An innovative thinker who will help shape the future of public policy and law, both a scholar and a leader, Jodaliza Gloder found the intersectionality of the Latinx identity in a political setting.
Jodaliza is a junior in the College of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). Prior to attending Cornell, she had never heard of a major that could afford her the same opportunities ILR does. She applied to Cornell and ILR because of her love of history and politics in high school. In the days of her senior year in high school, the ILR school mailed her a package which read “are you a leader?” Fast forward three years and her answer of “yes” still rings true. Picking Cornell was hard because she was between Cornell, Northeastern University, and Fordham University. Northeastern gave her a very competitive package, while Fordham was close to home. Her parents were really excited that she got into school of Cornell’s caliber. Jodaliza was excited to visit because, despite not knowing a ton about Cornell, she appreciated the fact that if she were ever to switch majors, she could rest easy knowing that all of the programs were excellent. When she initially arrived on campus, one of the advisors in the ILR program by the name of Cornell Woodson came up to her family; she felt very welcomed by him. She attributes a lot of her reason for choosing Cornell University to this very positive interaction with the ILR department, and she even says she found a mentor in Woodson.
Initially, her passion lay in immigration law. Today, it still is, but she has recently been introduced to a new passion, labor law. Jodaliza has dreamed of opening her own firm since she was young, a virtue instilled in her from watching “Caso Cerrado” on television almost every afternoon. She felt that ILR was the perfect synthesis of her many passions: law, workers’ rights, and understanding and communicating effectively with people. Her life’s trajectory is also shaped by the fact that she was witness to the hardships of her own parents working non-union jobs and dealing with those repercussions.
One of the main attractions to Jodaliza is the intersectionality of ILR. She believes that regulations currently in place have an unaccounted for “trickle-down” effect that ultimately ends up affecting families. One of her questions is how do actual people play into the laws they follow? And she feels that ILR has helped her begin to answer it. Classes about immigration or how women’s history contributed to the economy have been integral to making her a more well-rounded individual. Currently, she is interested in immigration and the disparity in rights for Latinx individuals who are under DACA, the DREAM act, and farmworkers. She applies what she knows into conversations she has with people every day. It has made her a more dynamic thinker and person, all the while exposing her to different points of view. Jodaliza now has the ability to draw parallels between what she is learning and issues plaguing the real world.
Despite being an influential leader herself, Jodaliza explained that her Cornell experience was nurtured by the people she has met along the journey. Amy El Sayed and Kyonne Rowe were her first pair of RA’s and they are both in ILR. Amy had a lot of wisdom about ILR and helped her feel welcome. Kyonne lived in the suite next to her, and would help her with classes and answer any questions she had. She continues to communicate with both of them because she found them to be not only mentors, but friends. In addition, Jodaliza named Residence Hall Director Catherine Ramirez as a mentor and a friend. Jodaliza feels that Catherine just understands the nuances in her personality that others sometimes don’t.
Jodaliza is an RA, a proud sister of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., a member of the Black Ivy Pre- Law Society, and the secretary to Quisqueya: the Dominican Student Association on campus. In addition to her extracurricular activities, she has experiences in the law field that will help her obtain an opportunity after her undergraduate years. She is planning on taking a gap year to work at a law firm as a paralegal. After law school, she hopes to practice law to offset the cost of education and then open her own firm to help give back to her community. She stated this is one of the largest driving forces for her to go to law school.
When asked what advice she would give to incoming first-year students, her response was that students should come into college with an open mind, be ready to have their values and beliefs challenged and also be ready to creatively challenge others because that is how they will grow. She said students will find so many differences and similarities across cultures and it will help expand their knowledge and make them better people.