Deborah K. Conner
Clinical Assistant Professor, Graduate and Specialty Studies
“When you get, give. When you learn, teach.” - Maya Angelou
Conner teaches in the educational leadership program in the Spadoni College of Education. She has worked in both K-12 and higher education for over 30 years. She was recognized by the South Carolina College Personnel Association with the Joseph O. Nixon Award for Chief Student Affairs Officer of the year in 2020 and in 2015 she was recognized as the alumnus of the year for the University of South Carolina Higher Education Graduate Program. In 2012 she was awarded Leadership Grand Strand’s Ann DeBock Leadership Award in recognition of outstanding leadership and service to the Grand Strand community.
Conner graduated with her bachelor’s degree in psychology and secondary education from Converse College, her M.Ed. in student personnel services from University of South Carolina and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Clemson University. Her specific areas of interest are in organizational management/behavior and educational leadership.
She serves on several boards including the United Way of Horry County. She has established a scholarship at CCU for student leaders with financial need. She is an active member of the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). Debbie has served on the faculty for NASPA’s Mid Manager Institute multiple times and in 2017 was a participant in the NASPA International Exchange Program where she was a delegate in Northwest England. She has presented a numerous regional and national conferences including NASPA, ACPA, NACA, SACSA and SCCPA.
Conner served for 8 years as CCU’s chief student affairs officer and vice president for student affairs. Prior to that she served in various positions at CCU starting in the Fall of 1994.
Research interests include organizational management in education and factors of student success and retention in college.