She’s one in a million

By Benjamin Kwiecien

Part time photography instructor Frances Williams (left) works with student Nancy Carenen.

By Benjamin Kwiecien

Things can get pretty busy in the Riverside Community College Photography program.

There is always something to be done here and Francis Williams is at the center of it all.

Williams is continually praised by her students for her ability to help them with all tasks whether it be helping them to understand assignments, developing and processing film, getting equipment, or just answering questions.

“She is really helpful and nice,” said RCC student Andrea Aguirre.Francis Williams has worked at RCC since 1999 as a part-time instructor and is well known for the work she does as a photo lab technician.

One RCC student in particular, Jared Lewis, expressed how patient Williams is and how her kind attitude is noticed by her students.

“She’s very patient and she does not get irritated; sometimes kids screw up but she keeps working with them,” Lewis said.

Williams attended RCC during the eighties, where she received two degrees in Behavioral and Applied Science. After attending RCC, she went on to receive a degree in Psychiatric Technology from Cypress College.

Then Williams went on to receive one more degree in Fine Arts from Cal State San Bernardino.

Williams is currently attending Cal Baptist University, where she is working on her masters’ degree in Educational Technology.Williams plans to obtain her doctorate in the same field of study, and she continues to strive in pursing her educational goal.

“It’s busy work,” Williams said.

Before becoming a teacher, Williams was a nurse at Fairview State Hospital, and believe it or not she still has her nursing license.Her experience in nursing gave her the opportunity to work with the disabled, an experience she has carried over in her experience as a teacher.

“The disabled do really well because they are able to express themselves more,” Williams said when speaking of the many RCC photography students who are disabled.

While her education and job take up most of her time, Williams is still able to find time to work at Riverside’s Sherman Indian High School as a volunteer for its photography department.

By being Navajo herself, Williams is able to take photographs of and for Native Americans whereas many photographers find it most difficult.

“I think that’s the key which lets you in, because they don’t want to be photographed,” she said when speaking of Native Americans.

Her photography is often featured in The Native American Times, a newspaper that is published by the UC Riverside, which is read by Native American tribes across the United States.

For her photography, work and dedication, Williams was selected to be inducted in the Native American Hall of Fame.

In addition, Williams has also had the honor of photographing famous people, including Rosa Parks, Bill Clinton, Maya Angelo, Dolores Fuerta and Coretta Scott King.

Williams continues to enjoy teaching here at RCC.

“I enjoy my job, and I enjoy my students,” Williams said.