabric art to complement any room decor. Former roommates Harry Lebowitz, Joe Levy, Craig Samson and Karen Brot Samson reunited for a dinner nearly 40 years after graduation. Dave Lubin writes, “While watching the very exciting telecast of Game Two of the 2017 World Series, I could not help but harken back to sitting near the open windows in my downtown Waltham residence, watching the historic Game Six of the 1975 World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox. One could hear neighbors from Waltham to Kenmore Square let out a collective shout as Carlton Fisk hit his extra-inning game-winning home run.” Julie Mann and her husband, Ernie, are adjusting to their empty nest. Son Noah left in late October to volunteer in Tanzania — his first stop during gap-year travels before starting Wesleyan. Fruma Markowitz took her third trip with the Brandeis Travelers alumni program in January, visiting Australia and New Zealand. She previously went with the Brandeis group to India and Eastern Europe on what she calls “mini-sabbaticals,” enriching her life with new friends, new understanding of other cultures and an opportunity to indulge her passion for photography. Fruma just launched PhotopiaEditions. com, where she markets her fine-art photographic prints to art lovers, interior designers, home stagers and other buyers. She will lead a photography workshop for at-risk teenage girls in the fall through the Westport (Connecticut) Artists Collective. Bil Mooney-McCoy is in his fifth year as director of worship for the chapel at Gordon College, in Wenham, Massachusetts. He oversees the music and other elements of two worship gatherings weekly, and supervises a team of 15 student leaders. Over the summer, he adapted a tune he wrote with Live Music Band at Brandeis for the Gordon College jazz band. He also gives private music lessons for keyboard, guitar, bass and theory; plays gigs for various events; and does contract computer programming on the side. He and his wife, Paulea ’76, have been married for 38 years, and have three grown kids and a granddaughter. Amy Ostrower has had a busy year, working as a production accountant/controller for Netflix on the “Mindhunter” series; a feature, “Extinction,” in Belgrade, Serbia; and “Upload,” a pilot for Amazon. Larry Robinson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine in September. He also traveled to Oxford, England; Okayama, Japan; and Medellín, Colombia, as a visiting lecturer. Steve Saklad saw very little of his Los Angeles home in 2017, spending most of the year in Atlanta, aka Hollywood East. First, he production-designed the first season of the Fox series “Star.” Then he segued into doing the designs for director Jason Reitman’s feature film “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman. Steve says he appears to be the last of a breed of production designers still doing set sketches by hand, much as he did for shows he designed at the Spingold Theater in the mid-1970s. David Schneiderman and his wife, Miriam, moved to a wonderful house off Benedict Canyon in Southern California. After a very rainy (and very leaky) start, they have enjoyed the peace and quiet of canyon life. The company David worked with for the past nine years was acquired by Accenture in early 2017, and he’s been busy with the transition from a 60- person firm to a 400,000-person global entity. Miriam is making a difference in her clients’ lives as a financial adviser at Fidelity. He writes, “Our gang of four kids are all wonderful, making their paths in the world. We have added a wonderfully goofy and rather large labradoodle to the family. Life is very good. Hoping to see many of you in June at our 40th.” Mark Surchin practices corporate and debt finance law as a partner at Goodmans in Toronto. He and wife Kim are empty nesters who care for their aging parents and welcome visitors. Mark serves as president of the Alumni Association, and chair of the nominating and governance committees of the Brandeis Board of Trustees. He writes, “These roles bring me back to campus a fair bit. I recognize the challenges faced by our ‘startup’ alma mater but am highly optimistic about the great things to come under President Ron Liebowitz and his team. Please come to our 40th Reunion, which is part of the new Alumni Weekend. It is going to be fantastic.” Debra Wortzman Wasserman is continuing her 14-year teaching career — 13 at Franklin High School in Portland, Oregon. She teaches pre-calculus and calculus. Reva Wolf, professor of art history at the State University of New York at New Paltz, was awarded a 2017 Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. At CASVA, she pursued research about the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya and the rise of Freemasonry in the 18th century.

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