By Marva J. Sneed
Natalie Williams, JD, is Chief of Staff and Director of Institutional Advancement for Paul Quinn College, under the leadership of President Michael J. Sorrell. Ms. Williams leads the College’s Corporate Work Program where students gain valuable work experience at businesses, nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies. She also manages the execution of institutional grants and implements the development campaigns and initiatives. With more than a decade of experience creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement, she is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and Arizona State University with degrees in Philosophy and Journalism.
MS: Natalie, will you tell us a little about yourself and what does your job entail?
NW: Absolutely I’m so very happy to be here, and have an opportunity to talk about Paul Quinn College, the college that I absolutely love; that I call family. The staff, students, and faculty are absolutely amazing. It just really pumps me up and gets me charged up every day. I have the absolute pleasure of serving as President Sorrell’s Chief of Staff and leading our development initiatives for the college as well as our urban work program, and our corporate work program. So I support the students in several ways of building our mission to ensure that we are able to end intergenerational poverty by providing a direct pathway for students to not only graduate with their degree but a direct pathway for employment after graduation because they’ve spent four years while they’re here at the college in reality based education, but also in internships with various companies throughout the metroplex.
MS: Since COVID-19 hit, what are some of the challenges you are faced with?
NW: Well, you know, we’re facing the same challenges that all colleges and universities are facing throughout the nation. We have to shift our learning model and transition our classes to online. Fortunately for us, we had already started that, Dr. Dowdy leads up our Academic Affairs team and we have a blended learning model already in place. So students are accustomed to having both hybrid instruction where you have in-person instruction as well as instruction virtually or online. Our Affairs team was really amazing and being able to pivot quickly, but other challenges that you know, we’re facing and adapting to is just making sure that the students have housing, those students who weren’t able to return home. We created a space for them. And created for 25 students off-campus housing. Follow Paul Quinn College on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @PaulQuinnTigers to find out what President Sorrell has planned for graduation.
We talked about more challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. To hear the full interview, click here.
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