Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Sue E. Williams

Dr. Sue Williams has served Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the College of Human Sciences since 1977 as a cooperative extension specialist, professor and department head of Human Development and Family Science as well as interim director of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration.  

Williams specialized in taking university research and translating it into a practical application for the community.  As a cooperative extension state specialist along with colleagues in Agricultural Engineering, Engineering and Agricultural Communications, she crafted a statewide energy management program focused on the residential and agriculture sectors of Oklahoma. The Energy Event reached more than 200,000 households and received national awards from the USDA and the Department of Energy for excellence in energy management programming with significant impacts. As an associate of the Kettering Foundation, Williams moderates hundreds of public forums on controversial issues in an effort to gain public perspective on the issue and guide public policy formation.   As Human Development and Family Science Department Head she provided leadership for integrating children with developmental disabilities along with typically developing children into the Child Development Laboratory when the Rise School was welcomed to the OSU campus. She was instrumental in establishing the Center for Family Resilience (CFR). The Center translates scientific knowledge about families and family life into strategies that build individual and family resilience.   Williams, interim director for Hotel and Restaurant Administration (HRAD), worked with key stakeholders to host a Program Exchange including five world leaders in hospitality creating initiatives to guide the future of the School.  Williams has received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award and the College of Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award from Iowa State University.  She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences at New Mexico State University. She received the Leader Award and was the Chalkley-Fenn Public Policy Scholar Award for the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences, the Lela O’Toole Research Award and the Professional Award from the Oklahoma Association of Family & Consumer Sciences.   Williams received the Bonnie Teater Community Development Educator Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. In fall 2013 Sue and her husband, Joe, were honored with the OSU Loyal and True Award.  Williams holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from OSU, a master’s degree in Resource Management and Finance from Iowa State University and a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics Education from New Mexico State University. She is a graduate of the Harvard Management Development Program.  Williams attributes her accomplishments to a very supportive family, outstanding co-workers and colleagues. She acknowledges these special people who made many opportunities a reality.  For her unflagging and wholehearted service to the people of Oklahoma and to the nation, the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society welcomes Sue Williams into the 2014 class of the Higher Education Hall of Fame.