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Faculty and Staff

Tamara Valentine, Ph.D., Director

Dr. ValentineTamara Valentine is the Director of the Honors Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. Prior to coming to the West, Valentine directed the Honors Program and taught linguistics at the University of South Carolina Upstate.  She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign studying the relationship between language and gender in South Asia.  A sociolinguist, Valentine has published articles and presented papers on topics related to English as an International Language, South Asian languages and linguistics, discourse analysis, language and gender, and cross-cultural communication.  Her book Language and Prejudice (Longman, 2004) is a collection of works addressing issues related to the power of language.  She has been awarded a number of grants to conduct fieldwork in India, has held a series of lectureships in Lithuania, and has traveled through South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe.

If you have any questions about the Honors Program at the University of Nevada, Reno, contact her at tvalenti@unr.edu

Daniel C. Villanueva, Ph.D., Assistant Director

Dr. VillanuevaDaniel credits his undergraduate Honors experience at American University, where he was a triple major in International Relations, German, and Western European Studies, with inspiring him to become an educator. He holds a Ph.D. in German Studies from Duke University and for over a decade was a professor, Honors College faculty member and director of the SAGE Academy at UNLV. Author of Europe as a Political Project in the CDU (2009) as well as articles on German politics and culture, Daniel has also translated works including a Holocaust survivor’s memoir, history of the trombone and a guide to the German Bundestag (Parliament). He has studied and interned abroad, worked at the Aspen Institute Berlin and was also twice a visiting professor in Germany with USAC. He is excited to help students get the most out of Honors, particularly via postgraduate and international scholarships. Daniel enjoys soccer, film and music and when off campus you can probably find him in a coffeehouse.

If you have any questions about the Honors Program at the University of Nevada, Reno, please contact him at danielv@unr.edu.

Mason Hayes, Graduate Assistant

Mason HayesMason Hayes was born and raised in Los Angeles. She received her BA in English with an option in Creative Writing and a minor in Philosophy at Oklahoma State University and studied abroad at Roehampton University in England. She is currently a graduate student in the Philosophy Department's Ethics, Law, and Politics program at UNR. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in a number of literary journals, and she enjoyes distance running and traveling in her free time.  

Mason can be contacted at  mhayes@nevada.unr.edu.

Matthew Pagni, Graduate Assistant

Matthew PagniA fourth-generation Nevadan, I graduated from Bishop Manogue Catholic High School in 2005, where I played baseball and participated in student government. I went on to play baseball at Feather River College in Quincy, CA, where I earned my Associates Degree in 2007. I transferred to UNR and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. After a brief stint in law school in 2012, I moved to Sitka, Alaska where I worked as a paraprofessional in the elementary schools special education department. I am currently in my first year of graduate studies in secondary education at UNR and enjoy traveling with my wife, playing softball, and drawing. 

Matthew can be contacted at pagnim@nevada.unr.edu.

Becky Amezquita, Administrative Assistant III

staff photoMy name is Becky Amezquita. I began working for the State of Nevada in 1994. My first job was with State Industrial Insurance Company. In 1994, I transferred to Truckee Meadows Community College and worked in the Counseling and Testing office. In January of 2004 I transferred to the University of Nevada Reno to take a position in the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies office, and then in August 2005 I took the position in the Honors Program. This position was a promotion for me so I just could not pass up this opportunity. I moved here from San Jose, California in 1974, and joined the Nevada Air National Guard. I spent twenty-five and a half years in the Guard and have been retired from the Guard for almost six years. My favorite pastime is playing softball. I also enjoy camping, hiking, and bike riding.

If you have any questions about the Honors Program at the University of Nevada, Reno, contact Becky at raa@unr.edu

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University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno
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