2023 Alumni Awards Profiles

Joy Sales ’13

Joy Sales ’13

Reunion: 10th
Residence: Los Angeles, California
Grinnell majors: History and German
Other degrees: Master of Arts and Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University (2014, 2019)
Profession: Assistant professor of Asian American studies 

3 ways Joy embodies Grinnell College’s mission of lifetime learning and service

  1. As an assistant professor of Asian American studies at the California State University, Los Angeles, Joy studies social movements, migration, labor, race, and the history of radical activism in the Filipino American. She also teaches a range of classes including Introduction to Filipino/x Studies and Asian American history.
  2. As a community-engaged scholar, Joy has been an active member in the Malaya Movement LA and has supported Filipino student issues in the Cal State University system, including presenting to Kalahi (Cal State LA’s Filipino Club) and the Cal State Student Association on human rights issues in the Philippines. In graduate school, she was involved in Anakbayan, an international Filipino youth and student organization that strives for genuine democracy in the Philippines.
  3. Joy is a Grinnell-in-Los Angeles Regional Community co-coordinator. She has helped plan summer picnics and other regional events. Additionally, she serves on her Reunion Class Committee. 

Something you probably didn’t know about Joy

Joy returned to Grinnell College in the fall of 2016 as a visiting professor to teach a short course on Asian American activism. 

Joy Sales ’13 poses with Prof. Sarah Purcell

Bonus Joy Fun Facts

  • While a student at Grinnell, Joy was selected as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. 
  • In 2018, she earned a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The fellowship provided one year of support to complete her dissertation, “Diasporic Struggle: Transnational Activism, Migration, and Anti-Imperialism in Filipino America, 1964-1991.”
  • Joy produced the Pinoy Show, an annual cultural production by the Philippine Student Association at Northwestern University. She also served as chairperson of GABRIELA Chicago, an international alliance of organizations dedicated to the liberation of Filipino women. 

A quote about Joy

“Joy has been recognized in her profession for her scholarship, service, and teaching excellence. She does all the expected things, developing curricula, advising students, continuing research while actively teaching. However, while teaching courses during the pandemic, she concentrated on what her students needed most: compassion and flexibility. This helped her create a supportive learning environment and build community to counteract the isolating effect of the pandemic on students.”

Kathy Andersen ’13

Read more 2023 Alumni Award Recipient profiles.