Debi Butler, the Finnegan-Parker award recipient

Professor Emerita Dorothy Finnegan with Debi Butler at the 2014 Awards CeremonyDebra (Debi) Butler was the 2014 recipient of the Finnegan-Parker Higher Education International Research Award, which was established in 2012 by Professor Emerita Dorothy Finnegan to support doctoral candidates in the Higher Education program who are pursuing international research for the dissertation process.

Originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Debi earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami as well as a master’s from Seattle University prior to pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from William & Mary (W&M).  Her professional experiences include over 15 years working in higher education program implementation and student services with an array of diverse populations.

In addition to her doctoral studies, Debi is involved with the School of Education Honor Council and Finance Committee, the Northern Virginia Community College Global Studies Committee, and serves as a reviewer for the W&M Educational Review (WMER).  She is also an adjunct instructor in the areas of psychology and student development, as well as a mentor for foster care youth.

Debi’s current research interests include college access, community colleges, and internationalization.  In furthering these interests, she hopes to start a career “…in both and administrative and teaching role on a college campus overseeing strategic initiatives around access or internationalization involving senior-level coordination and working on issues and challenges that impact the successful accomplishment of a college’s mission, strategic plans, goals, and objectives.”