The Turchiarelli Family
By Kevin Bates
Colleges and universities, particularly those as small and student-centered as Medaille, are designed to promote self-discovery and offer an environment that is truly conducive to defining an individual's character, interests, and abilities. For many, the collegiate journey allows for what often seems like a long-overdue break from nearly two decades of familial routine and grants an individual the chance to separate him or herself from the identity crafted for them through adolescence. Often, this process takes place in isolation from those people - namely family and friends - who defined one's life through high school graduation. In the case of the Turchiarelli family, however, the developmental aspects of college life were enhanced through the maintenance of those ties that have bound them since birth. Indeed, the tight-knit nature of the Turchiarelli family meshes well with the familial culture of the Medaille community, providing a clear example of the harmonizing of individual and institutional goals and ideals on which Medaille prides itself and from which all students can benefit.
We recently asked the Turchiarelli family, parents Bob and Mary Lu and children Tanya '08 '09, Andrea '12, and Robert '15 - all three of whom have attended or currently attend Medaille - about their experiences with the school community. Here's what they had to say:
On being a Turchiarelli
Bob and Mary Lu: "Overall the Turchiarellis are a loud, active, fun-loving, close-knit Italian family. We love to entertain, camp, and be with our extended family. We enjoy projects that involve everyone's participation and just love being together."
On what Medaille means to them
Bob and Mary Lu: "Medaille has been a blessing in our lives. It has given two of our children a very well-rounded, well-educated, and positive college experience and we know it will do the same for our third. We knew that a small, individualized institution would suit them best, and we have not been disappointed."
On influential instructors and unique interests
Tanya: "Anne Pfohl was such an influential faculty member. I first met her while playing in the pit orchestra for the college's musical. She was directing it and had such enthusiasm. She was exciting and had the most bubbly personality. She became
someone that I could just stop by her office and talk to if I needed to vent or if I had exciting news. We shared a common love for rats and would swap stories of our little critters that we cared so much about. She was always there to listen or offer advice, and I thank her for being there for me."
On what Medaille has to offer
Robert: "The best thing about Medaille College is its community. The people are wonderful and independent. I've made so many great and diverse friends at Medaille, and I look forward to meeting more. The activities on campus make each semester go by so fast, because they are so much fun and allow students to take a break from the stress of classes. These activities also strengthen the relationships between students and faculty, which is really cool."
On following in the footsteps of one sibling, and leaving a mark for another
Andrea: "When Tanya started college I saw how hard she worked and how dedicated she was. This motivated me to do my very best and give college my all. [Now that I've graduated, to Robert I would say]: '"Don't ever lose your amazing sense of humor and wonderful personality. You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to so keep working hard and know how much I love you and how proud I am of you!'"
Tanya: "I bought a house just over a year ago, and I am busy fixing it up with the help of my parents. I am working as a Licensed Vet Tech at Thorn Avenue Animal Hospital in Orchard Park and…I find it to be a very rewarding career. I am also working at PetSmart as a dog groomer and teaching Anatomy and Physiology laboratory every spring semester at Medaille - the same lab I remember sitting through when I was a freshman, thinking to myself, 'how will I ever learn this all?'"
...And the days to come
Andrea: "My passion has always been working with kids. My dream would be obtaining a job as a math teacher at a middle or high school. However, as long as whatever I am doing involves kids and making a difference in their lives, I will be happy."
Robert: "I'm looking forward to the lounge space and the new fitness center [in the Sullivan Center]. It will be cool for me to experience this for the first time with everyone else. When we look back, we'll be able to say 'we were there when this first opened.'"
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Living out community as one of Medaille's core values, College administration, faculty and staff members gave back to the WNY community by volunteering at local organizations as part of 2019 Day of Service events held in Buffalo and Rochester.
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