Débora da Silva Oliveira

A Teacher Expanding Her Options

Antioch University Seattle Masters in Education graduate student Débora da Silva Oliveira has grown up immersed in learning. In her words, “I was basically born in a classroom!” As a passionate teacher, enthusiastic learner, and globally-minded citizen of the world, da Silva Oliveira is a perfect fit for our School of Education.

An international student originally from Brazil’s capital city of Brasilia, da Silva Oliveira started taking English language classes at the age of 10. By the time she started college in her late teens she was also qualified to teach English language classes. For that reason, she taught classes at the University of Brasilia (UnB) while earning her Bachelor’s degree in their Department of Linguistics, where she majored in teaching Brazilian Portuguese as a Second Language.

As an undergraduate student, da Silva Oliveira also worked with AIESEC, a not-for-profit, global organization founded after World War II to build cross-cultural understanding across nations and develop leadership skills for students and recent graduates under age 30. Through AIESEC, da Silva Oliveira housed many exchange students in her family home, with her parents and siblings, welcoming them into Brazilian life with open arms and compassion. Many of these students have grown to become lifelong family friends who accomplish great things. For example, one exchange student da Silva Oliveira opened her home to has gone on to become a cardiologist in Canada, and he continues to call da Silva Oliveira’s mother “mom”.

Antioch University Seattle came into da Silva Oliveira’s life shortly after she graduated from college. Her passion for linguistics and learning meant that she wanted to live somewhere that English was commonly spoken, and she wanted to earn a graduate degree. Although she considered earning a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Washington, meeting with Antioch University staff and learning about our mission of social justice inspired her to come to AUS instead. Here, at Antioch University Seattle, da Silva Oliveira feels at home, surrounded by classmates and faculty who share her love of learning, and ideals of spreading inspiration and knowledge through person-to-person, heart-to-heart learning experiences. In her words, “I feel really inspired by my friends, by my cohort friends.”

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