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Thomas Williams New Director of Diversity Programs at U of M, Crookston
July 8, 2008

Contact: Peter Phaiah, associate vice chancellor, 218-281-8505 (phaiah@umn.edu), Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)


Crookston, Minn. (July 8, 2008) – In a continuing effort to provide an exceptional student experience, the University of Minnesota, Crookston announces the appointment of Thomas James Williams as the new d
Thomas Williams, director of Diversity Services
Thomas Williams, director of diversity programs
irector of Diversity Programs. Williams' broad experience serving underrepresented student populations has prepared him to take on this vital leadership role on the Crookston campus. Williams most recently served as the director of cultural diversity at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington, Minn. He begins his duties at the U of M, Crookston on July 14, 2008.

“This is an important position for our campus and Thomas Williams has a passion for higher education and the experience our campus needs to advocate for underrepresented student populations,” says Peter Phaiah, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for student affairs. “He will provide key support services to help students achieve their educational goals. We are excited to have Thomas joining our student affairs team and helping guide students to even greater success.”

Prior to his work at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Williams served as a social worker at the Flandreau Indian School in Flandreau, S.D., and as director of social/health services at the Upper Sioux Community in Granite Falls, Minn. His education includes a master of science in education health from South Dakota State University in Brookings; and bachelor of arts degrees in sociology, physical education and interdisciplinary studies from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn. Williams also has a wide variety of experience in coaching both football and basketball including working as an offensive/defensive line coach at Minnesota West.

As director of diversity programs at the U of M, Crookston, Williams will provide direct support services to underrepresented student populations in the areas of cultural adaptation, personal development and academic success. He will provide leadership for a comprehensive program dedicated to creating a strong and supportive campus environment for students of color, international students, GLBTA, women, students with disabilities, single parents and other traditionally underrepresented students in developing intercultural competence.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit www.UMCrookston.edu.