Debra has a Master's degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in Race, Gender, Culture and Religion. She has taken credits towards advanced degrees at Indiana University and University of Maryland. She has been at the University of Florida 21 years and has served as Director of International Student Services for 18 years. She is involved in cross-campus research projects with numerous units on campus and has a number of publications and presentations as well as co-author of a book chapter.
She enjoys her children and grandchildren, interacting with and helping the international community, reading, sport and travel.