Making a career of communicating excellence

Debra SequeiraIn 1978, a year after Seattle Pacific traded the moniker “College” for “University,” DEBRA SEQUEIRA, a young instructor of communication from the San Francisco Bay area, joined the faculty.

By the time she retired in June 2020, Sequeira had taught thousands of students, mentored female Ames Scholarship recipients, and shouldered three administrative
roles — including dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Debra showed us every day how to put our students and colleagues first — not the meetings or the research,” said Peg Achterman, associate professor of journalism
and communication.

Sequeira’s academic research touched on everything from the verbal shorthand of truck drivers to speaking in tongues in Christian communities. Her decades with SPU was interrupted only by a five-year stint at the University of Washington where she was director of the International Teaching Assistant Program.

Even in retirement, Sequeira will maintain close ties to the campus. Dave Church, assistant vice president for facility management, asked Sequeira to represent the Queen Anne neighborhood and SPU as a member of the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s Citizen Advisory Committee. Her extensive knowledge of the SPU community, and being a Queen Anne Hill resident, make her an invaluable faculty liaison for long-term planning.

Sequeira is also looking forward to life’s new tempo, traveling with her husband and visiting family, including three young grandsons.

“I plan to keep doing much of what I already do intellectually and spiritually, but at my own pace,” Sequeira said.

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