Debra Eckerman Pitton was born and raised in Mason City, Iowa. A backpacking trip to California in high school and a European choir tour with Loras College sparked her interest in travel. After teaching in English, speech, and theater at the middle and high school levels, she completed her Ph.D. and joined the Education Department at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Debra has written and published numerous academic texts and articles related to teaching and mentoring. An advocate for both global and service-learning, she combined these interests to develop and teach international travel courses. During these international experiences, students teach English or work in other ways to support local communities. Debra currently lives in Bloomington, Minnesota, with her husband Jon. They have three married children and a wonderful granddaughter. The entire family enjoys traveling and exploring new places.

She is the author of several books:

Supporting Teacher Development: New Skills for Principals in Supervision and Evaluation Kindle Edition Developing Preservice Problem-Solving Skills through Case Studies Kindle Edition  Mentoring Novice Teachers: Fostering a Dialogue Process Kindle Edition  Stories of Student Teaching: A Case Approach to the Student Teaching Experience Paperback

No One Left Behind, Deb Pitton’s personal account of what was to become a legendary study abroad trip is filled with humor and honesty. She spares no detail when it comes to describing the rewards and challenges of traveling with a group of college students who are seeing (most of them for the first time) a less privileged side of life. Those revelations, which are often noticed and appreciated by Pitton as she describes an event or interaction, form one of the recurring themes of the book. Another emergent theme has to do with the power of nature and how it can disrupt one’s best laid plans; readers who remember the news stories about the Gustavus Professors and students stranded in the mountains of Peru will perhaps share my amazement as the extent of the ordeal is unveiled. Deb does a wonderful job of detailing the many ways she and her co-leader, Mary Solberg, had to improvise, consult, and make immediate–sometimes scary–decisions. Anyone considering leading a group on a study-abroad trip would do well to read No One Left Behind, but perhaps–as the title suggests–the most important idea we are left with is that we all need to look out for each other and stick together–a goal that seems particularly relevant to the times.
–Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota Poet Laureate