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Manfred Joa

Bronx Science Student Discovers the Arts

Manfred Joa ’17 attended The Bronx High School of Science with a vague notion of becoming a doctor or lawyer. Bronx Science is a public school renowned for the number of its alumni who are Nobel Laureates, all in Physics and Chemistry.

At the beginning of his junior year, however, he discovered musical theatre. He developed a passion for the arts and never looked back.

He’s the co-creator, with Julia Morales, of a new online publication, Daily Moda. It’s his senior project, but he hopes to continue working on it following graduation.

Below are answers to questions about his Purchase experience.

PC: Why Purchase? What was it that drew you here?

MJ: I had made friends through the school’s [Bronx Science] theatre productions and they were the ones who insisted that I apply for Purchase. What really drew me in was the multiple number of conservatory programs in various facets of the arts. 


PC: What was the “aha” moment that made you decide to take on the creation of an entirely new publication? Was it something you’d been thinking about for a while? What made you finally take the leap?

MJ: Something that I have become passionate about during my years at Purchase is addressing and educating about the lack of diversity and representation that is visible in the arts, media, etc. For my senior project, I decided that I wanted to observe the lack of diversity that is present in the fashion world and its runways and publications. But of course for me, simply observing a problem and writing about it wasn’t enough; why not attempt to provide/contribute to a solution to this problem? 

My “aha” moment in deciding to create an entirely new publication was when my friend since freshman year and fellow Arts Management senior, Julia Morales, wanted to create an online magazine as part of her senior project. I told Julia about what I wanted to do and ever since then we’ve combined our interests and talents to create our own publication, Daily Moda. 

Never in a million years would I have thought I would take part in creating an online magazine but here I am! I think what made me finally “take the leap” was knowing that I had the potential to actually take action make a difference in problems that are observed in today’s society. The freedom and number of possibilities was also very enticing because having your own publication means you can steer it in the direction of your own interests.  


PC: What has been the most transformative experience you’ve had here at Purchase–in the classroom or otherwise?

MJ: I can confidently guarantee that every student will undergo multiple transformative experiences here at Purchase, but one of my biggest transformations was becoming a resident assistant. Assuming a role of leadership on campus is something I would recommend for every student to do. You always want to make the most out of your college experience and being an RA has pushed me to become an increasingly open, friendly, educated, and motivated community leader and person.


PC: What do you think you’ll miss most about Purchase when you graduate?

MJ: I will definitely miss the people, both students and faculty. The people are what make Purchase so great and as much as I want to graduate and go out and enjoy life, I want to stay with all the friends that I have made. 

I have never been in such a creative environment with such talented individuals. Experiencing such an atmosphere daily inspires and motivates me to do more with my talents. The people are the ones who helped me advance through my college career and I will truly miss them once I graduate.