Douglas Besharov, a colleague of the late Rhonda Williams, established the Rhonda M. Williams Graduate Fellowship in December 2000 to support students in the School of Public Policy.
Rhonda M. Williams graduated cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1978 and went on to earn her Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T in 1983. In 1986 she joined the faculty of the University of Maryland as an assistant professor of Afro-American studies and economics. While serving as director of the Afro-American Studies Program, Dr. Williams was widely published and was an active consultant and instructor in curriculum transformation. She spent nine years working with the Afro-American Studies Program's Multicultural Teacher Education Training Institute for Prince George's County public school teachers. On November 7, 2000, Dr. Williams died of cancer at her home in Hyattsville, Maryland. She is deeply missed by her colleagues, students and the university community.
One of Dr. Williams' colleagues, Douglas Besharov, established, through the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an endowed fund to support graduate fellowships at the University of Maryland, College Park.