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Headshot of Joseph Williams

Joseph Williams

Professor of Counselor Education, University of North Carolina School of Education


Prior to joining UNC School of Education in 2023, Williams served as an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia. He also held the position of Faculty Research Director for the UVA Equity Center’s Starr Hill Pathways (SHP), a year-round college and career readiness program for Charlottesville youth in grades 7-12 from historically marginalized communities. Before that, Williams served as an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. He has over ten years of practical experience counseling children and adolescents in school and mental health settings.


Joseph Williams’ primary research examines the protective factors and underlying processes that contribute to academic resilience among K-12 students of color and those from low-income families. Additionally, he researches multicultural and social justice training practices for helping professionals, as well as protective behavioral strategies used by K-12 students of Color to cope with racism-related stress. Currently, Williams is developing a mobile data collection app to identify the specific behaviors students of Color use to minimize the harmful consequences of racism-related stress and how their responses may moderate the negative effects of racism-related stress on academic achievement and overall well-being.

In addition to publishing scholarly articles and book chapters in these areas, he consults with school districts, communities, associations, and corporations to improve diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts and engage people in productive dialogue and action.


  • Ph.D. 2011 – The University of Iowa, Counselor Education and Supervision
  • M.S. 2007 – Minnesota State University, Counseling
  • B.S. 2005 – Minnesota State University, Psychology
  • A.S. 2003 – Colby Community College, Computer Science
  • A.A. 2003 – Colby Community College, General Studies