Tech Love Story: Julie & Braden

Arkansas Tech alumni Julie Paladino and Braden Vaughn met in one of the many courses they shared during their time at Tech.

Both studying history/political science and minoring in speech communication, the two connected and began sitting close to one another in class.

“We went on our first date in the spring semester of 2010, on January 30th to be exact,” said Paladino. “That week Russellville got some snow and ice. I insisted we reschedule the date for another night, but Braden would not take no for an answer. He said he would be picking me up for dinner. To this day, we still celebrate January 30 as the date when it all began.”

After graduation from Arkansas Tech, the two left the River Valley to further their education, and they returned to Russellville in 2014.

“The following spring Braden proposed to me in front of family on Easter Sunday outside of St. Jospeh’s Catholic Church in Center Ridge, AR,” said Paladino. “This is the very same church where my grandparents were married on October 21, 1951, and where Braden and I will also say I do in May of this year!”

Paladino said the couple plans to continue to be involved in the community and at Arkansas Tech.

“As alumni and residing in Russellville, Braden and I look forward to giving back to the community and to Arkansas Tech in any way we can for many years to come,” said Paladino.

Each day throughout the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, Arkansas Tech will share the story of one couple who found love at Arkansas Tech.  In addition to being featured on, the couples will each receive a commemorative gift from Arkansas Tech. Submit your Tech love story.

Be sure to check back on to see the winning stories.