Brittany Nicole Fox-Williams

Brittany Nicole Fox-Williams


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

Dissertation Review Committee


Brittany Fox-Williams is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Columbia University. Her research specializations include inequality, race and ethnicity, education, and urban sociology. Brittany uses quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze inequality in young people’s relationships with authority figures in the education and justice systems.  Her dissertation, entitled “Trust Matters: Race, Relationships, and Student Achievement,” examines the role of trust in student-teacher relationships, the salience of trust for student outcomes, and racial differences in trust. To study this topic, Brittany draws on longitudinal survey data from the NYC Department of Education and a yearlong interview study of two public high schools in Manhattan. Her dissertation research is supported by the National Science Foundation and MDRC.  Beyond her dissertation, Brittany authored an article on gender differences in youth responses to law enforcement, which is published in Sociological Forum. This paper won an award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Brittany completed her undergraduate studies at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where she was class valedictorian. She also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.


  • 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