Dogwood Health Trust is pleased to announce that native North Carolinian Ereka R. Williams, PhD, joined its team as Vice President of Impact for Education on November 1, 2021. In this role, Dr. Williams will be responsible for the visioning, development, and implementation of ambitious impact strategies to help improve early care and education and K-12 school systems in western North Carolina and will work closely with Dogwood’s VP of Impact- Economic Opportunity to expand post-secondary opportunities.
Dr. Williams previously served as the Associate Provost for Academic Strategy and Institutional Effectiveness at Winston Salem State University (WSSU). Prior to that role, she served as Associate Dean of Education, Quality Assurance and Community Engagement at WSSU and Associate Dean of Education at her alma mater, Fayetteville State University (FSU). At both institutions, Dr. Williams the creation of Teacher Residency models and initiated regional and national partnerships aimed toward strengthening quality assurance systems for teacher education programs.
Prior to FSU, she was tenured faculty in the College of Education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. While there, she led two academic units as Departmental Chairperson, earning distinctions including the University Outstanding Teacher of the Year award and Interdisciplinary Research Team Award finalist honors. Additionally, Dr. Williams collaborated with public schools, community leaders and colleagues to secure over $3.9 million in federal funding aimed at leveraging equitable outcomes for rural districts in North Carolina.
“We are thrilled to have Ereka joining Dogwood as a member of our leadership team,” said Dr. Susan Mims, interim CEO for Dogwood Health Trust. “Her expertise in the field of education along with her incredible experience leading education systems at all levels – all with a focus on equity and diversity – will be tremendous assets to our work to improve education systems and outcomes across the region.”
“We know that a good education is a cornerstone for a healthy life. It opens the door to higher paying jobs, financial stability, safe and secure housing, and an ability to make more informed choices about our health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Williams. “I am eager to begin working with Dogwood’s amazing Impact Team and its partners across the region so that together we can make sure our region’s children enter kindergarten ready to learn and that they have an excellent education all the way through to graduation.”
Dr. Williams holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has served as a coach, speaker, researcher, board member and reviewer for rural and urban schools across the midwest, northeast and southeastern U.S.
Dogwood Health Trust is a private foundation based in Asheville, North Carolina with the sole purpose of dramatically improving the health and well-being of all people and communities of 18 counties and the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust focuses on innovative and equitable ways to address the many factors that contribute to overall health and wellness, with a focus on housing, education, economic opportunity, and access to care and health resources. Dogwood Health Trust works to create a Western North Carolina where every generation can live, learn, earn and thrive, with dignity and opportunity for all, no exceptions. To learn more, please visit www.dht.org.