Kelly A. Williams, PhD


  • BA, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
  • MSW, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
  • PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Health and Mental Health Disparities
  • Help-seeking and Access to Services
  • Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity
  • Social Work in Healthcare Settings

Biography: Kelly joined the Social Work Department at Appalachian State University from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work, where she earned her PhD in 2009. She previously practiced social work in North Carolina for 12 years, 4 years in child protective services in Chatham County and 8 years with UNC Health Care in Chapel Hill. In addition to her practice experience, she has conducted both qualitative and quantitative research in the areas of LGBTQ+ health and mental health disparities, LGBTQ+ help-seeking and access to services, and in understanding the social and mental health needs of children and adolescents living with chronic physical illness. Kelly is currently involved in collaborative research that addresses the health and well-being, social support, and access to formal services for LGBTQ+ older adults. Kelly also serves on the board of directors of the Community Care Clinic, the local free healthcare clinic serving low-income people with no health insurance. Kelly teaches courses in social work practice, human behavior in the social environment, and she developed an elective course for future social workers interested in working in health care settings. Kelly is passionate about helping students understand and apply skills and competencies necessary to engage with and empower marginalized populations and to change broad systems to achieve equity. Kelly enjoys hiking, tennis, swimming, as well as music, cooking, gardening, and other creative hobbies.

Curriculum Vitae:  view  (PDF, 115 KB)

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Department of Social Work

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-7942

Fax: (828) 262-8066

Office address