Tamaria Williams changing FAMU one department at a time

Tamaria Williams is a warm hearted, educated professional and an impartial visionary.

Growing up with two sisters and a brother in Midway, about 15 miles west of Tallahassee, Williams is no stranger to the city that cultivates scholars.

“My parents always instilled in us the importance of education,” said Williams, 43.

Determined to make a positive name for herself, Williams wasted no time obtaining degrees from a higher education institution.

Through her matriculation, Williams obtained transferable skills that would ensure her success in all of her future endeavors.

FAMU officially hired Williams in spring 2016 and has managed to show its absolute appreciation for her as a faculty member ever since.

From February 2016 to November of that year Williams was promoted three times while at FAMU. Initially, she was hired as the Director of Developmental Studies. In July, Williams was asked to supervise the Office of Access and Opportunities which houses the Access Summer Bridge program.

In November she was promoted once more to the Interim Director of the Undergraduate Student Success Center, a position she has held for almost two years, while still fulfilling the other positions.

“The university decided they wanted to take a different approach…the department proposed and shared with the board of trustees that the academic advisors would be switched over to professional staff and their role would be moved under student affairs,” Williams said.

While the department undergoes this transitional period, Williams will remain in her supervisor roles and, the faculty and staff stand behind her in doing so.

Crystal Flowers, the Transfer Student Coordinator, has known Williams for two years now. She believes that Williams is a great addition to the Undergraduate Student Success Center.

“She treats everyone the same and she shows no favoritism. I think it makes it a little easier to be a director when everyone is on the same playing field,” says Flowers.

The day to day tasks for a director from any higher institution are tedious and even more so time consuming but, these tasks are no match for someone as driven and harmonious as Williams.

“One memorable thing about Dr. Williams is she truly tries to spend a substantial amount of time with each advisor ensuring that they can grow from all new information obtained,”said Jasmyn Pollock, the Summer Bridge Coordinator at FAMU.

According to Williams, FAMU is the only state university in Florida that can offer developmental studies courses.

The Board of Governors has given FAMU a policy where the number of profile-admit students can not exceed 20 percent of the total number of students accepted.

The idea is to select scholars that will make FAMU competitive to other higher education institutions. Ultimately the department shoots for a lower percentage of profile-admit students but, seeks to provide resources for those said students who are not deemed college ready.

When asked what the campus can expect to see next from the Office of Access and Opportunities and Undergraduate Student Success Center, Williams replied, “ My original piece was to come in and really provide some structure and leadership within the developmental studies area and, as long as I am the director I will continue to do that.”

It is evident when it comes to implementing student programs set to increase FAMU’s competitiveness, Williams will give her all to see it through. Furthermore, she pays close attention to the stability of her family and, the needs of the community.

Married for a strong 10 years, Williams and her husband, Brian Williams,  decided to build their family home from the ground up. After about a year, the home is expected to be complete sometime in August.

Williams’ community involvement includes: Assistant Membership Director for Junior League of Tallahassee, immediate Past President National Council of Negro Women- Greater Tallahassee Section, Boys & Girls Club of the Big Bend Board Secretary, Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Gadsden County Florida Service and Education Foundation, Inc- Board Secretary.