Oakton Community College has named Ruth Williams as the school’s next dean of the Science and Health Careers Division, effective Jan. 1.

“Since joining Oakton in 2002, Ruth has provided leadership for assessment initiatives throughout the college and has developed innovative curricula and collaborations with the Science and Health Careers Division,” said Oakton Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Hamel.

“She assumes this new position at an exciting time, as students and faculty complete their first year in the Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center, our new science and health career building.”


Most recently, Williams has served as chair of Oakton’s biology department, where she has been a member of the faculty for the past 13 years.

Williams has served on five standing committees and teams, an accreditation subcommittee, and on the Women’s Day committee. She has been involved in Oakton’s Program for Assessment and Learning for five years, working with faculty and staff to improve student learning outcomes.

She has facilitated seven development activities, including the New Faculty Seminar and those dealing with teaching credentials and critical thinking. Williams also has authored a faculty handbook, served as an assessment coordinator, and was a mentor for STEM and Preparing Future Faculty.

Previously, Williams was on the biology faculty of Moraine Park Technical College and Barat College, where she taught anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, laboratory techniques, and biology.

As the dean of Science and Health Careers, Williams will provide direction for 15 departments and programs, including basic nurse assistant training, biology, chemistry, earth science, elder care support, health information technology, horticultural therapy, medical coding and billing, medical laboratory technology, nursing, pharmacy technician, phlebotomy, physical education, physical therapist assistant, and physics.

She also will be responsible for integrating nursing lab simulations into the college’s curricula and expanding basic nurse aid training to more local high schools.

“The Division of Science and Health Careers is a local leader for its rigorous programs and successful employment rates in the health careers,” Williams said. “The investment of the college and community in the Lee Center and in health career programs in general, demonstrates our commitment to community health care.”

Williams earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a master’s in veterinary physiology from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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