Lee Merkle-Raymond ’86, Co-Vice President
Amanda Rosenblum ’07, Co-Vice President
Kenny Reyes ’00, Treasurer
Peter Williams ’76, Secretary
Shaun Akhtar ’12
Dottie Foley ’86
Sheila Hicks-Rotella ’05
Spenser Mestel ’11
Erik Ochsner ’93
Val Werner ’21
Shaun Akhtar ’12 / West Lebanon, NH
Shaun is Metadata Librarian, Strategy and Management 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, 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.
Dottie Foley ’86 / Marblehead, MA
Sheila Hicks-Rotella ’05 / New York, NY
Lee Merkle-Raymond ’86 / Palo Alto, CA
Lee 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.
Spenser Mestel ’11 / New York, NY
Spenser 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.
Erik Ochsner ’93 / New York, NY
Erik was a music major at Dartmouth and is now a professional orchestra conductor living in New York City. While at Dartmouth, Erik volunteered as a teacher for “Responsible AIDS Information at Dartmouth” and participated in the “Men’s Discussion Group” which was a friendly group where men could openly talk about concerns regarding their sexuality. At Dartmouth, he started his own orchestra, Dartmouth Pro Musica, and in New York City, he founded the not-for-profit SONOS Chamber Orchestra. Erik was the 1998 AIDS Walk New York Volunteer of the Year and used to be a member of Frontrunners New York. He was once the Finnish diction coach for the New York City Gay Men’s chorus. As times have changed so has membership in affinity groups, and Erik hopes to try to reach out and involve more alumni in a wide variety of events.
Erik is a dual citizen with Finland, and lives with his Japanese partner of 26 years. They love to travel, cook, socialize, dine out and are wine fanatics!
Kenny Reyes ’00 / Camden, NJ
Kenny hails from Camden, NJ and is a native of Puerto Rico. His mother is Boricua and his father is Quisqueyano. While a student at Dartmouth, Kenny worked with Admissions at Dartmouth to help recruit students of color and worked closely in and with several affinity groups, including Native Americans at Dartmouth, La Alianza Latina, and the African American Society of Dartmouth. His leadership on campus led to induction into Casque & Gauntlet and he was also an active member of Tabard. After college Kenny worked on Capitol Hill with then Senator Hillary Clinton, received an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School, and worked in TV/film development at Hollywood studios. Kenny currently works as Director of College & Career Placement at KIPP NJ. Kenny was a founder of the Dartmouth Association of Latino Alumni (DALA), and he will bring his valuable perspectives, especially around intersectionality, to DGALA’s leadership.
Amanda Rosenblum ’07 / New York, NY
Amanda 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.
Val Werner ’21 / White River Junction, VT
Val Werner ’21 graduated from Dartmouth with a computer science major, and is currently living in White River Junction, VT and working at Rauner Library as the 2021-22 Lathem Special Collections Fellow. He became interested in the past, present, and future of Dartmouth LGBTQ+ communities while doing research for the Historical Accountability Program during his junior year and helping to form the LGBTQ+ student organization Within.
Peter Williams ’76 / Stockbridge, MA
Pete 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.