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A Few Emails from Williams

A few emails I’ve been negligent in posting. If anyone want to know what day they were sent, comment and ask (they aren’t in any sort of order). Also, the last one is a Daily Message I thought was interesting.

College Related Travel: Support and Awareness

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
Happy New Year!  With a new year comes an exciting winter study period which for many of you will include travel internationally.  Recent world events have reminded us that natural disasters and political unrest can impact the best laid plans.
We would like to remind you that we encourage everyone in our community to register all College related travel with our trusted emergency response partner, International SOS.  Information about registering your trips can be found here.
By registering your trip, you will receive up to date information about events happening throughout your travel based on your itinerary as well as tips for planning your travel directly from International SOS.  These notices will also include information about how to contact International SOS, including in country support if available.
In addition, International SOS can be a resource for reviewing in advance your travel plans and provide important advice regarding security or health related issues based on your travel plans.  We encourage everyone to be proactive in their planning and to leverage this important resource.
The International SOS US Assistance Center can be reached for all questions at (215)-942-8226.  Simply indicate your affiliation with Williams College when prompted.
It is important to note that if you feel uncomfortable about any College related travel that you should not feel compelled to go.  Please reach out to the appropriate office to discuss your concerns and discuss possible alternative options.
Tina Stoicu, Director of International Education and Study Away
Barb Casey, Winter Study Coordinator
Katya King, Director of Fellowships
Matt Sheehy, Assistant Vice President, Finance and Administration

Matthew Sheehy (he / him / his)

Associate Vice President, Finance and Administration

PO Box 458

Williamstown, MA 01267

413-597-4775 (Office)  412-680-5172 (Mobile)


Sent to me by a friend (I’m not Catholic).

Announcing the Catholic Chaplain Search Committee

Hello Catholic Community at Williams College,

We are pleased to announce that the search committee for the Catholic Chaplain has been created and that the search process is ready to begin its work. Marlene Sandstrom, Dean of the College, will oversee the search.  I will chair the committee along with faculty co-chair Jackie Hidalgo, Chair of Religion and Associate Professor of Latina/o Studies and Religion. We will be assisted by Aaron Gordon, Director of Divisional Business Affairs in the Vice President of Campus Life’s Office. The search committee will take the lead in determining the core goals of the search, reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, designing campus visits, and synthesizing their feedback to Marlene for a final decision. Committee members include::

Jim Nolan (Sociology)

Neil Robert (Africana Studies, Political Science and Religion)

Tara Watson (Economics)

Alison Warner  (Campus Safety and Security)

Tracy Finnegan (CLIA and Chaplains’ Office)

Ceci Del Cid (Davis Center)

Caitlin Coyne ’22

Jeremy Shields ’20

Nathan Thimothe ’22

Manuel Matos ’21

Nick Goldrosen ’20

Omar Kawam ’20

As the search gets underway, our interim Catholic Ministry Team will continue for the balance of the 2019-2020 academic year. Father John McDonagh will continue serving as our visiting priest and Tracy Finnegan will continue serving as the Interim Catholic Ministry Coordinator. Fr. McDonagh will continue being the celebrant at the 8:30 p.m. Sunday Mass in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and is also available for pastoral visits on Mondays. Father McDonagh is the Coordinator of Campus Ministry Outreach for the Diocese of Springfield (Roman Catholic).

Tracy is an Assistant Director in the Center for Learning in Action with a focus on Regional and At-Risk Education.  As part of her duties as interim Catholic Ministry Coordinator in the Chaplains Office, Tracy will continue managing programs and supporting the Mass schedule. In addition to working closely with the Williams Catholic board and meeting with all students, Tracy will be providing support for the Chaplains’ Office Interfaith Trip to El Paso in the spring.

Tracy and Fr. John has been serving in these roles since September and the students have been enthusiastic about their support and care.  We look forward to their continued ministry for the rest of the school year.

During this semester, as the search committee does its work, the Chaplains’ Office will continue its transition from the Campus Life Division into the Dean of the College Division. Our office will work with Steve Klass and Marlene Sandstrom on this transition throughout the spring semester. Steve will retire at the end of this school year.

This transition will be completed by the beginning of the summer, about the same time we hope we will be welcoming a new Catholic Chaplain to the Chaplains’ Office team of Muslim Chaplain Imam Sharif Rosen, Jewish Chaplain Seth Wax and Assistant to the Chaplains Nancy Lucyznski.

The Catholic Chaplain will be part of the team that provides pastoral care to the entire College community; offering counsel, support and encouragement to individuals as well as comfort and wisdom to the institution as a whole. While the Catholic Chaplain will have a particular focus on the religious needs of Williams’ robust and diverse Catholic community, all of the chaplains are actively involved in various inter-religious and interfaith activities. In addition to our primary service of pastoral care and support for all, we are engaged in the planning and leading dialogue and reflection among the student religious groups and the various traditions of faith and meaning, and in collaborative humanitarian service ventures. In addition to the more traditional dimensions of their roles, the chaplains are being called on increasingly to address the experiences of students who feel marginalized or excluded by their own more traditional religious communities.

I am looking forward to working closely with the Dean of the College to conduct the Catholic Chaplain search, as well as working more closely with the rest of the division in our joint work to support the holistic lives of our students.

We will continue providing updates on the Catholic Chaplain search and other changes through our website chaplains.williams.edu, so stay tuned for more information.

The Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer
Chaplain to the College
Paresky Center, Room 205
39 Chapin Hall Drive
Williamstown, MA 01267 USA
tel: 413.597.2483
cell: 413.517.5364

$10,000 Grant Available for 2020 Davis Projects for Peace

Williams College has been invited to nominate one or two student proposals for a $10,000 grant for summer projects that “…promote peace and address the root causes of conflict among parties.”  One hundred such grants will be awarded nationwide.

The Davis Projects for Peace program supports student-developed projects that would foster peace in the world.  The program is designed to “…encourage student initiative, innovation, and entrepreneurship focusing on conflict prevention, resolution, or reconciliation.”  In the past, successful approaches have included “…fostering diplomacy or otherwise contribut[ing] to advancing peace processes underway; promoting economic opportunity and entrepreneurship among those in post-conflict areas; finding creative ways to bring people on opposite sides of issues together…through arts, sports, music…to promote a common humanity;…  [and] starting or leveraging initiatives, organizations …or infrastructure projects to build/rebuild community.”

What does “Projects for Peace” hope to accomplish?

The program hopes to encourage student initiative, innovation and entrepreneurship focusing on conflict prevention, resolution or reconciliation. Some of the most compelling projects to date have reflected one or more of the following characteristics:

— Contributing to conflict prevention;

— Ameliorating conditions leading to violence/conflict;

— Looking for and building on shared attributes among differing peoples, races, ethnicities, tribes, clans, etc.;

— Fostering diplomacy or otherwise contribute to advancing peace processes underway;

— Promoting economic opportunity and entrepreneurship among those in post-conflict areas;

— Finding creative ways to bring people on opposite sides of issues together, such as through art, sports, music or other techniques to promote a common humanity;

— Developing leadership and mediation skills training for those in conflict or post-conflict societies;

— Starting or leveraging initiatives, organizations (e.g. education, health) or infrastructure projects to build/rebuild community

Any student or student group is eligible to submit a proposal for consideration. Projects Can be either domestic or international in focus. Proposals must be submitted to: Clinton Williams (dcw2@wiiliams.edu) by 5 p.m. on Monday, January 20, 2020.

Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty/staff committee, which may request revisions and/or clarifications.  The proposal(s) that Williams selects will be submitted to the Davis family in February; awards will be announced in March.  All project activities must take place during the

summer of 2019.

More information about the Davis Projects for Peace program, including FAQs, proposal guidelines, and the proposals and reports from previously funded projects, can be found at: http://www.davisprojectsforpeace.org/ .


Interested students should NOT contact the Davis Foundation directly – please direct all inquiries to Clinton Williams in the Office of Special Academic Programs at 413-597-3715 or dcw2@williams.edu

D. Clinton Williams
Special Academic Programs
Hardy House | Williams College
(If you must cancel, please email me.)


Updates from the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dear College community,


Welcome back to campus. As a follow-up to the email I sent at the end of last semester, I write now with more information regarding the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (OIDEI) and related structural changes.


Because of the vital role that OIDEI plays on this campus and beyond, I begin by reiterating our vision. The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (OIDEI) strives to build bridges between and among constituents on and off campus, while simultaneously developing pathways to opportunities so that everyone at the college thrives and has a strong sense of belonging. OIDEI acknowledges historical and current challenges to building and sustaining diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments, develops innovative approaches to turning challenges into opportunities for positive advancement, and leverages and infuses restorative approaches to learning and engaging around questions and intersections of identities. 


OIDEI comprises the Davis Center, the Office of Special Academic Programs, and the Faculty Fellows, as well as the Vice President, Assistant Vice Presidents, the Associate Dean, and the Assistant to the Vice President. OIDEI has recently changed its name, adding “Inclusion” and is expanding to also center this important work. OIDEI’s increased focus on intergroup relations, inclusive learning environments, and infusing restorative approaches will help foster critical engagement, dialogue and discourse between and among constituents to continue to move our entire campus community forward on these issues.


Entering its fourth decade, the Davis Center is a space and place for all constituents on campus to celebrate diversity and identities, and to work towards building a community rooted in equity and inclusion. Central to its mission is working with and supporting students from historically underrepresented and often marginalized groups. This critical work will remain central and inclusion will now be at the core of the Davis Center’s mission. This necessitates working with all constituents on campus, so that they can engage the Davis Center as it supports inclusive practices in diverse learning environments across campus – from laboratories to athletic fields and from dining halls to the stage.  The Davis Center will develop tailored opportunities to interrogate the ways in which history, identity, and culture affect intellectual and social life.  

To better pursue this vision and reach our goals, we’re implementing some structural changes to the Davis Center. With the departure of the Center’s director and more recently, the associate director, some existing responsibilities are being reassigned and reenvisioned, and new ones will be added. We’re deeply grateful to Bilal Ansari for overseeing the Davis Center last year while also establishing his newly-created role as Assistant Vice President for Campus Engagement in OIDEI.


As we move forward, the Director of the Davis Center, with a new and expanded role, will be a key strategist in our efforts to build an inclusive community and will help us thoughtfully develop and deliver education and programming across campus. The Director will now be part of the OIDEI leadership team and work closely with Bilal to build bridges between constituents and between various units across campus. In addition, we have defined three new roles at the Center: an Associate Director for Inclusive Learning Environments, an Assistant Director for Intergroup Relations and Inclusive Programming, and a Center and Program Coordinator. All three will report to the Director. 


Collectively, these positions reflect our focus on areas that we’ve identified as a priority for our inclusion work. Taking a student-centered approach, the Associate Director will focus on fostering inclusive learning environments in the classroom and beyond by addressing issues as they arise and by working proactively to develop and sustain conversational, educational and training opportunities for students, staff and faculty. The Assistant Director will help develop and coordinate the Center’s programming with attention to intragroup and intergroup communications and dynamics. The Assistant Director will also work closely with the Dialogue Facilitator, another new position, to develop effective strategies to mediate conflicts and promote restorative practices. The Center and Program Coordinator will play a critical role in supporting and helping to organize the Center’s work. All staff members will center the critical work of supporting students from historically underrepresented and often marginalized groups, working as a team to make the Davis Center a place of belonging and the campus a place of inclusive learning environments.


Our search for the new Director and our search for the newly-created role of Dialogue Facilitator are underway. I want to thank the faculty and staff who have already agreed to serve on  the search committee for a new director: 


Wendy Adam, Director of Integrative Wellbeing Services;

Bilal Ansari, Assistant Vice President for Campus Engagement,

Rashida Braggs, Associate Professor of Africana Studies; 

Christopher Goh, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Faculty Fellow; 

Leticia Haynes, Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; 

Carmen Whalen, Interim Director of the Davis Center and Carl W. Vogt ’58 Professor of History and Latina/o/x Studies


We will confirm the student members for this committee by next week. We expect to launch searches for the remaining positions in the coming weeks. 


The Davis Center will be staffed throughout the restructuring. Carmen Whalen, Carl W. Vogt ’58 Professor of History and Latina/o/x Studies, has shifted from her interim deanship to become interim director of the Davis Center. With Carmen moving to the Davis Center, Bilal can now focus more on developing and fostering relationships across campus while also advising students and student groups. To augment the work of the staff currently at the Davis Center, we are pleased to report that a recent alumna, Aseel Abulhab ’15, will return to campus next week as a Davis Center Fellow during Winter Study and Spring semester. Aseel, a former Watson Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, and Davis Center student intern, recently received her Master’s degree in social work. She has researched ableism in the Arab world and brings experience as a dialogue facilitator, instructor on environmental politics, and in assessment of diversity and inclusion programming. We look forward to welcoming Aseel back. 


During the transition and after, OIDEI and the Davis Center will continue to prioritize support for students from historically underrepresented groups, while also working to meet the needs of staff and faculty. Using a holistic approach to student advising, the current staff of OIDEI and the Davis Center will continue to advise MinCo- and Davis Center-affiliated student affinity groups, engage faculty, support collaboration between faculty and students, and build greater connections between students and staff. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or to share your thoughts – my door is always open.


All the best,

Leticia Smith-Evans Haynes ‘99

Leticia Smith-Evans Haynes, Ph.D.

Vice President
Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Williams College | Williamstown, MA
(P) 413.597.4376


Daily Message:

Postings Installation Service Discontinued

The installation service for fliers that was provided by OSL/Mailroom in the past, has been discontinued. This will allow us to focus in our role with postings on ensuring compliance with the college’s policies. If you have any questions, contact Doug Schiazza. Thanks.


4 Comments (Open | Close)

4 Comments To "A Few Emails from Williams"

#1 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On January 14, 2020 @ 9:27 am


What is/was the “Postings Installation Service?”

#2 Comment By timothyjohn On January 15, 2020 @ 11:29 am

If you needed posters put up to advertise an event (i.e., dance workshop, speaker event, anything club related) you could drop off some posters at the mailroom and they’d put it up for you in a bunch of general locations–I think Schow, Paresky, etc. It was a nice service they offered, surprised they got rid of it and surprised at their justification for getting rid of it.

#3 Comment By abl On January 15, 2020 @ 8:17 pm

Thanks for the explanation, timothyjohn. And yea, that doesn’t make much sense. It reads a little like “we’re going to stop doing something that makes students’ lives easier so we can instead focus more on something that will make students’ lives more difficult.” Is there a demand for the Office of Campus Life to do more to police student postering (and was providing this service really getting in the way of that?)?

#4 Comment By timothyjohn On January 15, 2020 @ 10:41 pm

I agree abl. I certainly haven’t heard of a demand to police posters more–the vast majority are relatively innocuous. And if the College wanted to police them, it would make more sense to me to require dropping them off at the mailroom to be checked for acceptability (a whole other can of worms, but you get the point). This policy seems to remove the College from being able to control what posters get put up.