It all started at NYU

Tandon Alumni Rubin & Sosland engagement photos with NY skyline in background

Arielle Sosland (Steinhardt ‘15) and Nathan Rubin (Tandon ‘14) married in 2017. photo credit: William West

NYU Tandon has long stressed the importance of collaborating among disciplines and breaking down departmental and school silos; when biomedical engineers work alongside clinicians, for example, they speed therapeutic breakthroughs from lab bench to patient bedside, and when data scientists and civil engineers confer, the smart cities of the future can be envisioned and built. 

So what happens when a Tandon student earning a master’s degree in organizational behavior meets a Steinhardt undergrad studying Educational Theater? In the case of Nathan Rubin (Tandon ‘14) and Arielle Sosland (Steinhardt ‘15), they fall in love and forge a life together.

Hillel and a hurricane

The pair first met in the fall of 2012. Rubin — newly arrived in New York from Minnesota, where he had earned his bachelor’s degree from Macalester College — knew few people, so when he heard about a program, Shabbat on Wheels, sponsored by Hillel, a campus organization for Jewish students, he decided to give it a try. Shabbat on Wheels, which involved visiting local synagogues for Sabbath services and then having dinner together, had been spearheaded by Sosland, who impressed Rubin immediately. “Here was this lovely woman, ably shepherding us through the subway system and keeping the conversation going, and I was able to get a seat right next to her, probably because the other male students were intimidated by her competence and beauty,” he recalls. 

For her part, Sosland had not particularly been looking forward to the evening. “It was scheduled right as a school break was beginning, so most of my friends were not around,” she says. “I didn’t think I would have a good time, but I was still obligated to host since the program had been my idea.” She was happy to discover that chatting with Rubin made her friends’ absence more bearable, and at the end of the night, the two exchanged numbers.

While their studies kept them busy, Rubin made it a point to reach out and check on her when Superstorm Sandy hit in late October, and his concern deeply touched Sosland, who was marooned on the 16th floor of a residence hall in Chinatown, with no power and a rapidly dying phone.

The next step

Their relationship progressed from there, and by 2015, they were ready to move in together. Planning a housewarming party, they hit upon an invitation theme: “Help Us Unpack the Last Box.” With friends and family gathered and visibly enjoying themselves, Sosland grew confused when Rubin called for silence and appeared to be preparing to make a long-winded speech. That confusion turned to surprise, however, when — in a move worthy of any big-screen romance — he dropped to one knee and pulled out a ring box, the “final box” he had in mind all along.

The couple were married in July 2017, and they’ve since moved to Southern Jersey, not far from where Sosland grew up. Settled fully into post-university life, Rubin now works as a senior manager of talent and learning at the electronics giant Samsung, while Sosland — who in 2015 directed and produced a musical based on a children’s book by her father — serves as the director of education at a Philadelphia-based charter school.

A romance but not a fairy tale

Despite their meet-cute beginning and magazine-worthy wedding, the couple have had their share of hardship. Heartbreakingly, her father, an accomplished psychiatrist beloved by family and friends, is suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often called Lou Gehrig's disease, and can no longer speak or move — the initial impetus for their move to New Jersey.

Additionally, while they would love to start a family of their own, Sosland has had multiple miscarriages. “It sometimes seems as though everyone wants their worlds to appear perfect, and issues like infertility are kept secret,” they say. “But these things are a part of life, and every couple will have something difficult to deal with at some point. Going through hard times together has strengthened our relationship, though, and only made us more devoted to each other.”