Associate Dean Emerita Watts earned her undergraduate degree, with distinction, from Purdue University in 1968 and her M.Ed. from UC a year later. Following a stint at Ohio State University as Assistant Dean of Students, she returned to Cincinnati and in 1978 received her JD from the College of Law. An editor of the Law Review, she was named to the Order of the Coif on graduation. Dean Watts practiced law with Frost & Jacobs in Cincinnati, before returning to the College in 1981 as Assistant Dean and adjunct faculty member.
An active member of the Cincinnati Bar Association, Dean Watts has served the CBA in numerous capacities, including Board Member, Secretary, and Professionalism Committee Chair. From 2002-2004, she headed the Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers, a joint project of the CBA and the College of Law. In 2001 Dean Watts was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Professionalism, and currently serves as Chair of the Commission. She is President of the Board of ProKids in Cincinnati.
A lifelong advocate for gender equality, Dean Watts was instrumental in establishing the Women's Studies Program at the Ohio State University. She is one of the chief architects of the College's Joint Degree program in law and Women's Studies, the first such program in the nation. A role model and mentor to numerous students and young lawyers, she received the Ohio State Bar Association's Nettie Cronise Lutes Award (2000), which recognizes contributions to the advancement of women in the profession.
Dean Watts has received distinguished alumni awards from both the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University (2001) and the College of Law of the University of Cincinnati (2002). She was also most honored to be a torchbearer for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.