At the 2011 commencement, Arianna Santoriello, Fine Arts, ’11, graduated a few hours before her mother, Melanie Santoriello, Textile Technology, ’80, Textile Development and Marketing, ’11. Melanie, who worked in the textile industry for 23 years, has taught at FIT since 2000 but hadn’t gotten her bachelor’s degree. “It was really humbling being a student,” Melanie says. “It gave me insight into what it feels like—for instance, getting nervous when a test comes.”
The two ran into each other for the first time on campus in a bathroom. “I remember looking at her and thinking, ‘What are you doing here?’” Melanie says.
They also occasionally commuted from Riverdale together. “Arianna doesn’t like to talk in the mornings,” Melanie notes.
For her part, Arianna kept some distance but was glad to be on campus with Mom. “It was nice, going to find my mom and have lunch with her,” Arianna says, “and being able to go to her office and relax if I needed to.”
On the other hand, sometimes Melanie got on her nerves. “All my friends knew her,” Arianna says. “That was nice at times, but other times, she would hang around my class, and I’d say, ‘You can leave now.’”
Degree in hand, Arianna plans to take even more classes at FIT, this time to study textiles—though she’s not planning on signing up for another degree. Hue wonders if she’ll take a class that her mother is teaching. Teacher’s pet, anyone?