Welcome to Williams!
The college provides support to spouses and partners of newly hired, relocating faculty and administrative staff to ensure everyone’s transition is as smooth and successful as possible. The Office of Spouse Partner Resources specifically addresses your questions and assists with the specific issues faced by spouses and partners.
I do! My name is Cecilia Hirsch. As the Spouse Partner Resource Manager, I’m here to help you acclimate to Williams College, Williamstown and the Berkshires. The college is committed to supporting spouses and partners with the resources and services offered through my office in Human Resources.
I specialize in confidential individual consultation. I will help you with transitional support as you seek employment leads in the area, find schools and other communities for your family, and discover recreational and engagement opportunities. If you have questions on where to find something you need, or you aren’t sure where to turn to find something you want, I can help you and point you in the right direction to find a suitable answer. I aim to get together with each relocating spouse partner soon after you arrive. Please complete this informational form to introduce yourself as well as get linked into Spouse Partner communications and resources.
Email is best, or call me at (413) 597-4587. I will help answer your question or point you to the correct resource for you to find additional assistance.
Resources provided for you and your family by
The Office of Spouse Partner Resources
I help spouses and partners with resume writing, cover letters and LinkedIn profile building, among other career assessment tools. I connect partners with employers, job opportunities, volunteer connections and assist with introductions to help grow your new community a little faster.
Would you like more in depth career coaching? There are area career coaches that may also help you more deeply explore a revision to your initial career path. Are you returning to the workforce? My office also provides attention to relevant issues including job loss and returning to the workforce after an extended absence.
Shared workplaces in our region offer spouses and partners access to professional connections and dedicated office and meeting areas, facilitating community-building and work activity. As part of the College’s commitment to the success of independent professional activity, Williams underwrites some of the cost involved with use of a coworking space. Find out more!
Williamstown is a vibrant New England town that welcomes fresh perspectives and has room for people who want to effect change on local town boards and committees. I can put you in touch with the local chapter or group of your choice with a personal introduction if you have a passion for a cause or are interested in supporting the local communities.
You may want to go back to school to get a different job. The College wants to assist qualified spouses and partners in their professional pursuits, in an effort to ensure the long term investment of faculty and administrative staff in the region. The College has a professional development fund for qualified individuals to assist with acquiring skills and qualifications that will increase prospects for finding employment either in the Berkshires region or in a telework capacity.
The Training and Development workshops provided by the College are intended for the faculty and staff of Williams College. However, from time to time, classroom slots are not completely filled and the Training and Development Manager, Kevin Thomas, will open slots to spouses and partners in order to fill the workshops. If a particular workshop appeals to you, contact Kevin Thomas to express your interest in attending.
Williams is vibrant community and each fall, several receptions are offered to connect new faculty and administrative staff at the college.
- Dean of the Faculty’s New Faculty Reception, late August. New faculty only.
- The President’s Reception occurs at the Faculty Club, early September. New faculty & administrative staff and a spouse partner are invited.
- Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity’s Faculty & Staff of Color Reception, mid-September at the Faculty Club. You and your family are invited.
Year-round, Spouse Partner Resources hosts monthly events which provide networking opportunities, professional development, and fun cultural and creative activity.
Our newsletter highlights job opportunities or social event notifications. To sign up, please get in touch via email at [email protected] Our facebook group is Spouse Partners of Williams College, open to all spouses and partners of current employees (the closed group just requires you ask to join).
Williams Switchboard is also a good place to ASK for advice about your relocation questions, as well as get a needed item. You can also OFFER items that you'd like to give or sell. Switchboard is our main resource for rides and babysitting requests.
I can provide personal and virtual introductions to other professionals in your field in the region.
I also cooperate with Talent Connect in the Albany region, to help connect you to employment options in the Capital District. You can attend MassHire and 1Berkshire (1Berkshire is the name of the regional Chamber of Commerce) events from Chamber Nights hosted by the Berkshire Young Professionals network to Entrepreneurial and other Meetups around the region.
Information is available on a wide variety of topics at the Williams website and through the Office of Spouse Partner Resources in the Office of Human Resources. As Manager of Spouse Partner Resources, I work within Human Resources and assist incoming faculty members in coordination with the Dean of Faculty.
Resources Williams College provides
We all know that when you come to work each day, you don’t stop being a parent. Williams offers an array of resources to make that balancing act easier. The Williams College Children’s Center offers a range of programs that include infant, toddler, pre-school and after school programming, and school age summer programs. The Williams Switchboard is our main resource for babysitting asks/offers within the college community. Web resources for sitters and nannies are also listed at the Babysitting & Childcare page on the Williams College website.
Directly in town, the Williamstown Youth Center offers seasonal sports and after-school programs for K-8 students.
Taconic Golf Club, at 19 Meacham Street in Williamstown, allows employees of the college to join without paying an initiation fee. If you are under 40 new membership opportunities are available. See the website for more information about membership categories, fees for spouses and partners (and other family members), and club dues (413) 458-3997.
Waubeeka Golf Club, located at 137 New Ashford Rd., Williamstown, MA 01267, offers a Williams College discount.
You can borrow books at Sawyer Library and the Schow Science Library when you present your Williams College ID. To use digital research resources via the library (access the interlibrary loan service, the e-books collection, and get remote access to databases) you will need a Williams email. Please complete this welcome form if you need this access.(
- Wellness at Williams has a full listing of wellness classes available to partners at a reasonable cost. Please email the instructor prior to joining a class at the beginning of a semester or when you arrive if you would like to join at any time during the semester to ensure there is space in the class.
Check out the discounts throughout the year on seasonal activities, like skiing at Jiminy Peak.
For example, show your Williams College ID when you visit The Clark and receive free entrance to the museum, or spend $25 at Where'd You get That?! on any weekday and get 10% off entire purchase.
Auditing classes (taking the class, but not receiving academic credit for taking the class) is an option here at Williams, for your partner. Your partner should email the instructor/professor of the class they are interested in auditing. The instructor must approve your partner auditing the course and he or she will decide the level of your participation in the course, e.g., whether or not you should take tests, etc. You may take this action without any interaction with the Registrar's Office. If you decide during the semester that you cannot continue auditing the course, it would be courteous to inform the instructor by email or by phone.
If your partner or spouse is a faculty member, they might choose to host students for a gathering outside of the classroom and dining hall settings. Additional information on funds to support events beyond the traditional classroom is available in the Faculty Handbook. Department Chairs have discretionary funds for food for student/faculty events. The Committee on Undergraduate Life (CUL) through the Dean of the College’s Office also has funds set aside for student/faculty gatherings.
There is no accommodation made for faculty or administrative staff spouses/partners or family members to dine with (or without) students in the dining halls without charge. All are welcome to purchase items and visit Driscoll, Whitman’s Marketplace or Mission Park; Lee Snack Bar; Eco Cafe, Lee After Dark, Whitman’s Late Night, or Grab ‘N Go in Paresky Hall.
Faculty, administrative staff, and their families are always welcome to attend all campus picnics as they occur on Mountain Day (one of the first three Fridays each October; it’s a surprise!), the last day of classes each academic year and the President’s Reception post-commencement each year.
- Cakes and cookies--Need a birthday cake or some cookies for the soccer team dinner, but don’t have time to make them? Williams College Dining Services does! Very reasonably priced, available with 72 hours notice. You may even be able to order lasagne, salad and bread for the soccer team with 72 hours, as well.
All Faculty and their spouses/partners are members of the Faculty Club. (Faculty dues of the club are underwritten by the college. Read: you don’t have to pay to join!) The Faculty Club hosts the college’s very own candlepin bowling alley, monthly (Friendly Friday) happy hours, special dinners, brunches, and holiday meals are celebrated: Thanksgiving and Christmastime in mid-December. You and your partner may dine during the academic year according to the published schedule of the Faculty Club. Dining services takes care of daily dining charges upon entrance to the dining area, taking cash, checks or credit/debit cards. The Faculty Club even has a summer schedule.
Williams College offers a range of real estate options to faculty and administrative staff. Full information is available at the Real Estate webpages. Housing program eligibility is outlined in the Faculty Handbook, which also provides information on the mortgage benefit and the Pine Cobble Development at Williams College. The college’s real estate map shows where college-owned properties are located.
Several realtors locally also offer properties for sale or rent. The college does not endorse any realtor or firm in the region. Please vet agent(s) to best represent your interests. There are some “binders full of real estate” for rent or sale in the real estate office; just ask Bobbi Senecal when you enter the office.
Williams College housing policies, procedures and forms for maintenance and repair of college owned properties can all be found here.
Once you are here, you’ll want to go out and do things! Destination Williamstown is a web aggregator of all things Williamstown and north county. DW curates events and activities in north county daily, providing myriad activities from which to choose. To explore the wider county, try Berkshire Visitors Bureau, an excellent web presence listing seasonal cultural, recreational and specialty activities along with information on area lodging, dining options and area discounts.
Williams’ Switchboard is like our local craigslist. Need a dogsitter? ASK for one here. Have a dining room set you wish to get rid of? OFFER it on Switchboard. The site is sponsored by Williams College for use by faculty, staff, students, alumni and spouse partners affiliated with Williams College. Post your used kayak for sale, ask for a pair of used left-handed kids’ golf clubs, offer a gently used wetsuit or advice on the best camps for your 7th grader. Get what you need or give it to someone else at Williams Switchboard.
1Berkshire, the home of business in the Berkshires, is the place to check out connections for Berkshire jobs, entrepreneurial meetups, Berkshire Young Professional networking events and monthly Chamber Nights. I attend many of the 1Berkshire events hosted throughout the county throughout the year. I will help you to connect with people by introducing you around at any of these events.
Coworking spaces in North Adams, Bennington and Pittsfield provide common work areas, dedicated office space, conference rooms and a full complement of business services (copy machine, video/group audio conference space, wifi, coffee service) for the independent professional, freelancer or entrepreneur. These spaces are ideal for professionals who want to connect with other area professionals, yet have access to quality office space and services. Social and networking programming is offered monthly by several organizations. The Franklin County Community Development Corporation and the Massachusetts Small Business Administration have professionals that work regularly the spaces, providing another link to funding, technical assistance and collaboration to new professionals in the region.
Want to meet more people in Williamstown? The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce also hosts regular events, from the July 4th parade on Spring Street to the Holiday Walk in December with other seasonal town-gown activities in between, every year!
A local developer has also created an app, REALU, which allows you to list interests and make connections with other locals who might like to dog-walk, visit a museum, or flyfish with you.
To get to NYC, Boston, Albany: Just need your big city fix? Go to the Student Records System Self-Service menu and you can make reservations on Williams’ motorcoach transport, Williams Transport. This self-sufficient, student run program provides regular service during milestone travel times (October reading period, Thanksgiving, Christmas, end of first semester, etc.) during the academic year to Albany International Airport, New York City and Boston-Logan Airport.
There are also weekend motorcoach trips available to NYC and Boston during the academic year.
Ask on Switchboard! Williams’ Switchboard is our digital bulletin board. Need a ride? Looking for a bike? Post an ask and see what happens (a few days notice is usually best).
BRTA (Berkshire Regional Transit Association) offers a free weekly shuttle for anyone with a Williams ID regionally Monday through Saturday on Routes 2 and 7 providing service to North Adams and Pittsfield.
Williams Zipcar, part of the national car sharing service, is available to join on campus at modest rates.
- Employee Assistance Program (e4health)
As a core benefit to all college employees, the Employee Assistance Program (e4health) offers free, confidential help with personal, family and work-related issues. Faculty, staff and their household members can receive consultation and referrals for:
- anxiety or grief
- work performance
- legal questions
- financial questions
- marital relationships
- elder care
- birth and adoption
- domestic violence
- eating disorders
e4health has an excellent online portal that offers articles, webinars and contact information to resources to help answer questions or find assistance on the issues listed above. E4health (formerly Lifescope or the Wellness Corporation) can be reached by calling 1-800-828-6025, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Dial this number and your affiliation with Williams College e4health will put you in touch with resources to help you search nationally for in-home or center-based regular and back up care for children, elders and other adults.
Do you have an elderly parent that may need care if you are away on vacation or if you are too overwhelmed to care for them yourself? Many of the assisted living facilities in our region offer an introductory “sleepover”. Most assisted living or retirement communities will offer “sleepovers” as a way to test whether a parent or elderly relative might like a facility, and to offer available spaces to visiting seniors. It’s a good way to test respite service for you and your loved one for short stay. Try Sweetwood Senior Living in Williamstown, MA; Brookdale Fillmore Pond in Bennington, VT or Kimball Farms in Lenox, MA.
Great Information Available Through e4health: