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Kofoworola D.A. Williams, PhD, MPH

Kofoworola D.A. Williams headshot

Assistant Professor
Community Health and Prevention, Drexel FIRST Program
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PhD, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University
MPH, Environmental and Occupational Health, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University
CAS, Global Health, Syracuse University
BS, Biology, Syracuse University


Dr. Kofoworola D.A. Williams is a social and behavioral scientist and mental health disparities investigator with an extensive background in public health and health behavior change theory. She now serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at Dornsife School of Public Health as part of the Drexel FIRST (Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation) program.

Dr. Williams’ research program is dedicated to the Black men in her life. Her research program is two-fold, employing a human-centered framework and mixed-methods to a) understand how social, behavioral, and structural determinants impact individual mental health and help-seeking behavior and b) investigate the role social media and digital technologies play in improving mental health symptoms and mental health care access among those who are traditionally excluded. These areas of work converge to lay the foundation for future intervention work and inform best practices and approaches for developing digital mental health interventions that are culturally appropriate, accessible, useful, and sustainable.

Before Drexel FIRST, Dr. Williams was a NRSA T32 postdoctoral research fellow in digital mental health at the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies (CBITs) at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She is a 2022 recipient of a Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Award from The National Institute of Mental Health and a 2021 scholar of The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities’ Health Disparities Research Institute. Dr. Williams earned her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Department of Health Behavior and Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine where she was also a Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholar. She has a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Global Health from Syracuse University, and a Master of Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health concentration, from Dornsife School of Public Health.

Research Interests

  • Black Men & Boys' Mental Health
  • Social and Behavioral Determinants
  • Access and Help-Seeking
  • Digital Mental Health
  • Qualitative & Mixed Methods
  • Health Disparities


Selected Publications:

Kruzan K, Williams KDA, Meyerhoff J, Yoo D, O'Dwyer L, DeChoudhury M, Mohr D. Mental health interventions for young people delivered through social media and considerations for future work: A scoping review. Internet Interventions. 2022: 30, 100578

Williams KDA, Wijaya C, Stamatis CA, Abbott G, Lattie EG. Insights into needs and preferences for mental health support on social media and through mobile apps among Black male university students: Exploratory qualitative study. JMIR Formative Research. 2022: 6(8), e38716

Williams KDA, Dougherty SA, Lattie EG, Guidry JPD, Carlyle KE. Examining hashtag use of #blackboyjoy and #theblackmancan and related content on Instagram: Descriptive content analysis. JMIR Formative Research. 2022: 6(8), e34044

Stiles-Shields C, Cummings C, Montague E, Plevinsky JM, Psihogios AM, Williams KDA. A call to action: Using and extending human-centered design methodologies to improve mental and behavioral health equity. Frontiers in Digital Health. 2022: 4, 848052

Williams KDA, Dougherty SD, Utsey SO, LaRose JG, Carlyle KE. “Could be even worse in college”: A qualitative exploration into the mental health of Black men on a college campus. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. 2022: 1-13

Cohen K, Hersch E, Saklecha A, Williams KDA, Tan Y, Lattie EG. Remote-delivered services during Covid-19: A mixed-methods survey of college counseling center clinicians. Accepted for publication in the Journal of American College Health.

Lattie EG, Cohen KA, Hersch E, Williams KDA, Kruzan KP, MacIver C, Hermes J, Maddi K, Kwasny M, Mohr DC. Uptake and effectiveness of a self-guided mobile app platform for college student mental health. Internet Interventions. 2022:27, 100493.

Williams KDA, Adkins AE, Kuo SI, LaRose JG, Utsey SO, Guidry JPD, Spit for Science Working Group, Dick D, Carlyle KE. Mental health disorder symptom prevalence and rates of help- seeking among university-enrolled, emerging adults. Journal of American College Health. 2021:1-8.

Williams KDA, Adkins AE, Kuo SI, LaRose JG, Utsey SO, Guidry JPD, Spit for Science Working Group, Dick D, Carlyle KE. Risk, protective, and associated factors of anxiety and depressive symptoms and campus health services utilization among Black men on a college campus. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. 2021: 1-14

See Dr. Williams's full list of publications on PubMed