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Jennifer Stanford

Jennifer S. Stanford, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Co-Director of the Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence (CASTLE)
Institutional Leader for CIRTL at Drexel
Department of Biology
Office: PISB 425


  • PhD, Cell & Developmental Biology, Harvard University, 2004
  • BS, Biology, Elizabethtown College

Curriculum Vitae:

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Research Interests:

  • STEM Education
  • Effective and Inclusive Teaching
  • Evidence-Based Teaching
  • Faculty and Future Faculty Pedagogical Development
  • Experiential Learning
  • Epigenetics
  • Learning and Memory


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.

Selected Publications:

  • Shumar, W, Silverman, J, Moyer, AE*, Casino, M, Condon, B*, Murasko, D, King, D, Stanford, JS#. Use of a Professional Development Course to Promote Evidence-Based Teaching in Large STEM Courses. College Teaching. Accepted for publication.
  • Condon, B*, Xian, J*, Murasko, D, King, DB, Stanford, JS#. Use of the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) to predict early college success for STEM undergraduates. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching. Accepted for publication.
  • Smith, KPW, Waddell EA, Dean, AN, Anandan, S, Gurney, S, Kabnick, K, Little K, McDonald, M, Mohan, J, Marenda, DR, Stanford, JS. (2021) Course-based undergraduate research experiences are a viable appoach to increase access to research experiences in biology. Journal of Biological Education. Published online ahead of print.
  • Indorf, J, Benabentos, R, Daubenmire, P, Murasko, D, Hazari, Z, Potvin, G, Kramer, L, Marsteller, P, Thomson, KV, Cassone, VM, Stanford, JS. (2021) Distinct factors preditct use of active learning techniques by pre-tenure and tenured STEM faculty. Journal of Geoscience Education. 69 (4) 357-72.
  • Benabentos, R, Hazari, Z, Stanford, JS, Potvin, G, Marsteller, P, Thompson, KV, Cassone, VM, Murasko, D, Kramer, L. (2021) Measuring the implementation of student-centered teaching strategies in lower- and upper-division STEM courses. Journal of Geoscience Education. 69 (4): 342-56.
  • Clyne, AM, Shieh, AC, Stanford, J. (2019) A Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) in Biofluid Mechanics. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 141 (12). 
  • Wang, H, Smith, KPW, Rocheleau, SE, Mohan, J, Dandekar, KR, Fontecchio, AK, and Stanford, JS. (2018) Early Undergraduate Research in an International Setting: A Pilot Study. Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research 2 (2): 40-48.
  • Winters, JM, Wang, H, Duwel, LE, Spudich, EA, and Stanford, JS (2018) Developing a backup plan: implementing a career-planning course for undergraduate biology majors. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education 19 (3). 
  • Stanford, JS, Rocheleau, SE, Smith, KPW, and Mohan, J. (2017). Early undergraduate research experiences lead to similar learning gains for STEM and Non-STEM undergraduates. Studies in Higher Education 42: 115-129.
  • Stanford, JS, Carmichael, T, Zerr, R, Byrne, L, Riegelman, R. (2016) Actual and Potential Uses of STIRS Case Studies in Courses and Curricula. Peer Review 18 (4): 23-27.
  • Stanford, JS, Byrne, L, and Hunting, K. (2016) Promoting Evidence-Based Thinking Through the STIRS Case Studies. Peer Review 18 (4): 14-18. 
  • Stanford, JS and Duwel, LE (2013) Engaging Biology Undergraduates in the Scientific Process through Writing a Theoretical Research Proposal. Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching 38: 17-23.
  • Bentley, AM, Artavanis-Tsakonas, S, and Stanford, JS. (2007) Nanocourses: a New Short Course Format as an Educational Tool in a Biological Sciences Graduate Curriculum. CBE Life Sci Educ 7: 175-83.