TROY M. WILLIAMS

Ph.D., Program Evaluator

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For over ten years, I have collaborated with community organizations and higher education institutions where I have had the opportunity to entertain, educate, and empower students and local community members on how they can address systemic issues that impact their daily lives. Most of my professional experience involved identifying community needs, co-creating responses with community members, and evaluating programs. Currently, I work with multiple organizations as an evaluator, ensuring that they are having the intended impact on the communities that they serve. I have worked with multiple organizations to create a systems thinking framework to measure efforts that address issues in the cities and communities that they serve. As an Atlanta native, a first-generation, non-traditional college student, I have seen first-hand the impact that community-based organizations can have on neighborhoods, and I am committed to ensuring that these organizations flourish. 
 
 

EVALUATIONS

The Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families

Conducted a summative evaluation of The Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF) project. This evaluation surveyed and interviewed stakeholders, grant recipients, and community members that could reflect on the successes, challenges, and next steps for the initiative.

Building Capacity for Action to Address Opioid Drug Harm in African American Communities

Evaluated the historical, institutional, and structural factors as underlying and persistent conditions that contribute to the vulnerability of African Americans individuals, families, and communities with respect to opioid use and harm in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) Education Team

Conducted a formative evaluation of the educational resources provided by Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) Education Team. This evaluation maps the various structures, conditions and programming components of WPT Education.

Culturally Responsive Evaluation Practice in Wisconsin

Collaborated with ¡Milwaukee Evaluation! Inc. Board members to engage evaluators and individuals who conduct evaluation-related work to co-create meaning and provide recommendations for the culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) survey.

Media Interview

MEDIA

Featured on an episode where I was interviewed by about my experiences engaging community members and organizations and the challenges of working within institutions that still have a lot of work to do on issues of race. 

Featured on an episode where I was interviewed by about my experiences engaging community members and organizations and the challenges of working within institutions that still have a lot of work to do on issues of race. 

California State San Bernardino organized a panel that discussed the history of police and communities of color throughout the United States. 

This article discusses the racial dynamics of Atlanta, Georgia and how Black politicians and residents navigate white power structures.

I was interviewed by the University of San Diego: School of Leadership and Education Sciences about my time as a student and my life following graduation.

 
 

PRESENTATIONS

Good Kid, Bad City: An Examination of Crime Resistance in Low-Income, High Crime Communities of Color; The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education

A number of criminological theories assert that individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities are more likely to participate in criminal activities. However, less is known about men of color who grow up in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods but do not commit crimes. In this study, the researcher examines the leadership patterns of Black men who are accepted, well-liked, and thought of as prominent figures in communities where criminal behavior is present. This study focuses on understanding the groups’ resilience and ability to maintain personal values in environments that encourage criminal behaviors. Using qualitative methods, the researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with 8 Black men, between the ages of 20-30. Face to face interviews were conducted in Atlanta, GA; Duncans, Jamaica, and San Diego, CA. Data analyses revealed that participants in the study, who were more comfortable with their identity, were less likely to participate in criminal activities. So the participants in this research believed the reason they were accepted by people who committed crimes in their community was because they were confident in who they were. Additionally, study participants unknowingly used self-authorship, which posits that a person can become the coordinator of their beliefs, identities, and social relationships. The more the participants interrogated their worldview, their identity, and their social relationships, the more they developed their identity and the less likely they were to commit crimes.

An Examination of the Complexity of Power and Race Between a Predominately white Institution and Black Communities Addressing Infant Mortality; Society for Community Research and Action

In Wisconsin, Black infants are nearly three times more likely to die before their first birthday than white infants. The Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF) is a multi-year community-academic collaboration to address this issue and work toward reducing this disparity in infant mortality. LIHF began in 2009 in Beloit, Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Racine, Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin Madison Population Health Institute conducted a summative evaluation of the initiative 2018-2019, 509 including analysis of vital statistics, surveys of new mothers, and surveys and intensive interviews with key stakeholders. In this presentation, evaluators summarize some of the major themes that emerged from the analysis of the qualitative interviews and survey responses. One of the themes that surfaced was the power dynamics around race and racism between some of the community participants and academic partners. Partners were perceived as insufficiently addressing the role that they played in racism and health disparities throughout the project. Some project stakeholders expressed that in order to properly address Black infant mortality, all partners would have to first understand the ecological composition of southeastern Wisconsin. These stakeholders posit that if partners were unwilling to acknowledge how racism was embedded within systems, structures, and institutions then lasting change will never take place. Another theme that emerged from the data is the complexity of white-led institutions leading initiatives that addressed health disparities in Black communities. Despite attempts by some of the leadership interviewed to address and seek to overcome the impact of differential power, politics, and dynamics around race and racism, some community partners felt these attempts fell short of acknowledging and sufficiently addressing the issue. Ultimately, collaborative members emphasized the need to examine intraorganizational, interorganizational, local, and national race dynamics and how they play a role in infant mortality.

CONSULTING

The Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action
Immersion Consultant  2012-2015

Organized international immersion experiences for the University of San Diego and Clayton State University graduate and undergraduate students in Trelawny, Jamaica. This included co-creating social education techniques to build community connections between these students and Jamaican community members. Over the course of the class, students were encouraged to gain a more thoughtful perspective of Jamaican culture and service-learning through projects with local schools and community organizers.

Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association
Program Evaluation

Created and implemented a marketing plan to encourage the local community to engage in health initiatives that focus on Black men’s health throughout Dane County. Increased the impact of the Rebalanaced-life wellness association among Black Dane County residents by developing and leveraging relationships with fraternities, religious organizations, and athletic teams. 

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services
Opioid Harm Prevention Community Outreach Specialist

Supported community organizations, public health agencies, and other stakeholders by facilitating training and technical assistance around communication, planning and the use of data to address the opioid epidemic.

Population Health Institute
Program Evaluator

Conduct qualitative interviews with key participants in multiple counties throughout Wisconsin. Analyze interview data and collaborate in writing and disseminating reports on findings. Collaborate with community-based and governmental organizations to address systemic issues.

The P.O.W.E.R. Collective
Program Director

Serve as office liaison to other campus units, students, and community organizations. Work with these other units to ensure the infrastructure and operational needs of P.O.W.E.R. are met and maintained. Coordinate all fiscal related activity requests with appropriate backup paperwork for submission and processing for payment. Manage and maintain organizational partnerships and community relationships.

Black Resource Center
Facilities, Operations, and Event Coordinator

Oversee BRC infrastructure including maintenance. Serve as office liaison to other campus units and work with these other units to ensure the infrastructure and operational needs of the BRC are met and maintained. Develop and analyze budgets for each event, keeping detailed records of income and expenditures, ensuring the projects are within projected costs and that all volunteers comply with established university procedures. Oversee all day-to-day operations of the facility including maintenance, room reservations, and front desk operations. Develop, interpret and explain facility policies to affiliates.

 
 

EDUCATION

University of Wisconsin
Ph.D., Human Ecology  2017-2021

This program trains doctoral students to become participant-scholars; scholars who work toward change processes by putting human ecological theory into practice. Through intense interdisciplinary coursework, scholars are trained to use participatory methods for system-level interventions. 

University of San Diego
MA, Leadership Studies  2013-2015

The School of Leadership Education and Sciences Master of Arts in Leadership Studies. Through leadership and development theories, critical thinking and analytics. I was able to refine my understanding of organizational systems and group dynamics.

Clayton State University
BS, Sociology  2009-2013

Through multiple courses, study abroad experiences, and internships this major provided valuable insights into social factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, and social class that laid the foundation for my academic and professional career.