Profiles

Dr. Debra Sowell

Dr. Debra Sowell

Professor of Computing and Mathematics

Dr. Debra Sowell is currently a tenured professor in the Department of Computing and Mathematics at Oral Roberts University.  She began her career at ORU in 1976 as an adjunct instructor of Mathematics.  She has served in many capacities at the University, including tenured professor, Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of Instruction.  She also served as Chief Academic Officer in the roles of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Acting Provost from 2008-2013. 

Dr. Sowell received her Ph.D. in Applied Behavioral Studies, with an emphasis in Statistics, at Oklahoma State University.  Her master’s and bachelor’s degrees are in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska and the University of South Dakota, respectively.  She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, Alpha Lambda Delta, Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha, Kappa Mu Epsilon, and Pi Mu Epsilon.

Dr. Sowell is the author of several juried articles as well as four statistics textbooks through the national publishing house, Brooks Cole, now Cengage Publishing.  She is recognized on numerous Who’s Who lists, and has been inducted into the Oklahoma Science and Engineering Fair Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame at her high school in Aberdeen, S.D. 

Speech and debate played integral roles in shaping her life.  She attended the University of South Dakota on a debate scholarship and was a member of the varsity team for two years.  While in high school, she was a member of the 1965 South Dakota State Championship debate squad and competed in the NFL national tournament.  In 1967 she was her state’s Women’s State Extemporaneous Speaker Champion and placed 13th in the NFL national tournament. 

Dr. Sowell is married to Russ Sowell, Professor of Computing at Tulsa Community College.  They enjoy traveling and visiting cultural centers that exhibit the wonder of God’s creation. Daughter, Elizabeth Whitehead, lives with her husband Rick Whitehead and their two beautiful  daughters Isabelle Grace and Samantha Rhyan in The Woodlands, Texas.

She believes that God has given each of us talents and always strives to use hers for His glory.


Ph.D., Oklahoma State University 
M.A.T., University of Nebraska
B.A., University of South Dakota

Curriculum Vita