Brittany Nicole Fox-Williams

Brittany Nicole Fox-Williams


Trust Matters: Race, Achievement, and Student–Teacher Relationships

Dissertation Review Committee


I am a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow at Columbia University. My research interests include children and youth, education, race and ethnicity, social inequality, and public policy. My research broadly examines young people’s relationships with authority figures in the education and justice systems. My dissertation explores the role of trust in student-teacher relationships. This work is guided by the premise that trust can be a lever for improving the schooling experiences and educational performance of disadvantaged students. To examine this topic, I employ a quantitative analysis of school-level data from the New York City Department (NYC) of Education as well as in-depth interviews with students and educators at four NYC public high schools. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation. My other research project analyzes gender differences in youth responses to law enforcement. I completed my undergraduate studies in Business Administration at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. I also hold a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Urban and Social Policy from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Prior to starting my graduate studies, I worked in commercial banking in New York City and Philadelphia.


  • Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Bachelor of Science, Business Administration & Finance (2008)
  • Columbia University, Master of Public Administration, Urban & Social Policy (2012)


  • Instructor, Race, Crime & Law, Summer 2018 
  • Teaching Fellow, Master’s Thesis Seminar, Fall 2014
  • Teaching Fellow, Race and Place in Urban America, Fall 2013