Repost The Source Washington University Magazine
Monique Williams knew from a young age she wanted to be a doctor. Williams’ father was dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences in the early 1980s. “All of my babysitters were Washington University pre-med students,” she says. Growing up, Williams engaged her father’s co-workers, talking about current events or new advancements in science.
“My impression of WashU was that it was a positive, nurturing and supportive environment of people who would listen patiently to an 8- or 9-year-old.”
Although she received a full academic scholarship to Johns Hopkins University, Williams decided to attend WashU, in part because of her early experiences with the school.
Williams, AB ’95, MD ’99, MSCI ’08, knew she wanted to study geriatric medicine, thanks to a great-grandmother who lived to be 114. But Williams had studied French ever since she was 7, so she decided to double-major.
“My senior thesis in biology looked at Alzheimer’s and genetics in African-Americans, and my other thesis was in French, looking at Marguerite Duras,” says Williams, in the manner she says everything: rapidly, bubbly and matter-of-factly.
“Duras was a French writer who spent time in Vietnam,” Williams explains. “She wrote about the infrastructures in societies that tend to marginalize women who actively pursue their identities.”