Dr. Jennifer Stanford is an Associate Professor in Biology, and Co-Director of the Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence (CASTLE). Dr. Stanford conducts research on evaluating and improving approaches to teach STEM in higher education environments to promote student learning, engagement, and retention; and understanding epigenetic mechanisms controlling learning and memory using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system.
Dr. Stanford did her graduate training in cell and developmental biology, and studied the regulation of Cdc25 and Wee1 in Xenopus egg cell cycles. She helped to create the first post-doctoral teaching fellow position at Harvard Medical School, forming the basis for the Harvard Medical School Curriculum Fellows Program. She held professional positions as Instructor at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Teaching Professor at Drexel, prior to her current position. Dr. Stanford received the Allen Rothwarf Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015, and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2023. Her work has been consistently funded with external grants from organizations including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Science Foundation, and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.
Dr. Stanford is committed to inclusive excellence in STEM education, exemplified by her Co-Director role in CASTLE. CASTLE was awarded the Drexel President’s Award for Diversity and Inclusive Community in 2018. Her teaching and service are dedicated to effective and inclusive teaching. Her education research focuses on improving STEM student retention and academic success, experiential learning and promoting use of effective and inclusive teaching practices. Her lab focuses on understanding epigenetic factors that regulate axon pruning in the Drosophila melanogaster mushroom body. Through her bench science, Dr. Stanford also endeavors to promote inclusive development of scientists who have an effective and healthy approach to conducting science.