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Junior Hones Leadership Skills on Campus, in St. Croix

01/13/16

Timothy G. Williams ’17 of Springfield, Mass., had the opportunity to immerse himself in the culture of the Caribbean when he spent the fall semester in St. Croix, in the United States Virgin Islands.

But it almost didn’t happen as Williams was hesitant to leave his campus accomplishments and friends at MCLA behind.

“Fortunately, though, I had some really supportive people encouraging me, telling me that studying abroad would be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and to take this opportunity because it would open so many new doors for me,” Williams said.

As it turned out, his experience at the University of the Virgin Islands-St. Croix was “absolutely amazing,” due in part to the friendly people there, as well as the “rich and fascinating” culture. Williams said his semester abroad helped encourage him to take more chances in life, and to say “yes” to more opportunities that present themselves to him.

In addition to being affordable, “I wanted to try something new and unique, and I felt that the Island of St. Croix would be a very good experience for me, where I could grow and learn.”

A psychology major who also studies criminal justice, as well cross cultural and social justice, Williams said he was attracted to the field because of his interest in how the mind works.

“Psychology allows me to explore and discover the reasons as to why we do what we do and think the way we think,” he explained. “What I like most about my studies is that as I continue to gain knowledge. I am able to see what I’ve learned happening in my everyday life. I find it to be really remarkable when I cover a particular topic in class, or in my readings, and then I see it happening in front of my eyes, and I can relate it to my studies.”

Back on the MCLA campus, Williams is the captain of the NeXXus step team. He also serves as a peer advisor, is a member of “Campus Conversations on Race,” an Admissions ambassador, and also works at the campus’s Center for Student Success and Engagement.

“By being involved with these activities, it has allowed me to enhance my leadership skills, as well as help me to become more professional,” Williams explained. “Before, I was more of a follower. My work ethic was good, but not spectacular. Joining these activities definitely helped me to grow and enhance my capabilities.”

Williams is no longer content to stay in the position of a “follower.” Instead, he’s willing to step up and accept responsibility as a leader.

“I’ll put in as much work as needed to ensure that I rise up to my fullest potential,” he said. “Joining such diverse groups also allowed me to become more adaptable, and handle situations more quickly and appropriately.”

MCLA, Williams said, “sets you up for success. We have a really amazing support system here that pushes and encourages you to fulfill your highest potential.

“I would definitely recommend MCLA to prospective students,” he continued, “because I feel that this school really helps you to grow and pushes you to experience new opportunities that you probably never thought you were capable of doing.

“This school also is determined to see you succeed academically, and will offer you any assistance that you need to ensure that you reach your highest academic potential. You’ll walk across that stage in four years knowing that you’ve made an impact.”