Home // Inspiration // Meet Our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Feranda Williamson for Celebrating HERstory

Meet Our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Feranda Williamson for Celebrating HERstory

What has been your driving force in your chosen field for which you are being honored?

I live by the motto; if I can help somebody–then my living shall not be in vain. This drives me to help others because throughout my career God has positioned key people to be my mentor throughout my journey.

Dr. Feranda Williamson, Dean of School of Education-Graduate/PhD Programs at Capella University, President/CEO of the Grammy Nominated Chicago Mass Choir & ECC Music Workshop

Dr. Feranda Williamson, Dean of School of Education-Graduate/PhD Programs at Capella University, President/CEO of the Grammy Nominated Chicago Mass Choir & ECC Music Workshop

Who were your influences in your journey?

My mother–single mother who raised three girls and was able to send all three to college; Sister Sims who allowed me to use my gifts of singing and directing that served as the foundation for my love and devotion for gospel singing; Mrs. Morris, my eighth grade teacher who saw leadership potential in me and gave me many opportunities to lead groups in school; Zerrie Campbell, former president of Malcolm X College–was my mentor throughout College who encouraged me to further expand my leadership skills by serving as a resident assistant in the dormitory and served as a example of the professional attributes of a successful administrator in higher education; my Aunt–Catherine Jordan who served as a director and church administrator and by watching her attention to detail and perfection, I developed a keen eye to detail and excellent organizational skills

When did you realize that your chosen field was where God would have you for this season?

While working at Robert Morris College–I had the opportunity to teach in a GED program and realized that teaching and helping others was truly my “calling” and a ministry–ministry goes beyond the pulpit, but how you can positively impact the lives of others is true ministry

Why did you choose the field that you are in?

Actually, the field of education was not my first choice–started out in career of business and Human Resources, and after the birth of my daughter and desire to spend time with her, thought that teaching high school would give me an opportunity to spend summers with my daughter–but, never realized that goal and have worked year round in higher education for over 25 years

What are some practical tips that an aspiring trailblazer like you achieve can do to stay balanced and focused on the goal?

It is important that you have a balance life and to not focus just on work and career–your health and opportunities to relax are critical for your well being and to be able to be productive and to maintain your ability to be alert. When you are not balanced, you cannot perform at your optimum level

What are some new and exciting things going on with you that you would like to share?

I am excited about expanding opportunities to book my choir and other groups abroad for gospel concerts in Spain and Switzerland and hopefully, Shanghai China. I am excited about my new position as Dean of the School of Education for Capella University, where I currently have the opportunity to guide the direction of our graduate and doctoral programs in education.

What is your favorite quote or scripture?

“I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me”.

What do you like to do for fun or to relax?

I enjoy exercising and roller skating (just need to get back into roller skating); and going to the movies

What is a funny fact that you would like to share?

I went to church one Sunday and I was really dressed up and looking great–and I looked down and noticed I had on a black shoe on one foot and a blue shoe

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on the other foot.

by ELDA Michelle Adams

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