LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 31, 2011) − Carolyn Williams, professor and former dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in public service from the University of Portland, in Oregon.
It is her much-respected leadership in the profession that the University of Portland particularly wished to celebrate with the conferral of a doctorate of public service. Williams, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, is perhaps best-known as a visionary, energetic, and tireless leader in her profession. She has served as president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, president of the American Academy of Nursing, counselor to the World Health Organization in Geneva, and appointee by President Jimmy Carter to the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine (Biomedical and Behavioral Research), among many other efforts.
Williams earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from the Texas Woman’s University in Denton, master’s in nursing and public health and doctorate in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She would later be named the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's nursing alumna of the year.
Williams served as associate professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health and associate professor of nursing in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina, and professor and director of the graduate program and research at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University before coming to the UK College of Nursing in 1984. Despite a busy academic life, she has been actively involved in research and scholarship in nursing education and practice; she has been particularly interested in public health nursing, community-focused health programs, and the use of epidemiological strategies in health services management and evaluation, and has published widely on nursing, primary care, and public health.