Why I Give: ‘I Have Been Constantly Impressed by the Passion and Dedication Our Faculty Have for Preparing Future Educators as Well as the Caliber of the Teachers this College Produces,’ Says Director of Information Technology Mark Williams
Editor’s Note: This is part of a monthly “Why I Give” series in which NC State College of Education alumni, students, faculty and staff share why they support the college.
For more than two decades, Mark Williams has called NC State home. As a member of the NC State baseball team, he earned a bachelor’s in business. Upon graduation, he took an entry-level position in the information technology (IT) department within the NC State College of Education. Later, he took advantage of NC State’s tuition waiver program and earned a computer programming certificate before obtaining a Master of Business Administration from NC State. Two years ago, he was promoted to director of information technology.
In that role, he leads the education information technology (EdIT) team in providing all PC, Mac, printer and mobile device support, including management, escalation and resolution of help desk calls for all faculty and staff, students and more than 2,500 devices in the College of Education and Department of Psychology. He also advises the College Computer and Technology Committee while overseeing allocation of the technology fee budget.
When Williams isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his son, Kellen, and his wife, Kebbler, who is a graduate of the NC State College of Education’s Master of School Administration program. Having a wife who is an educator has allowed Williams to see firsthand how scholarships played a role in her ability to pursue her educational dreams. And he wants to be able to help provide that same financial support for other educators and future teachers.
“If my contribution can help make a career in teaching or school administration possible for students like my wife and to do that without collecting a mountain of student debt, then it is a very worthwhile endeavor,” Williams said. “With a son who will soon be attending public school in North Carolina, I have a vested interest in the availability of great teachers and great administrators.”
In the Q&A below, Williams talks about why he gives to the NC State College of Education, why education is important to him and his family, and why giving back is important to him. The following is edited for length and clarity.
What brought you to the NC State College of Education?
Shortly after graduation, I noticed the College of Education listing for an opening for an entry-level computer technician. Being a computer geek and a recent graduate with knowledge of the NC State computing environment, the College of Education took a chance on me. I’m happy to say that I have been here helping fulfill the colleges’ computing needs ever since.
How long have you been with the NC State College of Education?
This is my 20th year with the College of Education. The majority of our IT group have been together for 19 of those years. We have a great team and I think the fact that we all get along and work so well together contributes to that.
Why do you give to the NC State College of Education?
My wife, Kebbler, is the most dedicated educator I know and a fierce advocate for student success. She is an alumna of the Elon University School of Education, the NC State College of Education and the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education. Scholarships contributed to her success at all three schools.
In my time here at the College of Education, I have been constantly impressed by the passion and dedication our faculty have for preparing future educators as well as the caliber of the teachers this college produces. With a son who will soon be attending public school in North Carolina, I have a vested interest in the availability of great teachers and great administrators.
What do you hope to see happen as a result of your gift?
If my contribution can help make a career in teaching or school administration possible for students like my wife, and to do that without collecting a mountain of student debt, then it is a very worthwhile endeavor. My hope is that the availability of scholarships will give students with the desire, heart, perseverance and dedication required to be extraordinary educators the ability to fulfill that dream without being sidetracked by financial concerns.
Why do you feel it’s important to give back?
The College of Education took a chance giving me an opportunity at the start of my career. Having a spouse in education, in addition to all the knowledge I’ve gained about the challenges educators face, I feel as though if I can contribute my time, expertise or a monetary gift to a single entity that can help advance the mission of all those things, it is a great opportunity to pay it forward.