Courtesy of Philip Weverka

Jody & Philip Weverka ‘84 

By: Lauren Chiou

Jody and Philip Weverka met in their freshman year at UC Santa Barbara on the fourth floor in San Nicolas Residence Hall, living right down the hall from one another in 1980.

“We actually believe we met on the first day of move-in day. We don’t remember seeing each other, but we both went to McConnell’s ice cream with the RA that evening,” said Jody.

Phil was a philosophy major and went on to law school post-graduation. Jody was an English major, also attending graduate school and later became a high school English teacher for 36 years. 

During their time at UCSB, the two used to take Sunday walks out to Campus Point, an iconic campus viewpoint.

“I think that was our first kiss. A sunset in January,” Jody said. 

The two dated all throughout college (with a brief moment apart during their second year), eventually graduating together in 1984. 

“We had a long courtship,” Phil said. “We didn’t get married until five years after we graduated. And we each went to grad school during that time but stayed a couple.”

“I think you have to give yourself time to grow together or grow apart,” Jody said. “It’s pretty rare to meet somebody when you’re 18, and I was actually 17. And to find that your life philosophies remain the same, along with your paths, goals and experiences.”

Love was in the air in Isla Vista, as Jody’s roommate ended up eventually marrying Phil’s roommate.

“They weren’t together in college. They were of course really good friends that we hung out with all the time. And they turned into our lifelong friends,” Jody said.

“We’re all friends! Phil’s friends are my friends. My friends are Phil’s friends. I think that’s pretty cool all these years later to have this thing we shared,” added Jody. “I think it was a pretty great place to be 20.” 

The two bonded over their shared interests but also introduced one another to new things. For Jody, Phil introduced her to music. For Phil, Jody introduced him to baseball. 

“I think it was important that we each had time to pursue our own interests and experiences and also share some of them. I think that has been the case for more than 40 years,” she continued.

After graduating in 1984, the two traveled together for six months in Europe, which is when Jody realized that Phil could be the one.

“We gave ourselves the chance to have some challenges together. We could see in which ways we could complement one another and work through some of those stresses,” Jody said.

“I feel like we came out pretty well on the other side,” she continued. “I think we still like each other.”

UCSB continues to have a large impact on the Weverkas’ lives. Their son attended UCSB as well and is currently a graduate student in ecology, evolution, and marine biology. 

“Every time we see anybody wearing Gaucho gear, we always comment on it.” Phil said.

After all of these years, the pair’s bond continues to grow stronger. 

“We complement each other. Our individual strengths help build our mutual relationship,” Phil said.

Jody and Phil wed in 1989.


Courtesy of Kenechukwu Mmeje

Kenechukwu Mmeje & Natasha Mmeje ‘02

By: Pricila Flores

Kenechukwu (K.C.) and Natasha’s chemistry began in general chemistry. And before that, they lived 15 miles away from each other in Southern California without even knowing each other. Having mutual friends, they all sat in the same area for lectures which opened the door to a connection. They often studied as a group and shared notes. 

But, they had both come to UC Santa Barbara with partners. They both broke up with their partners during Thanksgiving time — what they call the “turkey drop”. Being single, it allowed for them to connect on a different level. 

Soon after their first date was a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People dance. They dressed up and went to the ball in a rented car. 

The couple credits their friends as having a pivotal role in their getting together. 

“They were passing messages saying, ‘hey he wants to ask you,’ and it was two weeks out, so I was like, ‘I don’t know I guess it is not happening,’ but he came to my dorm and asked me to go to the dance and I said ‘yes.’” 

During their undergraduate time at UCSB, they look back to out-of-the-classroom experiences where they spent time together in the same organizations. Natasha was a member of Delta Sigma Theta and K.C. was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and the two often did events together.

 “We were kids when we got together, we were 18 and we kinda grown up and sometimes we grew apart, but we always found ourselves back together in the different stages of our lives,” Natasha said. “Be patient because if love is really there, it will always come back to you.” 

After graduation, the couple went through long-distance while K.C. completed his master’s degree in Vermont. Natasha later joined him in Vermont to pursue a job opportunity. 

They then faced the possibility of long-distance again when Natasha wished to pursue a master’s degree in Southern California. 

“To preserve a relationship, it is going to require you to step out on faith. You are not going to know what the next step is, but you have to have some degree of confidence,” K.C. said. 

They wed in Southern California in 2006 after being together since 1998. 

Natasha and K.C. have been together for 26 years, 18 of those spent married. They now live in Dallas with two teenage daughters.


Courtesy of Tricia Paulson

Tricia Paulson & Nicholas Besse ‘17 

By: Stella Mullin

Together for almost 9 years, Tricia and Nicholas met at their UCSB freshman orientation in the summer of 2013. A little under two years later, mid-way through sophomore year, they began dating. 

“The first time I asked her out, she ran away from me,” Nicholas said. 

“In front of the UCen. I was overwhelmed,” Tricia added, giggling.

Despite the initial rejection, Tricia and Nicholas eventually made it to their first date, and from that point on, so many seemingly ordinary UCSB places began to hold special meanings to their relationship. 

“When we did start dating, we were sitting in the labyrinth in the spring of 2015. I was getting up the courage to tell him I loved him. And I finally said it, and it was at night and it was getting cold. And Nick was like, ‘Oh yeah, I know’ and said, ‘I love you’ back,” Tricia shared. 

Tricia’s favorite part of being in a relationship in Isla Vista was all the walking. She walked everywhere (bikes weren’t for her), so the time she got to spend walking and talking with Nicholas was special. Their friend groups inevitably overlapped, so they were able to walk to and from houses together. 

Tricia shared that one of the reasons their relationship has lasted this far and successfully made it out of I.V. is remembering that they are both against the problem instead of against each other. 

“Post-graduation is scary and hard for a lot of different reasons. Recognizing that you are going through a lot of change and that your relationship is going to change too … like, that’s okay, you just need to figure out how to tackle it together,” she said. 

To beat the post-I.V. bubble pop, Tricia also advised “being open and honest with your partner and finding a balance between what you need and what your partner needs, and keeping that at the core of it is really helpful.”

“She stole mine,” Nicholas said. 

After graduation, the two moved to the East Bay and Santa Cruz and did long distance for a few years before moving in together in 2021. They had never lived together before, both worked from home and quickly received shelter-in-place orders. They went from long distance to no distance and learned their key piece of advice: to get mad at the situation instead of blaming. 

To tie up their relationship in one word, Nicholas chose caring and Tricia chose diligent. 


Courtesy of Talia Katz

Talia Katz & Greg Katz ‘18
By: Pricila Flores

Greg and Talia began dating at UC Santa Barbara, but they go all the way back to high school. They reconnected at Santa Barbara Hillel, where Talia was president at the time. She remembers the night Greg came to a Shabbat dinner. 

“I panicked, and I had to say ‘hi’ because I was saying ‘hi’ to all the tables and I said ‘hi’ and sat down and started a friendship.”

One of their first hangouts and what Talia considered a date was Rincon, a Mexican restaurant that stood at the end of the Pardall Road, where the commercial center ended. Talia ordered, but Greg didn’t.

“I was pissed that he wasn’t hungry and wasn’t going to eat with me,” she said.

Greg approached the day as a time to connect and get to know her better for a friendship. 

But, there was a turning point for Greg, pioneered by Talia, that sealed their relationship as a romantic one. They had been hanging out for one to two months after their reconnection at Hillel and were planning a Solvang day trip. 

“Are you going to kiss me before we go to Solvang?” Talia asked Greg the night before as they hung out in her apartment. 

They remember this line laughing and Greg says he did not expect it. He thought they were just going to go to Solvang and have a good time. 

They never ended up going to Solvang. But their kiss was momentous in their relationship. 

And for Talia, her moment was a day in which she, her friends and Greg all hung out together and went to Trader Joe’s. She remembers sitting in the passenger seat while Greg drove.

“This could be nice. I could see us going to Trader Joe’s together and doing couple-y things together,” she said.

During their relationship in Isla Vista, they loved studying at the Music Library, going to Freebirds, Extravaganza, Woodstock’s trivia and beach dates.

Greg and Talia wed in August 2022. 


Courtesy of Catalina Miranda

Catalina Miranda & Miguel Toledo ‘18
By: Pricila Flores

Catalina and Miguel met on Tinder during the final weeks of Fall Quarter in 2016. But they say that barely scratches the surface of defining their relationship. They say their relationship was filled with motivation.

“As first-generation students, we were already just so driven to succeed and UCSB amplified that with just its environment and the setting,” Catalina said.

Catalina and Miguel say they were lucky to have met and lived in Isla Vista for the beginning of their relationship, as it allowed them to see each other frequently.  

They remember their first Valentine’s Day fondly. Miguel, a chemistry major picked up a chocolate pretzel from the Chemistry Club. Catalina remembers thinking the gift was personable and spoke to his interests. 

When graduation loomed, they knew they wanted to continue their life together, whatever that would look like. In post-graduate life, they urge couples to have strong communication skills. 

“Once you become a real adult … you think it might be easier because there are less class schedules to juggle, but you realize, like, how demanding the real world can be,” Catalina said.

Despite their meeting on Tinder, they advise love seekers to not use it like a habit, to get rid of it early, and to lower expectations. Once Miguel found Catalina, he said he removed the app from his phone to focus on his connection with her. They credited their Tinder success to having mutual friends as well.

From all the late night study sessions, Deltopias, Extravaganzas, Freebirds nachos for dinner, music festivals, Bill’s bus rides to Downtown Santa Barbara on Thursdays, sunset walks to Sands Beach, bike rides to each other’s houses on Oceanside Del Playa and the lifelong friends we’ve made along the way, we are so lucky to have lived such an incredible, quintessential love story during our time at UCSB,” Catalina wrote in the Daily Nexus call out Google Form. 

Miguel and Catalina have been together for seven years and are parents to an American Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Nikki.


Courtesy of Elaine Nguyen

Elaine Nguyen ‘18 & Aaron Dicioco ‘19

By: Lauren Chiou

From Facebook Messenger to trips to Tokyo, Elaine and Aaron’s relationship has taken flight since their initial introduction in 2017.

Their love story began when Aaron saw a photo of Elaine on a mutual friend’s Instagram and asked the friend to set the two of them up. 

“He [Aaron] ended up messaging me on Facebook, and we hung out for the first time at his frat’s Labor Day party,” Elaine said.

Santa Barbara was essential in the development of their relationship. With Elaine being from the Bay Area and Aaron being from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara became a place they shared together. 

“I feel like it was just a really good backdrop for not only our college experience but our relationship,” Elaine said. 

Elaine and Aaron’s first official date was peak UCSB. The two went to the Recreation Center, where Elaine worked at the time, and got brunch at Cajun Kitchen in Goleta. The two also went to Aaron’s frat parties together, as he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. 

Attending the same school also added a level of depth to the pair’s bond. “We actually got to take a class together, which was really fun. I think having that in common and understanding what one another’s college experience was like was really helpful and instrumental,” Elaine said.

After Elaine graduated in 2018, there was a year the two spent doing long distance. Elaine moved back to the Bay Area after graduation, while Aaron remained in Isla Vista for his final year.

How did they make it through that period? 

“Just a lot of communication, a lot of patience with each other,” Aaron said. 

The two would also drive to visit each other on the weekends. “It can be a little tough being in I.V. when there’s a lot of stuff to do on the weekends,” Aaron said. “But just making that little sacrifice for each other.”

“I think just really making time for one another. Like Aaron said, communication is a big part of it too,” Elaine said. “Good communication is at the core of our relationship, and I think that’s really important for everyone to focus on.”

The pair moved in together in 2020 and currently reside in Los Angeles. “Since we’ve left [UCSB], we’ve grown a lot,” Elaine said. “Our relationship has just really been built on the foundation we established in Santa Barbara.”

“It’s just supporting each other through all those stages of life,” Aaron continued. “It wasn’t always super easy. There were little hurdles in our professional lives, for example, where we just had to support each other.”

“And we got through them,” Aaron said. “We’re getting even stronger.”

The couple’s six-year relationship continues to go strong. “It’s grown just as we’ve grown,” Elaine said. 

Elaine and Aaron got engaged in Tokyo in September 2023 and are planning their wedding in May 2025. The couple will get married in the place they first met: Santa Barbara. 


Courtesy of Natali Rahimzadeh

Natali Rahimzadeh ‘18 & Soham Mistry  ‘19
By: Pricila Flores 

Natali and Soham met at UC Santa Barbara at the end of the Winter Quarter 2017 on Tinder. 

“Keep an open mind about your first and second in-person meeting,” Natali advises about Tinder dating. “Use Tinder as a starting point.”

They also thank proximity and campus events for helping build their relationship.

“I.V. is a bubble. When you are dating someone, you are around each other all the time. We would have quarters when we’d matched up our breaks in between classes to get lunch together,” Natali said.

The couple’s first date was at Ortega Dining Commons, what they call a core part of their love story. 

“I don’t remember a single thing that we talked about … it was all a blur,” Natali said, laughing. I just remember walking up to Ortega and being like, ‘AH HE LOOKS JUST LIKE THE PICTURES!’” 

During their relationship, they look back to their European study-abroad adventures, Deltopia and biking around Isla Vista as their favorite memories.

But the week before Natali’s graduation and with long-distance creeping up, Natali recalls, laughing, Soham tried to end the relationship.

“No, I don’t think you are doing this,” she said. “Well, what the fuck? We can make this work. Give me an extra six months.”

Soham remembers trying to look at the situation logically. 

“If you see a future with that person, do anything to soak up UCSB and I.V. in the meantime and cherish those moments,” Soham said.

Soham proposed to Natali in 2022 in Mexico. They are set to wed in Santa Barbara later this year.


Courtesy of Laila Voss and Jake Garcia

Laila Voss & Jake Garcia ‘21
By: Pricila Flores

In high school, Laila and Jake already knew they liked each other. But they call UC Santa Barbara the place where they fell in love. 

“We saw each other grow and helped each other grow,” Jake said. 

Jake said Laila’s presence motivated him to make Laila feel proud. 

Jake remembers move-in day, feeling the gravity of being at university for the first time by himself. At night, he rode his skateboard to Sea Lookout Park, where he found Laila, and they were able to talk. Their talk excited Jake about what was to come during his time at UCSB. 

During their relationship at UCSB, they loved going on sunset pilgrimages at the beach, going on Cajé coffee dates and Sizzling Lunch dates. And for special occasions, like Valentine’s Day, they enjoyed going to the Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach.

And as their UCSB academic career came to a close, they felt like they had a very strong relationship. After graduation, they spent two years doing long-distance with 800 miles in between them. 

They advise couples now to spend time with other people, together but with other people. And to not be afraid to do long distance. 

“It is normal to be nervous, but if you feel like you have a strong relationship and you have a strong bond with your partner, just trust in it and don’t be afraid to do it and don’t be afraid to put your personal growth first, because if this is the person you are going to be with forever, you are going to have a lot of time together, and there is a lot to be said for trying to be the best person and partner you can be for your forever person,”  Laila said. 

They came to find that they did not want to go on adventures alone. 

And in 2022, they had another long-distance scare when applying to doctoral programs. But, they made a collective decision to not accept positions that would place them on opposite ends of the country for six years. They felt like that decision itself was a serious commitment.

“What was holding us back from getting married besides feeling that we are too young,” Laila said. 

Jake and Laila wed two years after graduation in 2023, with many UCSB alumni a part of their wedding party. 

Laila and Jake are now living in Berkeley completing doctoral programs at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, respectively. 

“It feels cozy. It feels nice to come home at night knowing that Laila is going to be there,” Jake said.


Courtesy of Max Abrams

Max Abrams ‘21 & Warsan Ali ‘22 

By: Stella Mullin

Max and Warsan are the products of the unique college experience the pandemic inflicted across the country. However, Max’s favorite memories come from the time of isolation.

“I think one of my favorite things [was] we had a lot of free time together, which was rare, especially considering where our lives are now. We used to take a lot of walks to the beach and see the sunset … Isla Vista was very quiet at that time, and during that desolate period in our community, we embraced the quiet,” Max said.

Warsan also loved that time together, in the “sleepy beach town,” as she described it, but her favorite memory took place in none other than the UCSB Library, as she was a biopsychology major. In theme with many S.T.E.M. majors at UCSB, Warsan would spend countless nights cooped up studying. On one night in particular, Warsan remembers probably doing general chemistry homework while Max, with absolutely no work to do, kept her company until 2 a.m. 

“I wasn’t doing any work. I was just trying to loiter,” Max recalls. 

And in reverse roles, Warsan would join Max in the Daily Nexus office while he worked as news editor. They even have a polaroid of the two of them taped up to one of the walls. 

The two marked their one year in Santa Barbara at none other than Zaytoon, the Lebanese restaurant downtown, which quickly became their favorite date spot, aside from the beach. 

After graduation, Warsan moved to Sacramento to pursue medicine and Max moved to New York City to pursue media. Moving from the tiny beach town of I.V. to across the country from each other, the couple advises agreeing to some set-in-stone terms. Warsan and Max try to see each other every three months and do intentional FaceTime dates, instead of just chatting on the phone. 

“You still have to date the person you’re with even when you’re long distance,” Warsan said. 

“To me, it’s like a new slate every day, you turn a new page to something fresh. You got to fill it with something nice. You got to put the work in. It’s just like anything — even in journalism, right? The pages don’t fill themselves. The stories don’t fill themselves,” Max added. 

Persistence, deep and fun came to mind when Warsan and Max were reminiscing on their college relationship. Although they sometimes struggle with long distance, they couldn’t imagine being with anyone else, despite living on opposite coasts. 

“We do have fun; we do fun things. What makes it fun is creative dates,” Warsan said.

For any couples also doing long distance, Warsan and Max love cooking dates at the moment. 

To bring things full circle, Max shared one last anecdote about Valentine’s Day (although this one not including Warsan). 

“This is such a throwback for me. Five years ago, my freshman year, I was a news editor and I wrote a story for Valentine’s Day, all about a student selling sex toys. It’s great to be back in the Nexus talking about things.”