August 23, 2021
Williams named assistant provost for engagement
Rod N. Williams, professor of wildlife sciences in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, has been announced as the assistant provost for engagement, effective immediately. Williams is the first to hold the newly created position.
In the role, Williams will report to Steve Abel, associate provost for engagement.
“We are beyond excited to welcome Rod into this role,” Abel says. “We’ve benefited from his leadership, research and project management skills as a Provost Fellow and now look forward to the positive impact he’ll have on our engagement initiatives as a member of our team.”
Williams most recently served as the project lead for Purdue’s Advancement of Research Impact in Society (PARIS), working with a team of research and engagement faculty and staff to enhance institutional capacity to support research impacts in communities. In his role as a Provost Fellow, Williams co-authored “The Guide: Documenting, Evaluating and Recognizing Engaged Scholarship.” His new role will continue that work with a specific focus on developing programs that support the scholarship of engagement.
In addition to Williams’ engagement work, his research interests include the ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles, specifically eastern hellbenders. He served as the vertebrate curator and coordinator of laboratory instruction at Purdue before joining the faculty in 2008.
Williams also has received numerous teaching awards, including the Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, the PK-12 Emerging Faculty Impact Award and the Outstanding Early Career Award, and has been inducted into Purdue’s Book of Great Teachers.