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James Williams, RHTM Asst Prof

“From Thug to Scholar: An Odyssey to Unmask my True Potential”


James Williams, assistant professor in the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management, will you tell you he was once a thug.  A thug, that after a life-changing moment, realized it was time to make a change.

Williams once lived a way of life nothing like the one he lives today.  As a youth on the streets, he was affiliated with gang members as a means to feel valued.  Today, Williams has found value in another way; education.

Read Williams’ story in his book, “From Thug to Scholar: An Odyssey to Unmask my True Potential,” released last monthWilliams shares his journey from gang member to assistant  professor in the classroom. and the changes which led him here.  Read more about his book in the article featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Williams’ book is available at at Barnes & Nobel, 8029 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN.  A book signing is scheduled for Saturday, February 13, from 2-4 P.M.

Photo courtesy of: Michael Patrick, Knoxville News Sentinel