Nassau Native Williams Continues to Shine in Next Phase of Education

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Vandia Williams ’22 from Nassau has taken her career to the next level since graduating from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY.

In 2021, she was named a John Christopher Hartwick (JCH) Scholar, the highest academic honor the College confers. She graduated in May, 2022 after an impressive career that included:

  • Graduating summa cum laude
  • Induction into the Hartwick College Honors society (for being in the top 10% of her class)
  • Graduating with honors and distinction in Biology
  • Winning the annual Kellogg Oratorical Speaker Award

Upon graduation, Williams was accepted into six graduate programs, all with substantial scholarship offers. She decided to attend the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, the top sports science institute in the country, and work toward a master’s degree in sports medicine.

Since enrolling at the University of South Carolina, she has continued to thrive. She has earned two fellowships: The Arnold School of Public Health Vernberg Fellowship, given to honor the memory of the school’s founding dean; and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fellowship.

Williams was also named president of the school’s Iota Tau Alpha Athletic training honors society.

Her path will likely bring her back to her homeland.

“My love for sports and serving others remains, and so my goal is to eventually return home to the Bahamas to hopefully educate the government on the importance of athletic trainers within the education system,” she says. “I feel it is vital to show how athletics trainers can possibly reduce the strain on the hospital system, and eventually lead toward at least implementing athletic trainers within the different school districts at sporting practices and games.”

Williams believes the Bahamas breeds many talented athletes that could make it to the world stage if they only had access to appropriate sport-specific healthcare. To that end, she hopes to one day work with the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Education to incorporate athletic trainers specifically into the education system.