Eric Williams recognized for impact on students


Eric Williams was recently honored with the Laverta L. Terry Outstanding Service Award through TRIO and the Alvin S. Bynum Award for Excellence in Academic Mentoring through the Office of Academic Affairs.

Williams currently serves as the senior executive director of the Educational Equity Programs (EEP) in University College. The EEPs include the 21st Century Scholars Success Program, Diversity Enrichment and Achievement Program (DEAP), TRIO Student Support Services, and TRIO Upward Bound, as well as the Scholar Support Programs for Nina, Bowen, and Thrive Scholars.

Williams holds a doctorate in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University. His career has focused on developing student success initiatives that serve and advocate for students from historically underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds.

Williams shared that the Laverta L. Terry award was one that meant a great deal to him, especially as he had the opportunity to meet and interview her while completing a research project during his graduate studies.

“I met her and interviewed her, you know, got a chance to really get to know her on a personal level, and so it was very rewarding to receive an award that was named in her honor,” Williams said.

While the Laverta L. Terry award was a surprise, Williams’ former supervisor, Cathy Buyarski, let him know she was nominating him for the Alvin S. Bynum award for all his great work.

“That one wasn't a surprise for me when that happened, but it was definitely rewarding,” Williams said.

Matt Rust, who is now serving as the interim leader in Buyarski’s previous position as assistant dean of University College, spoke on his excitement about Williams’ recognition for these awards.

“Eric has been a trusted mentor for countless IUPUI students and for his colleagues across campus,” Rust said. “I’m thrilled to see Eric’s good work recognized both by our IUPUI community and by the TRIO community throughout Indiana.”

Williams shared that winning these awards was more than just a win for himself personally, but a win for his entire division.

“I don't look at them as my awards, I look at them as our awards in terms of our incredible staff that we have in each of our different offices and programs,” Williams said.

Williams’ goals moving forward are to continue to have an impact across campus to support underrepresented students, first-generation students, and low-income students with the resources that they need to reach their full potential.

For more information, contact the Division of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications at