In 2012, Katie Williamson stood on stage of the Save Mart Center in front of thousands of her peers as she accepted the Graduate Deans’ Medalist award for the College of Health and Human Services. Four years later, she’s back on stage at the Save Mart Center. This time, she’s addressing faculty and staff at the President’s fall 2016 assembly, in her role as chair of the Fresno State Staff Assembly Executive Committee.
Since receiving her master’s degree in Sport Psychology at Fresno State, Williamson has been making moves on campus as the Professional Development and Wellness Coordinator, in addition to her involvement on the staff assembly. As coordinator, she designs professional development and wellness workshops designed to help employees at Fresno State become healthy physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially and occupationally, while using a more holistic approach.
“Through the Office of Organizational Excellence, we host about 20-30 classes on a monthly basis,” Williamson said. “We try to be intentional in offering classes that fill a need that people have whether it’s specific to a job skill or looking at the wellness wheel that identifies the seven dimensions of wellness. I try to find topics related to those, plus I’m always listening for new ideas as I talk to people on campus.”
Williamson’s educational background has played an integral role in her expertise today. In addition to a master’s degree, she also obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Fresno State in 2009. She says she initially built her workshops based on the Applied Behavior Analysis principles she learned in her undergraduate course work.
Williamson also regularly returns to the classroom, as a guest speaker for introductory sport psychology classes. She has also partnered with the nutrition program on campus to offer senior dietetic students the opportunity to experience nutrition coaching and teaching prior to graduation.
A native of Kingsburg, Williamson has always had a strong desire to help others through her work on campus, as well as her own personal passion project – life coaching. For the past two years, she has worked with the Fresno Rescue Mission to develop a holistic wellness curriculum for individuals receiving services there. Her curriculum, The Life I Now Live, focuses on helping others realize their own strength and value in regards to physical health, mental skills and spirituality.
“From using this curriculum,I was able to see women break through barriers they had and overcome limiting beliefs in their physical, spiritual, and emotional lives,” Williamson said. “The curriculum actually came from my thesis research from my experience at Fresno State and to see it five years later come to fruition is a great experience. It works really well and now I am able to get it out farther to reach more people. It just does not get any better for me.”
Williamson will release her curriculum for purchase on her website, Sept. 20. That day she’ll also be a speaking at the Central California Women’s Conference in a workshop entitled, “How to reclaim your self, sanity and sparkle.”
“It is about practical strategies that can be used when experiencing very difficult circumstances in life,” Williamson said of her workshop. “I will teach others how they can train their minds and body to really build their life, get to place where they can feel confident and ready to take on whatever comes before them.”
Regardless of where she’s headed next, Williamson continues to live her life fueled by an innate passion to help others discover the best parts of themselves. She said her strong faith is the main motivation behind her work – as well as her desire to create meaningful relationships with those she comes across.
“My hope for the future is that I always take the time to meet people where they are at,” Williamson reflects. “I want to always take the time to invest in people around me and build relationships because I have found that there is no job or material possession that surpasses those connections. It drives the work I do at work and outside of work.”
Read more about Williamson on her blog, “#OurFunnyLives: Tales of Adventure, Redemption, and Love” or follow her on twitter at @kwill220. You can also purchase her official curriculum at TheLifeINowLive.com.
-Written by Sierra Frank, CHHS Communications Student Assistant