Dr. Tonjua Williams is the seventh president of St. Petersburg College. Tonjua has held various positions throughout her 30+ years of experience in higher education. Enhancing student success and the quality of their experience is one of her most treasured values. Tonjua is a recognized nationally as an expert in student development and executing plans that transforms departments and institutions.
She holds a PhD from Barry University in Higher Education Administration with a specialization in Educational Leadership. She has participated in several leadership programs: State of Florida Chancellor’s Leadership Program, Leadership St. Petersburg, University of Florida’s Executive Leadership Program, and the American Association of Community College’s Thomas Lakin Leadership Program (for those aspiring to be college presidents). Dr. Williams was recently selected as one of 40 leaders in the inaugural class of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship, a yearlong program designed to prepare leaders aspiring to be community college presidents.
She is a local, state, and national presenter and has served as a Retention Management System (RMS) Associate Trainer and consultant for Noel Levitz and a faculty resident for the Center for Community College Engagement (CCCSE) High Impact Practices and Men of Color Institutes. She is a motivational speaker and enjoys encouraging others to excel.
Her passion is to help others overcome obstacles and succeed in life. As a recipient of community outreach services and a member of “the village,” she understands the importance of reaching out to others and helping them realize their full potential. Being the first in her family to attend college and earn a degree, she strongly supports any initiative designed to help others understand their ability to be successful.
She is active in her community and has received many awards and recognition: Jr. Achievement Educator of the Year for Pinellas County (2011), finalist for the Tampa Bay Executive Woman of the Year, the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce Iconic Woman of the Year (2013), and chosen as one of Academy Prep Center’s 5 Fabulous Females (2014).
She is a native of St. Petersburg and credits much of her success to the upbringing and training provided by her mother Willie Harris, family members, teachers, neighbors, and the wonderful relationship she has with her loving husband, Derrick Williams