by Brett Pritchard
When a student walks into a classroom on the first day of class, for most it is probably the first time to lay eyes on their instructor. It is a new experience and a new beginning and the anticipation of getting off to a good start and impressing the instructor weighs heavy on some students’ minds.
At Central Alabama Community College there is an instructor students may not know when they walk in his classroom the first time, but by the time the semester is over, he is one they will never forget.
Justin Williams has been an instructor at CACC for several years and really enjoys the profession he chose when he graduated with both a Bachelors and Masters degrees from Jacksonville State University and a Masters degree in Religion from Liberty University.
Most instructors focus on one subject as their main discipline, which is not the case with Williams. With his diverse educational background, Williams teaches World and US History, Political Science, American Government, Survey of Old Testament, Survey of New Testament, History of World Religions, and Music Appreciation at the Talladega Center and Childersburg Campus, in both traditional and online settings. Williams said there are a lot of things he enjoys about teaching, “The day to day journey through the courses in the classroom with the students is what I enjoy the most,” Williams stated,
“and teaching them and challenging them to see the world in different ways.”
Amazingly, Justin is able to teach all of these subjects and is passionate about all of them. What most might not know is that his passion and talents carry far beyond the classroom. Williams is extremely talented when it comes to music. Not only is he a phenomenal pianist, he composes music and has composed and arranged for top musical artists.
He is a published Composer/Arranger/Author at the Belwin Division of Alfred Publishing Company and an arranger for over 40 high school and college marching band halftime shows around the country.
“I was fortunate to have parents who always played music in our home, so I gravitated to it at a young age,” Williams mentioned.
“I started playing piano at age 5 and my grandfather taught me to play guitar at age 10. I’ve always had melodies floating around in my head and started putting them down on paper in high school.”
In 2013, Williams did an orchestral arranging/programming for Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas/TV special and most would think that would be one of his biggest accomplishments but there is one that stands out to him more.
“Having my first original composition, “October Farwell,” published in 2012, is by far one of my biggest accomplishments,” said Williams.
“I wrote it in memory of grandfather.”
Williams really enjoys teaching at CACC and believes it is one of the best options for any student looking to get a college degree. He said that it’s important to be at a college that has students success at the heart of everything they do.
“See yourself as part of that college’s community,” Williams said.
“All of us here at CACC are genuinely and sincerely committed to student success. Your success means our success. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; we are here for you!”