Dr. Tova N. Williams is the Principal Investigator of The Sustainable Dye Chemistry Laboratory. Ever since she took her first chemistry course, she fell in love with the science. When she found out as an undergraduate student that she could pair her love for chemistry with her love for color, she then fell in love with the field of dye/color chemistry, especially its applications and the need to improve the environmental impact of colorants and coloration processes. Thus, she is dedicated to advancing the field in this respect. In addition, Dr. Williams has a passion for education and teaching thanks to her hardworking parents, David and Calamity (Jean) Williams, who instilled in her and her older sisters at an early age the importance of pursuing a higher education, and her dedicated teachers, including her high school chemistry teacher, Carolyn Davila.
Dr. Williams is a double alumna of NC State University (Wilson College of Textiles), earning her Ph.D. in Fiber and Polymer Science (Chemistry minor) in 2018 and her B.S. in Polymer and Color Chemistry in 2014. Her doctoral research investigated approaches to the design of sustainable permanent hair dyes and was conducted under the direction of Dr. Harold S. Freeman. Dr. Williams is a 2015 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and visionary and co-developer of the first publicly available hair dye substance chemical database (300+ compounds). In addition to her academic research experience, she has held various roles in the chemicals industry including research and sales and has worked at Tokyo Chemical Industry, Cotton Incorporated, and American & Efird. As part of her doctoral studies she was a visiting researcher at Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Materials Science division.
Beyond the bench, Dr. Williams is an advocate for mentoring underrepresented minority groups and engaging in STEM outreach. She enjoys a myriad of activities including DIY-projects, interior designing, outdoor biking, cooking, and traveling.