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.

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