Campus News

From track star to doctor: Jamell Dacon’s Medgar Made journey

By Marsha Escayg |

There’s an image on the Medgar Evers College Facebook account that showcases Jamell Dacon sporting four awards while decked out in suit and tie.

He looks like the prototypical NCAA star athlete that also killed it in the classroom.

But this is why you don’t judge a book by its cover — getting to that moment took hard work that only those closest to him understood.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, he admits that navigating the complexities of higher education and the available resources to him was initially challenging.

Add in a full course load, work, family responsibilities and the commitment that it takes to be an NCAA athlete — well it takes a special person to withstand it all.

And a support system that prioritizes the individual over the masses.

That’s what he got at Medgar Evers College.

And it propelled him to adding a prefix to his name: Dr.

Dr. Jamell Dacon is a 2018 graduate of Medgar Evers College with a major in Mathematics & Computer Science and a minor in Computer Science. 

Dr. Dacon’s decision to attend Medgar Evers College was driven by its reputation as a beacon of opportunity and excellence. The college’s commitment to providing an inclusive learning environment and its focus on empowering students resonated deeply with his aspirations for academic and professional success.

Dr. Dacon also used his time at MEC to get involved — to an impressive degree. He balanced his academic studies with extracurricular activities, including being the Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field Captain, President of the Math Society, S.I. Leader, Tutor, and church drummer, was no easy feat. 

Motivated by a deep sense of purpose and a desire to make a positive impact, Dr. Dacon remained focused on his goals throughout his journey at Medgar Evers College. The supportive environment provided by professors and peers alike fueled his determination to succeed, despite the obstacles he encountered.

The education and experience Dr. Dacon gained at Medgar Evers College profoundly influenced his career path. Inspired by the college’s emphasis on social justice and community empowerment, he combined his expertise in Mathematics and Natural Language Processing to advance research applications for African Americans. His commitment to preserving and advancing Black history and culture guided his career aspirations, leading him to establish the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science Research and achieve numerous milestones in his field since graduating.

Reflecting on his time at Medgar Evers College, Dr. Dacon fondly remembers memorable experiences that shaped his journey. 

He recalls a humorous yet insightful encounter with Prof. Holloway, whose passion for shedding light on injustices of Black people left a lasting impression on him. Additionally, representing Medgar Evers College in track meets was a dream come true, filled with unforgettable moments of camaraderie and achievement.

Despite his busy schedule as an Assistant Professor and Senior Data Scientist at Morgan State University, Dr. Dacon remains connected to his alma mater through alumni events, volunteering, and mentoring opportunities. He continues to give back to the college community, sharing his expertise and experiences with current students.

As a piece of advice to fellow alumni and current students facing challenges, Dr. Dacon emphasizes the importance of staying true to one’s passion and purpose. He encourages them to leverage their education and experiences to advocate for social justice and equity, echoing the values instilled in him at Medgar Evers College.

Outside of his professional pursuits, Dr. Dacon enjoys cooking and dancing, finding joy and relaxation in these hobbies. His journey from Medgar Evers College to academia and beyond serves as a testament to the transformative power of education and the enduring impact of a supportive community.