Raúl Coronado in our 2009 Singles feature

Raúl Coronado today

2009 Single
Assistant professor of English at the University of Chicago // Lives in Uptown

For the past ten years, Coronado has been inching closer and closer to finishing his book about 19th-century Latino intellectual history. And now that he’s finally near completing it—and up for tenure this fall—he’s doing nothing but “living, breathing, and feeling this book.” He’s still single, but he hasn’t been bored.

Have you had time for dating? “I’ve enjoyed being single. But right now my relationship is my book, for the past several years.”

But are you open to it? “I try to be present and be in the moment. For what I want, it’s hard to plan. I want slow cooking—spending time with someone and creating a connection. I just want to be with someone and let it evolve.” —M.B.

RELATED STORY: Chicago‘s most eligible singles of 2011 »


* interested in women   * interested in men

Photograph: (magazine spread) Megan Lovejoy

Kevin Coval in our 2008 Singles feature

Kevin Coval now

2008 Single
Poet and cofounder of the teen poetry festival Louder Than a Bomb // Lives in Albany Park

In 2008, the then-unattached Coval was dedicating himself to helping youth understand the power of their everyday stories. Since then—and aside from settling into an apartment with his girlfriend of two years—he has started a publishing company and written a book; he also expanded Louder Than a Bomb to Tulsa and oversaw production of its namesake documentary, airing on OWN this fall.

You’ve accomplished a lot in three years. “It’s a constant dedication to the craft, the continued commitment to waking up and doing the work. My mission is still the same: to tell stories from the lives of young people and counter the dominant narratives.”

Why Tulsa? “Tulsa has a horrible history of racial terror and is radically segregated like Chicago, so we knew the model from here could work.”

Films, books, and festivals—are you building an empire? “They say poetry doesn’t sell. My students and I know that’s not true. This is about creating new literature for a new readership and determining the necessity for it. There are a lot more poems forthcoming.” —S.M.S.

RELATED STORY: Chicago‘s most eligible singles of 2011 »


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Photograph: (magazine spread) Megan Lovejoy

Mark Jackson and Saya Hillman in our 2008 Singles feature

Mark Jackson now

2008 Single
Theoretical physicist // Lives in Amsterdam

Just two months after our July 2008 issue hit stands, Jackson uprooted to Amsterdam to further his research in superstring cosmology (the physics of how the universe began, what it’s made of, and where it’s going). In October, he’ll be making yet another move for research, this time to Paris.

You’re studying light that’s 13.3 billion years old? “It’s all around us. Only in the past few years have we been able to build satellites to sensitively monitor it.”

Since you moved to Amsterdam, did the singles feature arrive too late to boost your dating life? “No, actually, I had a few dates comment on it. Usually on the second date they’d ask, ‘Were you really one of Chicago’s most eligible bachelors?’ It still happens today.”

Any hopes for a relationship in the City of Light? “I hope so. I’ve been trying to e-mail Carla Bruni-Sarkozy but without much luck.” —M.E.



Saya Hillman now

2008 Single
Owner of Mac ’n Cheese Productions // Lives in Roscoe Village

Since 2008, Hillman has transformed herself into a networking mogul, hosting more dinner party “minglers” and now promoting coffee meet-ups through her digital media and events company, Mac ’n Cheese Productions. Her most recent project is the Fear Experiment, which brings together unacquainted dance and improv novices to perform in front of 700 people at the Park West Theater.

Why do you want to scare people? “Fear is such a sure-fire way to bond people together, especially when you can’t grab on to someone else for support. All the barriers are broken.”

Is that how you met your boyfriend (pictured)? “He came to one of my minglers, yes. We talked about barbecue. I love barbecue, and he told me he had a list of all the best barbecue places in Chicago. I also love lists, so things just went from there.”

What’s next on your To Do list? “I’m trying to take my programs to other cities and to increase their size locally. The people have spoken, and they want more fear.” —M.E.

RELATED STORY: Chicago‘s most eligible singles of 2011 »


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Photograph: (magazine spread) Megan Lovejoy

Caecilia 'Chess' Hubbard in our 2006 Singles feature

Caecilia Hubbard now

2006 Single
DJ, co-owner and web editor of the online magazine UR Chicago // Lives in South Loop

Back in 2006, Hubbard was spinning tracks for Chicago’s nightlifers under the stage name DJ Mother Hubbard. Now 31, she has augmented her career in mixing beats with entrepreneurship, becoming a co-owner of the online culture magazine UR Chicago and starting two music groups: the electro-pop duo Moneypenny and its dubstep counterpart, CENOB1TE.

Moneypenny played Lollapalooza in 2009. How was that? “I’ve DJ’ed for so long, so it was a huge gig. We played early and had professional dancers on the stage, which attracted a big crowd. But it was hot, and if we had gone longer, the singer might have passed out.”

Still single? “I’ve been dating a music producer for a year and a half, and in my books, that’s a pretty long time. I normally don’t date musicians, but he wore me down.”

What’s next? “I’m returning to Lolla this year as a judge for the remix contest. And then there’s the maximum responsibility of taking care of my two dogs.” —S.M.S.

RELATED STORY: Chicago‘s most eligible singles of 2011 »


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Photograph: (magazine spread) Megan Lovejoy

Jason Ko and Cornelia McNamara in our 2007 Singles feature

Jason Ko now

2007 Single
Plastic surgeon // Lives in West Loop

Although 2011 is only half over, the year has been fraught with exciting changes for this former single. On April 30, Ko married his girlfriend at Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church. And earlier this month, he graduated from his seven-year plastic surgery residency at Northwestern. He’ll soon be moving to Seattle with his new wife to complete a hand surgery fellowship after honeymooning in Costa Rica.

How did you meet your wife? “It was very Grey’s Anatomy and cliché. She was a nurse at Northwestern, and even though I tried to keep my dating life outside of the hospital, we really hit it off.”

And your first date? “She snuck me into a Cubs game, and we ended the night at a Taco Bell. Very romantic.”

How’s married life treating you? “We’re both very busy, so we haven’t had a chance to take a step back and just be married. We’re hoping the honeymoon and drive to Seattle will help us have that time.” —M.E.



Cornelia McNamara now

2007 Single
Floral designer and event planner // Lives in Forest Park

Only a few months after having her son, Leo, in 2008, McNamara was one of six candidates interviewed to be the chief florist at the White House. She didn’t get the gig, but that doesn’t bother her. She’s too busy with her three-year-old and her brand-new event planning business.

What’s changed since having Leo? “I’m living in Forest Park now. I’m still working in the city, but with my son I can go to the pool or the park or run around barefoot in front of the house. And I finally got a driver’s license! The last straw was a Chicago winter on the CTA with a baby.”

What do you drive? “A Volkswagen Jetta station wagon. I can pack a lot of flowers in there. But I didn’t want to surrender completely to suburbia with a minivan. I needed to maintain some urbanity.”

You’re single again. Are you dating? “I’m open to something coming. I look out the window of my car when I’m driving, but I’m not on Match.com.” —M.B.

RELATED STORY: Chicago‘s most eligible singles of 2011 »


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Photograph: (magazine spread) Megan Lovejoy

Diana Martinez in our 2005 Singles feature

Diana Martinez now

2005 Single
President of The Second City // Lives in Glen Ellyn

Three years ago, Martinez left her position as executive director of Paramount Theatre in Aurora, and in 2009, she became president of The Second City. Recently, she’s been focusing her efforts on building a new Second City theatre in Old Town and working with a local nonprofit to direct Stand Up! Change Teen Statistics, a traveling performance that uses musical theatre to address issues facing today’s teens.

What’s it like working at Second City? “The last two years of my life have been very career focused. When I started here [in September 2009], they were planning the big 50th-anniversary events. I was a big part of that, and that took up a lot of time.”

Have you been seeing anyone lately? “No, but I am open to a relationship. I did just buy a new puppy [a West Highland terrier].”

What’s his name? “His name is Junior, and he has a lot of attitude.” —M.E.

RELATED STORY: Chicago‘s most eligible singles of 2011 »


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Photograph: (magazine spread) Megan Lovejoy

Steven Rosengard in our 2008 Singles feature

Steven Rosengard now

2008 Single
Assistant curator at the Museum of Science and Industry and independent fashion designer // Lives in Lake View

At the moment, Rosengard is curating his first museum exhibit (it opens next January at the Massillon Museum in Massillon, Ohio), and he’s looking for a storefront for his growing bridal gown business. The former Project Runway contestant says his days of getting recognized in the gym are behind him, but that’s fine: He’s been living with his boyfriend since February.

How did you guys meet? “We met at a friend’s party. He said he always saw me in the coffee shop, but he was too scared to say hello. I was like, ‘Are you stalking me?’”

So it wasn’t a setup. “No one’s ever tried to set me up. Either people don’t like their friends or they don’t like me.”

Any big plans for you two? “There’s a vague possibility of a cat, as long as I get a storefront. Alley cat or mountain lion, it doesn’t matter.” —M.B.

RELATED STORY: Chicago‘s most eligible singles of 2011 »


* interested in women   * interested in men

Photograph: (magazine spread) Megan Lovejoy