These interactions are meaningful moments of connection. The discussion could be about a shared love of dogs, a problem in a classroom, an idea for a new program or a chat about weekend plans. Regardless of the content, Turina approaches it fully present and engaged making the other person feel heard and seen. She’ll stop in a lab to talk with faculty, chat with the night janitor, visit with a student or a member of the College staff.
Madison College President Jack Daniels noted, “These informal conversations are often more important that formal conversations in meetings. It’s how Turina builds relationships and connections.”
“Nobody has ever had more fun just walking around campus than Turina does,” said Woodhouse, who noted that she also takes care of so much business with those face-to-face chance encounters.
Business technology instructor Amy Whitcomb noted that “Turina just loves the world. The walks are not part of some management technique. She just goes out to find humanity on a daily basis and turns on metaphorical light switches every day.”
Whitcomb echoed Conduah’s sentiment saying, “Her ultimate impact, through the faculty, is a domino effect that also enriches the experience for students.”
Turina says that her leadership philosophy is to “Create conditions of excellence for other people” noting that she prefers to stand back and watch the results of the success in others.
It’s clear that the conditions she has created and the faculty and staff she has impacted will continue to have a ripple effect for years to come.
This same grace and empathy is how Turina approaches people one-on-one when they need help. Madison College District Board Member Frances Huntley-Cooper said, “She has the ability to nicely, gently walk people through experiences where they struggled, and she knows how to resolve issues diplomatically.”
Executive Dean of the School of health Sciences/School of Nursing, Marsha Tweedy shares a similar sentiment, “Turina showed me how to listen and support others, even when we do not agree.”
President Daniels, when asked about what he would miss about Turina said, “I’ll miss her energy and I’ll miss the connection and her friendship.”
The famous Turina thoughtfulness comes without pretense or design. To a person, nearly everyone we spoke to about Turina mentioned her authenticity and realness.
Joseph Lynch, a philosophy instructor and co-lead of the Part Time Faculty Association said that Turina embodies both a commitment to the College community plus a sense of authenticity as a person. “You know you’re talking with Turina the person – not just Turina the administrator.”
Turina said that the past 25 years at the college have been both a lifetime and a moment. For the Madison College community, that translates to many many moments of connection leading up to a lifetime of impact.
Editor’s note: This story is the first of many in an ongoing series focused on highlighting the incredible work and achievements of our faculty and staff at Madison College. We look forward to sharing more of these profiles throughout the next year.