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Suzanne_Williams
Contact

Phone: 2861
Office: Bldg. 2
E-mail: swilliams@msmu.edu

Suzanne Williams

Dean, Weekend Evening College
Biography

Admissions advice: Try to calm any fears or concerns you may have about going back to college to complete your degree. You CAN do it! The brain circuits still work - even if it has been a while since you studied at the college-level. Trust me; you know more than you think you do. Remember the financial investment is just that - the most important investment you can make in yourself and your family for generations to come. You are setting the expectation that "education is important - in our family we go to college and complete our college degree." Graduating from college is one of the most important investments you can make - and no one can take it away. The knowledge you gain, the ability to go farther in your career and the role model you are for your family and friends - is yours forever. No one can take it away. Cars and houses may be repossessed but your college degree is yours forever.

Work philosophy:  I believe that we all are doing the best we can and when we can we do better, we will. It is my role as dean to be a strong advocate for our amazing adult students, to empower you with the support and information you need and deserve in order to succeed and to graduate from Mount Saint Mary's University. I expect open and honest communication with our students - always seeking how we can better respond to your needs as a busy dedicated adult student. I uphold an open door policy and invite all students to talk with me on a regular basis. Getting to know our students and supporting you in excelling in your studies and then one day in graduating from MSMU (that day will come!) is the greatest joy of my calling in adult higher education. At the Mount you will earn your degree and will graduate and go on to wherever you choose - graduate school, advancement in your career and life, as a part of the strong legacy of our MSMU alumnae. Take ownership of your educational journey. I will be here to cheer you on and support you all the way.

What I love about Weekend/Evening College: Hands down, the amazingly strong and dedicated adult students, who range in age from early 20's to no upper age limit; who balance their pursuit of academic excellence with a million and one things already on their plate ! I stand in awe of our students. Many have come back to complete their degree after a loss or change in life - such as break-up of a relationship, death or divorce or job loss or lay off. Many are caregivers for their own parents and siblings as well as raising children as a single parent. Some are coping with serious health concerns, learning differences or are differently abled. Some are younger, single and forging their own path. I love the diversity in our student population. No two adult students are alike. Most have not taken the straight educational path but rather have had starts and stops, twists and turns on their educational pathway - but each with the drive and determination to complete their college degree. WEC students are the face of what persistence looks like and what hard work and "stick-to-it-tiveness" can achieve - sometimes even what may seem to be against all odds. I stand in awe of our adult students.

Favorite things to do: at work I'd much rather be talking with students or colleagues rather than doing paperwork or sitting in meetings. It is in dialogue with others that I gain energy as well as ideas for making our wonderful program even better.

Favorite place on campus:  Anywhere our students are! I especially love it when classes are in session, when we have admission events and new student orientation, and at our lovely, meaningful graduation celebration each year.

Favorite quote: "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you must really stop to look fear in the face….You must do the thing you think you cannot do." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Role model: I have been blessed to have several "angel mothers" - some of whom are still living and some who have passed on. They each have contributed significantly in shaping my life.

Favorite movie: Inside Out

Favorite book: A Prayer for Owen Meany

Favorite music / artist: I have very eclectic musical tastes and love all music from bluegrass/country to indie contemporary artists as well as Broadway and opera. A few favorites are U2, Brandi Carlisle, Jake Shimabukura, David Gray and Van Morrison.

Educational background: My undergraduate degree is from a small private female liberal arts college, Converse College, in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I graduated from Converse with my BA in Comprehensive Special Education. I had about 25 more credits than I needed to graduate because of my eclectic loves of education, political science and psychology. I earned my Master of Social Work degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Social Work with an emphasis on individual, couple, group work and family systems therapy. I maintain licenses in Clinical Social work (LCSW) and Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT). I did post graduate school education at UNC - Chapel Hill in women's leadership in higher education administration