Four UConn love stories in one family

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Grace Merritt

3 min read

When it comes to Husky love stories, it’s hard to beat the Sosensky family.

It all started when Dana (Pendleton) Sosensky ’87 (BUS) met Michael Sosensky ’86 (CLAS) in the Alumni dorm complex in the ’80s. Dana, a sophomore in Watson Hall, connected with Mike, a junior, through a mutual friend group. They became best friends, but the sparks didn’t really fly until the summer of Mike’s graduation.

“Mike asked me to go hiking in Sleeping Giant State Park and that’s where it all began,” Dana says.

The Sosenskys married in 1989, settled in Madison, Connecticut, and had three daughters. All three daughters went to UConn, where, incredibly, they each found their significant others too.

In every case, the Sosensky daughters had remarkably similar love stories to their parents and each other. They each met their future loves through mutual friend groups, became best friends with them, and eventually started dating. That makes four UConn love stories in one family.

The oldest daughter, Melissa ’13 (CAHNR), met the love of her life, Trevor Condren ’12 (BUS), when she was a freshman.

“We had mutual friends that I met when I moved into my dorm room freshman year,” Melissa says. “Trevor was a year older than me. He was joining a fraternity and my friends joined the same fraternity. We were friends throughout college, but never dated in college. We started dating a year later when I was in Boston for a nursing rotation and Trevor was living there.”

Emma CondrenAfter that first date at Barcelona Wine Bar in Boston, they dated for about three years and tied the knot in 2017. Melissa, a nurse practitioner at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Trevor, an assistant portfolio manager at a real estate investment firm, then moved to West Hartford, Connecticut, and have a one-year-old, Emma. 

Middle daughter, Kelly ’15 (CAHNR), began her love story a little earlier. She met her future husband, Dave Reilly, during her freshman year when they lived across the North campus “Jungle” quad from each other. They became part of the same friend group and frequently ran into each other in the dining hall.  They started dating during their sophomore year and celebrated their first Valentine’s Day together at the Bidwell Tavern. 

Dave transferred to Fairleigh Dickinson University, but the pair kept up their long-distance relationship for nine years, visiting each other throughout college and then graduate school. Kelly, who is also a nurse practitioner at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Dave, a middle school science teacher in New Britain, Connecticut, married in June and now live in West Hartford, Connecticut. 

Like the rest of the family, the youngest daughter, Megan ’18 (NUR), met her boyfriend, Mike Afeltra ’18 (ENG, BUS), through mutual friends, this time at the Charter Oak apartments on campus.

“We stayed in the same friend group for junior and senior years,” Megan says. “It was not until the second semester of senior year that we went on our first date at Willi Brew. We shared a plate of nachos and had a couple of beers together.”

They moved to Boston last year, where Megan is a nurse practitioner at Boston Children’s Hospital and Mike is a business analyst at Voya Financial.

“We’ve been together for about five years now,” Megan says. “For our one-year dating anniversary, we went back to UConn and picnicked in the quad outside the Student Union.” 

The Sosenskys can’t say exactly what it is about UConn that makes it such a romantic hotspot. But, at least for them, it seems to be a combination of a sense of pride, familiarity, and comfort with a university that has always felt like home. It helped that Dana and Mike regularly brought their daughters to visit UConn while they were growing up, outfitting them in UConn sweatshirts and wheeling them around campus in strollers.

The daughters all remain close with their UConn friend groups. Melissa and Trevor regularly visit Gampel Pavilion for UConn men’s basketball games as season ticket holders. Dana, a systems analyst advisor at Elevance Health, and Mike, a regional sales manager for a wine distributor, also return to campus frequently to see their brick in the walkway at the Alumni Center and to visit the Co-op and UConn Dairy Bar.

“On our most recent visit, we were able to bring our new granddaughter and walk the campus. She got to meet the real Jonathan Husky dog,” Mike Sosensky says.

Who knows? Perhaps the groundwork is being laid for a third generation, Sosensky Husky—and, quite possibly, yet another UConn love story.

Jonathan at an event in Hartford CT
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