Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement launches first-ever official contest
In honor of Valentine’s today, the Alvernia University Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement launched its first Official Alvernia Sweethearts contest to celebrate Alvernia love stories.
The contest started on Monday, Feb. 8 and ended on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 11:59pm. In order to be considered both partners had to be Alvernia alumni and had to submit their love story and a photo.
On Friday, Feb. 12 the Alumni Council Engagement and Philanthropy Committee each made their vote. The winner will be announced on Sunday, Feb, 14, Valentine's Day.
The Alvernia University Sweethearts contest will continue annually, so please submit next year if you missed the deadline.
Read all the alumni love stories below and Happy Valentine's Day!
Conor Delaney ’07 and Liz Delaney (Gallagher) ’07
“Our unique paths that brought us to Alvernia were so unique, it really demonstrates God’s plan and us just executing it.
I came to Alvernia after the sudden passing of my dad, the day after I graduated high school. It was the closest option for me to be nearer to my mom. For Liz, she chose AU late but wound up there and played 4 years of soccer, 2 years of Lacrosse under Kelly McCloskey. In both cases, we were each two “kids” who, because of circumstances really had no parents and small families. Alvernia not only helped to define our individual identities but because of Alvernia we met each other, became best friends, then dated, and would marry shortly after graduation.
Today, we just had our 4th baby, Boston James Delaney. Our daughter Blake is 8, our oldest son is Rhys (6) and our youngest daughter Ellie is 4. Because of Alvernia, 1 (Liz) + 1 (me) = 6. We have Alvernia to thank for that!”
Joe Zona ’99 and Trish Zona (Herber) ’99
“My name is Joe Zona. My wife Trish (Herber) Zona and I both graduated in 1999. We met in the fall of 1997 while we were starting Physical Therapist Assistant School. When the semester began, we didn’t know each other at all. By the end of September our professor paired us together for a practical instruction and I was paired up with Trish. The funny thing is, that what we were learning was massage therapy techniques. From that point on we would work on other projects for school together. We would help each other study for exams and I even learned the difference between a doughnut and a PA Dutch Fasnacht. We graduated in 1999 and studied for our licensure exam and finding jobs. We got married in 2001 and have been married for 19 years! We have had so many great experiences and she gave me two great sons that we are very proud of. She also has been there through my toughest time dealing with eye cancer. I have dealt with that for 17 years and I have been as close to cancer free as you can be. Without her support, I don’t know what I would do.”
Corbin Jones ’16 and Annie Jones (Walker) ’18
“My husband and I met in the fall of 2014 During a 7:45 class in the morning. The semester went on and we did not say so much as one word to each other. We knew each other as the girl in the hooded sweat shirt and the boy with the interesting name. In summer of 2015 I noticed that this boy’s profile continuously popped up on Facebook for my “suggested friends” we became Facebook friends, and I promptly began to Facebook stalk him after becoming friends, just as any good millennial would do! I came to find out that “the boy with the interesting name” flew airplanes. I half-heartedly joked that one day I would go flying with him, even if we had never spoken to each other. The summer came and went and I returned to campus in August of 2015. One morning I left for class a little earlier than usual so I could take the “long way” and enjoy a little extra time outside on that beautiful September day. By the time I had gotten to class there was a message from someone on Facebook.
Corbin had seen me walk past the campus commons in my scrub top and wanted to let me know that he really liked it. We began talking on a regular basis and went out on a few dates, until we finally made things official. One of our very first dates he flew the airplane directly over Alvernia because Corbin wanted to show me how beautiful the roof of Francis Hall looked. We were married in the summer of 2018, and just had our first daughter in November of 2020. We live not far from Alvernia and visit often.”
Daniel Myers ’15 and Jennifer Myers (Petrilla) ’15
“Danny and Jen met their junior year of college when both were hired to be Resident Assistants in Veronica Hall. They were stuck working a few late-night desk shifts with each other and learned that they had a lot in common. They hit it off and began dating in the fall of their senior year. Upon graduating Alvernia in 2015, Jen left her home state of New Jersey to be closer to Danny. Danny proposed to Jen on the beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in 2017, and the couple was married September 1, 2018 at the Sacred Heart Chapel on Alvernia University’s campus. Danny was upset that he missed Alvernia’s 1st home football game for the wedding ceremony but looking back, he says it was worth it. Danny and Jen welcomed their first child, Brooks, in June 2020. Now their date nights include changing diapers, reading stories to their son, and singing “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider”.”
Zach Zima ’13 and Marlee McNerney ’15
“Marlee and I met on freshmen move in day of 2011. I was a junior working in admissions helping out for the day and Marlee was an RA in Veronica Hall. I “accidentally” brought someone’s belongings to the wrong hall where Marlee was, and I just had to talk to her. We ended up having a theology class together in Francis Hall that semester, which gave me enough time to eventually muster up the courage to ask her out. We’ve been together for over 9 years. Our wedding is this summer. We’re lucky that Alvernia brought us together.”
Nick DiProfio ’14 and Alyssa DiProfio (Tallman) ’15
“My wife (Alyssa) and I met at Alvernia University working in the OWL’s program our Junior year. I am class 2014; she is class 2015 (5 year OT masters program). The free hugs sign was our continued connection toward one another.”
Mark Boyce ’97 and Shannon Boyce (Miller) ’97
“My Husband and I are Alvernia Alumni and High school Sweethearts! I am a home-grown girl who spent all her life in one town and my husband was a Navy Brat who traveled the United States living in exciting places. In 1990 his family settled in Pottstown and the rest is history. We both attended St Pius X high school, where we met sophomore year and started dating our junior year. We both continued our education at Alvernia University, then Alvernia College. While there I majored in nursing and my husband Criminal justice. First semester of our freshman year my husband started the men’s soccer team and served as captain his sophomore, junior and senior year. We graduated in 1997 and married that December. My husband is a sergeant at The Pottstown Police department serving the community for 22 years and I am a part time nurse at Pottstown Oral surgery. We are the PROUD parents of four amazing children, 2 boys and 2 girls. Our oldest daughter, is currently a Freshman at Alvernia University, following in her parents’ footsteps! We enjoy exploring the campus, seeing all the wonderful growth and changes that have occurred and look forward to the future! We feel with 29 years of dating and 23 years of marriage we are The Ultimate Alvernia Sweethearts!!
Kevin Mengel ’13 and Cory Mengel (Marques) ’12
“Cory (Marques) Mengel (‘12) and Kevin Mengel (‘13) met at Alvernia in 2009. They still argue about who noticed who first. They are a classic example of “opposites attract.” He was an athlete, and she was an academic. Just like any story, it wasn’t always easy. But together, Cory and Kevin supported each other in the pursuit of their degrees and also survived distance when one graduated a year before the other moving over 120 miles away. They were both involved in campus life and made lasting friends at Alvernia that stood next to them on their wedding day. Fast forward to now, and they wouldn’t change a thing. They are working in the same building daily, Cory as a teacher and Kevin as a School Resource Police Officer. Kevin and Cory are raising their two children, Kinsley and Connor, in their dream home. They share hobbies together such as working out and watching documentaries. They still support each other in all pursuits. Their story isn’t over yet, but we know it will end in ‘they lived happily ever after.’”
Nick Jaisingh ’17 and Megan Jaisingh (Beam) ’17
“Nick and I met at Alvernia, my junior year. We began to talk through snapchat and in the beginning of senior year, Nick asked me to visit him to “help with door decs." (He was my RA). That night we ended up going on our first date to the Pagoda. After that, we began to hang out and Nick asked me to be his girlfriend in October of 2017 and we have been together ever since! We graduated in May 2017 and since then we have traveled to 3 countries, went on a 10-day long road-trip, tried many new foods, met Mickey and Minnie mouse, and Nick moved to Pittsburgh. On October 19, 2019 Nick gathered our family and proposed at PNC Park. Nick and I just celebrated our Covid wedding on December, 29, 2020. Currently we both work as nurses at Wellspan York Hospital. We visit Alvernia whenever we can. Alvernia holds a special place in our hearts as it is where we met and we have many fond memories, including the friends that continue to love and support us. We cannot wait to take our children to see the place where it all began one day!”
Pat Dolan ’13 and Nora Dolan (Walsh) ’14
“Nora and Pat met at Alvernia University in 2011. After first seeing Nora around campus, Pat enlisted the help of some friends to introduce the two. In 2012, the two shared their first kiss outside of Bernadine Hall and the rest was history. Their remaining time at Alvernia was spent together, including cheering one another on from the sidelines. Nora was part of the women’s lacrosse team and Pat part of the men’s ice hockey team. After Pat graduated in 2013 and Nora in 2014, the two continued to move forward with their relationship. Nora and Pat got married in 2018 at the place where they fell in love, Alvernia University. Now, Nora and Pat reside in Lambertville, N.J., both working the frontlines. Nora is an ER nurse and Pat a firefighter. In addition to their fur baby Kai, they welcomed their first child, a son named Jase, in 2020. They are looking forward to many, many more memories together but will always thank Alvernia for bringing them together.”
Michael Searfoss ’01 and Amanda (Boyle) Searfoss ’04
“Michael Searfoss (class of 2001) and Amanda Boyle Searfoss (class of 2004) met in 2004. We got to know each other but did not spark a real relationship until 2010. We began dating in January 2010 and were engaged in September 2010 We got married on June 23, 2012. We adopted our daughter, Serinah, in December 2019 after one year of fostering her.
We were introduced back in 2004 by Michael’s mother Carol Searfoss (class of 1969) We attend homecoming and many other alumni events, especially since Amanda’s sister has recently become part of the alumni family (class of 2018).
Michael is a manager at Threshold Rehab Inc and Amanda is a teacher at St Peter School. We both attribute our foundations from Alvernia to our calling to help others and volunteer work in the Catholic church community as we both coach and volunteer with St Peter School and St Catharine Parish where we belong.”
Samson Gausch ’09 and Kelly (Steber) Gausch ’11
“We met on 10/14/07 while playing ultimate frisbee with the Alvernia Intervarsity group. I, Kelly, was a transfer student and had been wanting to meet some new friends, so I thought ultimate frisbee was a great way (thanks to Stacey Babula ‘09 who asked me to join). I met my now husband, Samson Gausch, on the field! We started officially dating on 11.30.07. We’ve been together ever since and married on 4.6.13. We have a 3 year old daughter, Helen. We still enjoy playing sports together!”
Kevin Shainline ’15 and Janessa (Rasmus) Shainline ’16
“Kevin and I met during my sophomore year and his junior year of college at Alvernia in the fall of 2013. Our initial interactions occurred amid ice breakers during RA training. In between rounds, bulletin boards, and programs, we started spending more time with each other. At the end of the school year, we had been selected by Campus Ministry to co-lead a new retreat program called “SEARCH” by serving on “Head Team” together. Neither of us had any idea how much time we would spend together over the following year, between planning and implementing the SEARCH I Retreat and SEARCH II Retreat, doing rounds, attending SGA meetings, going to mass together, making bulletin boards, and enjoying each other’s company. Unfortunately, things were not meant to be at that time, and Kevin graduated from Alvernia in 2015. We reconnected over spring break during my senior year of college in 2016 and it seemed like it was finally “our time.” We started dating in October of 2017 and on our one-year anniversary, Kevin asked me to marry him! We got married in Sacred Heart Chapel (at the motherhouse) on November 10, 2018.”
Paul Sadaphal ’06 and Sonia Topiarz ’07
“Paul Sadaphal ('06) and Sonia Topiarz ('07) met on campus at another friend's birthday. Our whole life is owed to Alvernia from our first jobs, to our wedding on campus, full of fellow Alvernia alums and led to our own sisters' attending The Vern and becoming roommates. We now have 3 beautiful girls and incredibly fond memories of the Vern. Including a few couples who also met at our wedding!”
Jeremiah Clinchoc ’17 and Alicia Lesneski ’17
“My first year, I arrived on campus early for cross country. Literally that night, my team met with JJ for team bonding. The rest is history from there! Now we are married with two doggos!”
Brandon Bateman ’14 and Gina (Ferrara) Bateman ’15
“My now husband Brandon and I met on the first day of classes in 2013. Brandon was starting his senior year and I my second to last year after transferring. Brandon happened to live across the hallway from me in Zygmunta in the RA room. We often crossed paths around campus and in our building. After we got back from winter break, we started hanging out more amongst friends at lunch, Trooper’s, bingo, etc. I wanted to ask him to Winter Formal as friends, so my roommate asked him to come over and “kill a bug” so I could ask him. We had a good time and seemed to hit it off. When recounting the night, he always says “we just clicked” and knew not to let me get away. The next morning I got his number from my roommate and thanked him for a great night. He immediately came knocking, and asked me out on our first date. We continued to talk aimlessly for three hours followed by attending the men’s basketball game. One night after digging my car out of the snow, and watching Harry Potter, he gave me the sweetest handmade card asking me to be his girlfriend. On January 6th, 2018 he took me to Angelica Park, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! A year and a half later on August 3rd, 2019 we got married with our family and Alvernia friends in attendance.”
Kyle Millard ’19 and Miranda McIntyre ’17
“Kyle and I met through mutual friends in the pods in 2015. He actually made the first move by shooting me with a nerf gun. Perfect way to start a conversation LOL (we’re both still kids at heart)! Now, we’ve been together for almost 6 years and we always talk about the memories we’ve had at Alvernia. To this day, we still go back to campus for football games. Also, our old roommates are still some of our closest friends. We are forever grateful for Alvernia for bringing us together!”
Richie Tawney ’12 and Jill (Pate) Tawney ’14
“Richie was a junior from Maryland, I was a freshman from New Jersey and the spring semester was coming to a close. Due to his involvement with the volunteer fire service and mutual friends from Alvernia, Richie and I crossed paths. This moment at Alvernia has forever changed our lives. With only 1 overlapping year at school together, that budded an everlasting relationship. From what originally started as two individuals has now turn into 11 years together, 1 dog, our first child and occasional visits back to where it all started... Alvernia University.
We both have followed our passion to our dream career that stemmed from our college experience. Richie is a Fire Fighter with Anne Arundel County Fire Department and I am a teacher for Harford County Public Schools. We both love serving and giving back to our community while continuing to grow our own love story that is rooted back to Alvernia University.”
Aaron Yuros ’16 and Devon (Reeves) Yuros ’16
“Devon and I met in Dr. Rochowicz’s Physics 150 class. I had never seen her before and was completely blown away. Instantly after class I ran to my off-campus apartment I split with Tennis teammates and began to ask if anyone knew of her. Unfortunately, no one did, so I had to approach her on my own. I began subtly trying to speak with her in class, such as asking her questions about the material as if I didn’t understand. This bought me some conversation with her until we got our first exams returned, which I scored better than her on. Luckily for me, Devon appreciated intelligence and I was able to score a date with her. We decided to go to dinner at Austin’s in Wyomissing, and then hit the Imax Theater to see “Gravity”. We have been together since that first date, October 19, 2013. After graduation, Devon and I settled in Lancaster where we still reside this day. I accepted a High School Math Teaching position in Havre de Grace, MD and am currently teaching 7th Grade Math and the Head Basketball Coach for Reynolds Middle School in the School District of Lancaster; while Devon began working for Europhins Labs before graduation and is still there today. We were married in Cape May, NJ on July 12, 2019. And on August 28, 2020 we welcomed our first born, a son named Grayson. We are currently navigating through our first year of parenthood together, but will forever be grateful for the opportunity Alvernia provided us. It seems surreal that I met the love of my life sitting in a physics class in Bernadine Hall.”