Hollins Names Nakeshia N. Williams, Ph.D., as the University’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Nakeshia Williams

Hollins University has announced the appointment of Nakeshia N. Williams, Ph.D., as vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion (VPDEI). She will ensure Hollins provides an inclusive experience for all of the students and employees the university serves.

Williams comes to Hollins from North Carolina A&T State University, where she was an associate professor in the educator preparation department in the College of Education. During her tenure, she taught diversity courses to undergraduate and graduate students that were grounded in the interaction of equity, access, and achievement as they pertain to the academic, social-emotional, and identity development of P-20 (pre-school through higher education) individuals. She has served as a campus gender and equity faculty leader as well as an advisor to several student organizations.

Additionally, Williams chairs the diversity, equity, and inclusion special interest group of the North Carolina Association for Colleges of Teacher Educators. She has led numerous diversity and equity initiatives at the local, regional, and state levels, and collaborated with state and local schools, senior faculty, colleagues, and nonprofit organizations to identify and offer solutions to complex issues.

Williams holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in urban education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and bachelor’s degree in English education from South Carolina State University. A licensed professional counselor for over 12 years, she has also written numerous published articles and book chapters highlighting her research on equity and access in P-20; culturally responsive teaching; academic and global identities of minority students; socioemotional experiences of P-20 students; and teacher preparation programs at minority serving institutions.

“Hollins has endeavored to create a diverse and welcoming community, but we still have work to do to achieve inclusive excellence,” said Hollins President Mary Dana Hinton. “In her new role as VPDEI, Nakeshia will provide the leadership to ensure we are continuously striving for an improved and more inclusive and equitable campus environment. She will connect with students, faculty, and staff to provide programming and create new opportunities for deep, sustained, and institution-wide inclusive engagement and experiences. We look forward to her leadership in crafting practices and policies that foster belonging and are reflective of our loftiest ideals as expressed in our mission as an inclusive liberal arts community.”

“I am very excited about joining the Hollins campus community,” Williams said. “I look forward to working alongside administration, faculty, staff, and students in cultivating programming and initiatives aimed at improving diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence at Hollins University.”