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Associate Professor
Phone: (919) 966-9462
Fax: (919) 966-0100



  • PhD, in Human Development and Family Studies
  • MS, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BS, East Carolina University

Personal Statement

Dr. Sharon Wallace Williams joined the division’s faculty in the fall of 2003. As an audiologist with expertise in gerontology, she applies her training and expertise to the scholarship of older adults living with life-limiting illnesses and to death and dying processes and outcomes. Her research agenda focuses on:

1)    Older adults and their families who live with potentially life-limiting illnesses (i.e., stroke, dementia)

2)    End-of-life (EOL) communication and advance care planning (ACP) within families and with health care providers; and

3)    Incorporation and education of EOL, palliative care, and ACP into training and education of communication disorders professionals and pre-professionals.

Dr. Williams received a BS and MS in Communication Disorders and a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies. She also completed a gerontology postdoctoral fellowship at The Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Her research projects have included the ‘Stroke Telemedicine Access Recovery (STAR) Project’ with colleagues in The School of Medicine. The project focuses on rehabilitation, secondary prevention, and family functioning of community-dwelling white, African-American, and American Indian stroke survivors.  Additional funding from UNC’s Translational and Clinical Sciences (TraCS) Institute expanded the family caregiving component of STAR to examine the cognitive and language limitations of stroke survivors and relationships, if any, with the caregiver’s emotional health.

Her work has also been funded by the National Institute on Aging, The Duke Endowment, UNC’s Centers on Aging and Diversity and Aging and Health, the Ethnicity, Culture and Health Outcomes program, and UNC’s Translational and Clinical Sciences (TraCS) Institute. Her research has been published in highly visible journals such as The Journals of Gerontology, The Gerontologist, Aging & Mental Health, and the Journal of Palliative Medicine

Courses Taught

  • SPHS 840 Aging and Communication Disorders
  • SPHS 834 Counseling for Individuals with Communication Disorders and their Families
  • SPHS 824  Audiology Grand Rounds
Sharon Wallace Williams