Class Year

Zoo Curator I Courtney Janney I ’03

When Courtney Janney was five years old, her teachers asked her to draw a picture of herself decorated with images of what she wanted to be when she grew up. Without pause, Janney sketched herself in a lab coat, caring for tigers—she was a big cat veterinarian. Two-plus decades… Continue reading »

College President I Mary Hinton I ’92

It’s a little before eight o’clock, and the final rays of daylight are quickly fading to darkness. On most college campuses, this time of night on a Friday is welcomed with loud music and drinking games, but here in central Minnesota the scene is different. From all corners of… Continue reading »

Media Marketer-Musician I Tom Sikes I ’11

It’s easy to think of your first job as a tradeoff between money and passion. Either sell out for something stable and secure or eke out a meager existence doing what you love. We tell ourselves that work is supposed to be a grind—that a lucky few are blessed… Continue reading »

Nonprofit Tax Assistance I Sarah Louise Smith I ’06

Sarah Louise Smith didn’t grow up dreaming about tax returns. Her parents didn’t work for the IRS or serve as high-powered tax attorneys. For Smith, taxes were not an inherent passion—they were something she learned to love over time. Following graduation, Smith returned to her home state of Alabama… Continue reading »

Nonprofit Financial Services I Liz Kellison I ’87

Piecing together Liz Kellison’s career trajectory is a difficult task. At various times in her life, Kellison has served as a teacher, a dot-com entrepreneur, a PhD candidate, a writer, and a non-profit organizer. Today, Kellison works on financial services for the poor as a part of the Gates… Continue reading »

Coffee Enthusiast & Café Owner I Julie McGuire I ’88

What is a legitimate job? If you spend four years at an academically elite institution that costs tens of thousands of dollars to attend, are you obligated to do something big and world-changing? If so, what qualifies as big and world-changing? For the past two-and-a-half decades, Julie McGuire has… Continue reading »

Youth Volunteer Coordinator I David Battey I ’85

Usually when college students pull all-nighters, they are cramming for an exam or putting the final touches on a paper. As a senior at Williams, David Battey’s late-night study sessions were motivated by more than just a grade—he was writing the blueprint for the rest of his life. Battey… Continue reading »

Gospel Singer I David Bass I ’77

 “Next on stage — Mr. Dave Bass.” In the corner of the crowded bar, Bass took a deep breath and pushed his way to the stage. On the surface, this was an ordinary event — a midweek open mic night at the Peppermint Lounge, a dive bar a few… Continue reading »

Nonprofit Community Service I Andrew Seligsohn I ’89

How do you distinguish between wanting to study something and wanting to do something? If you are passionate about an aspect of the human experience, should you spend your time understanding it or being directly engaged in it?  Andrew Seligsohn grappled with those questions throughout his time at Williams and for… Continue reading »

Anthropologist I Catherine Bolten I ’98

It was fall of her senior year, and Catherine Bolten was feeling good. She had just returned from a summer-long research trip to Botswana and was inspired and confident — for the first time in her life, Bolten knew what she wanted to do. “I marched into my professor’s… Continue reading »

The Geologist Designer I Carissa Carter I ’01

It’s easy to get trapped into thinking that each of us is predestined for one path—that happiness is contingent on finding our one and only perfect career. For four years at Williams and five more afterwards, Carissa Carter was convinced that she was going to become a geology professor. Continue reading »

Filmmaker I Rachel Kessler I ’13

Imagine the Science Quad at 5 a.m. Even on the rowdiest of nights, the pathways would be quiet, the buildings deserted. It was this time of day her freshman year that Rachel Kessler first realized she could become a filmmaker. She had arrived… Continue reading »

Clothing Designer (and TV Star) I J.J. O’brien I ’05

After starring on the most recent season of “The Bachelorette,” he’s become a household name across teenage America. He has tens of thousands of Instagram followers and can hardly take the train without being stopped for a picture. For more than half a decade, though, J.J. O’brien’s post-Williams life… Continue reading »

Social Activist I Morgan Goodwin I ’08

Arriving on campus in the fall of 2004, Morgan Goodwin wasted little time making his presence felt. One night in November, as his entry prepared for Sunday Snacks, Goodwin and a friend met in the stairwell of Sage Hall. Goodwin glanced at his watch. “On the count of three, we… Continue reading »

Community Developer I Stevon Cook I ’08

Election day 2014 is a big day for Williams College. In Massachusetts, Martha Coakley ’75 is running for governor. In Virginia, a pair of Ephs are battling each other for a spot in the U.S. House of Representatives. And in San Francisco, 29-year-old Stevon Cook is making his first bid… Continue reading »

Farming Artist I Lucy Rollins I ’12

Lucy Rollins ’12 is a tough person to define. She is a farmer, an artist, an entrepreneur, an activist, an outdoors enthusiast, a teacher, a singer. Two years removed from her Williams graduation, she has returned to Williamstown where she now splits her time between… Continue reading »

Macroeconomist I Philip Bartels I ’03

Seniors who have no idea what you want to do, you’re not alone. Not only did Philip Bartels leave college unsure of his path, it took him nearly a decade of searching before he found a position that truly excited him. During stints as a legal assistant, banker, and grad… Continue reading »

Sports Executive I Will Kuntz I ’06

The Williams alumni network is an amazing thing. Just ask Will Kuntz ’06. Kuntz, an avid sports fan, spent all his undergraduate summers working for the New York Yankees. After graduation he joined the Yankees full time, working his way up to director of pro scouting or “Yankees’ Whiz Kid,”… Continue reading »

Social Entrepreneur I Imran Khoja I ’12

In January 2012, Imran Khoja ’12 and Katy Gathright ’12 won the first ever Williams College Business Plan Competition. Following graduation, they took the prize money and started Designed Good — an online marketplace for socially responsible products. After eight months in Williamstown in an apartment with no… Continue reading »

Political Campaigner | Dave Marsh | ’12

During his first summer after graduation, while canvassing door-to-door for President Obama’s campaign in Colorado, Dave Marsh ’12  encountered a man who demanded to know the purpose of his visit. When Marsh told him, the man promptly reached back and pulled out a large handgun, cocked it, and… Continue reading »

Storyteller | Pei-Ru Ko | ’09

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow unable to get out of bed, incapable of going to work, and faced with no timetable for a recovery? After graduating from Williams in the spring of 2009, Pei-Ru Ko went home to Taiwan determined to make a difference. In many… Continue reading »

Artist | Robby Cuthbert | ’11

It often takes years to become an overnight success. By October 2013, Robby Cuthbert, a soft-spoken psychology and art double major, knew he didn’t have a lot of time left before he would have to start looking for a “real job.” He’d spent the last two years… Continue reading »

School Principal | Kim Dacres | ’08

Kim Dacres, the principal of New York’s Harlem Prep Middle School, doesn’t fit the traditional mold. Growing up, Dacres remembers all of her principals as old white men. She’s a 28-year-old African-American from the Bronx. Her leadership style is also unique. Rather than hide away in an office,… Continue reading »

Google’s Green Czar | Sam Arons | ’04

Sam Arons ’04  Interested in working on climate change? Think you’ll end up as a researcher or activist working for a nonprofit somewhere? For as long as he can remember, Sam Arons has been interested in the environment. After two years of grad school at UC Berkeley, he sought real-world… Continue reading »

Community Organizer | Aaron Jenkins | ’03

Aaron Jenkins is the program director of Operation Understanding DC (OUDC), a Washington D.C.-based youth leadership organization. Before working at OUDC, A.J. worked as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill. What is the mission of OUDC? Our mission is to build a group of community leaders, with the idea… Continue reading »

Darlingside | The Band | ’06, ’07, ’09

Sam Kapala ’09, Harris Paseltiner ’09 Don Mitchell ’06, Auyon Mukharji ’07 Dave Senft ’07 Musicians Darlingside Hadley, MA   Sam Kapala, Harris Paseltiner, Auyon Mukharji, Don Mitchell, and Dave Senft make up the string rock quintet, Darlingside. They all… Continue reading » | Mariam Naficy | ’91

Mariam Naficy, ’91 CEO San Francisco, CA Mariam Naficy is the founder and CEO of, a website that crowd-sources design for stationery and paper goods. Mariam’s previous venture, the beauty retailer, was acquired by LVMH’s Sephora.     What is Minted? And how… Continue reading »

Real Estate Developer | Akilah Rogers | ’04

Akilah Rogers is an entrepreneur and real estate developer based in Chicago. She created her company, Rogers Empire, in the final semester of her M.B.A. program at Harvard. What is the Rogers Empire? It’s a real estate company. I buy foreclosed properties on the south side of Chicago (in… Continue reading »

Connected Health | Tracy Heilman | ’88

Tracy Heilman is co-founder and vice president of product at ConnectedHealth, a Chicago-based start-up that helps educate consumers about health insurance and match them with plans. Her previous company, Subimo, was acquired by WebMD in 2006.     What is ConnectedHealth and how is it different from… Continue reading »

Line Cook | Payson Cushman | ’05

Line Cook Momofuku Ssäm New York, NY   At the time of this interview, Payson Cushman was a line cook at Momofuku Ssäm in New York City. He is now at Craft (, also in New York City. What… Continue reading »

Writer and Performer | Mayda Del Valle | ’00 Los Angeles, CA Mayda Del Valle is a renowned spoken word-artist. In 2001, she became the youngest person and first Latina to win the National Slam Poetry title. She subsequently appeared in four seasons of the HBO series “Def Comedy Jam” and in… Continue reading »

Philanthropy Enhancer | Kevin Bolduc | ’99

Kevin Bolduc is a vice president at the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before landing at CEP, he spent two years as a consultant with The Parthenon Group.   Describe the mission of CEP and what makes it unique. The Center for Effective Philanthropy… Continue reading »

Social Media Specialist | Anna Morrison | ’07

sorry the picture didn't load, you would have seen Anna Morrison rockin' it in the office!

Carmichael Lynch Spong Minneapolis, MN You work as a social media specialist. How is that different from traditional public relations? Social media is any digital application where people are sharing ideas and information. That could mean a blog or a traditional social network… Continue reading »