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Women History Month Q&A with Dayna-Joy Calubaquib

By Philip Denman, March 15, 2024

Dayna-Joy Calubaquib stands in front of a basketball hoopDayna-Joy Calubaquib first joined Green River College as a point guard for the Gator's 2017-2018 Women's Basketball Team. She returned to GRC as an assistant coach in 2019 while simultaneously earning her Bachelor's in Education, K-12 with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESEL) from Central Washington University.

In 2022, Dayna-Joy was announced as the new Assistant Director of Athletics, joining the only all female atheltics department in the conference. Dayna-Joy recently shared her journey to GRC and how she found inspiration along the way as part of our 2024 Women's History Month Q&A series. You can see her answers below.

What's your current role at GRC?

Assistant Director of Athletics and Recreation / Assistant Coach Women's Basketball

What’s your favorite part of your day to day?

My favorite part of the day to day has to be the connections I make, whether it is to the daily RAC users, student-athletes, and or student coordinators from different clubs or departments. Also, being able to coach with my best friend is something I look forward to everyday.

Can you tell us about your career path so far? How have you gotten to where you are today?

Truthfully, I never thought I would be where I am today.

I was born and raised in Maui, Hawai'i. Living in a small town called Waiehu, where my front yard was the ocean and, the backyard was the mountains. Growing up, I was fortunate to surround myself with family, friends, and doing a variety of sports. I had the idea of getting off the island right after graduating high school with aspirations of becoming a teacher. I knew that I could not do that effectively if I stayed home. Moving to the mainland was necessary and it became one of the biggest life-changing decisions I've ever made. I moved to Washington blind, but even in the unknowing, I saw this as my next step, as it provided me the opportunity to continue playing basketball at the collegiate level while also starting my academic journey in becoming a teacher.

Leaving Hawai'i and being away from Family was not an easy task but being a student-athlete led me the ability to navigate while also staying grounded in a familiar environment through this transformational journey. I learned, experienced, accomplished, and failed continuously. I made new relationships, created connections, and overall gained knowledge. Washington influenced me to grow beyond what I thought I was capable of.

To say the least, my collegiate student-athlete experience was rough. However, going through what I went through is what inspired my passion for coaching. I joined the women's basketball program as an assistant coach to ensure that I provide these young women the student-athlete experience, I never got.

I began coaching the same time I started my teacher program. I then graduated with a Bachelor's in Education, K-12 with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESEL) from Central Washington University. Becoming a teacher was my dream career, as it was something I wanted to do so badly ever since I was a child. During my first year of teaching, I questioned if this was where I was meant to be and if I could see myself doing it for the next 5 years of my life. My faith is a big part of who I am today, so I prayed about it. During this moment of life, I learned to navigate how I was feeling, which led me to learning that the different roles I had as a collegiate coach was what I enjoyed way more than being contained within 4 walls (classroom). Not knowing what was ahead of me, it took a leap of faith, a whole lot of self-confidence and belief in myself, to go through the process of interviewing for the Assistant Director position. With time, I was blessed with the opportunity to do what I do with the women's basketball program, NOW for all the athletic programs here at Green River College. When I got selected to become the AD of Athletics and Recreation, there was a sense of relief but most importantly a feeling of home - I knew this is where I am meant to be.


Seeing women in leadership roles can inspire girls and young women to reach higher and dream bigger. Who has inspired you throughout your life's journey?

I was lucky to be surrounded by strongminded, empathetic, and entertaining women. I have 3 older sisters, making me the youngest. I grew up witnessing what life was throwing at them, positively and negatively. They are a big influential factor to who I am today. I don't think they know how much of an impact they've made in my life. They provide me continuous support, love, and care for me even when we are thousands of miles apart - Ashley, Nicole, and Kaylee, you make life easier.

What’s the best piece of advice you have for other women in their careers?

My advice to other women in their career is know that YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH.
Never let someone's else words, actions, or thoughts of you, tell you your value.
Keep battling, stay confident, and don't be afraid of the challenge if one ever presents itself.

What do you do to stay grounded?

My faith in the saying "Everything happens for a reason". For me, it is believing that if something is meant for you, it will be. And if not, it just was not the right time or there is just something bigger and better out there for you.

If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This one is hard. One meal that I would eat for the rest of my life would have to be whatever my Grandma or Mom is making back in Hawai'i.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you choose to bring?

My ukulele, pictures, and something to help me get help!

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