In the Light: Jon Williams


Jon Williams

Mara Stein

Hailing from Syracuse, New York, senior Jonathan Williams was inspired by a high school teacher to come to Colgate. Williams’s AP U.S. History instructor (and Colgate alumnus) persuaded him to submit an application just before the deadline – and the senior is certainly glad he did.

A biology and sociology concentrator, Williams’ passion for helping others has guided his experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. Since the age of 13, Williams has volunteered at a local community health center, working as a phlebotomist to develop patient interaction skills. He also spent a summer participating in the Summer Medical Dental Education Program at Duke University’s School of Medicine in North Carolina.

“The significant underrepresentation of physicians of color is the motivation that keeps me going,” Williams said. His role as President and Co-founder of Colgate’s Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS) is a testament to this claim.

Williams is involved in many other extracurricular activities as well. He is a member of the Konosioni Senior Honor Society, the Diversity Coordinator of the Student Government Association (SGA) Cabinet, captain of the Colgate’s men’s club volleyball team and Liasion to the Natural Science Advisory Committee.

As he looks towards the future, Williams is planning to continue in the medical field.

“I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything other than working and interacting with people,” he said.

Next year, Williams will be attending Yale’s School of Public Health. He will study social and behavioral sciences with a Global Health concentration.  

As he reflects on his four years at Colgate, Williams knows he will miss Professor Jeff Spires. But, “we’re Facebook friends,” Williams said, “so I think I’ll be okay.”

Williams urges his fellow classmates to engage in critical thinking

and self-reflection.

“Pretty often, we get swept up in the images and standards that people hold for us. I would say that because of this, we end up distorting how we view ourselves. Speak and act with intention, so that you can lead with humility.”