Deborah Long

Interim Dean of the School of Education and Professor of Education
Mooney 102A
2105 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244 (336) 278-5859

Brief Biography

Deborah Thurlow Long is originally from Sudbury, Massachusetts, and now resides in Elon, North Carolina. She graduated from Colby College in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, then joined the Teacher Corps in 1971. She earned a master's degree in Elementary Education from Virginia State University in 1973 and a doctorate in Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Leadership from the University of Memphis in 1996. Dr. Long joined the Elon faculty in 1996. From 2002 until 2006, she served as chair of the Education Department and coordinator of elementary education. From 2006 through 2008 she served as faculty administrative fellow and assistant to the president. In this position, she was responsible for developing new and enhancing existing programs for under-served youth in the community through campus-community partnerships. Currently, Dr. Long is a Professor and Interim Dean in the School of Education and Director of the Elon Academy.


Ed.D.                          University of Memphis, Memphis TN

1996                          Curriculum, Instruction and Educational Leadership


M.Ed.                          Virginia State University, Virginia Teacher Corps Consortium, Petersburg, VA

1973                           Elementary Education


B.A.                            Colby College, Waterville, ME

1970                            Psychology

Employment History

Elon University

Interim Dean for the School of Education                                         2013 – present

Full Professor                                                                                2008 - present

Elon Academy Director                                                                   2006 – present

Coordinator of Civic Engagement                                                      2008 – 2010

Faculty Administrative Fellow and Assistant to the President              2006 – 2008

Associate  Professor of Education                                                    2002 – 2008

Chair, Department of Education                                                        2002 - 2006

Coordinator of Elementary Education Program                                   1998 - 2006

Assistant Professor of Education                                                      1996 - 2002

Prior Positions:

Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas

Assistant Professor of Education                                                       1987 - 1996

Director of Teacher Education                                                            1995 - 1996

Project Director, NCATE Institutional Report                                        1995

Coordinator of Elementary Education                                                   1988 - 1996

Certification Officer                                                                             1995 - 1996

Durham City School System, East End Elementary School, Durham, NC

Public School Teacher, First Grade                                                    1973 - 1976

Teacher Corps                                              

Virginia Commonwealth University/Virginia State College, First and Fourth Grades

1971 – 1973

Courses Taught

School and Society: An Introduction to Education

Principles of Learning and Teaching: Math/Science Concentration

Classroom Management

Introduction to Education (Honors)

Foundations of Education (Honors)

Principles of Learning and Teaching I & II: Mathematics/Science Concentration

Mathematics Methods and Materials for Elementary School Teachers

Principles of Diagnostic Instruction (Graduate Level)

GST 232-IS  The Great War

Children’s Literature

Grants Awarded

  • $5,000 – Bruce J. Heim Foundation to fund the photography inquiry project (with David Cooper and Barbara Tyroler) (2012)
  • $2,750 - Elon University Fund for Excellence (2012)
  • $2,218 - Elon University Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (2012)
  • $5,050 - Associate Provost’s Fund (2012)
  • $169,170 - Burroughs-Welcome Fund, Let’s Move Elon Academy: Organic Gardening and Sustainable Food Production, to support a partnership with Elon Academy, Elon’s Campus Kitchen and Community Garden, Environmental Studies Department, and Urban Roots of Greensboro (2012-2015)
  • $19,891 -  North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) grant for the Summer Bridges Program (co-written with Darris Means and Elon University Multicultural Center) (2012)
  • $20,000 - North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) College Access Grant (Elon Academy and Elon University Multicultural Center Summer Bridge Programs) 2011 (with Darris Means and Kim Pyne)
  • $14,960 - North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities College Access Grant for the Elon Academy Transitions to College, (with Darris Means and Kim Pyne) (2010)
  • $10,000 - College Board Greenhouse Grant for Go 4 College Program (with Cummings High School) (2009-2010)
  • 10,800 - Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant from the Piedmont Triad Partnership for Elon Academy 21st Century Leader Lunch, Learn, and Lead Speaker Series (with Darris Means) (2009-2010)
  • $2,000 - Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant ($2,000) for Elon Academy “Book Jam” (with Darris Means and Kim Pyne) (2009 – 2010 and 2010 – 2011)


Selected for most recent

Scott, M., Pyne, K., & Long, D. (2012). Inspiring partnerships: University-community collaborations challenging Inequality in access to higher education. PRISM: A Journal of Regional Engagement (submitted)

Miller-Dyce, C., Albold, C., & Long, D. (2012). Tapping into aspirations: Building on family and student pre-college beliefs. The High School Journal

Speaking Out: Underrepresented Students Challenging the Inequities of College Access (2011) (self published) with Mary Alice Scott, Kim Pyne, Molly O’Brien, Andrew Stevenson, Muhammad Musah, and 13 Elon Academy scholars.

UnHoped For. (2011) The Elon Documentary project, directed by Dr. Brooke Barnett, Associate Professor in the School of Communications, followed the charter Alpha class of the Elon Academy for three years, from admission to the program through acceptance into college.  In 2007, Elon University sophomore Communications Fellows lived with and filmed Elon Academy scholars during the initial summer program and also recorded their involvement in the year-round activities.  For the past four years other communications majors have continued the project.  The documentary demonstrates the transformational nature of a college access program such as the Elon Academy, with the hope that other colleges and universities will be inspired to undertake similar ventures in their own communities.   My role in the documentary was to provide logistical support including arranging dates, times, locations, and transportation for filming key events; providing feedback on the video; and fundraising for the project.

Go-4-College DVD (2010) Linda Lashendock, Manager of Video Services and Event Production and Tyler West, Elon University Communications Major worked closely with me to produce a DVD about preparing and gaining admission to college. The DVD includes four parts: Preparing for College During High School, Standardized Tests: PSAT, SAT, and ACT, Applying to College, and Paying for College. The target audience includes students, parents, counselors, teachers, and administrators. My role in the DVD was to write the script, provide logistical support including arranging dates, times, locations, and transportation for filming; providing feedback on the video, and securing grant funding to support the project.

Decyk, B., Murphy, M., Currier, D., and Long, D. (2009) Listening to Student Voices in the Study of Teaching and Learning. Challenges, Caveats, and Questions: Co-Inquiry in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (book chapter).

Drake, K. and Long, D. (2009). Rebecca’s in the dark:  A comparative study of problem-based learning and direct instruction/experiential learning in two fourth grade classrooms. Journal of Elementary Science Education 21 (1). Western Illinois University, pp 1-16.

Long, D., Means, D., and Pyne, K. (2008). College by design: A university-community partnership. Educational Leadership, 66(2), 77-79.

Mihans, R. M., Long, D. T., & Felten, P. (2008). Power and expertise: Student-faculty collaboration in course-design and the scholarship of teaching and learning. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2 (2), 1 - 9. Retrieved October 21, 2008 from

Long, D. (2007). The Elon Academy: College by Design. Friends of the Library Newsletter, Elon University.

Crawford, G., Long, D., & Stasz, B. (2006) Cross-cultural professional development model for teacher preparation. The Thinking Classroom: A Journal for the International Reading Association, 7 (3). Newark, Delaware.

Long, D. and Drake, K. (2004). Going on a ScienceQuest. Science and Children, 12 (2), 40-45.

Sullivan, J., Long, D., Haskell, R. (2004). Keeping falcons as falcons: Creating a self-perpetuating program. In C. E. Cook (Ed.) Campus Progress: Supporting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. American Association of Higher Education and the Carnegie Foundation.

Long (Thurlow) D. and Stuart, C. (2004). Supporting higher levels of reflection among teacher candidates: A Pedagogical Framework. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 10 (3), 275-290.

Howard, J. and Thurlow (Long), D. (2001). Use of development teams in problem finding.  In Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 2001: Association for the Advancement of  Computing in Education. [5 – 10 March, 2001]. Orlando, Florida: University of Central Florida.

Scott, M.A. and Thurlow (Long), D. (2000). Mentor’s guide: To know, to dare, to do, to change - A radical approach to grassroots spirituality. Durham, NC: Self Knowledge Symposium Foundation, Inc.

Stuart, C. and Thurlow (Long), D. (March/April, 2000). Making it their own:  Preservice teachers’ experiences, beliefs, and classroom practices. Journal of Teacher Education .


Selected for most recent

International Presentations

Student Voice and Sharing Power in Course Design: Whose Course is This, Anyway? The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning 3rd Annual Conference, Making a Greater Difference: Connecting to Transformational Agendas, Washington, DC, November 8-12, 2006. (with Peter Felten, Jessica Waugh, and Kristin Hahn)


Undergraduate Students as Partners in Inquiry: What Difference Does It Make to Students, Faculty, and SoTL? The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning 3rd Annual Conference, Making a Greater Difference: Connecting to Transformational Agendas, Washington, DC, November 8-12, 2006. (with Peter Felten, Jessica Waugh, and Kristin Hahn)


The Evolving Role of Students in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Elon

University. The International Association for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). Vancouver, British Columbia, October 13-15, 2005. (with Peter Felten and Glenda Crawford)


Teacher Education for a Sustainable Future, 3 ½ day seminar, Dushanbe, Tajikistan., May 18-21, 2004.

Problem-based Learning: A Framework for Excellence, Authenticity, Creativity, and

Integration. Co-presented with Glenda Crawford and Bird Stasz. Fifth Annual International Step-by-Step Association (ISSA) Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, October 14-17, 2003.

National Presentations

A University-Community Partnership to Address College Access and Success. Developing 21st Century Leaders: Creating Paths to Success. National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) Conference, Atlanta, GA, April 28-29, 2011.

Engaging High School Students in Research: A Participatory Research Project on College Access. Society for Applied Anthropology. Seattle Washington, March 30 – April 2, 2011.

Alpha Class Documentary. Society for Applied Anthropology. Seattle Washington, March 30 – April 2, 2011.

National College Access Network (NCAN): Building Connections. Advancing Equity. Promoting Success. Best Practices Gallery, Washington, DC, October 11 -13, 2010.

Lives Enriched – Lives Transformed: Students Share Their Experiences. Summer Changes Everything 2009: Johns Hopkins Summer Learning Conference, April 16-17, 2009. (with Sara Gould, Elon University Honors Fellow; Lorenzo Davis, Elon Academy Beta Class Scholar; and Sandra Flores, Elon Academy Beta Class Scholar)

Collaborating to Replicate a Summer College Access Program. Summer Changes Everything 2009: Johns Hopkins Summer Learning Conference, April 16-17, 2009. (with Tobi Swartz and Darris Means)

University-Based College Access Initiatives: Making a Firm Commitment and Sharing What Works. National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), September 25-27, 2008. (with Jason Klugman, Princeton University Preparatory Program.

The Elon Academy: Education, Leadership, Outreach, Now. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Reinventing Schools: Courageous Leadership for Positive Change, New Orleans, LA, March 15-17, 2008. (with Darris Means and Kim Johnson)

The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) Institutional Leadership Program. Elon University representative at the theme meeting: Student Voice in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Washington, DC, November 8-11, 2006. (with Peter Felten, Ashley Holmes, Stephen Schulman, Katherine Wymer, Lisa Bodine, Julia Roberts, Jessica Waugh, and Kristin Hahn)

Cousin Ella Left Her Pet: Teaching Inquiry-Based Units of Study Through “ScienceQuests. School Science and Math Association Annual Convention, Missoula, Montana, October 26-28, 2006.

Year-Round Education After-School Programs:  Enhancing Students' and Teacher Candidates' Learning.

National Association for Year-Round Education (NAYRE): Creating More Time for Learning (37th Annual National Conference), San Diego, California, February 26-28, 2006. (with Mark Rumley)

Research into Practice: Problem-Based Learning in an Elementary Classroom. Annual Convention, School Science and Mathematics Association, Fort Worth, Texas, November 10-12, 2005. (with Kay Drake)

Preparing Teacher Candidates to Establish Effective Parent-Teacher Partnerships. Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges of Teacher Education (AILACTE) 25th Anniversary: Collaborative and Continued Leadership: Springboard into the Future, Washington DC, February 20, 2005.

Building a Professional Development School from the Ground Up.  2004 Professional Development Schools National Conference: The PDS Initiative: Learning from the Past and Planning for the Future. Orlando, Florida, March 4-7, 2004.

Teacher Educators and Math Faculty Working Together to Build Deep Understanding of Elementary School Mathematics in a Preservice Education Program. Co-presented with Lisa Bueurle, Kay Drake, and Janice Richardson. “Achieve Excellence: Focus on Knowledge, Practice, and Policy,” NCSM 35th Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, April 7-9, 2003.

Supporting High Levels of Reflection Among Teacher Candidates: A Pedagogical Framework.  Outreach Scholarship 2002 Conference: Catalyst for Change, Columbus, Ohio, October 6-8, 2002.

Student Engagement at Elon University. American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) 7th Annual Summer Academy, Mount Snow, Vermont, July 17-21, 2002.

Preparation of Elementary School Mathematics Teachers:  Balancing Content Knowledge and Pedagogy. Seize the Opportunity: Provide the Leadership: National Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), 34th Annual Conference, April 19 –20 –21, 2002.

Collaborative Teaming on Technology Enhanced Problem-Based Learning Curriculum Units. Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), Nashville, TN, March 18-23, 2002.

Enriching the Collegiate Experience Through Learning Communities. Thirteenth International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville, Florida, April 9-13, 2002.

CASTL Reunion, Carnegie Campus Programs, Chicago, March 15 – 17, 2002.

Use of Development Teams in Problem Finding.  Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education: Association for the Advancement of  Computing in Education.  March, 7, 2001. Orlando, Florida: University of Central Florida.

American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).  Making It Their Own:  Preservice Teachers’ Experiences, Beliefs, and Classroom Practices. Chicago, Illinois. February 26-29, 2000.

State Presentations

College Access and Scholarship Programs: Strategies for Supporting Talented and Gifted Students. Call to Action: Raising Expectations and Closing Gaps for All Students, Howard N. Lee Institute for Equity and Opportunity in Education. September 24-26, 2012, Greensboro, NC. (Invited presentation).

Elon Academy: An Interview with William Friday. UNC-TV: North Carolina People. Wednesday, April 25, 2012, Chapel Hill, NC. This interview was originally aired on Friday, May 18 at 9:00 pm and Sunday, May 20 at 5:30 pm on UNC-TV. It is available at

The Elon Academy: A University-Community Partnership to Address College Access and Success. North Carolina Campus Compact Civic Engagement Institute: Anchor Institutions, Elon University, February 8, 2011 (invited presentation with Mr. Darris Means and Dr. Mary Alice Scott)

The Elon Academy: A Four - Phase College Access and Success Program. First Annual North Carolina Colleges and Universities (NCICU)  Independent College Access Network (ICAN) Conference, Elon University, September 22-23, 2010 (Elon Academy was selected as a featured program.)

Building Bridges Together: The Elon Academy College-Access Program. Hispanic Achievement Conference: Crossing Bridges Together. Raleigh, NC, October 17, 2008.

Preparing Teacher Candidates to Deal with the Challenges and Opportunities in Diverse Classrooms. 23rd Annual NC Teacher Education Forum:“Best Practices: What’s Making a Difference? Raleigh, NC September 29-30, 2005. (with Mark Rumley and Carolyn Stuart)

Undergraduate Students as Partners in Inquiry: What Difference Does it Make? Second Annual Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Showcase, Raleigh, NC, September 14-15, 2006. (with Rich Mihans and Peter Felten)

The Evolving Role of Students in SoTL at Elon University. 2nd Annual Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Faire, Cullowhee, North Carolina, February 23, 2006. (with Peter Felten and Glenda Crawford)

Service Activities

Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS) Stakeholders Committee, 2012 - 2013

Council on Civic Engagement, 2006 – present

Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement Advisory Council, 2008-present

Education Minor Committee, 2012

School of Education Diversity Committee, 2012

Collegiate Start @ Elon Committee, 2012

HERPS Local Advisory Board, 2011 - present

School of Education Dean’s Council, 2011

The Diversity and Global Engagement Committee, a subcommittee of the Long-Range Planning Advisory Committee, 2010 –2012

North Carolina Campus Compact Civic Engagement Institute Team Coordinator for Elon University, 2008-2009, 2009-2010

Political Events and Student Protest (PESP) Committee, 2009 – 2010

Martin Luther King Planning Committee, 2009 – 2010

Ad Hoc Committee on Futures Thinking at Elon University, 2007 – 2008

NCATE/SDPI Leadership Team (2004-2006)

Member of the Senior Administrative Staff, 2006 – 2008

Academic Affairs Council, 2006 – 2008

Provost’s Council, 2006 – 2008

Chair, Community at Elon Committee, 2006

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) Leadership Team member - Cluster Group: Students as Scholars of Teaching and Learning, 2006 – 2009

Chair, Department of Education, 2002 – 2006

Elementary Education Program Coordinator, 1998 - 2006

Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) Scholars Program Committee, 2006

Carnegie Committee for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 1999 - 2005                                  Co-chair, 2000 – 2001

Chair, 2001 – 2005

Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) Committee

Office of School Outreach Programs Advisory Committee, 2002 – 2009

Elementary Education Advisory Committee Chair, 2002 – 2006

Education Department Five-Year Plan Committee Chair, 2005 – 2006

Teacher Candidate Induction Ceremony Chair, 2005

EDU 211 Redesign Committee, 2005

Teacher Education Community Partnership Website Committee, 2005 – 2006

Education Search Committee, 2002, Chair, 2004, 2005

Elon College Site Coordinator, Teachers and Technology (T2) Project, 2000 - 2002

NCATE Outcomes Committee, 2000 - 2002

M.Ed. Advisory Committee, 1998 - present

Teacher Education Committee, 1996 - 2006

Co-Chair, Senior Showcase Committee, 1999 – 2002

Chair, Community at Elon Committee, Spring 2001

New Century@Elon Planning Committee, 2000

Academic Council, 1998 - 2000

Ad Hoc and Subcommittees of Academic Council:

Student Instrument, Fall Report , Shared Governance

Faculty Research and Development Committee, 1997 - 1999

Co-Chair, Teaching/Learning Conference Program Committee, 1997-1999

North Carolina Teaching Fellows Advisory Committee, 1997 – 1999

Interdisciplinary Writing Committee, 1997 - 2000

Senior Showcase Selection Committee, 1997 – 1999

Coordinator of Field Experiences, 1996 - 1997


Elon Academy was featured in the President’s Report 2012 at

Elon University Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility, May, 2012

Elon Academy was highlighted in the North Carolina Campus Compact Engagement Matters! video on February 15, 2012.

North Carolina College Personnel Association (NCCPA) Outstanding Service in Support of the Student Affairs Profession Award, November, 2009

President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (Elon University), March, 2009

Washington Center Higher Education Civic Engagement Award (Elon University, October, 2009

American College Personnel Association Social Justice Award for the Elon Academy. April 1, 2008.