Every year, UNC Charlotte recognizes an employee who has made outstanding contributions by participating in or implementing community and public service projects, such as volunteering with various nonprofit organizations. In a year of many challenges and difficulties, numerous employees have dedicated their time and specialized skills to make communities in and around the Charlotte area a better place.
Angie Williams, business services coordinator in the English Department, is a prime example of such an employee and the winner of the 2021 Employee of the Year Award in the category Community and Public Service.
While serving and dedicating her time as the leading staff member in the English Department since 2006, her love and passion for literacy continues to spread into the community as it has for years through various events.
“She gives these events the same attention and care as she does other parts of her life,” said Paula Eckard, who nominated Williams and serves as department chair. “And always with enthusiasm, good humor and a genuine concern for the larger community.”
Williams’ unwavering commitment to literacy shines through her joyful and sacrificial service, rearranging her own schedule and balancing a demanding week-day job and family responsibilities. One of her most well-known and long-time commitments has been to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Before COVID-19, she volunteered at the library’s annual Verse and Vino event, a major fundraiser that provides crucial support for the public library’s various community outreach activities related to literacy.
On top of her contributions to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Williams is actively involved in the annual Center City Literary Festival, a joint partnership between UNC Charlotte’s English Department and The Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City, organizing and planning the event since it started in 2014. Williams also takes part in the Seuss-A-Thon, organizing day-long readings of Dr. Seuss books at a local bookstore. This event involves dozens of readers and is well-attended by children and their families, as well as members of the Charlotte community. As one of the organizers stated, “I don’t know what we would do without Angie.”
It’s not just her participation and organization that stands out, but her passion for reading and literacy, and wanting the younger generation to share that passion and understanding. Those who work closely with her see and experience her dedication on a daily basis.
“You cannot be around Ms. Williams without feeling uplifted and inspired,” said Eckard. “She is a role model that we all can look up to. I certainly look up to her, and I know my colleagues in the English Department feel the same way.”
Both the Charlotte community and the University are fortunate to have such a dedicated individual making important contributions to teaching literacy in the community, demonstrating how Angie Williams is a well-deserved winner of the Employee of the Year Award for Public and Community Service.
“We often say she is the heart of the department. With the enthusiasm and many kindnesses, she shows each day, our work lives are so much better for having Ms. Williams in our midst. Thanks to her efforts, the community is a richer, brighter, and more literate place,” said Eckard.
All winners will be acknowledged at the Employee of the Year awards ceremony at 2:30 p.m., April 23. UNC Charlotte encourages employees to attend and celebrate the success of this year's winners. Register for the virtual event here.
Williams has the potential to be advanced as a campus nominee for the Governor’s Awards for Excellence, the highest honor a state employee may receive for dedicated service to North Carolina and its residents