Brandon went to college in 1997 and never left. His dad became a Christian in college while studying chemistry, and then a campus minister, so campus ministry is in his blood. He has 2 degrees in business from UTD and has worked on the side in business consulting for most of his career. He enjoys reading and racquetball and running, but mostly just spending time with people–especially college students! He has a booming laugh and sometimes gets creepy texts while in the Student Union that say, “I know you’re here somewhere–I heard you laughing.” He recently married Sarah, who leads FOCUS at UT Arlington! Fittingly, he proposed in front of over 600 students.
Mandy graduated from UT Dallas with a Bachelors in Economics and Finance and from Amberton University with a Masters in Human Relations and Business. She was involved in starting FOCUS at UTD while she was a student there. This is where her passion and love for campus ministry began. Mandy married Andrew in 2002 and they both are crazy about their labradors, Harvey and Daisy.
A West Coast transplant, Peter tries his best to pass as a native Texan, including learning to love two-step dancing, country music, and that southern drawl. He enjoys spending time with college students and getting a front-row seat to watching Jesus transform their lives. Since starting full-time campus ministry, Peter has achieved his life goals of home and dog ownership. Now he’s trying to achieve the next milestone: having lots of cute kids. But Mandy insists that he needs to find a suitable wife first.
Sarah was just a small town girl, living in a lonely world. Then she took a 6-hour drive going anywhere (UTD). Now school’s out forever because she graduated with her B.S. in Psychology and Child Learning Development. During her internship, God took her deeper than her feet could ever wander and her faith was made stronger. She’s realized since then through her various life experiences that girls just want to have fun, so she feels called to be a campus missionary at UTD to help them not just keep chasing pavement and shake it off.
Rhett first joined FOCUS as a seventeen-year-old freshman with bad hair at the University of Texas at Dallas. There, he learned what it means to follow Jesus and disciple others. After realizing the heart God had given him for ministry, he decided to pursue the FOCUS Apprenticeship, which landed him in Denton. It was there that he matured, grew his trust in God, and was given free pizza by a homeless man late one night. Now, he’s back at UTD, and he loves getting to be with the new students from his alma mater.
Jesse gave his life to the Lord in 2005. He went to UTD and got his undergraduate degree in 2010 and his masters in 2014. FOCUS was the first college ministry he was apart of, and he caught a vision of wanting to do college ministry the rest of his life. His passion is to raise up laborers for Jesus Christ from the lost at UTD. As his love for the Lord grows, as well as his desire to be used to help others, he hopes he can continue to give away his life for Christ at UTD.
Ashley grew up in Plano, so the idea of attending Collin College with every other local 18-year-old did not seem ideal to her. Little did she know, God had big plans for her at community college. She went on to get her degree in Social Work at the University of North Texas and got to work at a Child Placing Agency. While she still has a vision for serving at-risk populations, she is thrilled to come back to her love of campus ministry. Ashley looks forward to growing and learning this upcoming year and to hopefully beat out Sarah Worsham as the loudest person on staff.
Growing up, members of FOCUS were a big part of Cort’s life. FOCUS students and staff taught his Sunday School classes and volunteered at his camps all the way up until he graduated high school. Cort joined FOCUS at Collin College in the Fall of 2014 and, after 2 years of study at Collin, Cort transferred to The University of Texas at Dallas to complete a Bachelors of Arts in Arts and Technology. Even though his dream is to work in the production of games and cartoons, Cort felt led by God to go back for at least a year and continue doing ministry with FOCUS.
Erin was born and raised in Plano, Texas. She first attended Collin College in 2014 and was initially invited to FOCUS by a good friend. Originally, she was not interested. But, after many invites, she went and hasn’t stopped going since! After a couple great years at Collin College, she moved to Denton and graduated from UNT. She is excited to have a fresh start, help UTD students navigate their faith, and support them through their college years! Erin’s favorite things include bean burritos from Taco Bueno, sparkling water, and doing (poor) impressions of her friends.
Hannah, a native Texan, completed her B.A. in English at Texas Woman’s University in 2019. It was there that she found Christ through college ministry. After going to her first core at the beginning of her freshman year, she knew she had found a home with FOCUS. Since then, her relationship with the Lord has blossomed and continues to grow. She decided to apply for the apprenticeship with FOCUS, knowing that she wanted to spread the amazing news of Jesus and love other students the way she had been loved throughout her years in college. Although she has no human children, Hannah considers herself a mother to her two-year-old lab mix named Holly. She loves reading, listening to musicals, crocheting, and taking her beloved pup out on walks.
Maria graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a Bachelors of General Studies in Nursing and Business Administration. She has been involved in FOCUS since 2011 while attending Collin College, UT Dallas, and finally TWU. FOCUS helped her become a more mature disciple, and now she is excited be an apprentice at UT Dallas and help others do the same! She loves listening to anything from classical to rap, reading silently, having long conversations, repurposing candles, senior dogs, and anything dark chocolate!
Kylie Von Runnen
Kylie graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas (Whoosh) in 2019, with a B.S. in Business Administration. She previously attended Collin College (Go Cougs) for her freshman and sophomore year, where she was introduced to FOCUS. This ministry made a profound impact, not only on her experience in college, but on her life as a disciple. Kylie is excited for the opportunity to be an apprentice at UTD and give back to the campus community the way FOCUS gave to her. Some of Kylie’s other interests include singing, reading, dancing, Disney, and cats.
Hanna graduated from UNT with a Bachelors in Special Education. She served with FOCUS at Collin College, the University of North Texas, and the University of Texas at Dallas. Hanna has served in teen ministry for the last two years, and is eager to experience working with college students who act like teenagers.