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Janelle L. Williams, Ph.D.


Janelle L. Williams is the Assistant Director for Health Policy at The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and a Visiting Scholar at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Cheyney University Foundation.

Janelle has held both academic and senior-level positions and has over 10 years of administrative experience in higher education. As a researcher and practitioner, Janelle is passionate, collaborative, and innovative. Her scholarship investigates college choice at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), the intersectionality of race and college selection, culturally inclusive approaches to address challenges facing HBCU enrollment, and HBCU advocacy in the higher education landscape through qualitative inquiry. Janelle serves as Co-PI on two grants focused on the experiences of Black students at HBCUs during the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Her most recent work explores the factors that influence the enrollment of Black undergraduates who chose to attend HBCUs and has been published in Diverse Issues in Higher Education, MSIs Unplugged, and The HBCU Times. In addition, Janelle has been an invited panelist and presenter discussing topics relating to her research at national and international conferences including HICE, ICUE, and NACADA.

A first-generation college student, Janelle is a graduate of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, America’s oldest HBCU. After earning a B.S. in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing and Hospitality, she continued her education at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State).

While at Penn State, she earned an M.P.A in Public Policy and Administration, a certificate in Public Sector Human Resources Management and was certified as a Diversity Relations liaison. In addition, Janelle obtained a M.Ed. in Student Affairs Leadership from Widener University. Coupling her interest in social justice, education, and policy, Janelle earned an Ed.D. from Widener University in Higher Education Administration and Policy.

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