Damon P. Williams is an engineer, teacher, man of faith, and church leader. But really, he says, he’s in people’s business.
That’s true as a senior lecturer and director of the Center for Academics, Success, and Equity (CASE) at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). This is also true as senior pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Southwest Atlanta.
“They end up being two sides of the same coin. Both jobs require a lot of teaching, sharing and building relationships,” Williams said. “It’s my job to get to know people. , to identify where their needs are and see how I can help them. I do this in both places.
Beginning Sept. 1, Williams will expand the scope of where and how he helps Georgia Tech students, faculty, and staff as the College of Engineering’s first Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Director of the diversity. The position was created this year to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives and support an inclusive climate of belonging in the college community.
“Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) are the pillars of our College. They define who we are and will shape who we will become,” said Raheem Beyah, Dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair. “Damon has exemplified these traits and inspired others to follow them throughout his career. As the College’s first Diversity Director and a member of our leadership team, Damon will lead and energize our students, faculty and staff. to ensure an inclusive climate and lead the DEIB discussion on the national stage.
Williams earned her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at Georgia Tech in 2002 before pursuing a master’s and doctoral degree. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. He returned to the Stewart School as a part-time lecturer in 2010 and worked at the Center for Teaching and Learning as a postdoctoral fellow. Since 2015, he has been an ISyE speaker, advisor and now founding director of CASE.
Along the way, he attended seminary and became senior pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church. It’s a full plate, but Williams said that’s how he likes it.
“I’m an engineer, so I see opportunities for improvement everywhere. I see things working everywhere. I see a need in people everywhere,” Williams said. “It’s hard for me to see the need, to know that I can help, and not do anything about it.”