Dr. J. Richelle Joe is an associate professor of counselor education with an emphasis in school counseling. Prior to joining the UCF faculty in 2015, she served as a high school teacher, middle school counselor, and child/family behavior specialist with experience in rural, urban, and suburban settings. In her teaching, research, and service Dr. Joe priorities cultural responsiveness to the holistic health needs of all clients with an emphasis on those who have been historically underserved. For several years, she has been in active service to the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development and the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation through committee and task force memberships and structured mentorship of master’s and doctoral minority fellows. At UCF, she leads H.E.A.R.T., the HIV Education, Awareness, and Research Team, through which she engages in various collaborative projects to address the multiple and complex effects of HIV/AIDS locally and nationally. Dr. Joe also serves as the community outreach and engagement coordinator for the Community Counseling and Research Center.

Areas of Expertise
  • Counselor Education and Supervision
  • School Counseling
  • Ph.D. Counselor Education, College of William & Mary
  • M.S.Ed. School Counseling, Old Dominion University
  • M.A.T. Social Studies Education, University of Virginia
  • B.A. Psychology, University of Virginia
  • National Certified Counselor (NCC) No. 219313
  • Post-graduate Professional License (Virginia Department of Education) No. PGP-532344
    -Psychology, History, and PreK-12 School Counseling


Dr. Joe’s primary area of research is HIV/AIDS which she approaches through a culturally informed, health equity lens. In her work she has explored wellness as a framework for navigating HIV, culturally responsive counseling services for clients living with HIV, and the preparation of counseling professionals to address HIV ethically and therapeutically. Dr. Joe is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Leaders Fellow through which she will engage in a collaborative project to address the structural factors that make Black women vulnerable to HIV. Dr. Joe’s secondary area of research focuses on the social and emotional needs of underserved and marginalized clients through culturally responsive services. Client populations of interest include Black parents and their children, Black and Latina women, individuals affected by HIV, children and families residing in economically disadvantaged communities, and children of immigrants. Overall, Dr. Joe’s scholarly contributions highlight social determinants of mental health and mental health disparities in an effort to promote health equity. Specifically, they address barriers that inhibit access to services in both mental health and school settings.

Research Interests
  • Culturally responsive counseling services for diverse and underserved populations
  • Social determinants of health and health equity
  • Sexual wellness, HIV prevention, and HIV/AIDS
  • School counselor preparation for ethical practice with diverse children and families
Current Funded Projects

Removing Obstacles to HIV Prevention for Black Women in Orange County, FL
Collaborators: Dr. J. Richelle Joe, UCF; Dr. Shan-Estelle Brown, Rollins College; Dr. Andrea Dunn, Let’s Beehive, Inc.
Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Interdisciplinary Research Leaders
Award Period: 2021-2024



  • MHS 7406 Advanced Theories in Counseling


  • MHS 6420 Foundations of Multicultural Counseling
  • SDS 6347 Career Development
  • MHS 6803 Practicum in Counseling
  • MHS 6401 Techniques in Counseling
  • SPS 6815 Legal and Ethical Issues in Professional School Counseling
  • MHS 5005 Introduction to the Counseling Profession
  • MHS 6470 Human Sexuality and Relationships