My name is Bryan Jones. I am a prospective Statistics and Economics major of the Class of 2016 at Williams and want to say thank you for your contribution to the Alumni Fund, which enhances the education of current and future Ephs.
Born and raised in the warm weather of Irvine, California, I came to Williams with few inclinations about what to expect in a small, distant New England town. From late-night conversations with entrymates to an exciting spring baseball season, my freshman year far exceeded any of my expectations, and my time here has given me a new understanding of the value of a Williams College education.
Entering sophomore year, I committed to pursuing courses that sounded interesting but were not subjects with which I was familiar. As a result, I took Introduction to Theatre with Professor Amy Holzapfel. Despite lacking previous performing arts experience, the class resulted in one of my favorite academic projects at Williams: a director’s proposal for a production of Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms built around the failures of economic rationality. Although I do not foresee a career in theatre, the course sparked a new personal interest and developed my ability to work cohesively in groups.
When I am not studying, I can often be found working on Kinetic, Williams’s student-run action-oriented think tank. This fall, I led Kinetic’s Education Team, which is collaborating with teacher residencies and graduate schools of education to develop programs that increase interest in and preparation opportunities for the teaching profession at top liberal arts colleges. Now as Kinetic’s Executive Team Co-Chair, I have the incredible opportunity every day to see the power of Williams students using design thinking and economic analysis to create sustainable solutions to national and international issues ranging from food insecurity to energy consumption to distracted driving.
This summer, I plan to work at the Economic Policy Research Institute in Cape Town, South Africa, an opportunity made possible due to the alumni-endowed Kershaw Fellowship in economics. Looking forward, I am excited to be returning to campus to serve as a Junior Advisor to the Class of 2018.
A Williams education transcends traditional classroom walls; I have recognized this truism on the baseball field, in think tank brainstorming sessions, and in a black box director’s studio. These integral components of my Williams education would not have been possible without the generosity of alumni.