Doctoral Student Spotlight: Amy E. Rosser Williams

Amy Williams

Doctoral student Amy E. Rosser Williams reflects on her journey to earning a Doctor of Educational Leadership degree as Lamar University prepares for the annual Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

Q: What was the most challenging thing about going through the doctoral program?
A: I think the most challenging part for me was making sure that I allotted enough time to work on my assignments, projects and classwork while still having a busy, full-time job in education. This was also challenging when I began the dissertation process.

Q: What sparked your passion for education?
A: As a child, I always wanted to be part of education. At the age of three, I begged my parents to allow me to go to school, so they enrolled me in a part-time private pre-school near our home. As I went to elementary school, I looked up to my aunt Linda who was a teacher. I wanted to be just like her and teach elementary school. In fact, I forced my younger sister and brother to play school with me all of the time! Though I originally completed my bachelor’s degree in journalism and English at Baylor University, I obtained my teaching certification in my mid-‘20s because I still wanted to be part of a school — especially an elementary school where I had spent so many years enjoying the learning process. I started my teaching career in fifth grade and found that was a natural fit for my personality. I get so much satisfaction from helping students, teachers and the community. Education really is the great equalizer for society and I want to be a part of providing every student that opportunity for success.

Q: Did you have a faculty mentor to assist you along your journey? If so, who and how was it working with them?
A: My faculty mentor was Dr. Kelly Brown. It was great to work with her because she is honest but fair and kind in regard to giving student feedback. I knew that I would need that type of a mentor to assist me through the dissertation process because there would be so much to learn and accomplish during my time in the program. I really respect her opinions and thoughts and believe that she was integral in my being able to successfully complete my doctorate.

Q: When you successfully defended your dissertation, how did you feel?
A: At first, it seemed to almost be unreal that I had finally gotten to this point in the process since I’d been thinking and planning for it for years. Then I was so excited and happy! The first person I called was my aunt Linda, who was overjoyed for me and proud of my accomplishment. I had always wanted to complete a doctorate and I had finally gotten to the end of my journey. I have to say that had I not had my family, husband, friends, colleagues and great professors around me, it would have been much more difficult. I appreciate everything they did to support my learning.

Q: What's next for you?
A: I have been interested in a school leadership role where I can have more of an impact on large numbers of students and teachers. As an instructional coach, I have been able to really support my campus and I would love to do more of this as an assistant principal and then a principal on an elementary or middle school campus. Further into the future, I am interested in possibly teaching pre-service teachers at the college level so that I can support the next generation of educators. The most important thing is that our public education system is sustainable so that all of our students can reach their dreams and maximize their potential.

Dr. Kelly Brown


"Dr. Amy Willims knew exactly what she wanted to study because it was birthed from her personal experience. She wanted her research to highlight and support K-12 teachers. I was honored to play a part in her journey and look forward to seeing her growth after Lamar University."

— Kelly Brown, Ed.D., assistant professor of educational leadership