Before applying to GW, both Alyscia Eisen, GWSB BBA ’08, MBA ’10 and Paul Schuh, CCAS BA ’08, got a sneak preview of life in Foggy Bottom through a program called “Presidential Classroom,” which brings high school students from around the country to DC for a week.
Before leaving the city, Alyscia and her dad took a tour of GW. “I’d been on the campus all week and had already fallen in love,” remembers Alyscia. During the admissions tour, Alyscia opened a GW brochure and saw a picture of cheerleaders performing at a basketball game.
“I applied early decision, and I haven’t left campus since!” says the double alumna.
Originally from North Dakota, Paul was similarly won over by the city. “I decided that I would do everything I could to get back there for school,” he says. “I appreciated GW’s blend of the DC cityscape with the undergraduate lifestyle and culture. I set my heart on coming to GW.”
As it happens, Paul also had an interest in cheering. During his first year at GW, after having joined the cheer team, he was in the spirit office and struck up a conversation with a parent who was waiting while his daughter, still a senior in high school, tried out for the cheer team.
The interviewee’s name? Alyscia.
Alyscia’s father and Paul spoke for an hour during Alyscia’s interview. “My dad actually introduced me to Paul,” remembers Alyscia. “The two of them really hit it off!”
Alyscia snagged a spot on the team, and the next year, she and Paul became teammates. Though they were just friends at first, Alyscia and Paul got to know one another well, and eventually became a couple.
Having logged countless hours in practice and on the court, Alyscia and Paul have shared many GW moments and memories—like the time the Colonials beat Charlotte in 2006 at the Smith Center.
And while a rigorous daily practice and game schedule kept them busy (in addition to their classes), the bond they formed became stronger.
“Some of my fondest memories at GW come from studying with Alyscia during my senior year, as well as beginning to plot out my life after GW,” says Paul. “I’ve found that Alyscia is not only beautiful, but she embodies the essence of being a true partner.”
That partnership only got stronger after graduation. In 2008, Alyscia accepted a position as a GW Presidential Administrative Fellow (PAF) and began graduate studies at the GW School of Business.
During Alysica’s second year as a PAF, Paul was off to Wisconsin for his first year of law school.
“It was hard to be apart, since we had been involved in each other’s daily routine for so many years,” says Alyscia. “That’s when I knew I didn’t want to live without Paul in my life.”
Paul returned to DC to finish school at American University’s Washington College of Law. After graduating in 2012, he was admitted to the Virginia State Bar and now works for BDO USA, LLP, where he says really enjoys his work. But he credits his former teammate for helping him get where he is today.
“Alyscia kept me grounded and focused through all of the ups and downs, long nights and stressful exams,” he explains. “I truly don’t know what I would have done had she not been by my side.”
In addition to supporting each other, Alyscia and Paul both say that GW has remained an important touchstone in their lives.
“GW has been many things to me over the years, and it continues to grow with me,” explains Alyscia, an internal consultant at GW who frequently volunteers at alumni events.
That means that the couple also gets to relive some of their favorite memories whenever they want.
“I visit campus a few times a month,” says Paul. “I still get my hair cut at Puglisi’s, where I’ve been going since I was a freshman! It’s been very interesting to watch the campus landscape change every year.”
And, the cheer team that brought them together to begin with (in addition to Alysica’s father) also remains close to their hearts—helping out with the team’s practice is one of their favorite things to do together.
“We started out as partners and teammates,” explains Alyscia, “and that foundation remains the underpinning of our relationship.”
Alyscia and Paul continue to build on that foundation. Last year, they bought a home in Virginia, and they recently welcomed a Yorkie pup named Bell into the fold.
But their performing past is never far behind them. “If the conditions are right,” says Alyscia, “you can bet we’ll throw a stunt to get a fun tourist photo!”
UPDATE: It’s officially time to celebrate: Alyscia and Paul got engaged on February 8th, 2014! “I had been planning to propose on Valentine’s Day,” explains Paul, “but I just couldn’t wait.” Congratulations to the happy couple!