About the Award

Joy WilliamsJoy Porter Williams was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. from the UGA Microbiology Department.  After a successful postdoctoral stint at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, she returned to UGA to join the faculty in the Microbiology Department.  She served as Science Supervisor for the College of Education, as the Associate Director of UGA’s Honors Program, and as Coordinator of Advanced Placement at UGA.  She was named 1980’s “Woman of the Year in Education” by the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Athens.

In her honor, Joy's family along with other friends of the Department established The Dr. Joy Porter Williams Fellowship in Microbiology, which recognizes outstanding accomplishments in research, teaching, and service by a current Microbiology graduate student.

Previous recipients

  • Pamela Bonner (2003)
  • Lara Pereira (2004)
  • Rob Onyenwoke (2005)
  • Obidimma Ezezika (2005)
  • Stephanie Bose (2006)
  • Sarah Craven (2007)
  • Noreen Lyell (2010)
  • David Samuels (2011)
  • Bradley Tolar (2013) 
  • Kevin O'Brien & Hank Kimbrough (2015)
  • Julie Stoudenmire (2017)
  • Jessica Irons (2019)