Board of Directors

Brendan Connell, Jr. ’87, President
Melanie Pastuck ’11, Vice President
Timothy Stanne ’03, Treasurer
Peter Williams ’76, Secretary


Shaun Akhtar ’12 / West Lebanon, NH
Shaun is Metadata Librarian at the Dartmouth College Library, where he has worked since shortly after graduating in 2012 with a double major in English and Astronomy. Arriving in the Upper Valley from his hometown of Queens, New York, as an undergraduate he served as historian for Phi Tau Coeducational Fraternity, senior copy editor for The Dartmouth, and layout editor for the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science. Shaun is a volunteer co-coordinator for the College’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Network, and serves on the boards of the Dartmouth Club of the Upper Valley and the Tau Corporation of Hanover, as well as on his class executive committee.

Sharang Biswas ’12 Th’13 / New York, NY
Sharang BiswasAs an undergraduate, Sharang received his B.A. in Engineering Sciences, followed by a B.E. in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering. While at Dartmouth, he was a member of GSX (Gender Sexuality XYZ), the vice-president of the Co-Educational Greek Council (now Gender-Inclusive Greek Council), a five-year trip-leader for the Dartmouth Outing Club, and an intern for the Sexual Health Peer Advisors. He is proudest of his role on the Executive Board for IvyQ, an inter-Ivy League queer conference, which allowed him to rub shoulders with gender-studies scholars, sex educators and adult film actors under one roof.

Sharang is currently pursuing a masters in interaction design and creative technology at ITP at NYU-Tisch. As an artist, he works primarily with games, interactive performance and digital art. Hence, his spare time is spent in serious research for his work: playing board and video games. He also enjoys cooking.

Brendan Connell, Jr. ’87 / Los Angeles, CA
Brendan Connell JrBrendan was a History major at Dartmouth where he served on the Collis Governing Board, as a member of his class council, and as an Admissions Office tour guide. Brendan graduated from New York University School of Law in 1993. He is currently Chief Operating Officer at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, scheduled to open in 2019. Before moving to LA, he held legal and managerial roles at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, where he worked for 18 years.

Brendan has been active with DGALA for many years, starting as a regional coordinator for New York City. He conceived the SpeakOut oral history project which has been selected to be an official part of Dartmouth’s 250th Anniversary celebration. Additionally, he served on the Dartmouth Alumni Council and was chair of the Council’s Academic Affairs committee for 2014 – 2015. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni.

Brendan lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Rich Yeung ’93.

Sheila Hicks-Rotella ’05 / New York, NY

Lee Merkle-Raymond ’86 / Palo Alto, CA
Lee Merkle-RaymondLee Merkle-Raymond ‘86 re-joined the DGALA Board in 2017 and is happy how much times have changed since her first years on the Board in the early ‘90s. Lee was the writer/editor of the Green Light newsletter and President of DGALA, as well as a board member of the Stonewall Foundation, the LGBT alumni donation vehicle prior to Dartmouth’s recognition of DGALA as an alumni organization. Lee served on the Alumni Council for 3 years as an at-large rep, unofficially the first representative of DGALA. Through the work of many alums, today the College welcomes LGBT alumni with full recognition of DGALA, as well as administrative support from both Blunt and the Dean’s office. Lee is eager to build bonds with students to ensure DGALA remains in touch with the needs of new and young alums.

Lee is Managing Director of Hercules Capital, lender to venture-backed technology and biotech firms. She and her partner of 28 years have two college-age daughters and live near San Francisco. Lee is training for the SF to LA AIDS/LifeCycle in June 2018.

Spencer Mestel ’11 / New York, NY
Spencer MestelSpenser Mestel graduated with a BA in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies in 2011 and then got a masters in Arabic language at the American University of Cairo. While there, he broke his neck doing parkour, which cut his year-long stay a month short, but thankfully he recovered fully and moved to NYC in 2012. The following year, he moved to Iowa to get an MFA in nonfiction writing, which allowed him the time to train and compete on season 6 of “American Ninja Warrior.” After graduating in May of 2016, he moved to Brooklyn, where he’s worked ever since as a freelance writer.

Melanie Pastuck ’11 / New York, NY
Melanie PastuckMelanie Pastuck graduated from Dartmouth in 2011 with a major in Biological Sciences (Microbiology) and a minor in Philosophy. During her time at Dartmouth, Melanie was an LGBTQ Intern for the Office of Pluralism and Leadership and an OUTreach peer mentor (student LGBT mentor program). In addition to her involvement with LGBTQ groups on campus, Melanie served as President of the Dartmouth Women’s Rugby team, was a four-time DOC Trip leader, and was a member of Sigma Delta.

Melanie lives in Manhattan and works as an Account Manager at Google. In her spare time, Melanie also enjoys whitewater kayaking, hiking, playing rugby for the New York Rugby Club, and spending time with fellow Dartmouth alums in NY. Currently, Melanie is also an Alumni interviewer and serves as an Alumni Council representative for DGALA.

Amanda Rosenblum ’07 / New York, NY
Amanda RosenblumAmanda graduated from Dartmouth in 2007 with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She was very active in campus life during her Dartmouth career, from editing Stonefence Review to coordinating the Prison Project, from working with first-years as a three-year Undergraduate Advisor to orienting new members at Epsilon Kappa Theta. She headed up Phoenix Senior Society and was trained as a Mentor Against Violence. She was a member of GSX and Rainbow Alliance and served on the organizing committee that brought gender-neutral housing to Dartmouth.

Amanda currently lives in Manhattan and works at Young Women’s Leadership Network, a network of all-girls public schools, as a Girls Education Senior Manager. She founded the non-profit Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors. She is a co-chair of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition, working to remove barriers to higher education for people in prison and with criminal justice involvement, and volunteers as an Emergency Department Advocate for the Mount Sinai SAVI program for survivors of IPV and sexual assault. She is constantly reading for her two books clubs, traveling, seeing plays, laughing, and walking around the city.

Shounak Simlai ’05 Th’07 / San Francisco, CA
Shounak SimlaiShounak graduated from Dartmouth in 2005 with a major in Engineering Sciences and a minor in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and received additional bachelor’s and master’s engineering degrees in 2007 from Thayer. He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Shounak currently lives in San Francisco, where he works in product marketing at Pinterest. His prior career trajectory spans investment banking, management consulting, healthcare, and ecommerce.

As an undergraduate, Shounak led both the South Asian student group and the Dartmouth Society of Engineers and also served as an intern with the Office of Pluralism and Leadership. As an alumnus, he was/is on the boards of DAPAAA, DGALA, the Dartmouth Club of Chicago, and the Thayer School Annual Fund. Shounak also served on the Alumni Council twice, including once as the Young Alumni chair. In 2016, he received the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award. In his spare time, Shounak enjoys exhibiting/judging at dog shows, reading his way through the Booker Prize annual longlist, and eating his way across the Bay Area’s food trucks.

Timothy Stanne ’03 / Norwalk, CT
Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 6.18.00 PMTimothy J. Stanne is the Director of Graduate Admissions at NYU School of Law. Tim was born and raised in Massachusetts, attending Deerfield Academy before starting at Dartmouth. He graduated from the College in 2003 with a major in English and a minor in Latin American and U.S. Hispanic Literatures. The following fall, he moved to New York to complete his master’s degree at the NYU Graduate School of Arts & Science. While an undergraduate, he was a member of the Tabard and Casque & Gauntlet, sang for the Chamber Singers, served as a SAPA, and worked in the undergraduate admissions office first as a tour guide and later a senior interviewer.

Peter Williams ’76 / Stockbridge, MA

Pete WilliamsPete was a Government major at Dartmouth, and after earning a law degree from Washington and Lee University, he lived and worked as a litigation attorney and high school teacher in New York City for 22 years. Pete then returned to his home town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts – to help his health-challenged parents (Dad ’49 and Mom were married before Dad’s senior year and lived on campus together) – and now serves as Dartmouth’s District Enrollment Director for Berkshire County Massachusetts. He has been a director of DGALA since 1994, and his law firm arranged for the non-profit incorporation and tax-exempt application for DGALA in 1996. Pete has edited Green Light, DGALA’s newsletter, since 1999.