By Jake Brown/Staff Writer
Hutchinson Community College has a new Co-Chair in the department of Ag, Business, Computers and Technology, or Department 2.
Though many might not have knowledge of who Ben Williams is, they might want to start, as he has made his way up to Department 2 Co-Chair in only his ninth year as a tenured employee at HutchCC.
Williams grew up in Logansport, Indiana, a drive that is just less than 12 hours from Hutchinson. He began his academic career at Butler Community College where he got an Associate of Arts. He then made is way to Manhattan and attended Kansas State University, where he majored in Animal Science.
He wasn’t done there as he then went on to the University of Nebraska and majored in Meat Science with a minor in Muscle Biology.
When asked what got him interested in agriculture, he talked about how he grew up around livestock. As a kid and through high school, he would attend 4-H Club events, county and state fairs, while also being an avid Future Farmers of America member. He would show three types of animals primarily – sheep, pigs and cattle. These experiences, he said, gave him the opportunity to participate at a community college livestock team on a scholarship.
From then he went into including time at HutchCC, and from there, into judging livestock at events, something he does to this day.
Williams went from instructor to a department head. How does that work? The system of promotion for the job title is initially decided by peers. After he was voted in by peers as a candidate for hire, the final decision came from one Carter File and Cindy Hoss, the President, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs at HutchCC.
Williams described what was different about being a full-time instructor from a Co-Chair simply as dealing more directly with his co-workers, and providing them the resources that they need, instead of helping students directly with those same sort of things.
When asked what made him want to be a department head instead of a full-time instructor he responded with the idea that he has the, “opportunity to lead and help serve in the department while still teaching.”
Williams family consists of a wife of 11 years, Corineah, and two boys, aged 7 and 5.