Dorothy I. Campbell, Ph. D.

During this Covid pandemic era and thoughts of Mother’s Day, whether our mothers are alive or deceased, this is a time to reflect on their contribution to who we are and how we respond to circumstances. Dorothy (Williamson) Campbell, Ph.D., reflects on her childhood in southeast Missouri. Her father, Rufus Williamson, Sr., taught work ethics by example for the family of eleven beloved children. Simultaneously, lessons learned from Dorothy’s deceased mother, Florida Belle Williamson, of Parma, Missouri were powerful.

Dorothy is Emeritus Professor of Communication at Indiana University Northwest, and former Dean of Arts and Sciences. Dorothy initially ignored one of the lessons taught, as her mother warned “Don’t go overseas where the wars are.” Dorothy has presented on Communication and culture in China, Israel, Ivory Coast, Nassau; Nigeria and Senegal in Africa. Dorothy’s mother eventually gained peace and pride about Dorothy’s international work and travels because, after all, she taught Dorothy to be curious about life.

Florida Belle was a teacher. Dorothy followed in her footsteps. She earned a Bachelors degree at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, and taught Speech and Drama at Steger Junior High School in St. Louis County--Webster Groves, Missouri. She also taught the children of soldiers in Ramstein Germany.

Florida Belle told Dorothy “Always do your best.” Dorothy listened. She is the winner of 24 Teaching, Research, and Service Awards and Honors. Dorothy’s upbringing stressed staying involved. Dorothy has delivered more than 300 presentations to schools, churches, and social agencies on improving communication. She has held multiple offices in the National Communication Association, and served as reviewer for two international journal publishers. She co-authored the award-winning book--Public Speaking & Responsibility in a Changing World in 2013 and more recently the 5-Star Amazon book, Leadership and Diversity in Higher Education

Florida Belle Williamson- Mother

Florida Belle cautioned “don’t make excuses and do not quit.” Dorothy has continued her work after retiring from Indiana University Northwest. She is currently affiliated with the Registry for interim Presidents and Deans, and has served as Interim Vice Chancellor at Texas A&M University-College Station, and Dean at Nevada State College, and Frostburg State University.

Dorothy is the first to admit she was a "vocal" teenager at times. After all, fifteen-year-olds know everything, right? Florida Belle worked out minor conflicts with all of her children with discipline and unconditional love.

As Dorothy reflects on Mother’s Day, she cites the Nigerian adage, “It takes a village to raise a child." While not perfect, Dorothy credits small town community engagement and ethics for helping her journey. To all of those southeast Missouri mothers who helped and continue to step forward, Happy Mother’s Day!

Dorothy lives with her husband, Howard Campbell, in the greater Chicago-area suburb of Munster, Indiana. Her son, “Jimmy” lives in the Washington, D.C. area.

Florida B. Williamson - Mother