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, trans, queer, Two-spirt, and other gender and sexually diverse people (LGBTQ2S+) people. Specifically, I examine the effects of contemporary heterosexism and cisgenderism, including subtle microaggressions (e.g., overhearing the phrase, “that’s so gay”) on LGBTQ2S+ people's wellbeing, and identify factors that can foster resilience. I also study heterosexist attitudes and support for LGBTQ2S+ 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 LGBTQ2S+ 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 LGBTQ2S+ university students. The study includes a scan of LGBTQ2S+ policies and resources on campuses, and an online survey and follow-up interviews with LGBTQ2S+ students from throughout the province. The final phase involves 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 supported aspects of survey development. For more information, including videos about the study and ways to foster LGBTQ inclusion, please see https://lgbtqstudentresearch.wordpress.com/
I have research assistantship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in heterosexist and cisgenderist discrimination, LGBTQ2S+ health and wellbeing disparities and resilience. Contact me for more information.
I am willing to supervise graduate students in the areas of LGBTQ2S+ health, mental health and academic development and engagement; sexual prejudice; LGBTQ2S+ youth development; and HIV/AIDS prevention among vulnerable groups.
Woodford, M. R., Atteberry-Ash, B. Jaffee, K., & Dessel, A. B. (2021, advance online publication February 20). “My church teaches homosexuality is a sin;” Religious teachings, personal religious beliefs, and MSW students’ attitudes toward sexual minorities. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought. doi: 10.1080/15426432.2020.1871154
Woodford, M. R., Coulombe, S., Schwabe, N., and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity. (2019, May 2). LGBTQ2 Health Policy: Addressing the Needs of LGBTQ2 Post-Secondary Students. Brief submitted to The House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, Government of Canada. https://lgbtq2sthrivingoncampus.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/LGBTQ2-Health-Policy-2019.pdf
Fisher, C. M., Woodford, M. R., Gartner, R. E., Sterzing, P. R, & Victor, B. G. (2019). Advancing research on LGBTQ microaggressions: A psychometric review of measures. Journal of Homosexuality, 66(10), 1345-1379. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2018.1539581
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). LGBTQ policies and resources on campus and the experiences and psychological wellbeing of sexual minority students. Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 5(4), 445-456. 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
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