Kaitlyn Williams


Stafford, Virginia

Academic Interests

Environmental Science and Policy & Cultural Anthropology 

Fun Fact

I am advanced scuba certified!

Growing up, I always had a magnetic attraction to the ocean and fell in love with everything below its surface. I have always loved visiting the beach with my family, and some of my best memories revolve around the ocean and the immense opportunities and experiences that its existence has provided me. Throughout the years, this passion has been molded thanks to countless summer experiences, such as volunteering in sea turtle hatcheries and working to rebuild coral communities, culminating in a passion for environmental science and policy. Simultaneously, I discovered a strong desire to help others, more specifically those impacted by the shifts in our climate and society, drawing me to the realm of the environmental humanities. The combination of the two pushed me to pursue an interdepartmental major, a combination of environmental science and cultural anthropology, simulating that of an environmental humanities degree, in order to pursue both of my passions. I hope to one day attend law school and eventually work as an environmental equity advocate, working for communities in need while simultaneously protecting our planet. I still have an immense passion for the ocean and have found various outlets, including potentially a marine science minor, to keep this spark alive! 

Stepping outside of academics, I am incredibly involved here at Duke! This year I am one of the co-chairs of Duke University Union’s Duke@nite committee, specializing in various nighttime programming. This fall, I began working in the sustainability office as a green devil, specializing in communication and social media. I am also a Duke Presidential Ambassador, working at various President Price and University sponsored events. Finally, I volunteer within the Durham community as a middle and elementary school tutor for America Reads America Counts and a TGC mentor for middle school students at the Emily K Center! 

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

I love being a SPIRE fellow because it has provided a community of like-minded yet diverse students who support one another in any way possible. The program itself provides so many opportunities for its fellows, whether that be providing us with amazing mentors (major shoutout to the best mentor Brian McAdoo), bonding experiences, or academic guidance. There’s always someone or something that can help you. Finally, Amanda, our program director, has become such a keystone part of my Duke experience and always wants the best for you, a relationship I will be forever grateful for. 

Kaitlyn Williams
Kaitlyn Williams