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DBU International Blog

Dr. Fleitas Interview

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Brazil has taken over DBU International's social media for the month of April, and we are beginning a blog series telling our wonderful Brazilian students' and faculty's stories. This week we interviewed Dr. Dionisio Fleitas, the Dean of the College of Natural Science and Mathematics. Dr. Fleitas came to the U.S. from Brazil as an international student and now serves as a DBU professor.

 

When did you come to the U.S.?

“I came from Brazil to the U.S. in 1996. I came as a tourist to visit a missionary who visited our church. I had always wanted to leave Brazil and attend college in an English-speaking country. A month after I visited I returned to be a student at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. I already had a Bachelor’s degree at the time, and I began studying English. I had never heard of DBU at that time. After studying at TWU I attended the University of Texas at Arlington and got my Ph.D. in mathematics. My wife and I were not yet married, and she was still in Brazil. Three years later we got married, and she moved with me to the U.S.”

image1How did you begin working at DBU?

“After I graduated from UTA I started looking for places to work, and I sent an email to the previous math and science Dean with my resume, and she offered me a job as an adjunct professor. I started teaching math classes at DBU in 2005, and a year after that I was hired on full-time. I became the Dean three years ago. My parents are teachers, and when I was in high school I realized I wanted to be a teacher like them, but at the college level. I always liked mathematics, so I decided I wanted to be a math professor. When I was in college getting my undergraduate degree I asked God how I could minister to people through mathematics. I had doubts about whether God could use math to further His kingdom. During this time I heard a preacher preach a message about God wanting to use people from every walk of life, from politicians to preachers to mathematicians. I realized that God wanted me to continue walking the path He had prepared for me, which was to be a math teacher. I did not know at the time that I would come to the U.S. or become a professor at DBU, but now I understand that God was preparing me to be a math professor at a Christian university so I could minister to college students.”

image2 Do you have any advice for International students?

“As a former international student myself, I know that one of the biggest struggles many international students face is homesickness. My advice for international students is to embrace the culture of the country you choose to study in and immerse yourself in the experience. You need to grow roots wherever you are. This is the only way to overcome missing your country or feeling homesick, and by doing this your experience as an international student will be so much more enjoyable and memorable.”

 Thanks, Dr. Fleitas, for sharing your testimony with us and for your passion to serve and teach DBU students. We are so grateful for all the amazing faculty here at DBU and all the work that they do to make sure their students succeed academically and grow spiritually!

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