Helen Easterling Williams, EdD, is the dean of Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP). Williams, a lifelong educator, has served three decades in higher education leadership. Prior to assuming her role at GSEP in August 2014, Williams was the president of Health Education & Welfare International, a firm that provides consultative services designed to improve the health, education, and welfare of individuals, faith-based organizations, higher education institutions, and elementary and secondary educational organizations.
Williams previously held the deanship at the School of Education at Azusa Pacific University. There she successfully led school reaccreditation efforts (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) and initial accreditation for the School Psychology Program. She established the Emerging Technology Center, and developed an international visiting scholar program. Her passion for reaching back into the community led her to pilot the African American Scholars Program for 11, 12, and 13-year-old African American males. These young scholars lived on campus, participated in hands-on workshops in math, science, and technology, and enjoyed enriching cultural outings that fostered positive identity and responsibility for their families and their communities. She also served as a professor of doctoral studies in the School of Education.
Williams also served as the Senior Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Delaware. Among her numerous successes there is the revitalization of the University’s Parallel Program for freshmen students. Her leadership resulted in improved student academic outcomes, increased enrollment (particularly of minority students), a diversified faculty, and the securing of additional fiscal resources. A program assessment led to the transition of this first-year college experience into a degree-granting program with a waiting list of applicants. She also developed the Careers in the Arts and Entertainment Program that brought students together with professionals from FUBU, Motown, the Delaware Theater Company, and legendary icons such as Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. During her tenure in the community college there, Williams piloted the first young United Nations program, and a Gospel Choir. She served on the Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution Recidivism Board, the People’s Settlement Association Board of Directors, and the Board of Trustees for the Tower Hill School.
Williams earned her bachelor’s degree in speech correction with a minor in biology from Jersey City State College, a master’s degree in speech and language pathology from Towson State University in Maryland, and a doctorate of education degree in educational leadership at the University of Delaware. She has written articles and presented on topics such as K-12 education, international education, technology, and technology integration for teacher candidates. She is an American Council on Education Fellow (2004-2005) and a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. She is also an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church serving presently at First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, California. Rev. Dr. Helen Easterling Williams is the mother of two daughters (Shawniqua Williams Roberson, MD and Camille Marie Evans, Esq.), the proud grandmother of Joseph, Joshua, and Joelle, and a beloved mentor to countless young men and women throughout the world.