Monday October 14, 2013

Seeing Triple

Three sets of triplets will become nine graduates after a four-year journey in the same class.

Four years ago, three sets of triplets walked into first-year orientation at the University of Dayton. The Dvorsky, Avila-John and Pontarelli families began their college journey as triplets, but they will emerge as nine unique individuals on nine distinct paths.  

All three sets have strong ties to the University. The Dvorskys come from a family in which both parents are alumni — their mother, Trese, graduated in 1981 and their father, Rich, in 1982. The Pontarellis' mother, Alison, is a 1982 graduate. And the Avila-Johns' mother, Karin, works as the manager of the University's Intensive English Program.  

The Dvorsky triplets have chosen very different fields of study while at the university. They will even be finishing at different times. Jared will graduate in December 2013, Courtney in May 2014 and Katelyn in May 2015.  

"I think that's important because it gives each of them their own spotlight," said their mother, Trese. "After sharing every birthday and first day of school, it's nice that they will each have their own special graduation date."  

Courtney is a biology major, Jared is a sport management major with a minor in business administration and Katelyn is a mechanical engineering major with an aerospace engineering concentration.  

After graduation, Courtney plans to attend graduate school for conservation genetics or wildlife ecology, Jared will be looking for a marketing/branding position in the sports industry and Katelyn hopes to get an engineering job with NASA Johnson Space Center, where she held a summer co-op position. 

Despite distinct interests and career goals, the siblings said they still try to spend time together. That isn’t a problem for Katelyn and Courtney — they live in the same campus house.

His sisters aren't the only other multiples Jared has contact with. Over the past four years, he's built friendships with Nico and Alan Avila-John. He and Nico play intramurals together, and he shares a similar passion with Alan. "Jared and I are pretty big Cincinnati Reds fans, so whenever I see him we strike up a conversation about baseball," said Alan.

The Avila-John brothers have also taken divergent paths at the University. Alan is a psychology major with a minor in biology, Lucas is an accounting major and Nico is a middle education major with concentrations in science and language arts.

They will all graduate in May, and Nico hopes to get a teaching job, while Lucas and Alan plan on attending grad school — Lucas for an MBA and Alan for a doctorate of psychology or drug rehabilitation program.

Although they don't live together, the brothers said they try to spend time together by taking trips to Walmart, playing basketball or playing video games. 

"We've always been buds, and we've stayed buds throughout college," said Nico. "I try to embarrass my brothers whenever I run into them on the way to class.  Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. We have fun." 

Jack, Matt and Paige Pontarelli are from Glenview, Ill., near Chicago. Jack is a finance major, Matt is a criminal justice major with minors in sociology and English, and Paige is a communication major with a concentration in public relations and a minor in marketing. 

The siblings all plan to return to their hometown after graduation. Jack will seek a finance job in downtown Chicago, Matt plans on becoming a Chicago police officer, and Paige hopes to find a job in marketing, advertising or public relations. 

Jack and Matt live together on campus. Paige usually sees her brothers every weekend because they share many friends and always hang out together. 

"It's been fun seeing them talk about UD together when they're at home," said their mother, Alison. "They go to the same places on the weekends and eat at the same restaurants and walk around the same campus, so it's just added that extra element of togetherness to their home lives." 

All of the mothers agree that having siblings with them has made their childrens' transition to college easier. 

"Although they have different interests, friends and activities, I think it's comforting for them to know that their siblings are only a short walk away," said Trese Dvorsky.

While all nine students have their own interests, majors, career goals and experiences, they all found a home at the University of Dayton. 

"It has been an amazing and unique experience to be on campus and go through college together with my siblings," said Courtney Dvorsky. "I wouldn’t trade it for the world!"

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or

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