Deb Talley ('08) | Teacher Education

deb talley

Biology education major
from Mombasa, Kenya

Deb Talley wanted to jump outside her comfort zone. She wanted to be stretched. She wanted to grow.

She found the opportunity to do it all at ACU. Deb wasn't sure the university in Abilene, Texas — far from her home in Mombasa, Kenya — would be the place to meet all those needs. Most of the other children of missionaries she knew attended Harding University in Arkansas. Nothing wrong with that, but Deb was afraid that if she followed their path, she might never get outside the comfort zone that friends provide. She wouldn't stretch. She wouldn't grow.

It's been such a blessing to have had such good teachers that, whether they know it or not, have served as perfect role models for me as both a teacher and a follower of Christ.

So, it was off to ACU, where an older sister attended. "ACU ended up being exactly what I was looking for," she said.

Deb suspects that a lot of prospective students may fear that ACU is "just a little Christian bubble in the middle of Texas that won’t realistically prepare students for the outside world."

She's ready to tell the world that nothing could be farther from the truth. "ACU is engaged with its surrounding community and the rest of the world at the same time," Deb observed. ACU sends students around the world and also attracts students globally, bringing variety — the spice of life — to campus.

If Deb ever had any second thoughts about coming to ACU, she forgot them as soon as she stepped foot into the biology lab. "I'll never forget the feeling I got," she said. "It was that rare, 'This is where I'm supposed to be' feeling."

With her aptitude for biology and love of missions, Deb assumed she would someday return to Africa as a medical missionary. But an elderly Kenya man changed her mind with his observations:  "The one thing our country needs is education," he said. "We need to learn how to help ourselves instead of relying on the help of others."

Deb knew then that she wanted to a part of the process of building an educational foundation in Kenya. Eventually, she will return there to do just that.

But after graduating next May, she plans to teach high school biology in Abilene a few years to gain experience and then return to Kenya. She doesn't foresee any problem getting a job locally and then taking her ACU education to Africa. "I am confident that ACU has equipped me with all the right tools when it comes time for searching for a job," she said.

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Serving Local Schools
Reagan-Elementary
ACU Teacher Education majors get hands-on with students at a local elementary school.