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Alumni Spotlight: Michelle Turchan

By: Sasha Boudtchenk

“I don’t even know how it happened, but the next thing I knew, I was on the floor, looking up, like I almost half-fainted from the total reveal or something,” IUDM alumna Michelle Turchan said.

Michelle recalled how she and her friends happily cheered, celebrating how a year’s worth of hard work had resulted in this impressive achievement.

Michelle — an IUDM member from 2012 to 2015 — was introduced to the organization through her experience on Carmel High School’s Dance Marathon. Her passion for fundraising also motivated her to major in Nonprofit Management at IU — an accompaniment to her work on the Marathon Relations committee at IUDM. A fond memory of hers is the work her committee did with high schoolers for the marathon.

“Seeing us invest in high school students and [seeing] them get really excited about Dance Marathon is a feeling I’ll never forget — just how fulfilling and cool that was,” Michelle said.

 IUDM also helped Michelle find her place and community on campus. It is where she met some of her closest friends and made countless cherished memories.

“I think there is just such a special relationship that comes out of people working together for a cause, and especially a cause that is bigger than ourselves,” Michelle said.

Throughout her time in IUDM, Michelle took on the roles of Director of Marathon Relations, and then Vice President of Membership. During her time as Vice President, she worked to alter the structure of dancer shifts at the marathon and even received the ALC award. 

The skills she gained in relationship building, leadership and fundraising have been useful in her professional career, especially in her current role as the Major Gift Officer at Riley Children’s Foundation. This position is rooted in fundraising for Riley, while also collaborating with major gift donors across the state and cultivating donor relations.

“It is really cool to get to see, just from the Riley side, still see Dance Marathon students doing work and seeing the impact of their work,” Michelle said. “I can still…have a front row view to the amazing things that they’re doing.”

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