On May 5, The Frederick Gunn School will welcome five accomplished alumni back to campus to speak with current students about their college experiences, career paths, and the impact that being a Gunn graduate has had on their lives. Alumni Career Night is hosted by the Alumni & Development Office and will be moderated by Otoja Abit ’04, a first-generation Nigerian-American writer, director, producer and actor. The event will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center and is open exclusively to current Gunn students and faculty.
About our Panelists
Originally from Stamford, Connecticut, Connor Dahlman ’16 was a three-year boarding student at Gunn. He served as a tour guide, participated in Outdoor Club, played Boys Varsity Lacrosse, and was captain of the 2016 New England Championship Boys Varsity Hockey Team. He attended Babson College, was a defenseman on their DIII Men’s Ice Hockey Team, and graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Connor currently lives in New York City and works for Santander Bank as an Associate within the Corporate Banking division.
Virginia Dodenhoff ’15 was a Prefect, Head Tour Guide, Residential Advisor, President of Gunn Society, and captain of the Girls Varsity Basketball and crew teams at Gunn. After graduating from Gunn, she rowed at the University of Alabama, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Head of Community Outreach for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and a member of The XXXI. She currently lives in New York, where she is working in public relations and sports marketing while pursuing a master's in sports management at Columbia University. She also serves as co-president of the Associate Board for Row New York.
Raised in Branford, Connecticut, Morgan Dow ’16 was a four-year senior at Gunn and played soccer, hockey and lacrosse. She was also a Residential Advisor and Tour Guide. Morgan attended Fairfield University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health and a minor in psychology. Currently, she lives in New York City and is exploring new employment opportunities!
Born in Haifa, Israel, and raised in Moscow, Russia, Dana Ross ’17 moved to the United States when she was 16 years old to continue her education with aspirations to become a physician or a surgeon. The Frederick Gunn School introduced Dana to American life and gave her the solid foundations she needed to excel in college and beyond. Dana graduated with a degree in biochemistry and a minor in psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she had the chance to continue exploring her interest in medicine. She currently works as a 911 EMT for Northwell Health and Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City and is applying to medical schools.
About our Moderator
Otoja Abit ’04 is best known for his award-winning debut short, “Jitters,” which he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in. “Jitters,” an Academy Award qualifying short, received the audience award for Best Short at the Urbanworld Film Festival, earned the award for Best Actor at The Network Film Festival, and was a finalist for HBO’s Best Short film.
Otoja expanded on his short, “Jitters,” and debuted his feature, “A New York Christmas Wedding,” which he wrote, directed, and produced under his production company, Willful Productions. The first-of-its-kind, urban-leaning holiday film was acquired by and premiered globally on Netflix in November 2020.
Otoja got his start in the industry interning at Labyrinth Theater Company, then went on to book roles in both television and film. His TV acting credits include: CBS’s “Bull,” HBO's “The Night Of,” NBC's “Blackish,” Marvel's “The Defenders,” and NBC’s limited series “The Slap.” His film credits include: “The Humbling,” directed by Barry Levinson, in which Otoja played opposite Al Pacino; "Paris" in Aleta Chappelle's “Romeo & Juliet in Harlem;” and gay liberation pioneer, Marsha P. Johnson in Roland Emmerich's “Stonewall.”
Otoja was awarded the 2019 “Rising Star Award” by the Bushwick Film Festival, and the 2019 “Distinguished Alumni Award” by his alma mater, St. John’s University, where Otoja played Division I basketball.