Tag Archives: Williston Scholars

Williston Scholars: Examining the Student-Athlete

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Prep schools often are known for their competitive athletic programs. At the Williston Northampton School, students have the opportunity to go beyond their own play in a course taught by History and Global Studies teacher Diane Williams. Sports Studies, one of this year’s Williston Scholars courses, encourages students to evaluate how gender, race, economics, and politics interact with the world of sports.

“Teaching this class has been a really amazing opportunity to expose student-athletes to a variety of topics related to sport, sport culture, and dominant ideologies in society,” said Diane.

Williston Scholars
With Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in such close proximity, Williston works to take advantage of the diversity and opportunities to be found on those campuses. Over two trimesters, with the help of five college and university professors and staff, Williston Scholars classes introduce students to research and writing more commonly found in higher education.

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Bringing Outside Voices to Sports Studies

Diane Williams in Sports Studies at Williston Northampton

“Are sports connected to what’s happening in the classroom?” It was their search for the answer to that question that lead Smith College professors Don Siegel and Sam Intrator to found an innovative, Springfield-based program called Project Coach.

In early December, the two professors, plus two others from their program, brought that question to students at The Williston Northampton School.

“There’s a notion that what’s going on in the playing fields connects to what’s going on in other parts of kids’ lives,” Siegel told the students. “The way to the boardroom leads through the locker room.”

The same question could be applied to the class—a new Williston Scholars program called Sports Studies. Created by Diane Williams, a history and global studies teacher, the course features a large slate of visiting speakers and is designed to give students local examples of “sports being used in a meaningful way to impact people’s lives.”

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