Dr. Williford’s undergraduate degree is from Belhaven University (then College) in Psychology with a minor in Biology. She did most of her graduate training at LSU in Baton Rouge. Her doctorate is in both Developmental Psychology and Experimental Psychology, with an emphasis in Learning and Memory. She did post-doctoral work at LSU in school psychology and assessment. In addition, Dr. Williford also took some graduate courses in applied statistics at the University of Northern Colorado.
Before she came to Belhaven University as a professor, Dr. Williford worked in south Louisiana as a school psychologist. Due to her background in developmental psychology, she worked with a developmental assessment team where she primarily worked with children with disabilities who were 6 weeks to 5 years of age. However, she did work with school-aged children up to age 21 as well. Dr. Williford continues to have a heart for children with exceptionalities and enjoys teaching her students what she has learned.
Every female on both sides of her family was in the teaching profession in some way, and she did not want to teach. However, there is a great expression: God laughs when we plan. God called her to chair the psychology department at Belhaven University in 1988, and she has been here ever since. She has taught almost every psychology course that we offer at least one time, but she mainly teaches Human Growth and Development 1 and 2, Social Psychology, Psychology of the Exceptional Child, Statistics, Health Psychology, Experimental Psychology, and Learning and Memory. In addition to the traditional courses, she also teaches in our online Applied Psychology program. She has found that God’s plan is best: She loves teaching and loves her students.
Her family consists of her mom, a former high school English teacher, who is in her late 90s. She moved in with Dr. Williford several years ago, so she (Dr. Williford) is also a full-time caregiver. Her mother has severe physical issues, but mentally she is as sharp as a tack. Dr. Williford has one grown son who lives in Chicago and works in a business that he started with a friend.
For over twenty years, she has been very involved with an international teacher sorority called Alpha Delta Kappa, serving in various leadership positions at the chapter and state level. Their focus is altruism. Their international project is St Jude Hospital, and their state project is Ronald McDonald House Charities in Jackson, MS. Every chapter in their sorority raises money for these projects while supporting their own local charities.