More than 300 students turned out on Feb. 8 at the Paresky Center’s Baxter Hall for the first-ever Williams FUNded Summer Experience Fair.
The two-hour event drew together staff from all corners of the college, representing fellowship opportunities, internships, academic programs—all of them funded by the college and covering fields ranging from graphic design to government policy to neuroscience. Students who participated in these programs in summers past were also on hand to answer questions and share their first-hand experiences.
“Many of the students I talked to were interested in knowing how I was able to find my research internship last summer at the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego,” says Zoe Kaegi ’23, who last summer worked in a research lab that studies how the brain processes music by analyzing electroencephalogram recordings from human participants. She received a stipend for the work from Williams’ Alumni-Sponsored Internship Program (ASIP).
“It can feel more challenging to find STEM research internships, so students shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to find out more,” Kaegi adds. “Opportunities such as ASIP and others through Williams are easy to apply to and perfect for summer funding.”
Discussions that ultimately led to creation of the FUNded Summer Experience Fair began several years ago, but the Covid-19 pandemic stalled implementation. The event was envisioned as “a kind of one-stop shopping in which students get a real sense of the range of opportunities available to them,” says Nicole Allen, communications and events coordinator at the ’68 Center for Career Exploration, one of the key organizers.
This year, however, more students than ever can take advantage of summer programming, since Williams has eliminated summer work-study requirements and loans as part of its new All-Grant Financial Aid initiative.
“Funding for unpaid summer opportunities levels the playing field by increasing student access to life-changing experiences, upskilling, alumni connections and the exploration of their future options,” says Don Kjelleren, director of the ’68 Center.
“We were thrilled by how much interest we had from students of all class years, especially first-year students,” Allen adds. “The Williams FUNded Summer Experience Fair is February is the ideal time to host this event, since the spring semester is just kicking off. It gives students a chance to explore options and find something that aligns with their interests.”
Dawn Dellea, manager of alumni and parent engagement programs at the ’68 Center, called the event “a tremendous success thanks to the collaboration with our campus partners. Students found it so helpful to have us come to them at a convenient time and location, saving them the effort of having to visit each office separately to gather the information they need.”
Learn more about Williams Summer Funding Opportunities.The Summer FUNded Fair was co-sponsored by the ’68 Center, Center for Environmental Studies, Center for Learning in Action, the Davis Center, the Office of Fellowships and Pathways for Inclusive Excellence. Administrative Offices/Academic Departments Representatives included:
Arabic Studies Department
Center for Global Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Global Scholars (Global Studies Program)
International Student Services
Summer Institute in American Foreign Policy
Williams College Museum of Art
Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives