Sr. Joanne Jaruko Doi, MM, was born in Los Angeles, CA, one of five children. During World War II, her father and grandfather were sent to Manzanar Relocation Camp in the California desert east of the Sierras where the St. Francis Xavier (Maryknoll) parish community serving primarily Japanese Catholics at that time was also interned. After the war, the Maryknoll parish and grade-school community was restored in Los Angeles, where Jaruko was nurtured in faith, education and culture. She graduated from the University of California at Davis with a bachelor’s degree in environmental planning and management. She combined work as a graphic artist, administrative work at the Newman Center, and life in a lay Christian community prior to entering the Maryknoll Sisters in 1981. Sister Jaruko was assigned to Peru in 1983 and served in the southern Andes Mountains doing pastoral work and economic development projects among indigenous people.
In September 2005 Sister Jaruko received the Teaching Scholar Award. She completed her dissertation: “Bridge to Compassion: Theological Pilgrimage to Tule Lake and Manzanar” for a doctorate from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and received a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies in May 2007.