Meet Associate Professor Sha-Lai Williams

Sha Lai Williams is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Dr. Williams teaches Social Work Practice and Human Behavior courses, utilizing her expertise as an accomplished facilitator of several nationally recognized training curricula and her experience teaching Masters-level courses at The Brown School.  She enjoys interacting with undergraduate students, serving as an advisor for master’s level students and those involved with the BHWET program.  In addition, Dr. Williams is an active participant in the School of Social Work, as well as the UMSL and surrounding community.

Sha-Lai Williams received her PhD from The Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis in 2013. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, Dr. Williams gained over 12 years of practice experience in residential care facilities, non-profit agencies, and private practice, providing direct clinical practice to individuals, families, and groups affected by mental illness.  She is a licensed clinical social worker and has previously served as a supervisor to provisionally licensed clinical social workers in North Carolina.

Phone: 314-516-4654
Office: 475 SSB
Office Hours: By appointment. 

SOC WK 3100 - Social Work Practice with Individuals

SOC WK 3510 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment 

SOC WK 5500 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment 

Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis (2013)
MSW, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1996)
BSW, North Carolina University (1995)

Peer-reviewed Publications

Williams Woodson, S.L., Pickard, J.G., & Johnson, S. D. (Accepted). Examining the
     relationship between religious and spiritual practices and addiction among African
     American women. Social Work & Christianity.

Pilar, M., Cunningham-Williams, R.M., & Williams Woodson, S.L. (2019). Does the Andersen
     Behavioral Model of Health Services Use Predict College Students’ Use of On-Campus
     Mental Health Services? Journal of American College Health.

Cunningham-Williams, R.M., Jones, B.D., Butler-Barnes, S., Wells, A.A., Williams Woodson,
     S.L., Johnson, S., & Pilar, M. (2018). Stress, stressors, and substance use: Differential
     risk for hookah use among African American college students. Journal of Ethnicity in
     Substance Abuse. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2018.1511492

Williams, S.L., Cabrera-Nguyen, E.P., & Johnson, S.D. (2018). Examining the impact
     of race/ethnicity and gender intersectionality on preferences of social distance from
     individuals with mental health conditions. Journal of Human Behavior in
     the Social Environment. https://doi.org/10.1080/10911359.2018.1433572

Patterson, D.A., van den Berk-Clark, C., Williams, S., & Dulmus, C. (2017). Are therapists
     likely to use a new empirically supported treatment if required? Journal of Social Work.

Wagner, K., Williams, S.L. & Thompson Sanders, V. L. (2017). Chapter
     8: Program Planning and Evaluation. In Goodman, M. & Thompson Sanders, V.
     (Editors). Public Health Research Methods for Partnerships and Practice. New York,
     NY: Springer Publishing Company

See Dr. Williams's CV for a complete list of publications.

Her research interest focuses on cultural competence among social work and helping professionals and racial/ethnic disparities in access to and utilization of quality mental health services, with an emphasis on African Americans and emerging adults.