Directory & Faculty Profiles
Debbie Ritter-Williams, PhD
I completed a BA in Psychology at Eastern Illinois University, a Masters in Counseling at Arizona State University, and a PhD in Educational Leadership - Higher Education at University of South Carolina. My research interests have paralleled by job interests over the past 30 years. My early interest was in college students and student affairs activities. After serving as a university discipline officer, I chose to do a qualitative dissertation study investigating faculty attitudes towards and actions related to student plagiarism. My research interest still centers on the people in higher education, principally students and faculty. Over the last 5-6 years, and motivated by my association as a senior researcher with the Phoenix Research Institute, my interest has migrated to subgroups of learners: adult students, Hispanic students, traditional aged students. I am particularly interested in socio-emotional aspects of their experiences - I have studied meditation and critical thinking and social media descriptions of online learning. I am currently conducting a study on student cyberbullies targeting faculty and the outcomes of the use of plagiarism detection software for students, faculty, and institutions. Although I am by temperament and outlook a qualitative researcher, I have conducted several quantitative studies over the last few years. An ancillary interest linked to personal activities is research around volunteer board membership and dynamics and the outcomes of youth involvement with the performing arts.