For Dr. Josephine Ferazzoli Farrell ’71 M’79 CAS’81, retirement is a time to travel and stay connected with students by teaching online classes.
“I probably will never fully retire,” she said.
Dr. Farrell was interviewed on the road—just four days after her husband, Tim, retired from a 39-year career at Ferazzoli & Farrell Jewelers in Fulton, N.Y. The couple is driving across country with plans to visit Napa Valley and San Francisco, and many places along the way. On the return trip, Florida is on the list—to make it to 5-year-old grandson Ean’s birthday party.
“It’s all what you make of it—your job, your retirement—my goal is to enjoy myself as much as I possibly can,” said Dr. Farrell by phone from a rest stop, noting that she’ll be in South Bend, Ind., to stay at the University of Notre Dame by nightfall.
Dr. Farrell grew up in Fulton, earning three degrees from SUNY Oswego and a doctorate in education from the University of Rochester. But her career in higher education—which began when she joined the faculty at SUNY Oswego in 1992—was never planned.
“My heart was always with K-12,” she said. At the urging of Professor Bill Silky M’76 CAS’78, she applied to teach at her alma mater. “I really found a niche for myself at SUNY Oswego. What ended up happening was that I had the best of both worlds—working in higher ed and teaching a Methods of Instruction course, which brought me into the public schools. It was so in line with what I always wanted to be doing.”
She taught many courses for Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education, including the methods course and literacy. Although she retired in 2009 from full-time teaching, she teaches two graduate-level courses online, including one in educational law.
“When I was really young I was trying to decide: Should I become a teacher or a lawyer? Because while some people sit around reading novels, I sit around reading lawsuits,” she laughed.
Another of Dr. Farrell’s passions is the integration of technology into the classroom. Along with Curriculum and Instruction Professor Barbara Beyerbach ’74 M’76, Dr. Farrell was a co-director for a Goals 2000 multi-year grant to purchase hardware and software for the School of Education and area public school teachers. The second online course she continues to teach today is about technology in the curriculum.
“People take for granted that young people going into teaching know how to integrate technology into their coursework,” she said. Students love the course content; plus, it keeps her connected with educators, she said.
“Having a good attitude makes all the difference,” she said of retirement, adding that her mother was the perfect role model for exactly that. Rose Ferazzoli of Fulton died in February just shy of her 100th birthday. “She enjoyed life, and that’s my plan, too.”