Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Inspiring Leadership at Wake Forest

I’d like to introduce you to Evelyn Williams, Wake Forest University’s new Associate Vice President for Leadership Development.  Evelyn has joined our staff in the Office of Personal and Career Development, where she will be developing leadership curriculum and programming for our undergraduate students.

Evelyn’s research focuses on leadership, team dynamics, interpersonal dynamics, curriculum design, organizational behavior and management communication. She plans to help Wake Forest students build leadership skills throughout their undergraduate experience so that post-graduation, students are able to seamlessly transition into the work world or graduate school with confidence.

Evelyn is passionate about working with undergraduate students to help develop their leadership acumen for their personal and professional lives. She believes that every graduate must possess three skills in order to be a leader in their field:

  • The ability to motivate others,
  • The ability to influence outcomes, and
  • The ability to build and maintain relationships.

As an English major, Williams believes that a liberal arts education is the foundation from which great leaders are built:  “Organizations rely on students with liberal arts backgrounds who look at challenges and change through a variety of lenses. When asked to improve team building in an organization, an employee who has studied anthropology may use ethnographic skills to understand the corporate ‘tribe’ by interviewing members of the community to learn about the workplace culture. Or use lessons from sociology on group dynamics to find ways to team-build.”

Prior to joining us here at Wake Forest, Evelyn developed and led several leadership programs at both Stanford University and the University of Chicago. Evelyn worked with me at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where she developed one of the premier MBA leadership development programs that students regarded as an outstanding transformational experience to prepare them for the professional world. She has also worked in executive and leadership development positions within Fortune 500 firms in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

We are excited to have Evelyn join our team and look forward to collaborating with her on innovative, transformational leadership programs for our students, including those in the business and medical schools. Welcome to the Wake Forest community, Evelyn!

To read more about Evelyn and her new position at Wake Forest, the full article is available here.

Category: OPCD Updates