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Debra Ringold earns Exemplary Teacher of the Year Award

by Marketing & Communications,

Debra Ringold

Debra Ringold, Atkinson Graduate School of Management’s JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise and dean emeritus, has gained national recognition once more for her teaching. 

The United Methodist Church’s (UMC) national leadership development center, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, recently honored Ringold as Exemplary Teacher of the Year. 

Criteria include proven excellence as a teacher, recognized service to students and a record of significant contributions to the scholarly life of the university. Faculty at United Methodist schools, colleges and universities are considered for the award. 

Described as “a leader who is the living embodiment of Willamette’s motto” by President Steve Thorsett, Ringold is a constant advocate of consequential learning who helped establish and strengthen some of the graduate school’s flagship programs, including the 3+2 programPractical Applications for Careers and Enterprises (PACE) and the Student Investment Fund, wrote Provost Carol Long in the recommendation letter. 

In 2018, Ringold’s final year as AGSM dean, she supported and oversaw the creation of a minor in business administration, the first undergraduate business program at the university. This fall, she will begin teaching a new undergraduate major program in business administration. 

"Students in the new business minor and the Atkinson School are talented, earnest, and determined to change the world in meaningful ways,” said Ringold. “It is an honor to serve them."

Her research has appeared in several prominent publications, including the Journal of Public Affairs and the Journal of Marketing Management, which will feature her upcoming analysis on food labeling and advertising, and she has served on numerous community boards, such as the founding board of the nonprofit Family Building Blocks in Salem. 

“Debra lives her values each day and models integrity and dedication for her students and colleagues,” wrote Long. 

Ringold has been a member of AGSM faculty since 1994 and earned teaching awards at every institution where she has taught. Notably, she received the Exemplary Teaching and Community Service from the UMC General Board of Higher Education Ministry in 2002 and the Jerry E. Hudson Distinguished Teaching Award in 1997. 

About Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Based in Salem, Oregon, we are the premier private university in the Pacific Northwest — the only university in the country that appears on both the US News Best National Liberal Arts Colleges list and the Forbes and Businessweek best business schools lists. With unique proximity to our state's capitol, we are a national leader in civic engagement, delivering an “Only at Willamette” education.

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