ICYMI: Demon Darlings

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we collected stories of couples who met at DePaul. Thank you to everyone who shared their romance with our Blue Demon community! If you want to submit your #DemonDarlings photo, please email it to us at dpalumni@depaul.edu.

Aleks Zivanovic (MUS ’14) & Maxim Harkavy (CMN ’14)
Aleks says: We met through the Honors Program and mutual friends senior year. Our friends had been trying to get us together for about a month, so when I showed up to an Honors Program meeting and the only spot left was across from him, it felt like fate!

We just recently got married in December 2017 in Chicago! Even though we have since moved away, we are so grateful for our education and for having been brought together during our time there. We look forward to hopefully coming home one day! Thanks, DePaul!

Angelika Bravo (CSH ’17) & Garrett Zalesky
Angelika says: I met my boyfriend of three years at DePaul! We met each other junior year, at our chemistry lab with Professor Michael Rosenbaum. Fortunately, we were paired as lab partners, and this gave me a chance to ask him questions (that I already knew the answers to), invite him over to work on assignments, and give out my number. We had the whole city to explore together and I wouldn’t want to imagine my college experience without him. DePaul gave me my best friend!

Heidi Wigdahl (CMN ’10) & Eliot Rahal (CDM ’10)
Heidi says: Eliot and I met the summer before our freshman year at DePaul. We were in the same orientation group. Eliot caught my attention when he bought a massive Ghostbusters poster that he then had to carry around for the entire day. Before going home, I took pictures with everyone in my group (secretly wanting a picture with him). The first week of school we ran into each other several times. We’ve now been together for nearly 12 years and married for three!

Elizabeth Whitten (BUS ’07) & Greg Whitten (BUS ’07)
Elizabeth says: My husband, Greg, and I met spring quarter of 2004, during our freshman year, in a class called Comparative Urbanism. It wasn’t my favorite class, but I got a great boyfriend out of it. We got engaged shortly before our graduation, pictured here, in 2007. We were married in 2008 and now have three beautiful children together. We loved our time at DePaul and are thankful for the part it played in our story!

Imran Merchant (BUS ’13) & Hiral Sheth (BUS’ 11)
Hiral says: Imran and I met January 2011 through the DePaul SASA (South Asian Student Association) organization. Our team was working on the senior dance for the annual cultural show and we were in need of a few guys to join our dance team. Imran and a couple of his friends had agreed to join our team. It was definitely not love at first sight. We had actually started off butting heads and had different opinions on many things. Our friendship flourished throughout the year but we didn’t start dating until after I had graduated, and we haven’t looked back since. We just got married in June of 2017! DePaul is a big part of our relationship and the reason we are where we are today.

Zach Weber (LAS ’08) & Jacquelyn Weber (CMN ’07)
Zach says: Jackie and I first met when she did a reading for the Service Immersion Trip student-night Mass in November 2005. I was in Catholic Campus Ministry at the time and was assisting the lectors with getting prepared for the Mass. When I first met Jackie, I remember thinking that she was someone I wanted to get to know better. We continued bumping into each other in the following months during Masses and through mutual friends. In February 2006, after a Sunday student-night Mass, I asked Jackie out on a date. We were married 4 years later in the same church where we first met and now have a 2-year-old daughter, with another daughter on the way.

Kelsey Schuerg (CMN ’11) & Austin Schuerg (BUS ’11)
Kelsey says: Austin and I met and started dating our freshman year at DePaul back in 2007. We lived across the hall from each other in University Hall and it was fast love! Now, over 10 years later, we are happily married, living in Bozeman, Montana, and have a darling new son who lights up our world. All thanks to DePaul University and our amazing memories shared there together!

Michael Skirucha (BUS ’96) & Laura Edwards (BUS ’97)
Laura says: We met at a party in the Blue Demon Room in the fall of 1993. Married August 1996. Most of the wedding party pictured are all also Blue Demons!! Mike is currently a CPA and the VP of Finance of Energysolutions, and Laura is a self-employed CPA. We currently live in the Rockies with our three children, Gavin (19), Graham (15) and Gigi (8).

Megan Sheridan (JD ’02) & Jacie Zolna (JD ’02)
Megan’s sister, Eleanor, says: My sister, Megan Sheridan, met Jacie Zolna at a school benefit that she helped plan. They both went on to practice law after school, and their relationship took off at the same time. Over time, my sister traveled with him, they moved into a romantic little coach house in Lincoln Park, and they fell in love. In 2006, she married him in Lincoln Park and now they have two beautiful children, Leo and Madeline.

Megan and Jacie are two of the best people I know, and they are an amazing, beautiful couple.

Courtney Digrispino (LAS ’12) & Karl Rodriguez (BUS ’14)
Karl says: Courtney and I first met before I went to DePaul, and you would have never thought we’d end up together. My sister, who also happens to be a DePaul alumna, sought my help as a dancer for a Filipino cultural event. Courtney was my dance partner. We barely talked during practices, but I got to know her through the Asian Cultural Exchange program. Ever since then, Courtney and I have shared countless memories together both inside and outside of DePaul. Last year, on October 28, 2017, I decided that Courtney was someone I not only wanted to share my time with, but to also share the rest of my life with.

Hannah Segall (CMN ’12) & Joe Perri (CMN ’11)
In January 2009, Hannah was attending a themed party at Joe’s fraternity’s apartment.Though Hannah does not remember seeing Joe this very night, Joe remembers seeing her.
It was not until one evening when Hannah and her close friend, Martyna, were coming back from seeing a movie that she was made aware of the “little crush” that Joe had on her. Hannah became instantly intrigued. By January 2010, the two were an item.
Hannah and Joe were married in Chicago on Oct. 7, 2017 at Assumption Catholic Church, followed by a beautiful reception at the Ivy Room.

Caira Barbanente (EDU ’08, MED ’11) & Roberto Barbanente (BUS ’08)
Caira says: Roberto and I met standing in line to check in over the summer at our DePaul orientation in 2004. We were wearing name-tags, and I recognized his last name, as I had grown up with his first cousins! We went on our first date the following week, and the rest is history. We got engaged in 2009, married in 2010 and welcomed our children in 2014.

Eddie Ritchie (LAS ’03) & Lara Ritchie (CSH ’03)
Eddie and Lara met through the softball team and had their first date on Valentine’s Day 2001 at Chicago Pizza and Ovengrinder. They’ve been together ever since! They were married at St. Vincent DePaul on May 19, 2007, and have have two kids Luca (8) and Francesca (5).

Lisa Murphy (LAS ’10) & Brian Necastro (CMN ’08)
Lisa says: Brian and I met at DePaul in 2007. Brian was a communications major, and I was in the International Studies program. Brian’s sister was one of my roommates in Sheffield Square, and he helped her move in. Over the next few years we became friends and started dating in 2010. We moved to the suburbs in 2011 and recently bought a home in Streamwood, where we live with our dog Chavo.

Laura Clark (CMN’13) & Sawyer Hopps (LAS ’13)
Laura says: Sawyer and I lived in the same dorm our freshman year and were introduced by my roommate, who was taking her Discover Chicago class with him. We all spent a lot of time together freshman year, hanging out, going to concerts, watching movies and getting to know Chicago. Our senior year we came back together through service immersion. Both of us were trip leaders so we spent a lot of time together as we prepared to lead our student groups, and the rest is history! Thanks so much to UHall and UMIN for introducing me to such an amazing person and partner.

Tracey Mathews (SNL ’16) & Shane Zimmer (LAS MA ’13)
Tracey says: While I was in DePaul’s SNL program, my brother, David Mathews (LAS MA ’13), got into his writing master’s at DePaul. That’s where he met Shane. I met Shane at their graduation party (after I had already checked him out on Facebook). Years later, Shane and I are happily having adventures together, and all three of us get together frequently, like going to support the DePaul’s women’s basketball team. Happy Valentine’s Day to my Shane and happy birthday to my bro! This picture of us was taken at my graduation mass.

Matthew Kluber (CDM ‘15) & Maria Wojtas (LAS ‘14)
Matthew and Maria met their first week of freshman year during Immersion Week in August 2011. Maria and her roommate, Brenda, had gone to dinner one evening only to find every single table was taken and filled. Glancing across the room, Maria spotted a table that had open seats with a young man already eating at the table. Maria suggested that they ask him if they could join him. When asked, he warmly smiled and said, “Of course,” and that is how Matt and Maria met! Matt and Maria got married on June 9, 2017, just a month short of their 5-year anniversary.

Karen Kilberg (LAS ’13) & Paul Carisma (CMN ’14, LAS MPS ’19)
Paul came to DePaul as an international student from Haiti, and Karen came from Chicago’s western suburbs. They met through a mutual friend in Brownstone’s Cafe and started dating soon after. They stayed in touch while Karen spent more than 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon while Paul returned to Haiti to work for a judicial rights NGO. They both returned to Chicago and began dating again.
Since their initial meeting, Karen and Paul have dated 3.5 years, but have known each other and been friends for 5.5 years. They are both grateful for having met at DePaul and have many fond memories of dating on campus.

Kathryn Jackson (MED ’97) & Adam Jackson
Kathryn says: One of my best friends from DePaul introduced me to her brother, and now he’s my husband AND a current SNL student! We bleed red and blue in our house!

Erin Himes (CMN ’10) & Scott Loris (CSH ’12)
They met in 2008 at the Ray Meyer Fitness Center, where they worked. Erin was Scott’s boss as a Building Manager, while he manned the front desk. Over the course of the next two years, they kept the same recurring Tuesday, 5 a.m. shift. A friendship formed, and it wasn’t until after Erin graduated when a relationship bloomed, as they randomly ended up neighbors. The rest is history, and they finally wed on Jan. 20, 2018!

Joe Hemmerling (LAS MA ’07) & Amanda Athon (LAS MA ’07)
Joe says: Amanda Athon and I met in out last semester at DePaul’s MAW program. I was running late for my first day of Rhet. III because, unlike, all of our other courses that were held in McGaw, this one was halfway across campus at Byrne. She caught me stumbling in all panicked and disheveled and came up to talk to me during the break, and things just sort of took off from there. A couple years later, I proposed to her in front of the building where we met. Been married going on seven years now!

Emily Franks (CMN ’15) & José Pauletto (CDM ’15)
Emily says: Just over three years ago, José and I met at Annette’s for ice cream, for our first date. We had matched on Tinder, and I was intrigued to meet this Brazilian international student. At first I thought it would just be a casual relationship and an opportunity to get to know him and other Brazilian students studying at DePaul for the year, but it turned into so much more. José officially proposed to me this past New Year’s Eve on the beach in Brazil, and we are getting married this summer in my hometown in Michigan!

Joy DeFors (EDU ’03) & Nicholas DeFors (EDU ’04)
Joy says: Nick and I have the DePaul Rugby Team, Kelly’s Pub and our mutual friend, Charlie, to thank for kicking off our love story. I was convinced by Charlie to attend a DePaul vs. UIC rugby game. Nick and I caught one another’s eye and hit it off. A week later, we were the only two in our group to be denied entrance into Kelly’s pub, so we (gladly) did our own thing. We were pretty much inseparable from that night on. Nick and I got engaged in the Quad and were married at St. Vincent de Paul almost exactly 10 years after our first official date. We now have two sweet and silly sons to round out our family of four.

Kyra Cameron (CSH ’12) & Kevin Bestor (CDM ’12)
Kyra says: My fiancé, Kevin Bestor, and I met at DePaul during our junior year. We both were working at Pompei on Taylor St. at the time, and we connected over our mutual love of DePaul and Italian food. Fast forward six years and three pets later, and we are engaged and looking forward to our December 2018 wedding in Puerto Rico! We both continue to love DePaul and the Blue Demons and are always looking for those fun alumni events to share together.

Joe Albrecht (BUS ’05, CDM MS ’12) & Emily Albrecht (LAS ’07)
Joe and Emily met at DePaul in 2004 while working for the Premier DePaul program. They married in 2010 and welcomed their Blue Demon baby in 2014.

Andrea Abate (CMN ’11) & Joe Dufour (BUS ’12)
Andrea says: Joe and I may not have met while enrolled at DePaul, but it was our mutual connections that led us to each other. Our experience at DePaul bonded us together so early on in our relationship. We cannot help but also wonder how many times we may have passed each other through the Quad or Student Center while completing undergrad.
We’ll be married at St. Vincent de Paul Church this July! When we got engaged this past spring, it was not even a question of where we would be married at, we knew right away it would be at DePaul!

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