Fulbright-University of York Award
Sophia Williams graduated summa cum laude from Rochester Institute of Technology with majors in Anthropology and Criminal Justice and a concentration in Biology in 2023. Profoundly deaf and bilingual in American Sign Language and written English, Sophia is committed to breaking down barriers for marginalized deaf communities in the States and abroad. She was heavily involved in several movements on campus addressing inequity and accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing student body. She has presented at several conferences and worked as a Chief Research Assistant at RIT/NTID’s Deaf Health Care and Biomedical Science Hub.
An aspiring medical anthropologist and bioarchaeologist, she seeks to bridge the experiences of the ancient body and the modern body regarding disability and access to healthcare. As a 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, she analyzed centuries-old letters that focus on the English colonization of health. In the summer of 2022, she explored yet another aspect of health and social identity as a student archaeologist in Romania. Through her undergraduate thesis, she learned from deaf Haitian immigrants and their experiences navigating the American healthcare system.
She is extremely thrilled to be pursuing a MA in Medical History and Humanities at the University of York through Fulbright. She is eager to engage with other scholars at the intersection of historical, literary, social, and cultural perspectives on illness and health. She is very much looking forward to collaborating with the deaf community in the UK (and hopes to improve her BSL fingerspelling reception skills), visiting bookshops in Yorkshire, and eating as many scones as she can.