The Port Clinton High School Alumni Hall of Fame will induct Dr. Jennifer Willford as its 2023 recipient, recognizing her for her outstanding academic achievements and contributions in her field. The induction ceremony will take place during the Rotary Honors Banquet at Port Clinton High School on Wednesday, May 3.
Willford, a 1988 graduate of Port Clinton High School, is a Professor of Psychology at Slippery Rock University (SRU). She earned a Bachelors Degree in Neuroscience at Muskingham University, and her doctorate degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Kentucky.
She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Psychiatric Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and served as research faculty in the department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine for 12 years.
Her primary area of research has been the impact of prenatal drug exposure on brain development and neuropsychological outcomes, which includes cognition and emotion regulation.
Her work includes over 25 peer-reviewed publications, six book chapters, 130 professional presentations, and multiple grant awards. She is currently co-writing a textbook on Resilience Across the Lifespan.
Willford recently served as President of the Developmental Neurotoxicology Society, navigating the society through the pandemic. Currently in her 10th year at SRU, she serves as the Associate Director of the Honor’s College and developed and directs Neuroscience and Pre-professional Studies programs in Psychology.
She is passionate about working with students to develop life-long learning and research skills. Her teaching promotes active learning through innovative pedagogy and technology, global learning perspectives and research.
Willford has extensive experience teaching in an international context and studying abroad with students. She has earned certifications for high impact teaching practices in community engaged learning, writing, honor’s pedagogy and global learning. Her courses include statistics, research methods, neuroscience, health psychology and positive psychology. The impact of her teaching, mentoring, and research career on the scientific community, as well as the students that learn and are mentored by her, were internationally recognized by the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention and Developmental Neurotoxicology Society when she was selected for the 2022 Patricia Rodier Award for Research and Mentoring.
In 2016, she was awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and, in 2022, the President’s Award for Excellence in Advising by SRU.
Willford believes that learning, service and research are collaborative processes and she deeply values the relationships she builds with students and colleagues. Outside of academia, she is active in service to a variety of non-profit organizations in the community, travels widely, teaches yoga and meditation, is a Life-Design Coach, taking lessons to learn African-Cuban drumming and reads as much as she can.
Willford will meet with students prior to her induction during Port Clinton High School science classes.
To learn more about the Alumni Hall of Fame, including inductee information and nomination forms, visit www.pccsd.net.