Diverse: Issues in Higher Education has named James Williams, assistant professor in Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences as one of the 2019 Top Emerging Scholars. He is the first UT faculty member to be honored by the magazine since it began publication of the list in 2001.
Williams, a first generation graduate and an author of two books, one of which is From Thug to Scholar: An Odyssey to Unmask My True Potential. His youth included time affiliated with gangs and an attempt at college. After completing time in the Air Force, Williams was encouraged to return to school. Now he is a prominent teacher, speaker, and author holding two doctorate degrees.