Even before coming to Yale, Joseph Doran had service in his DNA

Joseph Doran
Joseph Doran

In many ways, Joseph Doran was born to serve. And Trumbull College, Yale, and New Haven are all the better for the four years he spent at the university.

The native of northern Virginia graduates May 18 with degrees in economics and global affairs, and he hopes one day to serve his country as a foreign service officer in the U.S. State Department.

Service is embedded in the DNA of his family. His father Tim, now a police officer in Fort Collins, Colorado, previously worked as a military police officer and for the FBI. His mother Susan was a nurse in the army. Two of his four siblings serve in the military. Doran said he would likely have joined too, but scoliosis left him ineligible for military service.

The Army’s loss was Yale’s gain.

He worked the maximum 19 hours a week as what College Head Margaret Clark describes as “Trumbull-Aide Extraordinaire.” A surgically-repaired back did not prevent him from becoming captain of the Yale water polo team, or becoming a training coordinator for the New Haven Free Public Library’s tax assistance program, which helps city residents deal with tax issues.

Before entering Yale, Doran spent a year in the National Security Language Initiative living in Moldova and studying Russian.  “I had never travelled farther than Ohio, never even been on a plane,” he said.

He now plans to work for Yale’s Investments Office, with an eye toward landing a job later as an economic officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, possibly in Ukraine.

One of his most memorable experiences at Yale was serving as head “FroCo,” or freshmen counselor, in Trumbull. Doran said when he first visited Yale, it was the vitality, varied interests and tales of life on campus relayed by his tour guide and other Yale students that convinced him to come.

They looked like the people I wanted to become,’’ he said.

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Bess Connolly: elizabeth.connolly@yale.edu, 203-432-1324