justin adkins, a long time Davis Center staffer, is heading off for a new job at Allegheny College. In addition to his passion for activism education, he also is very invested in environmental sustainability work. (Plus he loves raising chickens and growing hops!) He worked with Amy Johns of the Zilkha Center to create Root, a first year orientation program that works at the intersection of social justice, sustainability, and identity. You will be missed, justin!
I first met justin as a first year through Root, the ephventure program co-sponsored by the Davis Center and the Zilkha Center. I remember being extra sociable to make up for the nervousness I was feeling and took the initiative to get to know justin who at the time seemed to me as the loudest most outgoing, doesn’t-care-what-others-think person I could meet at Williams. I learned a lot during those few first days I spent with him, from the history of northeastern Massachusetts to activism on campus
and issues of identity I had never thought of before. Root, for me, then became defined through my own personal interactions with justin and I will always be grateful for the times I have shared with him during those first days and throughout the school year.
Now as coordinator of Root, one of the things I’m thinking about when planning the program for the fall is how to best fill the void (if it is even possible) that will be left from justin’s departure as he takes on the position of Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Intercultural Advancement and Student Success at Allegheny College. Nonetheless, I know justin will continue to fight for not only his students but for the lives of all who have faced any sort of oppression. My only hope is that Root will bring onto other students the same passion and dedication that justin inspired within me me when I was first year.
-Claudia Reyes ’18