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Ursuline names its first Faculty Diversity Fellow

February 07, 2017

Ursuline College has named Kristie Williams, Ph.D., its first Faculty Diversity Fellow, a new position supported by a grant from the KeyBank Foundation.

Williams, who recently completed a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of Akron, is Career Services Supervisor at the Cuyahoga County Public Library, where she has managed the Cuyahoga Works Job and Career Services Department for almost four years.

Ursuline President Sister Christine De Vinne, OSU, Ph.D., said that in seeking support from the KeyBank Foundation, the College was maintaining its commitment to increasing under-represented presence on the faculty; enhancing the climate of diversity on campus; providing additional role models for students, particularly students of color; and providing two successive post-doctoral fellows with college faculty experience.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Williams to our faculty. I know our students will benefit from her perspectives as well as her academic strengths,” said Sister De Vinne.

“At Ursuline College, we are committed to increasing the diversity of our faculty and we are very grateful that KeyBank Foundation embraced this goal and provided the funding that allowed us to bring Dr. Williams on board as a part-time faculty member in this distinguished new role,” Sister De Vinne continued.

The foundation’s grant funds Williams for two semesters and a second fellow, to be hired in fall of 2017, for an additional two semesters.

“The KeyBank Foundation aims to transform lives through our philanthropic investments,” said Margot Copeland, Chair & CEO of the KeyBank Foundation. “We are very pleased to support this Ursuline College initiative, which will augment the College’s efforts to improve diversity. Students will benefit from access to the KeyBank Diversity Fellows, and the fellows, in turn, will gain valuable faculty experience, professional development and mentoring.”

Williams, who began teaching at Ursuline in January, said, “I am really excited about this opportunity. It’s very important to me. The fact that Ursuline values the voice of the students and understands the need to allow students to give voice to all of who they are says a lot about the institution.

“I have a passion for both teaching and counseling, along with working with diverse populations and cultures,” she added.

This semester, Williams will teach a writing-intensive undergraduate course to introduce transfer students to Ursuline, its heritage and culture. She will teach a second course during the fall 2017 semester and present a campus colloquium on a diversity topic of her choice. As part of the grant, Williams has been paired with a veteran Ursuline faculty member for coaching and mentorship and has been granted time, office space and resources to conduct research and write for publication. The grant also includes funding for professional development and travel to conferences.

Prior to joining the county library staff, Williams served as director of the Office of Accessibility at the University of Akron. She has also served for several years in the field of counseling as an advocate and educator for families with psychological disabilities. She has served as a national trainer for the Greater Cleveland National Alliance on Mental Illness, a board member for the Ohio regional division of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and on multiple committees at the University of Akron.  Williams’s role at the county library complements her academic work in the field of counseling education, and she will maintain her position at the library while serving as the College’s Faculty Diversity Fellow.

A graduate of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology (formerly Mars Hill Graduate School), Williams completed a master of arts in counseling, a certification in domestic violence advocacy and did extensive multicultural work in racial reconciliation while serving on the college’s Diversity Task Force.

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