Student Profile: Joe Dalton ’15

'My professors constantly push me to seek truth and reason, and approach my studies with a passion and curiosity for the unknown'

NAME Joe Dalton ’15

HOMETOWN Andover, Mass.

ACADEMICS Economics and music double major

SEEKING NEW CHALLENGES When considering his options in high school, Joe realized he wanted to be part of a small academic community that wasn’t afraid to wrestle with big questions. He found it at Holy Cross. “My professors have constantly pushed me to seek truth and reason – whether it was in my first-year Montserrat seminar, or in my senior honors thesis,” he says. “They encourage me to approach my studies with a passion and curiosity for the unknown… to engage with the core questions of our humanity.”

LEARNING BEYOND THE CLASSROOM The Holy Cross campus was Joe’s launch pad to conduct field work in Tunisia. An honors seminar on politics and society in the Muslim world kindled an exploration into the intersection between economics and art, as well as the ties among jazz, Africa, and Islam. “That class led me to apply for a grant through the Holy Cross summer research program and I received funding through a Mellon grant to conduct six weeks of research in North Africa on the musical and cultural significance of jazz.” Joe completely immersed himself in Tunisian life. “Every day I would interview and perform with local artists, using music as a vehicle to connect across boundaries of language and identity.”

ECONOMICS SCHOLAR, JAZZ MUSICIAN Joe has combined his passions for his honors thesis, titled “The Impact of Digital Music on Live Jazz Performance Attendance: An Econometric Analysis.” He explains: “I’m interested in how and why we make consumption choices when there are both live and digital channels for accessing music. And what are the implications for performers?” An accomplished trumpet player, Joe performs with the Brooks Jazz Quintet and is the Brooks Music Scholar for the class of 2015—an honor that gives him ample opportunity to perform at campus concerts and events. In the course of working closely with adviser Melissa Boyle, associate professor of economics, who specializes in cultural and arts-related economic studies, Joe has crafted a thesis which is informed not only by his immersive research in Tunisia, but also by his own experience. It is this ability to draw conclusions across disciplines, combined with a desire to seek out the tough questions, that Joe says he will take into the world beyond the graduation stage.