The Williams Record

Jacob Posner, Executive Editor for Podcast

Jacob Posner ’23 is a history major from Chicago, Ill. He is an executive editor for podcast and previously served as a section editor for features.

Email: [email protected]

All content by Jacob Posner
Cohen said that part of the issue with such coverage of her comments was that it drew on a quote that had been placed out of context. (Photo courtesy of Phoebe Cohen.)

Professor embroiled in controversy over disinvited speaker

Jacob Posner November 10, 2021
Professor and Chair of Geosciences Phoebe Cohen became the subject of online criticism in mid-October after opposing MIT’s decision to invite geophysicist Dorian Abbot — who has critiqued affirmative action — to give a prominent lecture. 
Out of the eight dining hall workers who responded to a Record survey, seven reported dissatisfaction.

Dining staff say they are overworked, frustrated as a result of labor shortage

Kitt Urdang, Jacob Posner, and Saud Afzal Shafi October 6, 2021
As the College navigates a local and national labor shortage, some members of the Dining Services staff say they are overburdened, lack confidence in the quality of their work, and are experiencing low morale. Of the eight dining hall workers who responded to an anonymous survey by the Record, seven expressed dissatisfaction with their experiences working in Dining Services this year.
Whitney Lincoln ’20 (left), Lindsay Avant ’21 (top right), and Sydney Jones ’21 (bottom right) spoke with the Record about their experiences as Black athletes on womens soccer. (Photos courtesy of Grace Byers, Lindsay Avant, and Kris Dufour.)

Navigating ‘white structures and white expectations’: Black athletes discuss race, belonging on women’s soccer

Jacob Posner May 19, 2021
The Record spoke with three Black players on women’s soccer who took significant time off from the team over the last two years, or, in one case, quit the team outright. They all emphasized that their experiences on the team were symptomatic of it being part of a majority-white college, of “having to navigate through white structures and white expectations,” as one player put it.
Without help from the College, the term-limited faculty whose contracts have already ended or will end after this semester must find new positions. Many are struggling to navigate job markets with little demand for their labor. (The Williams Record/Emily Zheng)

Term-limited faculty face uncertain futures amid pandemic job market

Jacob Posner, Josh Kirschner, and Katharine Cook April 7, 2021
During spring 2020, despite widespread calls for support from term-limited faculty members, the College declined to offer a blanket extension of all term-limited faculty members’ contracts, citing financial uncertainty. Instead, it provided term-limited faculty members the option to take an unpaid research associate position to aid in the job search. While some term-limited professors were ultimately offered extensions on a case-by-case basis, others were left to face a beleaguered job market.
College reports 4 potentially connected COVID cases

College reports 4 potentially connected COVID cases

2 students among the 4 cases attended indoor gathering on Saturday
Kevin Yang, Annie Lu, and Jacob Posner March 23, 2021
Two students have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending an indoor gathering at Gladden House on Saturday night, Dean Sandstrom confirmed to the Record today. The two COVID-positive students who attended the gathering — along with another student who did not attend the gathering, as well as a faculty or staff member — are part of a larger cluster of four cases reported in the last week.
This semester in Williams history

This semester in Williams history

Bellamy Richardson and Jacob Posner December 9, 2020
For the sake of posterity, and to provide a chance to reflect, the Record put together a recap of its coverage during this unusual semester.
One in Two Thousand: Weiwei Lu ’23

One in Two Thousand: Weiwei Lu ’23

Jacob Posner November 18, 2020
This week the script in R chose Weiwei Lu ’23, who discussed her love of Tunnel City coffee, becoming an accidental major in comparative literature and her character development over the past year. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Quarantined students face communication gaps, criticize lack of College support

Quarantined students face communication gaps, criticize lack of College support

Kevin Yang, Annie Lu, and Jacob Posner November 11, 2020
In October, two more students at the College tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive tests among students to five. Upon receiving their positive test results, the students were told they had to move to isolation housing, and their respective podmates, who were informed about an hour afterward, were given less than an hour to pack and move to Dodd for a two-week quarantine. The ensuing series of events, based on interviews with four students who were placed in quarantine across the two incidents, revealed a significant lack of communication on the part of the College.
One in Two Thousand: Mikaela Topper ’21

One in Two Thousand: Mikaela Topper ’21

Jacob Posner November 11, 2020

(Photo courtesy of Mikaela Topper.) Each week, we randomly select a unix from a list of all current students at the College for our One in Two Thousand feature. As long as the owner of...

How religious groups have adapted to campus COVID regulations

How religious groups have adapted to campus COVID regulations

Jacob Posner and Ronan O'Connor November 4, 2020
As it does every year, the Williams College Jewish Association (WCJA) held a blowing of the shofar, a kind of horn, for Rosh Hashanah. As so many things do, the timeless tradition looked a little different this year.
One in Two Thousand: Jacob Fink ’23

One in Two Thousand: Jacob Fink ’23

Jacob Posner October 21, 2020
This week the computer (using a script in R) chose Jacob Fink ’23, who discussed growing up in Williamstown, his experiences as a Duncan Robinson superfan, his interests in psychology and Malcolm Gladwell.
Students have been gathering in large groups that violate the 10-person limit imposed by COVID guidelines. (The Williams Record)

Large gatherings of students violated the public health guidelines. The College’s response has been spotty.

Kevin Yang, Annie Lu, and Jacob Posner September 30, 2020
If you walk past Frosh Quad at 11 p.m. on a Friday, you’ll hear pounding music and see groups of first-years wandering between buildings. It almost seems like a regular Friday night — not one in the middle of a pandemic. In the weeks since students returned to campus there have been a number of instances in which students violated the College’s public health guidelines — which limit gatherings to groups of 10 — sometimes with gatherings of dozens of students. The College’s responses to different instances and types of violations have varied widely.
Those stinging creatures? They’re yellow jackets, not bees.

Those stinging creatures? They’re yellow jackets, not bees.

Jacob Posner September 30, 2020

Hordes of yellow jackets have been harassing students eating outside because of COVID-19 restrictions. (Rachel Buccalo/The Williams Record) It’s impossible to miss them. They’re drowning...

“This is being Black at Williams:” Instagram account amplifies Black voices, issues of racism within the College

“This is being Black at Williams:” Instagram account amplifies Black voices, issues of racism within the College

Arrington Luck, Jacob Posner, and Jackson Hartigan August 5, 2020
“I remember a white student complaining to me about how me and my black friends participated too much/too well to the point that we ‘dominated’ the class, and informed me how other non-white classmates felt the same way,” reads a June 30 post from the Instagram page @blackatwilliams. “It was as if he was asking me to give him a chance. And to top it off, it was an Africana course. His entitlement infuriated me.’”
The Unmasked Project app aims to create a space for college students to share how they are “really feeling.” Photo provided by the Unmasked Project.

Through Unmasked app, students share how they are really feeling

Jacob Posner and Tali Natter July 30, 2020

At the top of the screen reads a simple prompt: “Hi, how are you really feeling today?” Posts, arrayed on a nature-themed user interface that practically screams calm, seem to take the question seriously,...

Seniors celebrate graduation off-campus

Seniors celebrate graduation off-campus

Bellamy Richardson and Jacob Posner May 23, 2020
While an in-person commencement for the class of 2020 has officially been pushed to an unknown future date, some seniors, including Ennis and his friends, are making their own plans to celebrate their graduation off-campus in the weeks to come.
Robin Eagleton ’22 is living alone in a cabin in the woods to keep her distance from a vulnerable family member. (Photo courtesy of Robin Eagleton.)

Family first: Students take unconventional measures to protect vulnerable loved ones

Jeongyoon Han and Jacob Posner May 22, 2020
Robin Eagleton ’22 is living in the woods. Alone. In a 400 sq. ft. cabin. Without indoor plumbing.
Miles Apart: Four stories of the pandemic

Miles Apart: Four stories of the pandemic

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Jacob Posner May 22, 2020

A note from the reporters: In the weeks after students dispersed across the globe in light of the pandemic, the Record sent out a survey to 500 randomly selected students to get a sense of their...

Pandemic brings financial uncertainty to students and their families

Pandemic brings financial uncertainty to students and their families

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Jacob Posner May 22, 2020
Jesus Estrada ’20.5 lives with his mother and sister in Huntington Park, Calif. Estrada’s mother provides most of the family’s income, and as an employee at a fast-food chain, she’s classified as an essential worker. But she also has diabetes, a condition that makes her more vulnerable to serious complications from COVID-19.
After battling with COVID-19 symptoms, Calle and her mother went for a walk last weekend in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, New York. (Photo courtesy of Tania Calle.)

Three Williams students experienced COVID-19 symptoms. These are their stories.

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Jacob Posner May 21, 2020
While many students at the College have felt the effects of COVID-19 from afar — financially, emotionally, academically — relatively few have come into close contact with the virus itself. But for three students, it has become intimately familiar. Tania Calle ’20, Kalina Harden ’21 and Max Mallett ’23 all experienced telltale coronavirus symptoms and either lived in or passed through an epicenter of the virus.
Associate Professor of Geosciences Phoebe Cohen talks to her thesis student, Kate Pippenger ’20, over Zoom. (Photo courtesy of Phoebe Cohen.)

Professors look back at remote learning, reflect on experiences and challenges

Rebecca Tauber and Jacob Posner May 13, 2020
At the beginning of the switch to remote learning, the Record spoke with a variety of professors about their thoughts going into online classes. This week, we followed up with some of those professors as the semester comes to a close after a month and a half of remote learning.
After seeing on Facebook that his birthday was coming up, Gillooly gave a neighbor toilet paper in a gift bag. (Photo courtesy of Hayden Gillooly.)

Hayden Gillooly ’21 checks in on her elderly neighbors

Jacob Posner May 13, 2020

Hayden Gillooly ’21, who lives in North Adams, grew up steeped in small-town life. Every day after school, she would walk to her grandmother’s house. “She taught me how to cook, and she...

Aanya Kapur 20, who is staying in the Rectory, decided to find a place to stay off-campus after campus closure rather than risk returning home to Australia. She had petitioned to stay on campus but was denied and decided not to appeal. (Photo by Kevin Yang/The Williams Record.)

Worried about traveling home, some students remain in off-campus housing in Williamstown

Jacob Posner and Stephanie Teng April 29, 2020
Aanya Kapur ’20 lived in Horn Hall before COVID-19 began causing school closures. When the College shut down, she worried she would not be able to return home because her parents live in Australia, whose borders had closed.
Financial aid office waives summer earnings contribution in effort to support students during pandemic

Financial aid office waives summer earnings contribution in effort to support students during pandemic

Jacob Posner and Jackson Hartigan April 26, 2020
Amidst the economic complications faced by the College as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Financial Aid will continue to provide financial support at the same level as before the outbreak.
PHOTO COURTESY OF PETER LE. Peter Le 21 was quarantined in a dormitory at Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City for over two weeks.

After a long flight home, an even longer quarantine

Jacob Posner April 15, 2020
Each morning began early with two volunteers in full protective gear knocking on his door for a temperature check. The hazmatted figures, who only returned to his room to drop meals off, made Peter Le ’21 feel like he was in a movie.
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANG/THE WILLIAMS RECORD.

Professors approach remote learning with creativity, cautious optimism

Jacob Posner April 3, 2020
Imagine you are a Williams professor. You care deeply for your students. You try to develop a high-quality, intellectually invigorating experience. But the College has shut down, and a pandemic threatens the world. You’re at home, perhaps with a child or two to take care of, and an elderly parent to worry about. Your only teaching tools are online — Zoom, Glow, Piazza — but you’ve never taught online.
A closer look into the process that determined who could stay and who had to leave

A closer look into the process that determined who could stay and who had to leave

Kevin Yang and Jacob Posner March 25, 2020
Seven students’ stories reveal the consequences of the College’s decisions and underscore the diverging home situations of the student body
Special Collections event dives into institutional history

Special Collections event dives into institutional history

Jacob Posner February 19, 2020

JACOB POSNER/THE WILLIAMS RECORDCommunity members transcribe documents from the College’s early history at the Transcribe-a-Thon last week. “The name of [the] Indian boy who lives...

For Jules Clardy ’23, witchcraft deepens link with ancestors

For Jules Clardy ’23, witchcraft deepens link with ancestors

Jacob Posner February 12, 2020

PHOTOS COURTESY OF JULES CLARDY.In her Frosh Quad single (above), which smells pleasantly of herbs, Clardy said she has “completely maxed out all of my wall and ceiling space.” Album...

Students, incarcerated people form partnerships

Students, incarcerated people form partnerships

Jacob Posner December 6, 2019

Greg Parslow, who is no longer incarcerated, went to the Berkshire County House of Correction (BHoC) for selling narcotics. He had joined a gang at a state institution, but while at BHoC, he renounced...

Steve Simon enjoys life as First Gentleman

Steve Simon enjoys life as First Gentleman

Jacob Posner November 13, 2019

Steve Simon, pictured with his cat Shoshie in the President’s House, has settled into life as First Gentleman of the College. (Ethan Dinçer/The Williams Record) Steve Simon, President Maud...

Williams Forum aims to “pop the Purple Bubble”

Williams Forum aims to “pop the Purple Bubble”

Jacob Posner November 6, 2019

At a Nov. 1 Williams Forum meeting, students broke into small groups and discussed alternatives to the Electoral College. (Jacob Posner/The Williams Record) The atmosphere was oddly tense....

Town manager Jason Hoch ’95 reflects on career

Town manager Jason Hoch ’95 reflects on career

Jacob Posner October 9, 2019

Photo courtesy of Jason Hoch. “I was one of those alums who was here every year for something, so I was never far away,” Jason Hoch ’95 said. “I probably spent 10 years or so as a...

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