Director of Residence LifeApril 24, 2023 - Felley Lawson
Hang out in Evans Student Center awhile with Quantel Williams, and it soon becomes obvious why this is his favorite place on campus.
Williams was named Ouachita’s director of residence life in June; he’s also a member of the campus police force, an adjunct professor in Christian studies and a bi-vocational pastor. Engaging with students is an important part of his work.
Before becoming Res Life director, Williams served as resident director at Tollett Hall and then O.C. Bailey Hall. He’s a student favorite among Ouachita staff. Even in a frenetic lunchtime crowd in “the stu,” they seek him out to say hi, ask a question, catch up – and everyone gets his attention.
“I love helping students grow into their God-given gifts,” he said. Spending time in the stu, “I get a chance to connect with students and see how they’re doing, both physically and spiritually.”
With 98% of Ouachita’s undergrads living in university housing, “We are a residential campus that thrives on community. Relationships start on day one, when students step foot in their residence halls,” Williams said. “Those friendships created in the residence halls last for a lifetime. They’re the friends who will be at your wedding and when you accomplish other significant milestones.”
There are practical aspects to nurturing that kind of community. Williams directs operations for the university’s nine residence halls and six apartment complexes and supervises Ouachita’s residence directors. He partners with Ouachita’s Office of Admissions Counseling to coordinate roommate and housing assignments for freshmen, for example, and with the Office of Facilities Management to be sure work orders are received and resolved.
A native of Cameron, Texas, Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian education/youth ministry and a Master of Arts degree in theological studies from East Texas Baptist University. He also holds an educational specialist degree and is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership from Regent University. There are times when his background in ministry serves him particularly well, whether he’s addressing parents’ questions, helping a residence director resolve a conflict between roommates or talking with a student struggling with a problem.
“The ministerial training I received at my home church and ETBU has taught me that I’m called to do everything out of love and to go the extra mile,” he said.
Having served as a student resident assistant at ETBU, Williams was interested in becoming a resident director at a Christian university after graduation. One of his professors, Ouachita alum Dr. Jeremy Greer ’98, learned that a resident director position might be available at Ouachita and submitted Williams’ resume. Greer is now dean of Ouachita’s Pruet School of Christian Studies.
Williams lives in Arkadelphia, where he is an active member of Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Before joining the Res Life staff in 2018, he said, “I’d never heard of Ouachita or Arkadelphia. But I’ve been blessed beyond measure to work here.”
In the different roles Williams serves, he always keeps one thing in mind.
“God has called you and me to be fishers of men,” he said. “I’m able to go out into this world and be an agent of reconciliation. This is a mandate I don’t take lightly.” Engaging with others wherever he is – on campus, in his church or in the community – “I try to share a message of peace and let them know God has a prosperous plan for them.”
By Felley (Nall) Lawson '88, editorial coordinator
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