Area couple finds love on COTC campus

Staff report

Heather Pursley and Jeremy Pursley

Heather Pursley and Jeremy Pursley

He was student at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC). She was a student at The Ohio State University at Newark. It was on the shared campus that Jeremy and Heather Pursley’s love story began 15 years ago, and it is where it continues for these two staff members today.

Jeremy completed an associate degree in computer programming technology in 2001. At the same time, he transitioned from a student employee technician to a full-time systems specialist in the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS).Heather and Jeremy Pursley

Meanwhile, Heather was midway through a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Ohio State Newark. She was working in admissions and advising, located in the same building as ITS. With Jeremy working on computers all over campus, the two interacted regularly.

“I guess we took notice of each other,” said Heather.

It took some help from mutual friends – serving as mediators to gauge each other’s interest – before the shy singles officially met. It was Jeremy that made the first move. “And I got turned down,” he recalls.

Happily, Heather quickly changed her mind, and they went on their first date the next night. After many more dates, Jeremy and Heather married in 2003.

Jeremy is currently the space management coordinator in the cost-shared Department of Facilities Planning and Operations. After finishing her degree, Heather first served as an admissions representative in the COTC Gateway before taking on her current role as a technology specialist. They both agree that working together is beneficial to their relationship.

“I think it makes conversation more interesting outside of work,” said Jeremy. “Ever since she started doing the programming side of recruiting within the Gateway – it’s more of the stuff I’m into and what I handle – we can relate to each other’s jobs. There have been times when she’s bounced ideas off of me. We go back and forth.”

“I’ve learned a lot from him,” added Heather. “We both like to make things tick, figure out how they work and fix things.”

For Heather, having a husband that works on the Newark campus is a huge incentive, but it’s just one sentimental tie to the campus where she completed her entire degree and connected with many people over the years. Though her work is behind the scenes, she impacts the entire office that includes records, advising and admissions.

“It’s a really strong bond that I feel with the campus and college,” said Heather. “My mom is a graduate of COTC. Jeremy is a graduate of COTC. Between my mom and Jeremy and all the students I’ve seen over the years, I strongly believe in our mission and purpose in this community. What we do here is important.”

The work is deeply personal to Jeremy, too. Jeremy began classes at COTC in high school, taking advantage of the Postsecondary Enrollment Option program to get a head start on his college education. This decision was a turning point in his life, and he finds satisfaction in knowing that his role supports other students in accessing higher education.

How are the Pursleys celebrating Valentine’s Day? Much like their first date, they will spend it at home. This time, however, they will be joined by an eight-year-old daughter and five-year-old son.

“We’ll probably watch a movie, pop some popcorn and spend time with each other,” said Jeremy. “It’s our favorite thing to do.”

Heather Pursley and Jeremy Pursley Pursley and Jeremy Pursley

Staff report