Dr. Debra Parker taught for over 20 years at North Carolina Central University.  She was a tenured Behavioral and Social Sciences professor.  She earned a B.S. degree in Family and Consumer Science Education and a M.S. in Human Development and Family Relations from North Carolina Central University.  She also earned a Master of Education in Special Education, with a concentration on Behaviorally Emotionally Disabled, from the same institution.  She then earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Family and Consumer Sciences Education, with a minor in Clothing and Textiles, and Exceptional Children (Elementary Education).  She is a certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Specialist and Family Trauma Professional.  She also holds a teaching licenses/certifications in Family and Consumer Sciences, Disadvantaged/Handicapped, and Birth through Kindergarten (children).   Hence, she brings a wealth of experience and expertise in early childhood education, which will be an asset to Built2Last’s childcare entrepreneurs initiative.

After teaching for many years at North Carolina Central University, Dr. Parker became tenured Professor and Chair of the Department of Human Sciences, and later Dean of  the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.  She was also a Consultant with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction where she served as a planner for the Workforce Development Annual Conference for Special Populations.

An expert grant writer, Dr. Parker’s has received more than $5 million in grants from organizations including, but not limited to, the Kenan Charitable Trust, US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Labor, NC Department of Public Instruction, and NC Smart Start. Many of her grants have allowed Dr. Parker to provide programs for students with disabilities as well as teachers who provide instruction for disabled children.

Moreover, Dr. Parker’s work and leadership have been recognized with several accolades and awards, including the UNC Carolina Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award, Exemplary Grantsmanship Award, and an Oxford Roundtable Scholar.

Dr. Parker, a prolific author, has also served on several boards and professional committees.  For instance, she is a member of the Advisory Board for the Durham County Agricultural Extension Service, Edgemont Community Center Board of Directors, Partnership for Children Board of Directors, and the National Black Child Development Institute.  Finally, she holds membership in several professional organizations.