The mission of the Office of Special Academic Programs (OSAP) is to help eradicate racial and economic disparities in higher education by providing and connecting students with opportunities that will help them thrive at Williams and beyond.
Who We Are
The Office of Special Academic Programs is a part of the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Diversity, which also consists of the Vice President, Associate Dean, and the Multicultural Center. Together, this unit seeks to strengthen the College’s commitment to inclusion by ensuring that diversity initiatives are advanced and celebrated. OSAP’s staff includes a director, Molly Magavern, and an assistant, Bob Blay. We are located on the second floor of Hardy House.
What We Do
The Office of Special Academic Programs focuses on several specific programs.
The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) and the Allison Davis Research Fellowship (ADRF) work to increase racial and socio-economic diversity in higher education by preparing students from underrepresented groups for academic careers. Both fellowships provide opportunities for faculty-mentored research, preparation for graduate school, and individualized support from the OSAP staff. Both fellowships recruit from the sophomore class and include participation in the Summer Research Colloquium.
The Summer Humanities and Social Sciences program (SHSS) is a 5-week program for talented incoming first year students with a passion for the humanities or social sciences who are from underrepresented minority groups and/or who are first-generation college students. The program has two main goals: First, it provides its students with a preview of the Williams experience and familiarizes them with some of the extraordinary academic opportunities the college offers. Second, we hope that the glimpse of research and teaching afforded by our faculty will inspire some of our students to consider a career in one of the academic fields of the humanities and social sciences. Resident Mentors, upper class Williams students, live with the SHSS pre-frosh and guide them through a broad range of academic, cultural, recreational, and community based activities.
Additionally, OSAP serves as a liaison to certain off-campus opportunities, like the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color and the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers.