Delores James, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Health Education & Behavior

  • Ph.D. in Health Behavior, University of Florida (1993)
  • M.S. in Health Science Education, University of Florida (1990)
  • B.S. in Allied Medical Professions (major in Medical Dietetics), The Ohio State University (1984)

James CV

Contact Info

FLG 10
P.O. Box 118210
Gainesville, FL 32611-8210
(352) 294-1806 |


Dr. Delores C.S. James is a tenured Associate Professor and the Director of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Initiatives in the Department of Health Education and Behavior (HEB).  She is a double Gator of the College of Health and Human Performance (HHP) at the University of Florida, receiving her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Department of HEB. 

As the Director of the AI Initiatives, Dr. James has cast the strategic vision to prepare health professionals for the growing AI healthcare workforce.  She is the editor of the UF Faculty Handbook for Adding AI to Your Course (2022).  She also wrote the chapter on AI Ethics.  Dr. James has successfully integrated the AI in Health Education and Health Promotion training program into several HEB courses.  Dr. James received a Provost Award (2022) for contributing to UF’s AI initiative.  She is also in the process of being trained as an AI Ethicist.

Dr. James is both a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and a health educator with work experience in public health, hospitals, and private practice.  She is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND) and was the first Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Weight Management Dietetics Practice Group.  She is also a licensed dietitian nutritionist (LDN) in the state of Florida.  Dr. James is the Past President of the Gainesville District Dietetic Association and a past Research Delegate to the House of Delegates for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  She was the lead author of two position papers for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on promoting and supporting breastfeeding.  She is also a Fellow of the American School Health Association (FASHA).  Dr. James is also active with the Health Information Technology and the Public Health Education and Health Promotion sections of the American Public Health Association.

Dr. James is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Leader (Cohort 2).  This national leadership training program builds on her existing leadership skills to work with organizations, communities, health systems, and policymakers to build a Culture of Health in America.  Her strategic initiative focused on creating, implementing, and evaluating online health communities.   A significant part of her training focused on:

  1. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  2. Communication Strategies
  3. Branding
  4. Community Engagement and Development
  5. Change Management
  6. Working with Health Systems and Policymakers
  7. Working with Community Networks
  8. Developing, Monitoring, and Evaluating Strategic Initiatives

Community-Engaged Research

Dr. James has expertise in program evaluation, qualitative research methods, and mixed-methods research.  She is also a trained focus group moderator.  Her colleagues have recognized Dr. James for her teaching and research.  Dr. James is a past Teacher of the Year for HHP and has received the HEB Faculty Research Award four times and the HEB Faculty Leadership Award twice.   

Dr. James is the Founder of the Technology Health and Equity (THE) Workgroup, a research, education, and advocacy group.  THE Workgroup develops and disseminates health education messages and programs using artificial intelligence and digital technologies to improve health outcomes, increase health equity, and create a culture of health in low-resource communities. One of THE Workgroup’s short health education videos was screened at the Global Public Health Film Festival.


THE Workgroup’s research focuses on:

  • Digital Health Technologies
  • Mobile Health (mHealth) and Telehealth
  • Online Health Communities
  • Online Health-Seeking Behaviors
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Health literacy, eHealth literacy
  • AI and Health Promotion
  • AI and Workforce Development
  • AI Ethics and Bias
  • Community-engaged Research
  • Obesity and Weight Management
  • Women’s Health
  • Health Disparities (racial/ethnic, gender, age, technology)

Classes Taught and Developed

  • AI in Health Education and Health Promotion (short course)
  • AI, Health Promotion, and Vulnerable Populations
  • Nutrition Education for Special Populations
  • Minority Health Issues
  • Health Promotion in Gerontology
  • Health Promotions for Priority Populations
  • Epidemiology
  • Research Methods
  • Obesity and the Environment
  • Writing for Professional Publications

Community Engagement

Dr. James is also the Founder of the Keep It Tight Sisters (KITS) blog and private online health community.  KITS helps women to love their bodies, foster a nourishing relationship with food, and achieve their health goals.   

Dr. James is honored to have been the Chair of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee for the City of Gainesville for several years.