Getting to Know Ron Williams
After several months of searching for the right replacement, Campus Life has a new director in training, Ronald Williams.
Williams, currently the Campus Life Coordinator, has been selected to replace Draco Miller as the newest Director of Campus Life.
Ronald Williams grew up in New York. He came from a single parent family and spent much of his life helping provide for his household.
“I was a difficult young man growing up,” said Williams. “I really had problem with authority. I went to eight different grammar schools and four different high schools. I attended a different school each year. I never thought I was made out for college, even though I never failed a grade. School came easy to me and I liked learning.”
Williams exceeded his expectations and attended State University College at Brockport, a small university located in Brockport New York. Although Williams was able to get into college, his path to his diploma started out rather rocky.
“Entering into college, I had the same issue (with authority). After first year (of college), they sent me home for a semester and told me to think about what I wanted to do with my life.”
Williams took this time away as an opportunity to get his life on track.
“[After I came back] I really enjoyed my college career. When the Vice President brought me in, I was there to play college basketball. She said to me, “Don’t be just an athlete.”
I did not understand that. I thought ‘I’m simply here to play basketball and to obtain my college degree.’ [The Vice President] was referring to getting involved.”
Williams took the advice and ran with it, seemingly taking every opportunity possible to get involved.
“I got involved in student government,” stated Williams. “The following year I became student body president. I joined a fraternity. I was very active in the community. I even served on the town board.
I switched from a Criminal Justice Major to a Higher Education Major and I have been in [this career] since 1997.”
Williams graduated and was able to find work in several colleges and universities. Williams started working for Housing Departments and eventually worked his way into Campus Life.
This led Williams to East Central University in Oklahoma in Ada, Oklahoma. It was here that he endured an injury that put him on the path to Portales.
“I had a hip replacement. I took some time off to recover and to rethink if I wanted to continue to work in higher education. I saw the position online. I was already doing the same work there as the Director of Campus Life and Leadership.”
What appeared to be a stroke of bad luck sent Williams down a path that might change his life forever. After several interviews, Williams was given the task of becoming the next Director of Campus Life at ENMU.
Williams was hired on as the current Campus Life Coordinator. This is the first stepping-stone to becoming Director, a position currently held by Draco Miller.
Miller has created quite an impression on Williams during the month that they have worked together.
“I will have some big shoes to fill to be able to continue to produce a quality program. I feel my job will be to enhance what [Miller] has put in place. He had to start from the ground up and really has done a lot.”
Williams is impressed with the things that Miller has done for ENMU, and hopes he can continue and enhance what has been put into place.
Williams has used his free time to try to get to know the students that he will soon be managing. He has seen the potential in the students at Eastern. Williams want to have the opportunity to bring the university, as well as its students, to become as successful as possible.
“There is a lot of energy within the students and I am hoping to help bring that out. I see things a little bit different,” said Williams. “I like what the university offers students. Students [at ENMU] have a lot of potential and I want to bring it out. They have a lot of gifts. I can see it. The students I have talked to seem like they are holding back for whatever reason and I want to pull that out of them.”
When asked about his plans for the future for Campus Life, Williams said he is more concerned about learning how ENMU works.
“The first thing that is important is to build relationships with colleagues and students throughout the campus,” said Williams. “Right now, I am learning the system, meeting people, and establishing partnerships with people for the future. I am very excited about that.”