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Published on October 18, 2023

Matches Made at Eastern

In this edition of Matches Made at Eastern, we recap the Eastern-made love stories of longtime staff members John and Angela Bazin and alumni Stephanie Laudone-Jones '04 and David Jones '04.

John and Angela Bazin

John and Angela pose for a photo in front of the library.

The Bazins on a family vacation

John and Angela (Cunningham) Bazin met at Eastern, but not as students. Their story started in fall 2000 when John began working as the hall director of Crandall Hall. Angela was already at Eastern in her second year as the hall director of Burr Hall. Angela and John knew right away that there was a connection. But John had to make the first move; if he had left it to Angela, they might still just be friends.

Angela said, “From the beginning, when we would hang out, play tennis with other hall directors or racquetball — sometimes I would beat him! — or just watch TV, it seemed like I had known him forever. It just felt right.” She was right.

Everything we have together is because of Eastern.

Angela Bazin

John and Angela Bazin
Angela and John on their wedding day

They married on June 21, 2003, and welcomed their son, Keith, in 2005 and their daughter, Abby, in 2010. Eastern truly is their home; they live in Willimantic, where Keith just graduated from high school and Abby is going into eighth grade. John and Angela enjoy watching Keith and Abby’s soccer games, vacationing at the beach and going on cruises, having just recently returned from a cruise to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.

“Life is perfect,” says Angela. “We work hard and we enjoy the work we do. We have great kids, and we laugh a lot. We really cannot imagine a life without Eastern at the core. Everything we have together is because of Eastern.”

Angela and John are still serving Eastern and its students. John has moved on from his hall director days, later working in student activities and the registrar’s office, and is now associate vice president of employee and labor relations. Angela works in housing to this day, moving on from hall director to area coordinator to associate director of housing. She was then the acting director of housing for three years from 2009 to 2012 and recently finished her second year as the permanent director of housing.

Without fate bringing them to Connecticut — after Angela finished graduate school in Pennsylvania and John in Massachusetts — this is one match that never would have been made.

Stephanie Laudone-Jones ’04 and David Jones ’04

Jones Family
A family portrait with Stephanie, David and their children

Stephanie Laudone-Jones ’04 and David Jones ’04 met in fall 2000 when Stephanie entered Eastern as a first-year psychology student residing in Winthrop Hall. There she met David, a sophomore and residence assistant (RA) studying communication.

While their relationship grew from friendship, Stephanie and David also grew into leadership roles on campus. In addition to being an RA, David was active in MALES (Men Achieving Leadership, Excellence and Success), was a senator in the Student Government Association and worked in the career services office with Walter Diaz.

Stephanie was a founding member of the women’s group, AYLA, and actively involved with the Women’s Center, helping to lead Eastern’s Take Back the Night program. She interned under Constance Green in the Office of Equity and Diversity, an experience that she credits as shaping her approach to justice and liberation work. Stephanie was further mentored in her pursuit of a career as a sociologist by former Eastern Professor Erica Childs.

Stephanie and David in cap and gown for graduation in 2004

Stephanie and David on their wedding day

“The opportunities Stephanie and I had to be engaged in campus life as students transformed our lives,” said David, “and prepared us personally and professionally.”

A proud first-generation college student, Stephanie earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology from Fordham University and is currently an associate professor of sociology at the Borough of Manhattan Community College-City University of New York.

The opportunities Stephanie and I had to be engaged in campus life as students transformed our lives.

David Jones '04

After graduating from Eastern, David went on to earn his master’s degree in college student affairs at the University of South Florida before earning his Ed.D. in organizational leadership from Northeastern University in 2017. David is currently the chief diversity officer at the New Jersey Institute of Technology as well as a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant.

Stephanie and David were married in Rhode Island on June 6, 2009, accompanied by many of the friends they met while attending Eastern. Today they live in West Orange, NJ, staying busy with their professional lives and raising their three children, Sophia (11 years old), Jacob (11 years old) and Natalia (4 years old).

Written by Ed Osborn