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Deborah A. Willis

Deborah A. Willis

PhD Student. Social Work/Sociology Graduate - 2005

Deborah Willis has over 30 years in the human service field both as a practitioner and as an evaluator. Early in her career she delivered prevention services to children and families in New York, and taught in Queens and the South Bronx. Her post-MSW experience as a research associate at the Center for the Study of Youth Policy focused on providing support to state juvenile justice systems forced by the courts to reform. As a doctoral student, she was a Civitas Fellow at the Family Assessment Clinic working with children and adults who were sexually abused, and an evaluator of child welfare services. She has a MS Ed from Northern Illinois University, an MSW from the University of Michigan School of Social Work, and a PhD in social work and sociology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Willis joined the Guidance Center as the director of the Center for Excellence in September 2003, where she served as the liaison between university researchers and the Guidance Center and directed evaluation and training for the agency. She has taught research and evaluation and policy courses to MSW students at EMU and U-M for the past 10 years. Dr. Willis currently serves as the director of programs at the Guidance Center and continues to oversee the agency’s evaluation projects.

Dissertation Title

A model for measuring implementation of new programs into old systems: A child welfare case study.


Year Degree   School
2005 PhD University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1989 MSW University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1981 MS Ed Northern Illinois University
1971 BA Central Michigan University


Year Description
2005 Rackham one-term dissertation grant. Tuition plus stipend

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