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Jennifer Stanford

Jennifer Stanford

Co-Director, CASTLE

Associate Professor, Biology, College of Arts and Sciences


BS biology ’99, Elizabethtown College
PhD cell and developmental biology ’04, Harvard University


STEM Education; Discipline-Based Education Research; Biology Education Research; Authentic STEM Learning Experiences; Evidence-Based Education


Jennifer Stanford PhD’s research interests focus on evaluating and improving approaches to teach STEM content in higher education environments to promote student learning, engagement in STEM courses, and STEM student retention.  Her current work focuses on: evaluating approaches to increase student access to undergraduate research opportunities, incorporating evidence-based thinking into diverse learning environments, and developing practical training opportunities to support STEM student professional development.

Stanford did her graduate training in cell and developmental biology, where she studied the regulation of Cdc25 and Wee1 in Xenopus egg cell cycles. Following her graduate training, she helped to create the first post-doctoral teaching fellow position at Harvard Medical School, which formed the basis for the current Harvard Medical School Curriculum Fellows Program.  In this position, she further developed her interest in teaching, curriculum design and assessment, and helped to create and assess a new course structure, called the “Nanocourse.” She has held professional positions as an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Teaching Professor at Drexel, prior to her current position as an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Drexel. In these roles, Stanford has taught undergraduates, graduate students, medical students and faculty.  In 2013, Stanford was selected to participate in the Vision and Change in Biology Education Conference. In 2014, she was selected as an AAC&U STIRS Scholar. Stanford received the Allen Rothwarf Award for Teaching Excellence, given annually to a junior faculty member at Drexel, in 2015. Through her research activities and work with CASTLE, Stanford hopes to develop scalable and sustainable approaches to allow students to effectively understand STEM content and truly appreciate the importance and excitement of STEM fields.