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Faculty & Staff

Tyriesa Howard Howell

Post-doctoral Associate, Center for Prevention Science

PhD, Howard University School of Social Work, MSW, University of Southern Mississippi, BSW, Mississippi Valley State University

Dr. Howell’s research includes behavioral health interventions for HIV treatment, prevention, and community health behaviors. She focuses on examining social and cultural determinants of health to decrease disproportionate health disparities that impact adolescent well-being, women’s health, and substance use issues.


Tyriesa Howard Howell is a post-doctoral associate in the Center for Prevention Science in the School of Social Work at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and an affiliated researcher within the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University. Her research broadly focuses on examining and understanding social and cultural determinants of health among marginalized populations, women’s health, substance use, and social work education.

Some of Dr. Howell’s research involvement has included socio-behavioral interventions using mixed-methods to examine the use of interactive videogame technology to increase antiretroviral (ARV) treatment adherence among perinatally HIV-positive adolescents and simulated game technology to promote routinized HIV testing among adolescents, qualitative explorations of the sexual health of adolescents with HIV-positive mothers, and ethnographic research exploring the sexual health behaviors of heterosexual and sexual minority adolescents living in Washington, DC.

Her current research includes: supporting nonprofit organizations to assesses the sustainability of community-based HIV service providers in response to biomedical HIV treatment and prevention advances (i.e., pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV curative research agendas) and conducting secondary data analysis to examine how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with early sexual debut and HIV-risk behaviors among adolescents involved with the juvenile justice system.

Dr. Howell is an appointed member of the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity of the Commission for Diversity and Social and Economic Justice. She holds a PhD in social work with a concentration in health and mental health from the Howard University School of Social Work, received her MSW from the University of Southern Mississippi, and BSW from Mississippi Valley State University. She is also a licensed master social worker in the State of Mississippi.

Courses Taught: 

Research Methods

Human Behavior and the Social Environment

Diversity and Oppression

Knowledge Building for Helping Professionals

Selected Recent Publications: 

Howell, T.H. (2018-in press). Exploring parent-child communication about sex among African-American adolescents with HIV-positive mothers. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies. doi: 10.1080/17450128.2018.1526429

Castel, A., Qasmieh, S., Greenberg, D., Ellenberger, N., Howell, T.H., Griffith, C., Wilbourn, B., Ganesan, K., Hussein, N., Ralte, G., & Rakhmanina, N. (2018-in press). Feasibility and acceptability of a digital gaming to improve adherence among adolescents and young adults living with HIV. Journal of Medical Internet Research Serious Games. doi: 10.2196/10213

Treitler, P., Peterson, N.A., Howell, T.H., & Powell, K.G. (2018). Measuring sense of community responsibility in community-based prevention coalitions: An item response theory analysis. American Journal of Community Psychology, 0,1-11. doi: 10.1002/ajcp/12269 

Howell, T.H. (2018). Are substance use disorders in the U.S. a crime or crisis? Restorative justice to reclaim voting rights for disenfranchised nonviolent offenders. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work. doi: 10.1007/s41134-018-0069-0

Howard, T. (2016). PhD vs. DSW: A critique of trends in social work doctoral education. Journal of Social Work Education, 52(sup1), S148-S153. doi: 10.1080/10437797.2016.1174647

Henderson, Z., Acquaye, L., Waites, S., & Howard, T. (2016). Putting principles into practice: Addressing the historical trauma, mistrust, and apprehension in research methods courses. Journal of Social Work Education, 52(1), 69-78. doi: 10.1080/10437797

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