Aaron Joiner’12 YAA
Awarded October 7, 2022
2022 Young Alumni Award
Aaron Joiner made an indelible impression on the people he met at Beloit College. A serious student academically, he majored in biochemistry and minored in Spanish and was equally successful in athletics, especially as a cross-country and track and field athlete. He took full advantage of the opportunities at Beloit, becoming a noted student leader and volunteer, and studying abroad in Spain.
Aaron is remembered for these accomplishments and for his brilliance and drive, but his former advisors and peers mostly recall his big heart, humility, kindness, and grace.
A first-generation college student from South Beloit High School, he was introduced to Beloit College through the Upward Bound program. After Beloit, even while he pursued a doctorate in biochemistry from Cornell University, he dedicated significant energy to making sure others had access to the opportunities and mentors that would make them successful.
An advocate for increasing diversity in academia, he has worked to improve the climate and feeling of inclusion for people of color in higher education, and particularly in his field of biochemistry. He has volunteered with Upward Bound and Cornell’s Graduate Student Ambassador Program, and he started a shadowing program in collaboration with the New York STEP program, which provides high school students interested in STEM careers with academic research opportunities at Cornell.
Today, Aaron is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California-Berkeley
and already a scientist worthy of recognition. He is also a mentor who has helped to smooth the way for future Black scientists who will follow in his footsteps. His former Upward Bound advisor Stephanie King says, “I could not be prouder of the human being Aaron has become.”
The Beloit College Alumni Association heartily agrees and is pleased to recognize Aaron Joiner with the 2022 Young Alumni Award.