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Broward College Love Stories to Celebrate this Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2018 | More People

Today is Valentine’s Day. Cupid is busy spreading romance around the world—Broward College is no exception. With love in the air, we asked a few couples, who work at the College, to share their secrets for love and lasting relationships.

 

Esmeralda and Mark Sweeney

Esmeralda Sweeney is the interim assistant vice president of student achievement initiatives on South Campus.  Mark Sweeney is a senior specialist, campus technology information technology on North Campus

Photo of Esmeralda and Mark Sweeney

Esmeralda and Mark Sweeney

Q: How did you meet? 

A: We actually met right at Broward College North Campus. Back in 1995, I got a part-time job at the ASC, and Mark was a tech support specialist for the ASC as well. We became best friends and started dating about four years later. 

Q: How long have you been married? 

A: We got married in 2001, so almost 17 years this coming November. 

Q: What’s the size of your family? 

A: We have two kids. Arianna who is 13, and Kian who is 11. We also have a pet hamster named Mushi Mushi.

Q: The phrase ‘Love at first sight’ comes to mind. Did you know he/she was “the one,” when you first met?

A: We were really good friends for several years before we began dating.

Q: What is it like to work together?

A: It’s fun! We used to work in the same department and be around each other all day and night. Now, we don’t as much but it is still is great to go out to lunch together whenever possible and it is really cool to have the same vacations like our and spring breaks.

Q: How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship?

A: It’s really hard with kids and work, and just life in general, but we make sure to not stop growing and exploring new interests which we share together.  

Q: How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

A: We typically go out to dinner at a nice romantic restaurant. We tend to splurge on nice dinners for special occasions.

 

 

Jennifer and Caleb Cornelius

Photo of Jennifer and Caleb Cornelius

Jennifer and Caleb Cornelius

Some couples will tell you that if they had to work together their relationship would not have survived, not so for Jennifer and Caleb. This Valentine’s Day their relationship is stronger than ever.

Jennifer Cornelius is the coordinator of recruitment and retention at the A. Hugh Adams Central Campus. Caleb is the senior associate vice president of student financial services at the Cypress Creek Administrative Center.

Q: How did you meet?

A: We met in New Hampshire at The Soulfest, a four-day Christian music festival. We were both volunteers.

Q: How long have you been married?

A. It will be 9 years this May.

Q: What’s the size of your family?

A: We have 4 young children. 1 boy and 3 girls.

Q: Describe the feeling you had when you first met?

A: Jennifer: I thought Caleb was cute and intelligent. He was so kind and patient with everyone that we worked with. I never wanted to have children until I met Caleb. I saw the type of person he was (still is) and I couldn’t deny a child from being raised by such a wonderful role model. Now we have 4 kids! I would have married him the day we met, but Caleb was in his last year of college. So, we waited and got married 6 days after his graduation!

 Caleb: I was overwhelmed by Jennifer’s desire to change the world around her, whether that was in the classroom as a teacher, or by supporting those around her to achieve their dreams to change the world. She cared about others interest, which in this world doesn’t happen as often as it should.

Q: What is it like to work together?

A: Since we met while volunteering, we have worked together for as long as we have known each other. We work very well together.

Jennifer: Caleb encourages me to be a better person and to be the best that I can be in my career. I try my best to do the same for him.

 Caleb: Jen encourages me in my career and provides the needed support when I have a rough day or need to make a decision that is hard.

Both: Sometimes it gets interesting working together. Especially when we are in the same meeting and we don’t agree on something. We are both professionals so we don’t cross lines between our personal and professional lives.

Q: How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship?

A: We try not to talk about work at home. The most important thing is to take time for each other. Our lives can be so crazy and busy at times, but it is so important to take time every day, even if it is only a few minutes, to focus on each other, discuss our dreams of the future, and to encourage each other to succeed. It is the little things that matter. Sometimes, Caleb will stop on his way home and pick up tulips just because he was thinking about me. If he is on campus and I am at a meeting, he will leave me a note on my desk just to say, “Have a great day!” Caleb also makes me coffee every morning. It is a simple act, but it goes a long way to remind me that he cares.

Q: How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

A: It is fun to go out, but our favorite thing to do on Valentine’s Day is to stay home. We have an at-home date after the kids go to bed. We either cook a special meal together or order food from our favorite restaurant to enjoy together. We also order our favorite chocolate, Bridgewater Chocolate, which we share with the little loves in our lives, our babies.

 

Chinara and Teth Milligan

Photo of Chinara and Teth Milligan

Chinara and Teth Milligan

Meet Chinara and Teth Milligan. Chinara is the executive assistant and admissions coordinator at the Honors College on the Central Campus. Teth works there too—in the Facilities Department.

Q: How did you meet?

A: Teth and I became friends in middle school (1993) but we didn’t fall in love until years later. In 2003, we were both at a nightclub in Miami. The club was super dark but we saw each other from across the room, it was like a spotlight over us. I called him over to me. We danced and talked the rest of the night. I think I fell in love that night. And we have been together since.

Q: How long have you been married?

A: We have been married for 11 years; we got married on Christmas Eve 2006.

Q: What’s the size of your family?

A: We have two kids a son and a daughter.

 Q: Describe the feeling you had when you first met?

A: Teth: I was excited and at peace whenever Chinara was around. She brought peace to my chaotic world.

Chinara: I felt butterflies whenever he was around, I couldn’t stop smiling just knowing I was going to see him or talk to him that day.

 Q: What is it like to work together?

A: It’s a blessing and comforting to work with someone who understands you and the work environment and always has your back. It’s also great being able to have lunch together sometimes.

Q: How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship?

A; It’s hard to keep romance alive when you have been together for a while, work together and have kids but we still date each other (concerts, dinners, movies, and walks on the beach, etc.) Sometimes he will surprise me with flowers (I love flowers). We talk, laugh, and joke about everything. We don’t take work home.

Q: How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

A: If our kids don’t have an obligation, we try to have a nice candlelight dinner at home with love music and champagne, just the two of us.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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