From internships to engagement

How two former CHASS student staff found love
By Hannah Croft, Student Writer/CHASS Marketing and Communications |

For former UC Riverside student interns Tracy Fong and Zachary Sells, their love story seems straight out of a romantic film. But, unlike the movies, their partnership is much simpler, more romantic, and completely true.

The pair met right before their second year at UCR, after being hired as technology interns for the CHASS Dean's Office. At first, they were friends, steadily growing closer through extended time spent together both inside and out of the office.

"As CHASS Technology Group Interns, we spent a lot of our time working and learning together," Tracy said. "We attended team meetings together and even traveled to Cal State Fullerton our last year to attend a student research symposium and present our research!"

Both Tracy and Zach majored in subjects related to computer science and had similar classes at the time, so they found themselves spending a lot of time with each other. Despite having different specialties, one in business and one in software development, the couple found their work projects overlapping frequently and often times had to work together.

The night before final exams during their third year, Zach admitted his feelings for Tracy. They started dating, but it wasn't until the final day of work during the pair's senior year that Tracy announced their relationship to the office and to her supervisor, CHASS Technology Officer James Lin. It turns out they had nothing to worry about. Lin was happy for the young couple.

"That kind of team building relationship built up that kind of chemistry between them," Lin said. "That's the way they found each other. They have the same interests, they shared the same concepts, and I think in life they have the same visions. Their life seems to me today very strong, they're very nice and I never saw them argue once. I was so happy, they always enjoy what they’re doing together."

Fast-forward through five years of dating, Zach popped the question in February of 2018. Zach proposed during a picnic dinner by the water at sunset. As the pair were packing up for home, Zach got on one knee, and finally asked Tracy to be his wife. She said yes.

Their happy couple were wed in San Diego on March 16 in front 160 family and friends, including Lin. Tracy and Zach plan to honeymoon in Paris and the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

"The CHASS Technology Officer, James, was our boss, our mentor, and cupid," Zach said. "It was really great seeing him again at our wedding since we graduated from UCR."

"CHASS not only provided the opportunity for Zachary and I to meet each other," Tracy said, "but a chance for us to foster our relationship from colleagues, to class partners, to friends, and now to marriage."

Tracy and Zach Graduation
Tracy and Zachary with CHASS Chief Technology Officer James Lin, at right.
UCR alumni and former CHASS student employees Tracy Fong and Zachary Sells were married in San Diego in March 2019.