Skip to Main Content Skip to bottom Skip to Chat, Email, Text

Research fellow

Dr. Debbie Ritter-Williams

Dr. Debbie Ritter-Williams

Dr. Debbie Ritter-Williams

Debbie Ritter-Williams, Ph.D. has held a variety of leadership positions in higher education and corporate training and development.

Dr. Ritter-Williams has been associated with University of Phoenix since 2002, when she was the Program Chair for the College of Arts and Sciences for the online campus. More recently, she completed an appointment as Lead Faculty for the School of Advanced Studies that involved leading various projects to enhance quality in the classroom. She currently serves as a Lead Faculty-Writing Coach for ACCESS: Advancing Community, Critical Thought, Engagement, Scholarship, and Success.

Her career has focused on adult education across a variety of venues: for-profit corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The success of her work has often been aided by her strength in group process facilitation. Before coming to University of Phoenix, Dr. Ritter-Williams led a company-wide implementation of a synchronous online training system for locations across North America.

Dr. Ritter-Williams’ research career began in 1987 with a study of conference-attending behavior sponsored by both the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators and the American College Personnel Association. Her background and experience align with her current research interest in college learners and the challenges they face. She has completed studies on employer tuition-reimbursement programs and adult students’ retention related to socio-emotional needs, and is currently undertaking research on the relationship between meditation and critical thinking, the benefits of degree completion for Hispanic students, and the representation of online learning in social media.

Dr. Ritter-Williams’ work in higher education and leadership has been published in several journals, textbooks, and handbooks. She has held memberships and leadership roles with the American Association of University Women, the American College Personnel Association (Vice-Chair for Research), Carolinas Society for Training and Development (Board Member), and the American Society for Training & Development. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University, a master’s in Counseling from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policies (focus on higher education) from the University of South Carolina.