Highlander love stories

Courtesy of Elizabeth Ha and James House

Elizabeth Ha – second-year business major

James House – third-year history major 

Elizabeth Ha and James House are both current UCR students. Ha recalled that once during the spring, they had a picnic in front of the Arts Building and ate lunch together. “It was really beautiful outside, and the sun was shining right on us. It was the best day,” Ha recalled. 

Courtesy of Eljohn Dela Cruz and Kathleen Matulac

Eljohn Dela Cruz – fourth-year biology major 

Kathleen Matulac – fourth-year sociology major, education minor

Both current UCR students, Eljohn Dela Cruz and Kathleen Matulac recalled many cute moments they shared at UCR as a couple. They had study dates at Orbach Library and the Lothian Residence Halls. They also used to sing together in the Lothian piano rooms. They would often grab lunch together at the HUB or grab boba at Ding Tea, 7 Leaves and Sharetea. The couple also often enjoyed picnics at Sycamore Highlands Park together and would go on

what they called weekly “Sundate Sundays.” Dela Cruz fondly remembers serenading Matulac at Katipunan PSO, a Pilipino and Pilipino-American cultural organization at UCR. 

Courtesy of Kevin Sanchez and Mariela Rivera

Mariela Rivera – fourth-year, sustainability major 

Kevin Sanchez – fourth-year, political science major 

Mariela Rivera and Kevin Sanchez met at UCR when they were both hallmates in AI on floor E3E. They quickly became super close. Rivera recalled many of the cute moments they shared together at UCR. They would both eat Subway for lunch every Friday and would do their homework together throughout the week at Coffee Bean. They have dated for the entire four years they have been at UCR. 

Courtesy of Anney Lin and Moses Lee

Anney Lin – fourth-year, education and liberal studies major 

Moses Lee – Education and liberal studies major 

Both fourth years and both education and liberal studies majors at UCR, Anney Lin and Moses Lee have been dating since 2017. They met each other through the Class of 2021 Facebook page during their freshman year.



Courtesy of Victoria Osio and Skyler McBride

Victoria Osio – third-year, political science/administration major 

Skyler McBride – third-year psychology major 

Victorio Osio and Skyler McBride met in line at Winter Soulstice 2020. They plan to stream Winter Soulstice together this year. Osio recalled that they once had a late-night tennis date at the SRC, went on many late-night walks on campus and hiked to the “C.” Osio noted that despite the pandemic, they have still remained together. 

Courtesy of Kiara Gardea and Samson Avena

Kiara Gardea – fourth-year, business information systems major

Samson Avena – fourth-year, cell, molecular and developmental biology major

Kiara Gardea recalls her favorite memories with her significant other at UCR. Gardea’s favorite memories include going on coffee dates in between classes, dates at the Botanical Garden and attending UCR concerts together. 


Courtesy of Hannah Abad and Jom Mapa

Hannah Abad – third-year, sociology major 

Jom Mapa – third-year, materials science and engineering major 

“My boyfriend didn’t know me yet but he told me he instantly fell in love with me,” stated Hannah Abad. She stated that after she sang a Filipino song called “Kailangan Ko’y Lkaw,” which translates to “I need you,” her boyfriend, Jom Mapa, immediately fell in love with her. 

Courtesy of Anahis Valenzuela and Collin Ross


Anahis Valenzuela – fourth-year, psychology major

Collin Ross – alumni class of 2020, microbiology major

Anahis Valenzuela and Collin Ross both met each other when they both worked at the Market at Glen Mor. They worked there together for two years. 



Courtesy of Elisa D’Carpio and Sohan Manchireddy

Elisa D’Carpio – alumni class of 2019, psychology major

Sohan Manchireddy – alumni class of 2019, biology major 

Elsia D’Carpio and Sohan Manchireddy met during fall quarter of their junior year. She stated that they met through a mutual friend they shared since their freshman year. During the fall quarter of her junior year, D’Carpio had a class in INTN that ended at 9 p.m. and she didn’t want to walk to her car alone at night. While he wasn’t in her class, she asked him if he could walk her to her car one night, even though it would be out of his way. She stated, “Every week for the entire quarter he picked me up and took me to Taco Bell knowing I was hungry. Finally one night, he told me he really liked me and that I should give him a chance — that if I did, I wouldn’t regret it. Three years later, I can honestly say that I have not had any regrets.”

Courtesy of Summaya Khugyani and Shawn Heavlin-Martinez

Summaya Khugyani – fifth-year, biology major 

Shawn Heavlin-Martinez, UCR alumni class of 2020, history major 

Summaya Khugyani and Shawn Heavlin-Martinez met during Khugyani’s third year at UCR. Since they met, the couple hasn’t spent many days apart. In 2019, they went to their first big event together as a couple when they attended the Students for Justice in Palestine gala and the first time they revealed they were an exclusive couple to their friends.  “It was funny, for some reason I was just so nervous. But when we saw our friends, I grabbed Shawn’s hand and we walked into the room together hand in hand.” Now married, Khughyani reflected that the night after they got engaged, they went to the Glen Mor soccer field to watch their friends play soccer. Khugyani fondly expressed, “He is the best person I could ever ask for in my life. He is such a blessing. I am so grateful to have such a kind, caring, loving and compassionate husband.”

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