Arts & Humanities Faculty
Professor Joanne Williams is a Jersey girl who grew up with Bruce Springsteen on her playlist and a pen and paper in her hands. Her love of reading and writing started when she penned a short science fiction story in the fourth grade, writing on a typewriter in an office she set up in a bedroom closet.
Prof. Williams has worked on numerous local weekly and daily newspapers in her life, finishing a more than 15-year career in journalism at a daily Gannett newspaper in Wisconsin. After some jobs in tourism, marketing and promotions, she has been teaching journalism at Olivet since 1998.
At Olivet, Prof. Williams teaches in the journalism and mass communication program, specializing in reporting and editing, and also occasionally finds herself teaching writing and rhetoric and self and community courses. She is the adviser for the award-winning student newspaper, The ECHO, as well as other groups on campus, including a Greek society.
A past president of the Michigan Collegiate Press Association, Prof. Williams is an active member of a number of journalism and other professional organizations, including the College Media Advisers, the Associated Collegiate Press, and the Society of Professional Journalists, where she judges student media work from across the country.
At Olivet College, Prof. Williams has been honored to receive numerous advising and teaching awards, including the Drs. Gorton and Peggy Riethmiller Outstanding Faculty Member Award. One of her most prized honors was speaking at the 2013 Baccalaureate program to graduating seniors and friends, at their request.
Prof. Williams earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s degree in humanities from California State University, Dominquez Hills. Her thesis was “The Olivet College Writer’s Conferences, 1936-41.”