Love was in the air... at the STEP Student Success Center

You never know where you’re going to find love.

Engineering students Spencer O’Dell and Shannon Burkett spent a lot of time at the STEP Student Success Center at Eldridge/Fox Hall, also known as Engineering House,  a couple of years ago. He was a tutor, and she was getting help in Calc II during the evenings.  Those evening tutoring sessions led to late night talks afterward and culminated in a marriage proposal at the same Student Success Center two years later.

Burkett transferred to WMU as a sophomore and met O’Dell when she was being tutored in calculus.  “I didn’t notice him too much that first semester, but in the spring we started talking late into the night after my tutoring sessions,” Burkett recalls. They exchanged letters over the summer and started dating several months later. Last April, after dropping Burkett off at her apartment following a fancy dinner on a Friday night, O’Dell left a note encouraging her to head out to look for him on campus later that night “where he first fell in love with her.” That brought her to the Eldridge/Fox tutoring center after hours, where she happily accepted his proposal. The two were married in early September, the weekend before the new academic year began.

O’Dell, a 2015 graduate in civil engineering, works for AR Engineering in the Business Technology Research Park. Burkett, who currently is a tutor in the STEP Student Success Center, will graduate with a chemical engineering degree this coming April.

“I’m currently hiring tutors for calculus, physics and chemistry,” said STEP program manager Anetra Grice. “This may be one of the unexpected perks of the job.”