Since graduating in 2000, Kyle Williams has sought ways to give back. Serving on the boards of the Black Alumni Constituent Society and the Ball State University Foundation, he has raised thousands of dollars to support student scholarships and textbooks while taking an active role in mentoring students and alumni. Based in the Indianapolis area, Williams is a regional sales manager and team leader for Sebia USA’s Midwest Region.
What about your college experiences has most influenced your life since graduating?
My time as a resident assistant at the DeHority Complex really developed my leadership skills. I had to learn how to get the respect of fellow students while still staying within University guidelines. As a member of Omega Psi Phi, I learned how to work on a team. When I was elected chapter president, I applied the servant-leader approach. While working as a computer lab assistant, I was exposed to technology which has been valuable to my career and also helped to developed my customer service skills.
What motivated you to get involved in the Black Alumni Constituent Society (BACS) and other initiatives?
While at Ball State I came upon a time of financial hardship. I weighed my options and found a pathway to attain the finances I needed to continue my education. As part of receiving this assistance, I was asked to remember this gesture, and I have. I plan to support Ball State as God continues to provide a financial increase in my life.
Just as important is helping students navigate their career paths. Being a Black alumnus, I find it vital that I am available to the Black student body. BACS allows for professional networking and a collective effort to support the scholarships that are offered to our Black students. It also connects our Black alumni across the country.
Do you have advice for alumni parents in talking to their child about attending their alma mater?
My son began his freshman year this Fall, and that is definitely a very proud moment for me. It’s a great fit for him, matching his aspiration to pursue a computer science career.
I would tell parents: The ideal time to introduce your future Cardinal to Ball State is in elementary and junior high school. Try a trip to Charlie Town for Homecoming, or a basketball game at the Arena.
What advice would you give to Ball State leaders in helping us become a more inclusive culture?
President Mearns has spent a great deal of time researching and creating initiatives addressing diversity and inclusion, and I see this being an even bigger priority moving forward. We need to continue to have a diversity advisory board, and increased minority involvement on various leadership boards throughout campus.
We need to have diversity on all levels to ensure that we are allowing an inclusive environment that provides each Cardinal an equal opportunity to fly.