Directory & Faculty Profiles

Debbie J. Ferguson, DrPH

Dr. Ferguson is the Executive Director of Central Mississippi Residential Center (CMRC), a community mental health provider operated by the Department of Mental Health in rural Mississippi. She has over 30 years of experience in the field of mental health; including work in both the public and private sectors as well as having extensive clinical and administrative experience. Dr. Ferguson has doctorate in Public Health from Jackson State University and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston. She is an Associate Faculty member of the University of Phoenix, teaches research and dissertation courses and serves as a Dissertation Chair and Committee Member. Personal research interests include public health policy, mental health promotion, stigma associated with mental illness and treatment of mental illness, jail diversion programs for individuals with mental illness, health disparities within mentally ill and rural populations, integrated health care, suicide prevention and mental health as a component of disaster response. Dr. Ferguson is a lifelong learner who is passionate about the provision of mental health services to vulnerable populations and the need for a shift away from a clinical model focusing on individual treatment to a public health, population-based model focusing on promotion, prevention, screening and early intervention. She was named Woman of the Year in 2011 by the Newton Chamber of Commerce and a nominee of the 2008 NAMI “Hero in the Fight”, awarded to professionals fighting for better mental health. The Mississippi Business Journal recognized her in 2005 as one of Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women.

Scholarship & Research



Journal of Leadership Studies-Symposium Piece-Relational Leadership: Perspectives of Key Constructs on Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Equity in Higher Education

Psychology Today
Blog Posts Published


American Psychological Association Conference-Utilizing Clinical Hypnotherapeutic Intervention with CBT to Treat Pandemic-Aug. 13-2021 Symptomology

ILA Conference Geneva Switzerland 2021
Presenter -Topic-"The Stress Arc in Leadership and 3 Powerful Disciplines for Mitigating Major Stress Impacts in a New Era"-Upcoming
Presenter -Topic-“Improving Higher Education’s Role in Diversity and Social Equity through Relational Leadership in the New Era”-Upcoming
Presenter-Topic-"Healthcare Leadership-Using Virtuous Leadership in Chaos to Reimagine Beneficial Practices of Employee Cognitive Psychology"-Upcoming
2021-Knowledge Without Boundaries National Summit-College of Doctoral Studies Research Conference-University of Phoenix-Panel Discussion-"Exploring Emergent Trends in Leadership and Education"-Based on published symposia article from the Journal of Leadership Studies-


Associate Faculty
Dissertation Chair
Committee Member
Primary College or School: 
College of Doctoral Studies