After working as a front-line social worker, administrator and consultant in the non-profit, public and private sectors, I completed my PhD in social work at the University Toronto in 2006. I received my BSW in 1993 and my MSW (Social Policy and Administration) in 1997 from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Prior to joining Laurier, I was a faculty member with the School of Social Work, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
My research addresses the social exclusion/inclusion, wellbeing, and resilience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ) people. Specifically, I examine the effects of contemporary heterosexism and cisgenderism, including subtle microaggressions (e.g., overhearing the phrase, “that’s so gay”) on LGBTQ people's wellbeing, and identify factors that can foster resilience. I also study LGBTQ youth empowerment, heterosexist attitudes, and support for LGBTQ civil rights. Additionally, I engage in HIV/AIDS prevention research among men who have sex with men and among other vulnerable groups. Much of my recent work examines the relationship between campus climate, socio-ecological risk and protective factors and the health and academic wellbeing of LGBTQ university students. Part of this work involves exploring the influence of intersecting identities on these relationships.
Currently, my colleagues and I are preparing to conduct the study, Thriving on Campus? Promoting the acceptance, wellbeing, and academic development of LGBTQ2S+ university students throughout Ontario of the experiences, resilience, and wellbeing of LGBTQ university students. The study will begin with an online survey, followed by qualitative interviews with students from throughout the province. The final phase will involve sharing the findings with universities, student groups, and policymakers in order to inform policies, programs, and services. The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and is guided by a multi-stakeholder advisory committee. Funding from Wilfrid Laurier University is supporting aspects of survey development. For more information, please see https://lgbtqstudentresearch.wordpress.com/
I have research assistantship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in heterosexist and cisgenderist discrimination, LGBTQ health and wellbeing disparities and resilience. Contact me for more information.
I am willing to supervise graduate students in the areas of LGBTQ health, mental health and academic development and engagement; sexual prejudice; LGBTQ youth development; and HIV/AIDS prevention among vulnerable groups.
Woodford, M. R., Weber, G., Nicolazzo, Z., Hunt, R., Kulick, A., Coleman, T., & Renn, K. A. (2018). Depression and attempted suicide among LGBTQ college students: Fostering resilience to the effects of heterosexism and cisgenderism on campus. Journal of College Student Development, 59(4), 421-438. doi: 10.1353/csd.2018.0040
Woodford, M. R., Kulick, A. T., Garvey, J. C., Sinco, B., & Hong, J. S (2018, advance online publication, July 9). LGBTQ policies and resources on campus and the experiences and psychological wellbeing of sexual minority students. Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000289
Pitcher, E., Camacho, T., Renn, K., & Woodford, M. R. (2018). Affirming policies, programs, and supportive services: Understanding organizational supports promoting LGBTQ+ college student success. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 11(2), 117-132. doi: 10.1037/dhe0000048
Woodford, M. R., Joslin, J. Y., Pitcher, E. N., & Renn, K. (2017). A mixed-methods inquiry into trans* environmental microaggressions on college campuses: Experiences and outcomes. Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 26(1-2), 95-111. doi: 10.1080/02615479.2016.1178716
Hong, J. S., Woodford, M. R., Long, L., & Renn, K. (2016). Ecological covariates of subtle and blatant heterosexist discrimination among LGBQ college students. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45(1), 117-131. doi: 10.1007/s10964-015-0362-5
Woodford, M. R., Kulick, A., & Atteberry, B. (2015). Protective factors, campus climate, and health outcomes among sexual minority college students. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 8(2), 73-87. doi:10.1037/a0038552
Woodford, M. R., Kulick, A., Sinco, B., & Hong, J. (2014). Contemporary heterosexism on campus and psychological distress among LGBQ students: The mediating role of self-acceptance. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84(5), 519-529. doi:10.1037/ort0000015
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