Campus Couple: Rachel Davidson-Knapp and Ryan Dunn

Rachel Davidson-Knapp and Ryan Dunn have been together for over a year, and love exploring the outdoors together. They’re known to their friends as R2D2 because their first names both start with R and their last names both start with D. Both are funny and caring people who are interested in helping others.

Name: Rachel Davidson-Knapp

Major: Pre-Neuroscience and Cognitive Science

Hometown: Prescott Valley, AZ

Favorite food: Pad Thai

Flowers or chocolate: Flowers (sunflowers)

Best date spot: On a mountain or anywhere outdoors!

What’s your favorite thing about Ryan: Ryan is one of the kindest people I know, he will always go out of his way to help others. He has a great sense of humor and frequently makes me laugh until my sides hurt and there are tears streaming down my face. Ryan is my adventure partner and pushes me to my limits in the best way.

How did you two first meet: We met on a medical mission trip to Puerto Peñasco to do a free three-day clinic through the club Arizona Global Health Project. Ryan was teaching me how to take blood pressure and soon we started talking about backpacking and rock climbing. A week later, we were climbing Picacho Peak on our first date.

What’s your favorite memory of your relationship: Over winter break we traveled to Tanzania and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Ryan was there every step of the way and I couldn’t have done it without him. I love the fact that we accomplished something so big together, as a team.

Any Valentine’s Day plans: We’re going to do a canyoneering trip in Marble Canyon, north of the Grand Canyon, and go camping for the weekend.

Name: Ryan Dunn

Major: Physiology

Hometown: Tempe, AZ

Favorite food: Anything salmon related, especially grilled salmon.

Flowers or chocolate: Definitely chocolate, given that she lets me help eat it. Flowers strike me as environmentally unfriendly, and I’ve always assumed Rachel feels the same way, so I tend to get things that last a little longer and have more sentimental value.

Best date spot: We tend to go a lot of different places, so we don’t typically frequent any one outdoors place when we do trips together, which I think keeps things a little more fun and spontaneous. If it’s a weeknight or we just want to stay in, we like to opt for Thai food and a movie.

What’s your favorite thing about Rachel: Rachel makes me happy like no one else really can. She’s one of the few genuinely kind and compassionate people you meet in life; I can always tell that when she says or does something, it comes from her heart and she really means it. I never have to guess what she’s feeling or why.

How did you two first meet: We met on a medical trip to Mexico. I remember talking to her at the trip training meeting and really, really hoping she was single. We talked a little bit about hiking and backpacking and I knew I had to get to know her better. I taught her how to take blood pressures in Mexico as an excuse to hit on her, and I guess it worked. I haven’t looked back since.

What’s your favorite memory of your relationship: Our first kiss was at an overlook south of Windy Point on Mount Lemmon. Every time I drive past that spot on Catalina Highway, I think of Rachel and how surprised she seemed that I kissed her while sitting on the edge of a sheer cliff. I like to think it was my unmatched smoothness and charm that scared her, not the closeness to the cliff edge.

Any Valentine’s Day plans: We will be canyoneering in Marble Canyon by Utah. I think what I’m most looking forward to is a romantic lunch AT Clif Bars by the river.