Debra (Deb) Wilcox Ludwig attended Iowa Wesleyan from 1981-1985. In her time at Iowa Wesleyan, she was involved in A Capella, Chamber Choir, Tour Choir, the wind ensemble, the Southeast Iowa Symphony, Delta Omicron, Blue Key, and Alpha Xi Delta. Her studies earned her a BA in Music Education in 1985. She later attended Colby Community College to earn her Associate Degree in Nursing.
When asked about a favorite memory from her time at Iowa Wesleyan, she didn’t have any specific memory come to mind. However, “there were so many that mainly focused on meeting new people, enjoying our times together, and supporting each other during the sad times. Tour choir and Alpha Xi Delta membership are two particularly fond college activities.”
She cited former Dean, Carol Nemitz as someone who actively supported her in her time at Iowa Wesleyan. “She was always there for us, was such an inspiring and intelligent leader, and devoted her life to IWC. I loved her dry sense of humor.”
For the first twenty years after graduating from Iowa Wesleyan, Deb was a music teacher as well as a volleyball and track coach at three different public schools in Iowa and Colorado. She has directed and played in bell choirs and community bands, played piano in various churches, and taught many years of private piano lessons. In 2005 Deb retired from teaching and began the nursing program at Colby Community College in Colby, Kansas. In 2006 she started her career with Core Civic as a correctional nurse. She said, “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would fall in love with working in all-male correctional facilities, but I just completed my 14th year with the company.”
Outside of her career, Deb has also been a member of the AX Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood in Burlington, Colorado, since 1998. She has served as a local officer, a state committee member, and a state delegate.
The pieces of advice Deb has to offer to young alumni, and current students are as follows, “Don’t be in a hurry to settle down and get serious about life. Enjoy your youth and see what is out there in the world. Don’t waste your time on things that don’t mean much to you. Recognize your strengths and find ways to inspire others. Go with your gut. Don’t force life. If something comes easily to you, trust that God is sending you in that direction for a reason.”
Deb and her husband currently reside in Colorado with their pets and continue to foster and place other animals in their forever homes.