Skip to main content

10 Tales of Triton Love and Friendship That Will Make Your Heart Soar

Published Date

Article Content

Roses are red. Violets are blue. We invited Tritons to share their love stories, old and new!

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, UC San Diego Today is honoring love in all its forms by showcasing ten heartwarming tales of love and friendship that blossomed right here on campus. Read along as fellow Tritons recount their campus meet-cutes:

Responses have been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

A Calculus Meet-Cute

We met in Center 101 on campus for vector calculus, but only because I wasn't willing to sacrifice my usual seat. Everyone chooses one seat and sticks to it for the quarter, right?! I sat right next to him to prove this point—absolutely no one sat in the rows above or below, which was partly due to it being an evening class.

Couple wearing graduation sashes
Troy Sincomb '17 and Stephanie Sincomb ’17, MS ’18, Ph.D. ’22

He eventually spoke to me and asked how I felt the homework was coming along. At the end, we exchanged numbers and met in the library later to work on the homework.  

Honestly, we spent more time chatting and laughing than doing math! Soon enough, we became close friends and even RIMAC gym buddies. After a year of best friendship and a year of dating, we graduated and then got married. This year, we will be celebrating our seven year wedding anniversary. 

-  Stephanie Sincomb ’17, MS ’18, Ph.D. ’22.


Two marine technicians on a boat.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography Marine Technician Royhon Agostine and NOAA Southwest Fisheries Biological Science Technician Tiffany Bachtel. 

Sparks at Sea

We met on a science mission aboard R/V Sally Ride. I knew there were sparks between Tiffany and I, yet it was a short cruise and we barely had gotten to know each other. I knew she could be the one, but at the same time, I knew I may never see her again!

Lucky for me, about six months later we got the opportunity to work with each other again on another science mission—this time for almost 60 days aboard the MAERSK launcher.  We fell in love and have been together ever since, almost three years later. We made long distance work for half a year and now live together in San Diego, occasionally getting to sail science missions together.

- Royhon Agostine, marine technician at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Statistics Sweethearts

A couple smile for a photo on the beach
Howard Chou '07 and Vi Chou '07

We met in an undergraduate statistics class in the fall of 2005. I just picked up an economics minor as a junior and walked into Peterson Hall the first day of class by myself. Amongst a sea of faces, I recognized a friend, who I went to sit next to. That friend then introduced me to his roommate, who happened to be seated on his other side. Long story short, that "roommate" is my now-husband. Almost two decades later, we'd lovingly tell the story of how we met in a stats class and joke "what are the odds!"

Since then, we have pursued graduate degrees, done long distance, lived internationally, gotten married and built a family together... but we still think very fondly of our early days as a couple studying together in Geisel Library, picking up Jamba Juices at Center Hall and cheering each other on in the early parts of our careers. We owe so much of our Triton Love Story to UC San Diego and are so thankful!

- Vi Chou '07

Close Friends to Co-Founders

Co-founders Stella Lin and Yen Tran
Stella Lin ’22, MA ’22 and Yen Tran ‘21

I met one of my closest friends, Yen Tran, at a business student organization event in 2018. After the event, she asked me if I wanted to eat at Meet Fresh and from there, our friendship grew. 

Yen is extremely hardworking, which I quickly discovered when working on group projects together for management classes. She is also one of the most selfless, genuine and thoughtful people I know. Even when social interactions became limited in 2020, she always stayed in touch—even delivering me cake on my birthday! 

We maintained close contact post-graduation, even with full-time jobs and being in cities three hours away. One day, she asked me if I wanted to start a business with her. Knowing her work ethic, I wasn't afraid to agree. After a year of planning and research, we officially launched our clothing brand, All Bodies. 

- Stella Lin ’22, MA ’22

A Musical Match

Couple smile for a selfie in front of Geisel Library
Julia Madnick '17 and Jared Madnick '16

My husband Jared and I were so lucky to meet at UC San Diego. We were both in the UC San Diego Pep Band—Jared played the trumpet and I played the flute. We are so grateful that Pep Band brought us together since we were in different colleges and majors and never took a class together! After being friends and seeing each other at Pep Band events for a few years, we started dating in 2015 and got married in 2020.

 We took a trip to visit UC San Diego in January and enjoyed walking around campus and reminiscing. We’re expecting our first baby in the spring and we hope he’ll be a future Triton! 

- Julia Madnick ‘17

A True Triton Family

Family of four under scripps pier
Renee Lee ‘07 and Sergio Rodriguez '06

We met in 2004 as student employees in Student Business Services. Sergio was a third year in the first class of Sixth College and I was a second year student at Eleanor Roosevelt College. We got to know each other at work, as we grabbed lunch on Tuesdays at the farmer’s market and at late night study sessions for economics. Meeting at a campus job, we never expected it would lead to this beautiful chapter of parenthood that we’re in now. 

We also did not expect we’d end up working in higher education, but we genuinely believe in paying it forward and making a difference for our community & the next generation of students. I work on campus in Human Resources, supporting UC San Diego’s Chief HR Officer Terri Winbush. Sergio now works at the University of San Diego.

From our days as student employees to now, watching our kids flourish at the Early Childhood Education Center on campus, our love story has come full circle. Seeing our little ones thrive where our own journey began, running down Sun God lawn, showing their Triton Pride at daycare and summer camp (shout out to Knockaround Camp & UC San Diego Recreation) all this fills us with immense joy and gratitude. 

- Renee Lee ‘07

Library Love Story 

A couple smile at Geisel Library
Ryan Nguyen '19 and Frances Villamin '19

I first met my now-fiancé during my first year in the dorms at Eleanor Roosevelt College at UC San Diego, but I didn't get to really know him until my third year when I joined the university catholic organization "Kyrie Eleison." After multiple dates with butterflies in our stomachs, we realized how compatible and at peace our hearts are whenever we're with each other, so we started dating. He used to work at Geisel Library where we spent most of our time studying together or I would visit him during his lunch hours so we could eat together. 

What are the odds that I would meet someone at UC San Diego then find out our hometowns are only a couple miles from each other! We spent 6 years loving each other and on our 6th year anniversary date we decided to go back for a visit down memory lane. He first took me to Gliderport and that's where he proposed. And of course, I said yes! After, we went back to Geisel Library to take more pictures and reflect on the places where our love first started. 

- Frances Villamin ‘19

From Fall Y’all to Forever

A couple take a selfie in front of the ocean
Third year undergraduates Kayla Kamani and Kaiden Berchin

I met Kaiden during Fall Y’all on campus in the fall quarter of 2022. I went alone because I was still trying to meet new friends. There was a spray-on tattoo artist, and Kaiden was in line in front of me. He turned around and asked if I was getting a Batman tattoo and I started laughing and told him we should get matching ones. 

After that, we went to Yogurt World and talked for three hours that night. He’s now my boyfriend of almost a year and a half. He’s helped me at UC San Diego so much by encouraging me to do my best. I’m so lucky that I met him at Fall Y’all!

- Kayla Kamani, third year undergraduate

Concert Companions

Family of three smile near Sun God statue.
Jason Raulli '05 and Jacel Raulli '06

I met my now husband Jason Raulli on the first day of our freshman year on the lawn of Muir college back in September 2001. We were always in big groups of friends, so we were friends for a few years. In early 2004, we started having economics classes together. After that, he started swinging by—and on his rollerblades all the time … remember those?! We started studying together and began dating in fall 2004.  
UC San Diego also used to host all these concerts, so we would go to those, and they became “our thing.” 

He proposed in 2006 and we’ve been married since 2008. We are now 15 years happily married, thanks to UC San Diego. We still get to visit since we’re La Jolla Playhouse members, so we always reminisce about our time there.  

-   Jacel Raulli ‘06

A group of friends smile for a group photo.
First year undergraduates Jasmine Huynh, Marie Morales, Alyssa Mandell, Cuiling Wu, Shiling Su, Alexa Zamorano,
Thao My Tran, and Georgina DeLaTorre.

Suite Serendipity

Only three months ago, the eight of us met each other by…well, living with each other! In our small little Blake Hall suite, we often play board games, bake cookies and watch movies. 

We are always telling each other that it would be totally different if we weren't grouped together. 

Although there are quite a few of us living together, it's always full of joy and love in the dorm! My suitemates and I are like a tight sisterhood and it's my Triton love story!

- Jasmine Huynh, first year chemical engineering undergraduate

Share This:

Category navigation with Social links