Dr. Alaric Williams - Leadership Through Service
July 21, 2014
Dr. Alaric Williams credits his upbringing in tiny Stamps, Ark., with steeping him in a philosophy of “servant leadership,” leading by example and by serving others.
He has been putting that philosophy into action since joining the ASU faculty in 2008, and in recognition of those efforts, he received the 2014 President’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Leadership/Service.
“I was honored and humbled that the work I’ve done is making a difference and is being recognized,” Williams said. “Sometimes I think about that little kid from Stamps, Ark. I never would have thought I would be here.”
An associate professor of curriculum and instruction, Williams directs ASU’s master’s degree program in student development and leadership in higher education and has helped spark enrollment growth in the online degree from 15 students to about 130.
“Don’t use circumstances as a crutch to prevent you from your accomplishments, from being successful.”
In the nomination letter for his Faculty Excellence Award, Williams was praised for his work ethic, strong moral character, honesty and desire to advocate for students. The letter stated, “Where there is a need within the college or on campus, Dr. Williams is often part of the solution. Currently lending his hand to more than 15 committees within the College of Education and more than 10 university-wide, his professional collaborations, respected insight, and willingness to help exemplify servitude.”
Also active in the ASU Faculty Senate, Williams is vice president for 2014-15 and will serve as president in 2015-16. His colleague, Dr. Heather Braden, chair of the Department of Nursing and Rehabilitative Sciences, is the current president.
“Dr. Williams is a hard-working faculty senator for tasks large and small and a positive role model as a colleague,” she said.
Williams’ service and leadership also extend well beyond the ASU campus. He serves on the Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools Committee for Cornerstone Christian School, as a Health Advisory Committee member for the San Angelo Independent School District (SAISD) and as a weekly volunteer at Cornerstone Christian School. He is also a SAISD site-based team member, school volunteer, PTA member, mentor and youth coach, and he serves in several capacities within his church. Additionally, he conducts workshops on leadership and ethics for SAISD business personnel.
In higher education, Williams has created the ASU/Mountain View College Advising Academy to provide professional development for college and university professionals in the areas of advising, diversity and student affairs. Since its inception in 2013, the academy has served more than 45 professionals.
Not surprisingly, Williams has received numerous other honors, including the ASU Alumni Association’s 2013 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award. He was also nominated for a 2013 President’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Teaching and won the 2011 President’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Leadership/Service for the College of Education.
And, he can trace his career success directly back to Stamps, Ark. Thanks to his parents’ emphasis on education and faith, he earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and worked as a high school coach for two years. He followed that with a master’s degree in counseling and was hired as an academic advisor at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
“Immediately after I obtained my master’s, I started thinking I was going to get my doctorate,” Williams said. “A big part of that was because someone told me that I couldn’t. I had an individual, and I still remember it to this day, who said, ‘People like you don’t get doctorate degrees.’ I said, ‘I’m going to prove him wrong.’”
“Even today,” he continued, “I still use that as an example. It was heart-breaking to hear that, and it was a motivator. Don’t use circumstances as a crutch to prevent you from your accomplishments, from being successful.”