Class of 2026 Scholars

Saumya Shinde she/her/hers

I am a certified dialogue facilitator and conflict mediator, poet, dancer, and actor from Mumbai, India. I ardently believe in the power of dialogue, art, and play in the education system and global peace. I hope to major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies/Psychology and concentrate in Environmental Science/Justice and Law Studies. I am focused on community engagement and DEIJ work on campus and beyond. I am a Global Scholar because I believe some of the world’s pressing issues can be solved through a collective global pedagogy grounded in fun, joy, and creativity!


Bryce Cooper he/him/his

I grew up in a town outside of Philadelphia.  I plan on majoring in Computer Science with a possible concentration in Neuroscience. I’m very interested in 3D Graphics and animations, and I hope to one day work for a company like Pixar. Music is an important part of my life, I play the bass guitar and have a recently started vinyl record collection. On campus, I am a varsity athlete on the Track and Football teams. In terms of the Global Scholars program, the two issues that I am most interested in engaging with are aquatic pollution issues and unequal access to education.


Rem Johannknecht he/him/his

Born in Berlin and raised in Chicago, Rem is a prospective Economics and Chinese double major. He is interested in the relationship between international trade and 21st-century geopolitics, the US-China relationship, and infrastructure development. Outside of the classroom, Rem is the Racing Chair of the Club Sailing Team and a Partner on Alhambra, Williams' pro-bono student consulting group. He is excited to foster globally-oriented dialogues on campus and collaboratively include transdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving.


Taylah Pickering she/her/hers

Hello everyone! I’m Taylah Pickering. I was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. My prospective majors are Sociology and Africana Studies and I am currently on a pre-law track. On campus, I am secretary of both the Black Student Union and Students of Caribbean Ancestry. I am also a Davis Center Community Engagement Fellow employed by the office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In the future, I aspire to become an attorney and contribute to creating more access to opportunity for members of the Black community. Similarly, I expect many of my contributions to the Global Scholars program to be centered around racial inequities in different parts of the African Diaspora through thorough sociological inspection of identity, institutions, and socioeconomic hierarchies.


Diliara Sadykova she/her/hers

Hey, I’m Diliara from Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia. I’m majoring in Economics and Theatre. I love reading fantasy novels, learning languages, and playing water polo. As for Global Scholars, my main career interest is in sustainability and environmental justice which is crucial on a global level. I hope to use research and community engagement to ensure a more sustainable world for all of us!


Myla Vera she/her/hers

Hi! My name is Myla Vera, and I’m from Houston, Texas. I plan to major in Psychology with a Latino/a Studies concentration. I love psychology research, so the opportunity to approach this discipline from a global position attracted me to this program. I enjoy seeing the different ways psychology is applied via educational and clinical approaches to the same global issues. I also enjoy personal research (like for hair/skin products) and reading crime and dystopian novels.


Sarah Wang she/her/hers

Sarah Wang is a prospective History major from Houston, TX. She is particularly interested in examining reparations and refugee belonging through a postcolonial lens. After Williams, she hopes to pursue law school in order to make the immigration system a more just process for refugees seeking asylum. Beyond academics, she enjoys reading, dancing, and finding new recipes to cook in her free time. On campus, she is also a Treasurer for the NBC hip-hop team and an Advising Fellow for Matriculate. As a Global Scholar, she looks forward to deconstructing issues of race and migration through a global and transdisciplinary approach.


Dylan Safai he/him

Hello! My name is Dylan Safai, and I am a prospective Political Economy and Spanish double major from Washington D.C. On campus, I am one of the Class of 2026 student government representatives, host a weekly Global Politics talk show on WCFM 91.9, am a Rugby team member, Community Coordinator for the Global Diplomacy and International Finance TAPSI, and the Secretary General of the Williams MUN team, etc. As a Global Scholar and beyond, I hope to pursue a career in developmental economics as a part of an IGO, such as the United Nations or the IMF.


Katherine Lopez she/her/hers

Hi everyone! I’m Katherine and I’m from Dallas, Texas. I am a prospective Biology major with a Public Health concentration on the Pre-Medical track. As a global scholar, I hope to gain more knowledge about healthcare and science from a global perspective which will guide my journey toward a career in medicine. I like to use my free time making playlists, dancing, and spending time with my friends and family.


Catherine Debenham she/her/hers

My name is Catherine Debenham, and I am a prospective Political Science and French major from the San Francisco Bay Area. I am interested in foreign policy, peace and security, human rights, and international cooperation. As a Global Scholar, my goal is to critically consider what it truly means to be a “global citizen” today, using empathy, curiosity, and interconnectedness as tools to start dialogues both on and off campus. Outside of my schoolwork, I am the co-lead of Positive Pathways Partnership — Williams’ tutoring program with the Berkshire County House of Corrections — a staff writer for the Williams Record newspaper, and an avid reader.


Maya Prakash she/her/hers

Maya Prakash is an Indian-American who grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong. She is a prospective Chinese and English major, and is fluent in Mandarin and Hindi. Her interests include India-China relations, as well as US-China relations. At Williams, she is an opinions editor for the Record, and is a passionate reader and writer in her free time.


Aleksander Ramírez he/him/his

Hello! My name is Aleksander Ramírez, and I am a prospective Political Science and Spanish major from the California Bay Area. I am fluent in French and Spanish. I am interested in indigneneity, Latin American politics, and human rights protections. As a Global Scholar I seek to continue researching indigenous rights and language movements. Beyond campus I am an intern for the State Department.