Dayton Ann Williams, MBA, PMP®, MSW
Master of Social Work (MSW), Direct Practice Mental Health & Substance Misuse
Certified Mental Health Peer Specialist (MHPS)
Sgt. Tyrell S. Williams, USMC combat veteran, returned home from his third and final tour to Iraq. Less than 90 days after arriving in the States, an unknown perpetrator tragically ended his life in a hit-and-run. Forever loved and never forgotten, a veteran is selected annually to sit in Ty’s place through an endowed scholarship Dayton established for her eldest son at The University of Texas at Austin in his honor and memory: https://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/veterans/williams.php.
Although Tyrell was only briefly with us, it was clear he was not yet all the way home. Over the years, veterans and family members sharing their stories of pain, challenges, and struggles repeatedly offered this theme, this experience of not being all the way home. Ultimately these stories were the catalyst for Dayton entering the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and fulfilling her desire to provide pro-bono mental health services to veterans. Dayton believes it is our responsibility, as a society, to ensure every veteran arrives all the way home. Supporting our veterans in navigating their unique journey to wholeness and wellness demonstrates this call to action.
Prior to entering the MSW program, Dayton became a Certified Professional Coach (CPC), authored two books, Through the Grief: A Mother’s Journey and Dragonflies: New Beginnings for Healing from Grief and Loss, and was a radio talk show host for A Light for the Soul that Weeps on Voice America’s Empowerment channel. Through her passion to help others experiencing their personal healing journey through grief, she offered workshops on the power of journaling as a volunteer with Hospice Care Team in Galveston, TX.
As Dayton matriculated through the MSW program, she took several steps towards her vision and mission of supporting the mental health of veterans as well as increasing her cultural competency. She completed her foundation internship with the University of Texas at Arlington Military and Veteran Services under the supervision of Executive Director Dr. James Kumm. After receiving her Mental Health Peer Specialist (MHPS) certification, Dayton began offering pro bono mental health services to student veterans. Additionally, she has secured extensive training in trauma informed care and received professional training from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine with the focus of integrating mind-body medicine into clinical practice, education and trauma healing.
In her advanced internship, Dayton served as the Project Manager of the Research Study Posttraumatic Growth and Transformation in Military-Connected Populations https://www.uta.edu/academics/schools-colleges/social-work/research/posttraumatic-growth-and-transformation-in-military where she remains a vital team member on the project as a participant in submitting research papers on the study results. Data from the Research Study also served as the basis for her MSW Thesis titled Converging and Diverging Outcomes of Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) and Posttraumatic Depreciation (PTD) in Combat Veterans: A Case Study and a copy of this published work is accessible from the UTA library website at https://rc.library.uta.edu/uta-ir/handle/10106/31356.
During her tenure as an MSW student, she received Outstanding MSW Student for Children and Families in the Fall of 2019, Outstanding MSW Student for Mental Health and Substance Misuse in the Summer of 2023, and the honor of being nominated Outstanding MSW Military Connected Student by Dr. Schuman in the Summer of 2023. Dayton graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington in the Summer of 2023 with a Master of Social Work, Direct Practice Mental Health and Substance Misuse.
Providing pro bono mental health peer support to veterans is Dayton’s vision, mission, and purpose in this final chapter of her life and the driving force of her service to the veteran community. A link to her website peer support page can be found at https://www.primepurposecoaching.com/paying-it-forward and a link to her mental health podcasts can be found on Spotify at https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/dayton-williams.
I spent my life focusing on ‘what I did’ and worked hard to grow and expand personally and professionally; to heal. I accomplished much in all areas however I was left feeling exhausted and it simply did not seem to be ‘enough’. When I re-directed my attention to being responsible for my thoughts, my feelings, and my choices, to making happiness my focus and my responsibility, to embracing ‘who I am’, I experienced the enchanting and magical melding of my physical, emotional and spiritual nature.
Now, ‘what I do’ is simply a natural and effortless manifestation of ‘who I am’. Rather than feeling exhausted I am energized; rather than feeling unworthy I am celebrating my worthiness. I am compelled to go beyond my experiences, beyond my perceptions, beyond my established belief systems; to discover the magnificence of this time and space in my journey home; to embrace the beauty within my soul; to manifest my unique expression of the Divine; and to walk with others in their journey.
Radio Show Host
A Light for the Soul that Weeps
R.E.A.L. Connection Practioner
Certified 3rd Degree Advanced
Traditional Japanese Reiki Practitioner
Certified Theta Healing Practitioner
Certified Professional Coach
Project Management Professional