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Debra Ringold

JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise

Headshot of Debra Ringold

Contact Information

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland  Oregon  97201


  • Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • M.B.A., Southern Illinois University
  • B.A., Texas Tech University


"A healthy respect for consumers, and a genuine dedication to serving them, underpins marketing as a managerial philosophy. It also serves as the foundation for successful careers in management, whether in business, government, or nonprofit organizations."

Debra J. Ringold joined Willamette University in 1994 and is JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. During her time at Willamette she has served as professor and dean. She teaches courses in public, not-for-profit, and private sector marketing, marketing research, marketing communications, marketing strategy, and marketing and public policy. She is also an award-winning teacher, administrator, researcher and writer.

Debra’s research has appeared in the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Public Affairs, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Macromarketing, Journal of Consumer Policy, Advances in Public Policy and Marketing, Psychology and Marketing, American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, and numerous conference proceedings including Advances in Consumer Research.

Her recent consulting clients include the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Anheuser-Busch Companies, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Hewlett Packard. Debra’s executive education clients include, among others, the Foundation for Medical Excellence, State Farm Insurance Companies, and Hewlett Packard.


A sound understanding of marketing will increase the likelihood that you will make a significant contribution to your organization and its customers. To some, marketing is the function that identifies customer needs and wants, determines which target markets to serve, and designs appropriate products and services for these markets. While this sounds reasonable, marketing is much more than a function - it is a philosophy that can guide the entire organization.

Marketing is a process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging ideas, products or services. Our goal is to teach you to integrate the customer into the design and delivery of valuable products and services while creating real substance in customer relationships. A healthy respect for consumers, and a genuine dedication to serving them, underpins marketing as a managerial philosophy. It's also the foundation for successful management careers.

Areas of Instruction

Research for Marketing Decisions, Integrated Marketing Communications, Seminar in Marketing and Public Policy, Strategic Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations

Research Interests

Economics of Information

Selected Publications

Ringold, D.J. (2022), “Enduring Consumer Beliefs about Advertising and Mass Media: Implications for Publicity and Its Impact,” International Journal of Advertising, Volume 41 (3), 563-587. Nominated for the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center Prize for Best Article on Ethics, Leadership, and Public Policy.

Ringold, D.J. (2021), “Scepticism of Food Labeling Versus Food Advertising: A Replication and Extension,” Journal of Marketing Management, 37 (11-12), 1169-1190. Nominated for the Hobby Prize for Best Paper or Article on Ethics, Leadership, and Public Policy.

Hastak, M., A. Mitra, and D.J. Ringold (2020), “Do Consumers View the Nutrition Facts Panel When Making Healthfulness Assessments of Food Products? Antecedents and Consequences,” Journal of Consumer Affairs, 54 (2), 395-416. Finalist for JCA Best Article Award.

Mitra, A., M. Hastak, D.J. Ringold, and A.S. Levy (2019), “Consumer Skepticism of Claims in Food Ads Versus on Food Labels: An Exploration of Differences and Antecedents,” Journal of Consumer Affairs, 53 (4), 1443-1455.

Ringold, D.J. (2016), “Assumptions about Consumers, Producers, and Regulators: What They Tell Us about Ourselves,” Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 1 (3), 341-354.

Selected Awards, Honors and Distinctions

JELD WEN Professor of Free Enterprise, 2008 to present

The Julie Abendroth Professor of the Year, Willamette University. Honors a professor who demonstrates a devotion to the pursuit of excellence by student athletes in both academics and athletics, 2022.

Exemplary Teacher of the Year, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Honors teaching excellence demonstrated at United Methodist schools, colleges, and universities in the United States, 2021.

Editorial Board, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and Journal of Advertising.

Executive Council Member, Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)

Past Chairperson of the Board of Directors, American Marketing Association

Past Member of the Board of Directors, American Marketing Association Foundation

Past Vice President for Teaching & Information Dissemination, American Marketing Association

Past Chair and Board Member, Marketing and Society Special Interest Group of the American Marketing Association.

Faculty Presenter, AMA Marketing and Society Doctoral Consortium, Washington, D.C., 2019

Administrator of the Year, Willamette University, 2005

Thomas C. Kinnear/Journal of Public Policy and Marketing Award for the article (with Janis K. Pappalardo) "Regulating Commercial Speech in a Dynamic Environment: Forty Years of Margarine and Oil Advertising Before the NLEA." The article was chosen by a vote of the members of the Editorial Board for its significant contribution to the discipline, 2004

Corvallis Area Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer of the Year Award, 2002

United Methodist Award for Exemplary Teaching and Community Service, Willamette University, 2002

Kenneth H. Cooley Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service and Dedicated Community Leadership, United Way of Benton County, 2002

Jerry E. Hudson Distinguished Teaching Award, Willamette University, 1997

Willamette University

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.