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Dr. Theodore Williams began mentoring undergraduate students in the late 1950's at Wooster College (Ohio) as a member of the chemistry department faculty. The independent study program he implemented has resulted in 34 individuals earning doctorates in STEM. A summer research program for undergraduate students has resulted in seven medical doctors and another seventeen doctorate degrees. In addition, Williams has developed and implemented programs for junior high school girls in science (100 students participate annually), a targeted career development program, high-school student mentoring (about 25 students annually) and provided science workshops to elementary schools. He has also served as the research advisor for many students.
Williams adopted a very personal style of advising in the early part of his career, as was feasible with the small number of minority students at Wooster College. His method of advising has changed with his increased expertise and with changing circumstances, including an increased number of minority students.
Williams mentions that he has "continually honed his mentoring skills with improved approaches for the student in the 21st century." The professions and commentary of his former students clearly demonstrate the very positive interactions that have occurred between Williams and his mentees, such as the famous "walk around the campus" talks that changed their lives.