Dr. Debra Ford is associate professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Creighton University. The classes she teaches include Leadership Theory, Proposal Construction, Organizational Strategy, Introduction to University Teaching, and Grant Writing. She also serves as Associate Vice Provost of Creighton’s Teaching & Learning Center and is on the administrative council for Creighton’s Center for Interprofessional Education & Research (CIPER).
Cura personalis, Magis, and Reflection and Discernment are the Creighton Jesuit charisms that particularly guide her work. She said, “I see my role as a teacher and mentor as someone who helps students navigate through their learning and through university systems.”
Before joining Creighton University in the EdD program, Dr. Ford served as Associate Dean-Student Affairs at the University of Kansas School of Nursing, as well as in other roles over her career in the School of Nursing. Her other administrative and teaching experiences include serving as an assistant professor of Communication Studies at Creighton in the early 2000s, and as Basic Course Director at the University of Kansas-Department of Communication Studies. Dr. Ford is serving as First Vice President for the Central States Communication Association as part of their officer rotation.
Her central research interest focuses on understanding how leading, team(ing), and teaching/learning are created through and influenced by communication. Specific topics include: interprofessional/interdisciplinary teams; organizational rhetoric, particularly that of healthcare-related special interest groups; and learning science. Her co-authored book (with M. F. Hoffman), Organizational Rhetoric: Situations & Strategies, is one of only two textbooks on the topic.
Dr. Ford earned her BA and MA in organizational communication from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She earned her PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas with emphases in organizational and health communication. When she is away from academia, she enjoys spending time with her husband and dogs, remodeling, reading historical novels, aerobic dance, and crafts. She is also a huge fan of the Kansas City Chiefs.