Faculty Profile

Debra Sequeira

Debra Sequeira

Professor Emerita of Communication

Email: sequeira@spu.edu

Debra Sequeira was both professor of Communication and dean of Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). She was at SPU from 1978 to 1985 and from 1990 to 2020, serving as chair of the Department of Communication and Journalism, chair of the Faculty Status Committee, associate dean of CAS, and interim dean of CAS. She became a professor emerita of communication in 2020.

Prior to returning to SPU in 1990, she was the director of the International Teaching Assistant Program at the Center for Instructional Development and Research at the University of Washington, working with international graduate students and their departments in improving undergraduate teaching effectiveness.

Dr. Sequeira’s teaching and research preparation focused on culture and language studies, particularly in the ethnography of communication. Her articles and book chapters investigated a wide range of linguistic communities, from talk and cultural identity among interstate truckers, to studying gifts of tongues and healing rituals in religious communities. She has published in Text and Performance Quarterly, Research on Language and Social Interaction, Communication Studies, and Research in Christian Higher Education, and has also contributed book chapters in interpersonal communication, family communication, cultural communication, and spiritual/religious communication.

Dr. Sequeira’s passions include the mystery and beauty of Christian liturgy, racial reconciliation, and gender communication. Recent lectures and presentations in Washington, Oregon, California, and New York include gender communication in the workplace, recognizing and addressing unconscious bias, women’s use of personal narratives, cultural competency and racial reconciliation, and use of voice and movement and liturgical presence.

Dr. Sequeira is a member of the National Communication Association and the Religious Communication Association, and is active in the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education.

Selected Publications

  • Kelley, D.L. and Sequeira, D-L. (2011). “The born (again) identity: Managing change associated with religious conversion” In D.O. Braithwaite and J.T. Wood (eds.), Casing interpersonal communication: Case studies in personal and social relationships, 33–39). Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.
  • Wulff, D.H., Hess, C.W. and Sequeira, D-L (2005). “Applying alignment in the faculty reward system.” In D.H. Wulff, et al (eds.), Aligning for learning: Strategies for teaching effectiveness, 206–22). Anker Publishing.
  • Sequeira, D-L and Anderson, T.J. (2003). “The chicken haulers and the high liners: CB talk among interstate truckers.” In M. Fong and R. Chuang (Eds.), Communicating ethnic and cultural identity. (pp. 199-214). Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Sequeira, D-L., Abbott, M., Trzyna, T., and D. McHenry. (1995). “The kingdom has not yet come: Coping with microinequities within a Christian university.” Research in Christian Higher Education. Vol. 2, 1–35.
  • Sequeira, D-L. (1994). “Gifts of tongues and healing: The performance of charismatic renewal.” Text and Performance Quarterly. Vol. 14, 126–43.
  • Sequeira, D-L (1993). “Personal address as negotiated meaning in an American church community.” Research on Language and Social Interaction. Vol. 26, #3, 259–85.