Julia Pham

I’m part of the Williams class of 2022 from Los Altos Hills, CA. On campus I enjoy helping out with Biology research, practicing with the women’s tennis team, and occasionally catching up with piano practice in the Bernhard music center! 

I founded the WMI with the purpose of directly helping the lives of those that need immediate help who are living in Berkshire County. Having been a student at the college for the past two years, I have become incredibly fond of the small, intimate community that makes the experience at Williams so beautiful. With the rise of the pandemic, I wanted to further contribute as a member of this rural community that I knew would be heavily affected by COVID-19. In addition, I lost my beloved grandfather two years ago and it broke my heart to find out that there were a startling number of elderly and high risk patients that were dying, isolated from their loved ones and deprived of a proper funeral ritual. Seeing their suffering and knowing these people are among those at highest risk of dying of COVID-19 prompted me to immediately take action to find a way to help them. I learned that the organizations that serve these high risk populations are often nonprofit and lack monetary resources to provide adequate protection for their patients. The initiative’s purpose is to provide quality cloth face coverings to the vulnerable individuals of our community that are in most need of protection. Rachel and Chloe helped to form the WMI in April, with Catherine joining the team soon after to design our masks and logo. Later on we recruited Emily, Jacob, Nick, and Michelle through the Williams Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship (WSIE), and this fall Claire joined us in our efforts to run an emergency mask service for the Williams College community. I am incredibly grateful for all of the members of the WMI team, in addition to our heroic mask-making volunteers, for their dedication and hard work for our cause. We couldn’t do this without you!

Chloe Hendersen

Hi! I’m Chloe and I’m a recent Williams graduate (‘20) from Las Vegas, NV. I was a biology major and studied the effects of alternate day fasting in obese mice for my senior thesis with Prof. Swoap. I was also on the women’s tennis team at Williams, which is how I became involved with WMI from my friendship with Julia. I’m so happy to be a part of WMI and am so proud of how many masks we’ve been able to provide to people in the local Berkshire community. I enjoy making crafts and so sewing has become a recent hobby (although the volunteers should definitely take credit for most of the masks we have made so far!). Aside from crafts, I also enjoy working out, watching Impractical Jokers, and being silly with family and friends. 

Rachel Cross

Hi! My name is Rachel and I am a rising senior at Williams College. I am majoring in Biology and am on the pre-med track with the hope of going to medical school. At Williams I am on the tennis team and am heavily involved in InterVarsity, the Christian fellowship here. Julia, my teammate, reached out to me in April with the idea of starting this initiative where we could help high risk populations. I loved her ideas for it and was delighted to have some way to help those who are in need during this time. Being part of the WMI has been incredible, and also brought back my sewing skills that I hadn’t used in a while! I’m excited to see how we can continue helping the Berkshire community and now those across the country as well by providing masks. 

Emily Ham

Hi! I’m Emily, and I am a rising junior from New York, NY. I am a German and Economics major. I am involved in art market research at Williams; I have been building a price predictor for contemporary art and analyzing art market trends. Music is also a very big part of my life! I love to sing opera and jazz. On campus, I am a part of the opera workshop. Williams is a very special place for me, so being a part of this group is especially meaningful. It has been so wonderful to work with my team so far, and I am very excited to continue doing our best to help the Williams community. A big thank you to everyone supporting WMI!

Michelle Laker

My name’s Michelle and I’m currently a rising junior who’s majoring in Chemistry x Psychology while on the pre-medical track. On campus, I’m a part of the dance ensemble Kusika and participate in research with the chemistry department. I joined the Williams Mask Initiative in late July after hearing a lot about the work being done by WMI from Julia Pham (‘22). It especially resonated with me because I believe in community interdependence and that we all need each other to survive. The COVID-19 pandemic has proved this beyond a doubt. Right now, it seems that wearing masks is the least we can do to keep our communities safe, and it’s heartbreaking to learn that there are vulnerable groups of people living here in Berkshire County without access to them. So I’m grateful to be a part of the WMI team as we strive to help the cause in any way that we can.

Nick Langel

I’m a rising sophomore in the class of 2023, hoping to major in Statistics and Economics! I joined WMI through the Williams Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship and I’ve been focused on building up our website. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be part of this great group, and I’m proud of everything WMI has done and will continue to do! I’ve been doing math/stats research and working in a variety of data science-oriented roles this summer, and I enjoy running for the Williams Men’s Track and Field team and playing cello on campus at Williams. 

Jacob Fink

My name is Jacob Fink, and I am a rising sophomore at Williams. I am planning to major in economics and psychology. Around campus, I run on the cross-country team and write for Williams Sports Information. I’m from Williamstown, MA, so this cause has a strong personal connection to me. Julia recruited me through the Williams Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship, and this has and will continue to be a very meaningful experience. Thank you to everyone supporting WMI in our mission!

Catherine Pham

Hello! I’m Catherine, a senior at Foothill Middle College and a pre-college student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In the future I plan to major in Psychology and Music. I initially joined the WMI because they needed someone to design and create a logo for the initiative. Now, I work on product development for the WMI, and I’m very grateful for this opportunity to help vulnerable patients needing masks. Outside of school I enjoy learning about digital art, playing piano, and exploring my academic interests.