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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

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

Dr. VillanuevaDaniel credits his undergraduate Honors experience at American University 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 also taught USAC classes in Germany. 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

Kety Luna, Graduate Assistant

Kety LunaKety graduated from Smith Valley High School where she proudly represented her school for four years on the varsity track and field team. As an undergraduate she attended Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2011 she was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and presented a research project entitled Exploration of the Experiences of Latino/a Students as they Transfer from a Community College to a University at the McNair Research Symposium in Berkeley, California. She completed her bachelor’s degree in secondary education in May 2012. Kety is in her second year of graduate studies in Educational Leadership at the University of Nevada, Reno and enjoys running, hiking, and cross-fit training.

If you have any questions about the Honors Program at the University of Nevada, Reno, contact Kety at

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 her at

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University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno
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Reno,  NV  89557-

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