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Couples of Northwestern


Couples share their stories

Academic couples at the same institution report being happier at work, so the incentive for universities to hire couples is two-fold: happy employees are proven to be more productive, and hiring in pairs makes it easier to attract top candidates. This podcast series puts those theories to the test. We profile several couples who work together at Northwestern, doing amazing work and research both as couples and individuals. Subscribe to all Northwestern Now podcasts at

Spark of true love

A spark of true love leads to the spark of new life. Teresa Woodruff and Tom O'Halloran's morning walks on the beach launched an idea that could forever change our understanding of conception.

Listen as they describe arguments about zinc and sperm

Synergy of science and globalization

This couple believes science and globalization exist in a symbiotic world. Scientist Sam Stupp and international relations expert Devora Grynspan leverage each other’s connections to enhance Northwestern's brand at home and abroad.

Hear about when they first met

Devora Grynspan and Sam Stupp
Doug Meffley and Maureen Palchak

Team sports

Doug Meffley's and Maureen Palchak’s offices are mere feet apart in the athletics department, so they’ve taken up an unusual behavior at office meetings in order to keep their work-turned-personal relationship professional.

Hear who made the first move

Second-chance encounter

Their first conversation revolved around quantum physics, but it’s not the first time they met. Brian and Teri Odom found proof of a near-meeting that almost happened at a childhood summer camp.

Listen to them describe the Odom group rivalry

Brian and Teri Odom
Chad Mirkin and Leonidas Platanias

Creative collaboration

David and Debra Tolchinsky met in film school, and they love to talk about their projects, but there’s one thing they don’t allow each other to say after the sun goes down.

Listen to David on how Debra inspires him


Parallel but opposite

Jide and Uzoamaka Nzelibe both have roots in Nigeria and careers in international law, but it’s a mirrored path that led them both to the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

Hear about the synergy in their perspectives


Uzoamaka Nzelibe
Vicky Kalogera and Fred Rasio

Written in the stars

Astrophysicists Fred Rasio and Vicky Kalogera actively avoid collaborating on research. That decision once came into play in the announcement of one of the biggest discoveries in modern science.

Hear how Fred reacted to Vicky’s big secret

Topics: Staff

Published: February 13, 2017. Updated: March 18, 2017.

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