Sonya Y Williams

Sonya Williams

Office of the Provost
Executive Director
Contact Information
(330) 672-8540



I'm the Executive Director of TRIO Upward Bound Programs and the Office of Outreach and Engagement, and I provide leadership, coordination, and supervision for departmental-level projects and initiatives to support university outreach and engagement for the Kent State campus and surrounding community, including oversight of Upward Bound programs. I also provide coordination to initiatives related to community outreach, professional development, education, and engagement on behalf of the Office of University Outreach and Engagement.


My previous role was the Executive Director for the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as a member of the Executive Leadership Team. I led the division's human resources, fiscal/budget creation & monitoring, communications, the division training lab, and the TRIO Upward Bound programs.  A significant portion of my job also included directly assisting the Vice President with high-level projects and serving on several university committees.

Prior to coming to Kent State, I worked in both the corporate and non-profit sectors in top-tier management positions, serving lastly as Director of the Foster Grandparent Program for Summit County at Akron Summit Community Action. I'm a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and most passionate about the education and success of all students, no matter their background. My motto is “If I made it, so can you!”

Favorite place on the Kent campus:

Our campus is absolutely gorgeous and so maintained beautifully. My favorite place is outside, walking this beautiful campus when the weather is conducive.

Best advice for students:

My advice to students, no matter the category, is to make certain that they are confident in their own abilities. College or work life is not for the faint of heart! Confidence in your abilities will propel you even when there is fear. Confidence will eliminate nay-sayers!

Fun Fact:

I've been married to the love of my life, Kevin, for 27 years and I'm a proud mother of Kevin (KJ), 24, Ms. Kendall, 19, and Nonny to grandson KTre (Kevin III).


MA, Curricular and Instructional Studies and English, University of Akron, BA, Rhetorical Speaking and Communication, Kent State University


Project Oversight, Grant Writing, Human Resource Management, Fiscal Operations, Office Management.


  • 2019 Kent State University Ambassador on the Steve Harvey Show
  • Graduate and Class President of Inaugural Leadership Akron Diversity on Boards
  • Leadership Portage County
  • Outstanding Leader- Ohio Association of Community Action Council
  • Chapter Adviser - Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc