Professor Shivon Robinson sits on an outdoor bench.

I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations on your admission to Williams!

I joined the faculty as an assistant professor of psychology in 2019. However, my journey here actually began 12 years earlier when I received my own acceptance letter from Williams. As an alum, I understand firsthand the value Williams places on excellent teaching and scholarship. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had professors who were deeply committed to both my intellectual and personal growth. After completing my graduate studies and postdoctoral work in behavioral neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, I was eager to pursue a career where I could provide the same level of commitment to student success that I experienced as an undergraduate, while continuing to conduct high-impact research. I was thrilled when the opportunity arose for me to do just that here at Williams.

One of my favorite aspects of teaching at Williams is the interdisciplinary programming that spans across campus. In addition to the 35 majors (core areas of study), the college offers over 15 different concentrations, which comprise select groupings of courses drawn from various departments and fields of study. For instance, as part of the Neuroscience program, I have collaborated with faculty from the Biology department to co-teach Introduction to Neuroscience. Additionally, I teach an upper level seminar titled Opioids and the Opioid Crisis: The Neuroscience Behind an Epidemic that is cross-listed as both a Neuroscience and a Public Health elective. These courses consistently attract students from diverse academic backgrounds, fostering rich discussions and fruitful exchanges of viewpoints.

The breadth and quality of research opportunities available to Williams students are quite extraordinary.

Many departments offer courses in which students design and execute an original research project over the semester. During the school year, students can also pursue mentored research experiences via research assistant positions, Winter Study courses, independent study projects, or honors theses. Additionally, every summer, the college hosts a robust summer research program where approximately 200 students stay on campus to work alongside faculty in an intensive research experience. Students seeking summer research opportunities outside of Williams can apply for funding through the Roche & Gomez Fellowship or the Alumni Sponsored Internship Program. Over the past five years, I have mentored more than 20 students in my lab through a combination of these mechanisms. It has been a great joy to see these students embark on a variety of exciting and fulfilling careers equipped with the necessary skills to tackle the next big problem.

I feel very privileged to be part of this vibrant community. Williams is a special place, and I sincerely hope you have the opportunity to experience it firsthand!

All the best,

Shivon Robinson
Assistant Professor of Psychology