GS Class of 2006
Jane H. Hong ’06 AM published Opening the Gates to Asia: A Transpacific History of How America Repealed Asian Exclusion on Nov. 18 through UNC Press.
Robert Newcomb ’06 AM, ’08 PhD, writes that after four months of training, he ran up the Rock of Gibraltar while in Gibraltar on a research trip. The run, traditionally considered a fitness test by the Royal Navy, is approximately 2.7 miles in length, rising from sea level to 1,350 feet, with an average incline of 8 percent.
Almaz Dessie ’11 MD married Michael Moffat on Oct. 7 at the Belle Isle Boat House in Detroit, Mich. Their friend Kira Neel ’05,’19 MD officiated the ceremony. Almaz is an assistant professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center in New York and practices as a pediatric emergency doctor at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. Michael is also a physician, practicing as a pediatric hospitalist at NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn. The couple met in 2012 during their pediatrics residency at the University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. They have a mutual love of music, global health, and travel. The wedding was a four-day celebration of love, community, and blessings. They honored their Ethiopian and Jewish traditions and surprised their guests with a reunion performance by their band from their residency days in California (Almaz sings lead and Mike plays guitar). Members of Almaz’s former dance company at Brown, New Works/World Traditions, also surprised them with a West African dance performance at the reception. In attendance were Senior Lecturer in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies Michelle Bach-Coulibaly; Elizabeth Anto ’06, ’11 MD; Tarik Asmerom ’05; Praveen Basaviah ’05; Nora Blackall ’08; Alykhan Boolani ’06; Mark Brown II ’09; Jalle Dafa; Vanessa Danziger ’11; Sheila Desai ’05; Sybil Dessie ’04, ’08 MD; Chris Erway ’06 AM, ’11 PhD; Sushil Jacob ’05; Jazzmen Johnson’15 AM; Jori Ketten ’02; Kira Neel ’05, ’19 MD; Meghan O’Brien ’06; Ethan Philbrick ’08; Micah Salkind ’06, ’10 AM,’16 PhD; Sophie Shackleton ’09; Daniel Sobol ’09; Matthew Soursourian ’08; Ida Specker ’09; Alexx Temeña ’16; Nicole Thompson ’08; Monica Tilly ’11 MD; Jessica Vosburgh; Chantel Whittle ’12; Kenya Wright ’15; Ali John Zarrabi ’06, ’12 MD; and Leonora Zoninsein ’08.
W. Curt LaFrance Jr. ’06 MPH was promoted to professor of psychiatry and neurology at Brown. He currently is conducting a DOD multi-site grant studying neuroimaging biomarkers for seizures and traumatic brain injury in veterans and civilians. He is the director of neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurology at Rhode Island Hospital and the clinical lead for the VA National Telemental Health Center Tele-Seizures clinic, where he treats veterans with seizures around the country from the Providence VA Medical Center. His second and third books, Taking Control of Your Seizures: Workbook and Therapist Guide, from Oxford University Press, were recently translated into French and published by Presses Universitaires Francois-Rabelais 2018. His fourth book was published in 2018, Gates and Rowan’s Nonepileptic Seizures, 4th Edition, by Cambridge University Press.
Robert Newcomb ’02, ’06 AM, ’08 PhD’s book, Iberianism and Crisis: Spain and Portugal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, was published by Univ. of Toronto Press in July. He is an associate professor in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at UC Davis and lives in Woodland, Calif., with his wife and two sons.
Kelley A. Smith ’06 MPH, of Lincoln, R.I.; Apr. 1, of a brain tumor. Prior to Brown, she graduated from Smith College and became committed to causes that promoted feminism, social justice, and civil rights for the LGBTQ community. In 1990, she met her future wife and in 2005 testified before the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee in favor of a bill supporting same-sex civil marriage. She worked for several years at Brown’s Population Studies and Training Center before receiving her degree. She put her public health degree to work conducting research on sexual and reproductive health and traveled to South Africa, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia. In 2010, she and her wife and daughter moved to American Samoa, where she worked as field director on a project conducting diabetes research. That fall, after a seizure, she was evacuated to New Zealand, diagnosed with a brain tumor, and underwent her first craniotomy. In 2011, she returned to Rhode Island and resumed an active life working back at Brown’s Population Studies and Training Center. She was a backstage manager and emcee at the Harbor Stage of the Newport Folk Festival for nearly 20 years and she enjoyed painting, gardening, and birdwatching. She achieved a lifelong ambition to publish a piece of creative writing when her poem appeared in the anthology Dear Vaccine: Global Voices Speak to the Pandemic. She is survived by her wife, Sam; a daughter; her parents; a sister and her husband; a brother-in-law and his wife; her daughter’s father and his husband; and four nieces and nephews.
Aris C. Garro ’06 MPH, of North Kingstown, R.I.; Nov. 17, of cancer. At the time of his death, he was working as a pediatric emergency physician at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and was a researcher affiliated with Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital. His research focus was in the fields of emergency department-based interventions for children with asthma and the treatment of pediatric Lyme disease and meningitis. He enjoyed playing soccer and was an avid fan of all things related. He also enjoyed painting, playing guitar, and reading Harry Potter with his daughter. He is survived by his wife, Christine; three children; two brothers and sisters-in-law; and five nieces and nephews.