Williams came to Ohio State as an assistant professor in the Department of English in 1991; she taught American literature and served as graduate director. In 2005, Williams received the Ohio State Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, and she was promoted to professor in 2006. Williams is the author of Confounding Images: Photography and Portraiture in Antebellum American Fiction and Reclaiming Authorship: Literary Women in America, 1850-1900.
Williams served as vice provost in the university’s Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) for five and a half years before taking on the role of Vice Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. There, she is responsible for coordinating faculty affairs across the college, serving as deputy to the executive dean in supporting college-wide initiatives and supporting cross-college collaboration.