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Daphne C. Watkins

University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, Director, Vivian A. and James L. Curtis Center, Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research

Daphne C. Watkins

Daphne C. Watkins is a Diversity and Social Transformation Professor at the University of Michigan who studies: (1) behavioral interventions for historically marginalized groups; (2) mixed methods approaches to research in context; and (3) leadership development and organizational structures.

Centering the strategies for success among historically marginalized groups, Professor Watkins’ research aims to maximize human potential, elevate social experiences, and provide equitable impact in communities and organizations. She is a community-practitioner interested in developing efficient tools and systems that activate positive, strengths-based outcomes for those most in need. Ultimately, she is committed to conducting and mobilizing cutting-edge, use-inspired research to address important social concerns.

In addition to directing the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis Center for Health Equity Research and Training, Professor Watkins is the founding director of the Gender and Health Research (GendHR) Lab, the Certificate Program in Mixed Methods Research, and the award-winning Young Black Men, Masculinities, and Mental Health (YBMen) Project, which leverages technology to provide mental health education and social support for young Black men. She teaches graduate-level courses on research methods, social equity and equality, and community-based interventions. She also serves on committees and advisory boards aimed at improving men’s health equity both domestically and globally.

Research Interests/Focus

Behavioral interventions; equity; marginalized groups; mixed methods; leadership development; strategy and efficiency; organizational structures


Year Degree   School
2006 PhD Health Education Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
2002 BA Anthropology & French University of North Carolina, Wilmington


The Curtis Center
The Gender and Health Research (GendHR) Lab
The YBMen Project
Year Description
2020 University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor
2019 Thought Leader Award for Peer-Reviewed Publications
2019 Senior Scientific Advisor for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement
2019 Presidential Task Force on Advancing Social and Emotional Development of Black Boys through Research, Advocacy and Community Engagement
2018 2018 Outstanding Alumni /award Texas A&M University, College of Education and Human Development
2014 Phil Jenkins Award for Innovation in Depression Treatment, University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, Ann Arbor, MI
2013-2015 American Psychological Association (APA) Working Group on Health Disparities in Boys and Men, Member

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