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Deborah Tummala Interview

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This week I had the chance to sit down with Deborah Tummala, DBU International’s Housing Coordinator, and talk to her about her role in the lives of DBU International students.

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How did you get to DBU?

“I came in as an international student. I Googled universities in the U.S., and DBU came up. My parents had many concerns about my going literally to the opposite side of the world for college. They wanted me to go to a Christian university because they wanted Christian values and beliefs to be embodied in the environment that I lived in. I have relatives in the U.S., and one of my criteria that I had when I was searching for a college was that I wanted to be independent. I did not have any family in Texas, so I began looking at colleges there. One of the things that stood out to my family about DBU was the school verse, Jeremiah 29:11, which says, ‘I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.’ That was the scripture that my parents received on the day of the wedding as a promise to the beginning of their family. This was a very quick connection that made us begin considering DBU. We prayed about it and had peace that this was where the Lord was leading me.”

What do you do at DBU?IMG 9989 1

“My official title is International Housing Coordinator and Recruitment Specialist, which means that I take care of housing services for all international students, both on campus and off. I work with several other departments, including apartment life, residence life, health services, meal services, and security, to make sure each international student finds the best place for them to live. I also lead recruitment efforts in the South Asia Region, which is mainly the Indian market right now. I take recruitment trips twice a year to India and other parts of South Asia. I am also the resident director for Westchester. When I originally came to DBU I was not planning on staying after I finished college, but God opened up many doors when I arrived and allowed me to be a student leader. I am very thankful for these opportunities and that He has allowed me to stay and continue working at DBU.”

Why do you do what you do?

“I came here in the spring semester, and in the spring semester we have International week. One of the events that happens during International week is International chapel. My first semester here my boss, Mrs. Brown, who is now my mentor, encouraged me to speak at International chapel and share my testimony. I was so nervous because I was brand new to DBU, but I agreed to speak at chapel, and after this Dr. Cook came up to me and thanked me for sharing my testimony, and then he asked me to share with him about what I wanted to do with my life. I shared with him that I wanted to work in a non-profit organization on the business management side of things. He told me about a new dual degree program that DBU had just begun that combined Christian education and business, and encouraged me to consider majoring in this. I eventually enrolled in that program, and even though it was not what I had originally intended to major in, the program and the classes were exactly what I needed to equip and prepare me for the callings God has placed on my life.

IMG 9996As I got closer to graduating I started looking for jobs, and my boss asked me to continue working at DBU part time. Eventually Dr. Cook offered me a full-time job. DBU was like my home away from home, so I immediately accepted the job. I have always loved working here, and this was a great opportunity to live out my calling since it is both ministerial and administrative. This has been a perfect fit for me, and now that I look back on how everything came together for me to be here today, it is amazing to see how God worked out every detail and revealed His plan for my life to me.”

Do you have any advice for International students coming to DBU for the first time?

“Find a mentor. You will be so busy when you arrive, and there is so much going on, from learning a new culture to becoming comfortable speaking a different language, and having a mentor and a good group of friends who sharpen you and invest in your life is so important. This is how we live out the Gospel. Also, be involved. If you are not being open, social, and connected to others, you are not going to enjoy your time at DBU, and you are robbing others of what you have to offer.”


Thank you, Deborah, for sharing your story and your heart for DBU students with us! We appreciate everything you do for DBU International.

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International Admissions
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