Dr. Marian Williams engages her students through humor, honesty and expertise.
She guides students to a better understanding of course material through discussion and challenges them with course work. She serves as the assistant chair of the Department of Government and Justice Studies and is a pre-law advisor.
Williams also studies criminal courts, criminal law and procedure, and constitutional law.
“I have always been interested in studying the court system,” Williams said. “I became hooked once I took a criminal law class while I was an undergraduate at the University of Georgia.”
She described her professor, the late Suzette Talarico, as “such an inspiring person, and I really learned a lot from her.”
Currently, Williams is researching the practice of civil asset forfeiture. A report she and colleagues published in 2010 with the Institute for Justice was used in an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court. Now, Williams and her colleagues are expanding on that report.
Civil asset forfeiture, Williams said, is the practice of police seizing assets from individuals suspected of criminal activity, the state taking control of the assets, and then using the assets to fund state activity even though the suspect has not been arrested or convicted.
Williams also teaches political science and criminal justice courses at the undergraduate level including Law and Society, The Judicial Process, Constitutional Law, Writing in Criminal Justice and Criminal Procedure.
“I get a nice variety of perspectives in the class,” Williams said. “Appalachian students are an active bunch and I enjoy hearing their ideas and opinions in the classroom.”