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 an Ontario-wide study 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.
I have research assistantship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in heterosexist 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 engagement; sexual prejudice; LGBTQ youth development; and HIV/AIDS prevention among vulnerable groups.
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., Chakrapani, V., Newman, P. A., & Shunmugam, M. (2016). Barriers and facilitators to voluntary HIV testing uptake among communities at high risk of HIV exposure in Chennai, India. Global Public Health, 11(3), 363–379. doi:10.1080/17441692.2015.1057757
Woodford, M. R., Chonody, J., Kulick, A., Brennan, D. J., & Renn, K. (2015). The LGBQ microaggressions on campus scale: A scale development and validation study. Journal of Homosexuality, 62(12), 1660-1687. doi:10.1080/00918369.2015.1078205
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