Joi Dallas (Photo by Yiting Chen)
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Major: Applied psychology and human development; minors in African and African Diaspora Studies and Faith, Peace and Justice.
Notable Activities/Achievements: 2015 Timothy M. Padulsky Award winner for student leadership; 2016 finalist for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship; student advisory board member for Thea Bowman AHANA Intercultural Center; AHANA summit retreat leader for the Center for Student Formation; student leader of Campus Ministry’s Jamaica Magis Service Trip; research assistant for Lynch School of Education Assistant Professor Rebecca Lowenhaupt; Lynch School of Education Senate; BC Women’s Rugby Football Club.
Post-Graduation Plans: Master’s degree in school counseling at Lynch School of Education. Long-term interests include school counseling or further graduate study in education research and policy.
A student in BC's Lynch School of Education, Joi Dallas has pushed herself to step beyond her comfort zone. The former high school cheerleader joined BC’s Women’s Rugby Football Club and pursued a range of formational academic, social, and service activities. She mentored incoming freshmen in the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center’s Options Through Education summer program, and tutored high school students in Boston. This year she was a student leader for the Jamaica Magis Service Trip. In May, Dallas joined Lowenhaupt and fellow co-authors to present their research at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Who's had the greatest influence on you during your time at BC?
Among teachers, I loved my courses with [Lynch School of Education Assistant Professor of the Practice] Nelson Portillo. I just really enjoyed his style and how be brings the culture of his native El Salvador into his courses and gives them that international dimension. There are so many people you can talk to at BC, but Fr. Michael Davidson, S.J., of Campus Ministry is like a father figure to students of color. I love his bluntness and “tough love” method that keeps me on my toes when I need to get myself together. We hardly ever talk about academics. We just talk about life.
What BC experience had the most significant impact?
The Jamaica Magis Service Trip. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I think it is really unique. BC has a lot of service trips, but I feel this one serves students of color, largely because of Fr. Michael [Davidson]. Magis – the name means “more.” On the trip it stands for doing more, being more, being more than you think you are. It is not just the physical act of doing something for a community that needs help, but how we can see God in the faces of our brothers and sisters.
"I’ve learned to reach out to people. It’s one of the most important things I’ve gotten out of my four years at BC – being confident talking to strangers and asking for help. Not every student gets that. I think that is going to help make me an effective advocate for the kids I want to serve in the future."
How has that experience extended beyond your work in Jamaica?
There’s the “BC look away,” which makes it so easy not to see people. After the Magis trip, I don’t look away. I can’t. The people I see are my brothers and sisters and I need to be there. I don’t know what is going on in their lives. Magis really took away the anxiety about encountering people and having those kinds of conversations. It teaches you how to be vulnerable and how to trust others with that. I think it will be relevant to the fields I am considering for my career.
What was the best part of playing on the Women’s Rugby Football Club?
It was a big change. I was a cheerleader in high school. With rugby, I loved the body positivity – you don’t have to look a certain way to be healthy and do well in your position. You can be skinny or you can be chunky and you can still flourish in the game.
How has had BC made a difference in your life?
I’ve learned to reach out to people. It’s one of the most important things I’ve gotten out of my four years at BC – being confident talking to strangers and asking for help. Not every student gets that. I think that is going to help make me an effective advocate for the kids I want to serve in the future.
What will you miss the most about BC?
I will still be here, but as a graduate student. I was thinking the other day, “What am I going to do on the weekends?” There is so much to do here: paint nights, movies with friends – the other night I made a ceramic bowl at pottery night. I’m not much for going out, so I’ll probably just have to get a job on the weekends, which kind of sounds lame. But I’m going to miss all the things I’ve been able to do with my friends on campus.
–Ed Hayward/University Communications