Christina Williams to give lecture for Brain Awareness Week

Christina Williams '75, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, will give a lecture titled "Neuroplasticity: How Food and Fitness Boost Your Memory" at Williams College in recognition of Brain Awareness Week. The event will take place on March 15, at 7 p.m. in Thompson Physics, room 203. It is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

In her talk, Williams will discuss her research on nutrition, including the nutrient choline, which is a critical factor in brain development and in many aspects of learning and memory. The talk will also cover some of her new work on running after radiation treatment and its positive effects on learning and memory, which are often impaired after cancer treatments.

Williams' research uses mouse and rat models to examine how nutrients and hormones alter the course of brain and behavioral development. A second line of research examines the effects of estrogen and other steroid hormones on brain and memory function across the lifespan. Williams received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University, and went on to a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining the faculty at Duke, she taught at Barnard College.

Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign sponsored by the Dana Foundation to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. The foundation was established in 1950 and is a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research through grants, publications, and educational programs.


This event is sponsored by the psychology department's 1960s scholars program, the lecture committee, and the neuroscience program.

Ellen Berrey to present final lecture in diversity-quirt-social justice series

Cultural sociologist Ellen Berrey will present a lecture titled "The Enigma of Diversity: The Language of Race and the Limits of Social Justice" at Williams College on March 16, at 7 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3. This event is free and open to the public.

Berrey's research asks: How do organizations interpret and implement policies aimed at correcting inequalities, such as affirmative action? How do they navigate legal constraints and political opposition? How do they mobilize cultural ideals, such as diversity and fairness, to support their objectives? In her lecture, she will approach these topics from an interpretive perspective, using ethnography and mixed methods to understand how people make meaning in social life.

Berrey's work focuses on three major themes: the symbolic politics of diversity, employment discrimination law, and decision-making and race in college admissions. She is the author of The Enigma of Diversity: The Language of Race and the Limits of Racial Justice. She is co-authoring a second book titled Rights on Trial: Employment Civil Rights at Work and in Court. Berrey's other work includes studies on holistic admissions in public higher education; university and college responses to the fall 2015 anti-racism student protests; and benefit corporations, social entrepreneurship, and the politics of sustainability. Berrey is an affiliated scholar of the American Bar Foundation, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Denver, and will join the faculty of the University of Toronto in summer 2016. She received her A.B. from Brown University and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

This is the final talk in a series on the Diversity-Equity-Social Justice: Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education. The Office of the Dean of Faculty, the Davis Center, Justice and Law Studies are sponsoring this event.