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A dedicated classroom teacher and scholar, Miles Williams has retired as professor emeritus of political science and geography after serving the university for more than 31 years.
Williams began his career at Central Missouri in 1972 as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Geography. He was promoted to associate professor in 1978. He became full professor in 1984 and was named chair of the department in 2002.
Born in Joplin, Williams studied at nearby Kansas State College of Pittsburg, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1962, followed by a master’s degree in 1967. With a desire to further his education and career, he went on to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., where he completed his doctorate in 1971, the same year he also served as senior teaching fellow.
He had a strong interest in international politics, particularly in Latin America, where he served in Columbia in the 1960s as a volunteer in the Peace Corps. He returned to that country in the 1970s to carry out post-electoral studies at the University de los Andes in Bogota. Some of these ventures led to book writing projects, including a work titled “Democracy, Power, and Intervention in Latin American Political Life: A Study of Scholarly Images.” His travels later in his career took him to places like Vaxjo University in Sweden.
Throughout his career, Williams made numerous paper presentations before groups such as the International Studies Association, Missouri Political Science Association, and Midwest Association for Latin American Studies.