It’s Black History Month and this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday goes out to a Portland State University Admissions Counselor and one of our very own bid assistants, Marshawna Williams.
Marshawna Williams was born and raised in Portland and earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration – emphasis in Marketing Management – from the University of Portland. She’s proud to be the first person in her family to graduate from college and loves to be able to represent her family in this way – as well as show her future nieces and nephews what is possible! Marshawna is a lifelong learner, and as an Admissions Counselor, she spends her days helping students pursue higher education. She considers herself a catalyst, helping folks break down barriers and discover what freedom means to them.
As a businesswoman, Marshawna is warm and welcoming, yet strong and unafraid of having tough conversations – THIS isn’t working, how can we fix it? She’s also adept at separating the personal from the professional. Marshawna values accountability and believes it allows us to grow and reflect – she looks forward to the day when accountability is more ingrained in the culture of everything we do, whether it’s business, education, or nonprofit work.
If Marshawna looks familiar to you, it might be because you’ve seen her at a Marquam event – it might also be because in 2008, she was your Portland Rose Festival Queen! She was only the sixth black queen to be crowned in the state of Oregon. Not only did the experience help her grow as an individual, she was thrilled by what it represented for women of color.
Marshawna Williams is enjoying this lifelong journey of understanding herself both as a woman, and as a woman of color. She tries hard every day to embrace the small things – as a society, we get so caught up in the scary stuff in the world, we forget how precious life is. So take some advice from this wise young woman – slow down and put more energy into those you love! That – and watch The Golden Girls. Seriously. One of her favorite things to do in her down time is kick back with a nice glass of red wine and crack up over the adventures of Blanche, Rose, Sophia and Dorothy (the one whom Marshawna identifies with the most). It may be atypical for someone her age, but she LOVES the humor and writing of that legendary show – she imagines being like that with her friends (when she’s considerably older, of course).