Department of Public Health

Dr. William Kernan

William Kernan

Office:   Hunziker Wing 139
Phone:   973-720-3479
Office Hours:   By appointment. Please call: 973-720-2394

Department: Public Health
Position: Associate Professor & Chairperson
Area Specialization: Health Education, Substance Abuse Prevention, Global Health & Food Systems, Cultural Competence


Ed.D., Health Education, Health & Behavior Studies, Columbia University Teachers College, New York, NY

M.P.A., Public Health Administration, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY

M.S.,  Health Education, Columbia University Teachers College. New York, NY

B.A., Biological Sciences & English Literature, State University of New York - Potsdam, NY

MCHES, Master Certified Health Education Specialist, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

Recent Publications

Kernan, W.D., Bogart, J. & Wheat, M.W. (2011).  Health-related barriers to academic success among graduate students. Health Education, 111(5), 425-445.

Kernan, W.D., Bogart, J., & Wheat, M.W. (2010). Self-compassion, burnout, and the academic impact of student health concerns.  Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Kernan, W.D., & Lepore, S.J. (2009) Searching for and making meaning after breast cancer: Prevalence, patterns, and negative affect.  Social Science & Medicine, 68(6), 1176-1182.

Kernan, W.D., Wheat, M.W., & Bogart, J. (2009). Academic impacts of various health concerns in clinical and non-clinical health sciences students.  Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 37(1src); 69.

Kernan, W.D., Wheat, M.W., & Bogart, J. (2009). Quality of life and the health behaviors of students studying the health professions.  Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 37(1src); 71.

Kernan, W.D., Wheat, M.W., & Lerner, B.A. (2008).  Linking learning and health: A pilot study of medical students' perceptions of the academic impact of various health issues. Academic Psychiatry, 32(1), 61-64.

Kernan, W.D. & Lepore, S.J. (2008). Searching for and making meaning after breast cancer; Prevalence, patterns, and negative affect.  Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 35(1s); 232.

Kernan, W.D. & Wheat, M.W. (2008). Nursing students' perceptions of the academic impact of various health issues. Nurse Educator, 33(5), 215-219.

Lepore, S.J. & Kernan, W.D. (2008). Positive outcomes in the context of serious illness: An expanded social-cognitive processing model. In Medical Illness and Positive Life Change – Can Crisis Lead to Personal Transformation?; Park C., Lechner, S., Stanton, A, & Antoni, M, Eds.  American Psychological Association.

Training Manuals

Kernan W.D. (2000).  The Baby Mall – A Cultural Diversity Training Manual for College Students, copyright William Kernan.

Kernan, W.D. (1997). School Canteen Food and Nutrition Manual, United Nations World Food Program (UNWFP); Conakry, Guinea, West Africa.

Kernan, W.D. (1997). Dietary Deficiency Malnutrition, A Training Manual, United States Peace Corps; Washington D.C., USA.

Kernan, W.D. (1996).  A Nutrition Workbook for Peace Corps Volunteers in Malawi, United States Peace Corps; Lilongwe, Malawi, East Africa.


(2014-2019) Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS). New Jersey Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (NJDMHAS), $480,000

(2011-2016) The Passaic County Coalition - Funding for Regional Coalitions to Utilize Environmental Strategies to Achieve Population-Level Change. New Jersey Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (NJDMHAS), $750,000

(2009-2011) The New Jersey Higher Education Consortium Project to Prevent and Reduce Alcohol Abuse. United States Department of Education (USDOE), $375,000

(2008-2010) WPU/Community-Based Effort to Prevent Underage Drinking; New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control with federal funding provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Block Grant program. (W. Kernan, Grant Evaluator)

Current Research Projects

Outcomes of community-based substance abuse prevention programs

Food insecurity among college students

The relationship between health status and academic performance among health sciences graduate students

Cross-cultural issues and implications for school nurses

Related Professional Experience

Child Survival Officer/United States Peace Corps Volunteer, Chintheche Rural Hospital, Chintheche, Malawi, East Africa

Micronutrient Deficiency Malnutrition Trainer, United States Peace Corps, Lilongwe, Malawi, East Africa

Nutrition Monitoring Specialist, United Nations World Food Programme, N'Zerekore, Guinea, West Africa

Community Food Systems Coordinator, Global Outreach, Mexico City, Mexico

Lecturer in Global Health and Micronutrient Malnutrition, New International School of Thailand (NIST), Bangkok, Thailand.

Director, Center for Student Wellness, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY

Director of Health Education, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Courses Taught:

Essentials of Public Health Practice, Health Research Methods I, Health Research Methods II, Global Health Issues, Cultural Dimensions of Health, Food and Community, Disparities in Health, Stress Management, Introduction to Public Health, Methods of Health Education, Program Planning, Internship