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Williams strives to help students navigate higher education as recruiter

University of Illinois Chicago College of Engineering's Sabrina Jones (front) and Keith Williams (R) chat with others at EIEP.

Keith R. Williams joined the Engineering and Inclusivity in Engineering Program (EIEP) as the senior college recruiter earlier this winter. He joins the department from the UIC Office of Admissions Transfer Center.

Prior to joining UIC, Williams worked for his alma mater St. Lawrence Seminary High School College Preparatory in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin, as an admission counselor and recruiter. This role informed him about student management, recruitment, engagement, and development that has developed into a passion for him.

“During my high school and college career, I didn’t have access to post-secondary initiatives, professional development, or career services, it was all trial and error,” Williams said.

Having limited access to these resources inspired Williams to want to create better opportunities for others.

His new position will consist of partnering and collaborating with the Minority Affairs and Undergraduate Affairs offices and department heads within the College of Engineering to focus on development and implementation of undergraduate recruitment and yielding strategies to ensure enrollment and student success targets are met.

As a senior college recruiter, Williams will strive to increase retention rates and student diversity while helping both first-year students and transfer students as they prepare to enter higher education. He will also visit schools throughout the state talking with high school students about the College of Engineering.

“Whatever direction students think they may want to go as they embark on their college journey; we will cheer them from the sidelines, advocate for them, and really support them as they travel on this complex and challenging, yet rewarding journey,” Williams said.

Williams’s position is new to EIEP and the College of Engineering.

“There is the possibility that we can create something unique and something special and experience to get to students because I think it’s all about the experience,” he said. “From these experiences, we can help both the students as well as the university flourish.”

He believes this new position within the College of Engineering can have a significant impact.

“We have the potential to create some unique and special experiences,” he said. “We present our students with the opportunity to be healthy and successful contributors to society. It’s all about experience.”

He initially worked for UIC’s College of Medicine Urban Health Program before his position with the office of admissions at UIC.