Community Health and Prevention, Drexel FIRST Program
PhD, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityMPH, Environmental and Occupational Health, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel UniversityCAS, Global Health, Syracuse UniversityBS, Biology, Syracuse University
Dr. Kofoworola D.A. Williams is a social and behavioral scientist and digital mental health disparities researcher. She now serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention. She joined the Dornsife School of Public Health as part of the Drexel FIRST (Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation) program.
Dr. Williams’ early work leveraged mixed methods grounded in health behavior theory to examine and understand how social and behavioral determinants impact anxiety and depressive symptom risk and mental health-related help-seeking among young, Black men. Her early work also includes various independent and collaborative research efforts, across multiple academic and clinical settings, exploring how non-traditional methods, social media platforms, and user generated content can be leveraged within the space of mental health prevention and promotion. Dr. Williams’ latest work employed multi-methods grounded in human-centered design to identify the current mental health needs and risk among college-attending, Black men and investigate their preferences and acceptability for using social media and mobile technologies for their mental health symptom management, stress, self-care, and resource-seeking.
Dr. Williams’ research program is dedicated to the Black men in her life. She has an overall focus on the design, implementation, and evaluation of mental health interventions that are delivered on social media and other web-based platforms, culturally relevant, useful, and sustainable over time. Her work will be impactful for Black men but also create opportunities for adaptation to other underserved groups and health outcomes and translation to health policy and best practices for research and mental health resource dissemination.
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.
- Black Men & Boys' Mental Health
- Mental Health Promotion & Prevention
- Social and Behavioral Determinants
- Social Media & Digital Technologies
- User-Centered Design
- Qualitative & Mixed Methods
- Community-Engaged Research
- Health Disparities
- Digital Mental Health Equity
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
Hersch E, Cohen KA, Saklecha A, Williams KDA, Tan Y, Lattie EG. Remote-delivered services during COVID-19: A mixed-methods survey of college counseling center clinicians. Journal of American College Health. 2022;1-9
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