Sofia B. Fernandez

Assistant Professor

School of Social Work



Community based research, behavioral health, alleviation of health disparities


Sofia Fernandez is a clinically trained social worker with a doctorate in social welfare. Her research is focused on improving HIV outcomes through community-engaged and mixed-method approaches that involve priority populations in the research process. Fernandez has a strong background and training in examining contextual factors of health and well-being including cultural, social, economic, and community influences on health. Additionally, Fernandez works on a grant to provide evaluation to community-based organizations that implement evidence-based interventions to reduce health disparities in South Florida. In her previous roles, she has served as a street outreach advocate for two social service agencies in Florida that serve homeless and transient families with immediate and respite services. In addition to her research, Dr. Fernandez is a Licensed Clinical Social Work Intern in the State of Florida. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work.


Community-Based Research Institute


  • Florida International University, PhD Social Welfare 2017
  • Florida State University, Masters in Social Work 2014
  • Florida State University, Bachelors in Social Work 2013


Fernandez, S.B., Ward, M., Jean-Gilles, M., Flores, A., Gonzalez Santander, T., Dawit, R., Ramirez-Ortiz, D., Ibarra, C., Brock, P., Dévieux, G.J., Lader, R., Trepka, MJ. (2022). Client’s perspectives on patient-centeredness: A qualitative study with low-income minority women receiving HIV care in South Florida. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

Fernandez, S. B., Sheehan, D., Dawit, R., Brock, P., Ladner, R., & Trepka, M. J. (2021). Identifying patterns of housing and household characteristics among women living with HIV in Florida 2017 and its impact on sustained viral suppression using latent class analysis. Social Work Research.

Fernandez, S. B., Clarke, R., Sheehan, D., Trepka, M. J., & Rose, S. (2020). Perceptual facilitators and barriers to career progression: a qualitative study with female early stage investigators in health sciences. Academic Medicine. 

Fernandez, S. B., Perez, K., Quintana, J., Clarke, R., Howard, M., Hospital, M., Morris, S.L., Wagner, E. (2020). Tailoring online behavioral health messaging to maximize engagement with Latinx young adults. Health Behavior Research Abstracts: Vol. 3: No. 2.

Fernandez, S. B., Wagner, E. F., Hospital, M., Howard, M., & Morris, S. L. (2019). Social Media Based Strategies to Reach Hispanic Young Adults with Tailored Sexual Health Information. Social Work and Social Sciences Review.

Fernandez, S. B., Howard, M., Hospital, M., Morris, S. L., & Wagner, E. F. (2018). Hispanic Students’ Perceptions About HIV/STI Testing and Prevention: A Mixed-Methods Study in a Hispanic-Serving University. Health Promotion Practice.

Fernandez, S. B., Wagner, E., Hospital, M., Morris, S., Howard, M., & Graziano, J. (2016) Direct and indirect Strategies for reducing alcohol use in emerging adult clinical and community samples: Social Media-Based Prevention for Reducing Alcohol Use Problems among Emerging Adults. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Volume 40, Supplement: S1.