Meet the Dean: Debra Sequeira

Meet the Dean, Debra
Within the College of Arts and Sciences, I serve as dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities — comprising the departments of Art, Communication and Journalism, English, History, Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, Music, Theatre, and Philosophy. This also includes master’s programs in Creative Writing (MFA) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA-TESOL).

What can you expect from our courses? Christ-centered teaching and high-quality interactions with faculty; academic challenge and rigorous expectations; collaborative learning projects; and higher-order integrative and reflective learning.

You can expect to enter new worlds, ancient and modern, Western and non-Western, familiar and unfamiliar.

You can expect to learn to read deeply, appreciate beauty, grasp observational methods, become informed citizens, understand our interconnectedness with others interpersonally and globally, articulate opposing viewpoints, and speak and write with clarity and conviction.

But on an even deeper level, expect to be transformed in a countercultural fashion: other-directed rather than self-absorbed; embracing mystery, not just storing up facts; remaining open, not defensive; contemplative, quiet, prayerful, and resisting the temptation to fill all spaces and silences of life with sound and the latest time-saving or entertaining gadget.

And in the words of a Franciscan prayer, you can expect to be blessed:

  • With discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within your heart.
  • With anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
  • With tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy.
  • With enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.


Debra Sequeira
Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities
College of Arts and Sciences

Debra Sequeira

About Dean Debra Sequeira

Dr. Debra Sequeira is professor of Communication and dean of Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). She holds a PhD from the University of Washington, and an MA and BA from San Francisco State University.

Her teaching and research have been in culture and language studies, particularly the ethnography of communication. Her articles and book chapters investigate a wide range of linguistic communities, their rituals, and their cultural myths.

Dr. Sequeira’s passions include the mystery and beauty of Christian liturgy, racial reconciliation, and gender communication.