A Historic Win

Thursday, January 21, 2016

mondawilliamssmallMonda R. Williams M‘12 has made history in Washington, Pa., a town over 200 years old, as the first African-American woman elected to city council. She began a four-year term this month.

“I wasn’t always interested in politics,” says Williams, a caseworker with the Washington County Department of Human Services. “I got involved with politics when I acknowledged that creative transformation in communities often takes place in the political arena.” That happened during her graduate studies at RMU, where she earned a master’s in organizational leadership while participating in the Greater Washington Civic Leadership Institute, a 15-month community initiative in the Washington area.

Monda is a veteran, and she says another veteran, Dan Rota, inspired her to attend Robert Morris. Rota is director of Veterans Education and Training Services at RMU, and she says he impressed her with his style of teaching, genuine personality, and evident dedication toward ethical leadership.

Having a master’s degree has broadened her opportunities for advancement in her career, she says. “I now embrace an improved sense of self and direction with a renewed forward focus, my professional network has continued to expand, my perspectives on higher education have been confirmed, and my overall opportunities for advancement have increased,” says Williams.

As an active alumna, Williams participates in networking events that benefit current students and their professional development. She recently attended the Women of RMU luncheon and Making Connections, a mock-interview event with communication students, and she acted as a guest panelist for the Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Program.

Williams’ advice to incoming graduate students is to go in dedicated with a full understanding of how to reach goals, stay focused and organized, and utilize resources such as the career center and as many extracurricular activities as possible.

- By Michelle Emanuele '14

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