Dr. Lance A. Williams is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the COM Department of Biomedical Education, and a Faculty Facilitator and Mentor in the Medicine and Society curriculum at the new 4-year MD Program. He also teaches courses in writing to medical residents and in the Psychiatry Fellows didactic program. He has been employed at CDU since 2018.

His doctoral dissertation, Innerface/King-Drew, was an ethnographic study of the culture of Charles Drew University and Martin Luther King Hospital in the early years of founding. It is believed to be the first such study of its kind, having been completed within the first decade of the opening of the medical complex.

He received his BA in History, MA in Folklore & Mythology, and PhD in Anthropology from UCLA by the time he was 27. He was the first African American student to receive a graduate degree in Folklore and Mythology at UCLA. While in that program, he was the recipient of one of the first two ethnic minority graduate fellowships offered by the American Folklore Society. He also developed and published Blackfolk, an academic journal, and co-founded the Association of African American and African Folklorists.

Dr. Williams also co-founded the Pan-African Studies Department at CSULA in 1969-70. Later, he was Vice-Chair of the Afro-Ethnic Studies Department at CSUF at the age of 25. Including his faculty appointment at CDU, he has taught at 15 colleges and universities: USC, UCLA, Loyola Marymount, The Claremont Colleges, Phillips Graduate Institute, DeVry University, four state universities, and five community colleges.

As Director of Communications for the College of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University, he was commissioned by Dean Deborah Prothrow-Stith to edit, write and publish a quarterly newsletter, The Sharpest Scalpel, which has won accolades from many corners in highlighting the unique, innovative work of the College of Medicine and other departmental units of the institution. He has grown the newsletter over the past four years from 12 pages, and it now regularly features 45-50 pages about a wide variety of topics of interest to the CDU community. He also serves as a member of the core planning team responsible for developing the 4-year medical program. He has written and published hundreds of articles about African American culture, organizational development, and nonprofit management, and co-wrote The Anatomy of a Record Company as a music textbook primer. He is a charter member of the California Jazz and Blues Museum Hall of Fame established by the late Barbara Morrison.

Research Interests

  • Organizational Development and World Urban Culture
  • Music and other Expressive Cultural Forms of the African Diaspora
  • The Nexus of Medicine and Society
  • Nonprofit Organization Development, Fundraising, and Management