Nashville State Community College announced that Dr. Johannah Williams has been hired as the dean of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) division.
“For years, Nashville State Community College has produced well-educated, career-ready professionals in all program areas of the STEM division,” said Dr. Carol Rothstein, vice president of Academic Affairs at Nashville State. “With Dr. Williams’ leadership, we will be taking our STEM programs to another level through continued investment in faculty and by building new and strengthening existing local partnerships to create pathways for graduates and employers.”
Williams plans on boosting underrepresented minority participation in STEM. Nashville State is part of the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP) program that seeks to increase the number of students of color in STEM fields. She was a student participant in LSAMP while at the University of Mississippi.
Nashville State’s STEM division offers associate degrees and technical certificates in several high-demand, growth, and paying career program areas from architecture design and construction engineering to computer information technology, math and natural sciences, electrical and mechanical sciences, and health sciences.
Spring 2021 Architectural Design Technology A.A.S. graduate William Rucker said: “The programs I used while I was at Nashville State are the same that I use in my career.”
Rucker, who went to Nashville State tuition-free using the Tennessee Reconnect grant, is working at Enfinity Engineering in Brentwood, where he designs plumbing systems for hospitals.
“Nashville State Community College has been a critical local workforce solution partner, graduating thousands of Tennesseans that have gone onto exciting and fruitful careers,” said Dr. Williams. “With Nashville’s rapid economic development rise, growing local talent has become even more important. Nashville State is going to continue connecting to respective industries while innovating and expanding programs.”
Finding local tech talent has become more important in recent years with existing companies and new ones flocking to the area.
Houston Douglas, a field service specialist with Affinity Technology Partners in Brentwood said: “Nashville State prepared me with ample hands-on training with equipment in the classroom that included server and networking racks.”
The 2020 graduate who earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Information Technology, went on to say: “The amount of hands-on training helped elevate my confidence and prowess.”
Williams brings a drive to innovate and a wealth of experience.
Most recently, Williams held the position of associate vice president of STEM and Workforce Programs for Phi Theta Kappa, the nation’s largest honor society for community college students.
She primarily focused on research, development, and coordination of the society’s STEM and workforce curriculum and instruction services, with a focus on promoting student engagement and success, and workforce readiness.
Over a 15-year period, Williams held a few different positions at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, serving as an adjunct instructor, instructor, and mentor in Computer Science and STEM. For several years, Williams was chair of the chemistry, physics, and computer science department.
Dr. Williams was engaged with community and professional activities in Jackson, Mississippi, and Atlanta, Georgia. She looks forward to getting involved in the Nashville area. She holds numerous professional licensures and certifications and is the recipient of several honors and awards.
Williams earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Southern Mississippi. She also holds a Master of Science in management and leadership from Western Governors University and a Master of Science in computer and information science from Alcorn State University. Dr. Williams received a Bachelor of Arts in computer science with a minor in Spanish from the University of Mississippi.