“People were like ‘Oh my gosh, she doesn’t even have to say it, and he knows,’” Melissa said.
They say there’s an advantage to being in the same department: She sees students when they start while he sees them about to leave.
“A lot of our faculty don’t get that chance, but because I interact with his courses, I get to see that,” Melissa said.
They sometimes coordinate on field trips and classes and co-advise geology club.
“We have very different personalities. He’s a big picture thinker; I’m a detail person,” she said.
Joel said they have a good dynamic.
“I think we can relate to our problems very well,” he said. Melissa agreed.
“On hard days, there’s somebody that can always relate,” she said.
Joel also said because they work in the same department, students and faculty often treat them as a pair.
The Hudleys try to go to the movies every Friday.
“Friday is the one day a week that at 3 o’clock, there’s no student appointments for any of us,” Melissa said.
She likes feel-good stories and horror, whereas he likes science fiction. They take turns picking the movie, so they have exposed each other to many different genres. Joel said sometimes he goes to the movie theater after he drops Melissa off at work.
“The movie people rat him out. They say ‘He was here with the bucket without you’ — because we have a popcorn bucket,” she said.
Their wedding incorporated their love for geology.
“The centerpiece of every table was a cluster of this rock with candles,” Melissa said.
They collected and hauled rocks from Colorado the summer before they got married to drill-press them, so they could place candles inside them.
Joel told his friends to take them, but only geologists did. The Hudleys saved the remaining centerpieces to use as home decorations.
“We collect (rocks) wherever we have the ability to, and people collect for us too.”
Navina Venugopal, a junior geological science major, knows the Hudleys through geology club and when they talk in the lounge.
“They’re not in their honeymoon phase anymore, but it’s refreshing because they’re straightforward with each other and their students,” Venugopal said.