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 labrador Harvey.
Peter actually came to UTD from the rainy side of Washington State, but his family soon moved to California, which he now calls home since it’s a better fit for his sunny personality. Peter has served as a worship pastor in various communities for eight years, and as a Corefa for three. Peter may be known as the “jumping worship pastor,” but hopes his love for Jesus can be seen even more clearly through his actions off the stage. His dream is to own a dog, but he needs some residential stability before that can be achieved.
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Sirak lived in Canada until 2000, when he moved to the United States. The son of Ethiopian immigrants, his life has been anything but ordinary. Upon arriving at Collin College to study Nursing, the Lord introduced him to FOCUS and changed his life forever. Through authentic community, he gained a vision for what a campus could look like when the students make Jesus Lord of their lives. He earned two degrees in Sociology and immediately joined the FOCUS staff. He also teaches sociology as an adjunct professor at Richland College.
Despite attempts to hide his native accent, Laurence is actually British. After moving with his family to DFW at age 10, he attended UNT and graduated with a BBA in Business. Laurence played the role of resident nerd and board gamer while on staff at UTD for 5 years, before leading our team at SMU. When not talking about C. S. Lewis, Laurence is passionate about investing in students and equipping them to be outward focused. He is married to Sarah and they have a dog baby named Goliath.
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.
When Sandra’s not busy letting every girl in FOCUS borrow her clothes, she can be found watching CNN or mourning the death of Bruiser Woods. Sandra graduated from UNT with a degree in Integrative Studies, concentrating in Journalism, Spanish, and Sociology. Sandra loved being involved in FOCUS as a student because it was through this ministry she was introduced to Jesus. Different people in her life encouraged and challenged her to do the apprenticeship last year, so she trusted God when he called her to join the Dallas staff. She is so excited for what God has in store in the coming years!
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.
Abigail (better known as Abbie with an -ie), grew up in the DFW area with her seven siblings and parents who introduced a love of God to her from a young age. She came to UTD intending to become an electrical engineer, but God quickly showed that He had other ideas. Sophomore year, she decided to do the apprenticeship and has been looking forward to it ever since. When she’s not hanging out with wonderful girlfriends, she can be found at a sewing machine, organizing a social event, at the movie theater or on the nearest available dance floor. She could not be more excited to join the UTD staff this upcoming year!
Amber started off her college experience spending most of her day locked in a study room, convincing herself that straight-A’s were the way to salvation. It wasn’t until her junior year in nursing school, when she got her first B (and maybe cried), that she found FOCUS and realized God had so much more in store for her than a perfect report card. Blown away by what God was doing through FOCUS on other campuses and how it had changed her heart, she decided to start FOCUS at TWU Dallas. After graduation, she decided to continue to serve as a corefa while working as a nurse. This year she will be taking her ministry a step deeper, participating in the FOCUS Apprenticeship and continuing ministry on the TWU Dallas campus.
Emily is a recent graduate of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Her sociology and English degrees mean that she enjoys people and likes to read. Her two loves collide in campus ministry because everyone has a story. When not talking about Jesus, Emily enjoys naps, Chick-fil-A and watching cooking videos on Pinterest even though she never cooks. Emily probably forgot to feed her fish, Oscar, so remind her if you see her today.
Darby is a recent graduate from UT Dallas and has a degree in Arts and Technology–which just means she’s basically a renaissance (wo)man. She is married to Drew and would like everyone to know that she is from San Antonio, not Austin. When she is not drinking coffee, talking about cats or taking pictures, you can find her spending time with people. She joined FOCUS after having it thrust upon her by her mom and has fallen in love with God’s community there ever since.
Born and raised in Austin, Drew came to Dallas to get a degree in Arts and Technology from UTD. He got involved with FOCUS as a freshman and spent years being known as “Darby’s boyfriend,” but is now proud to go by the title of “Darby’s husband.” During his time in college, God really changed Drew’s heart and he caught a vision for what campus ministry can do in people’s lives. So now he can be found meeting up with students and helping them learn more about Jesus, while on the side trying to hide the fact that he is actually a child trapped in a mans body who just wants to eat chicken nuggets and go to recess.