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Faculty and Staff

Tamara Valentine, Ph.D., Director

Dr. Valentine

Tamara 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. Villanueva

Daniel credits his Honors experience at American University, where he majored 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 was a professor, Honors College faculty, and SAGE Academy Director at UNLV prior to joining UNR Honors. Author of the book Europe as a Political Project in the CDU as well as articles on German politics and language pedagogy, Daniel has also translated a Holocaust survivor’s memoir, history of the trombone, and guide to the German Parliament. He studied and held internships in various cities in German-speaking Europe for over a decade, worked at the Aspen Institute Berlin and as USAC visiting professor in Germany. He is excited to help students get the most out of Honors, particularly via postgraduate and international scholarships. A member of the Goethe Institute's German Trainer Network, Daniel is also the 2015-2016 Western Regional Honors Council President, and coordinates Academic WorldQuest for the Northern Nevada International Center.

For more information about Dr. Villanueva, please visit his web page. Please also contact him at with any Honors questions!

Kety Luna, Academic Advisor

Kety Luna

Kety graduated from Smith Valley High School where she proudly represented her school for four years on the varsity track and field team. She attended Truckee Meadows Community college where she earned her Associates degree. 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 received her bachelors in Secondary Education and her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership—Higher Education Administration Emphasis from the University of Nevada, Reno. Kety enjoys running and hiking.

Kety can be contacted at

Erin Edgington, Ph.D., Graduate Assistant

Erin Edgington

Erin graduated summa cum laude from the Honors Program at the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s degree in French Language and Literature and Sociology in 2008. Since then, she has taught French both at Indiana University, where she also earned master’s and doctoral degrees in French Literature, and Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. A specialist of nineteenth-century French literature and art, she is the author of articles on the works of Stéphane Mallarmé, Théophile Gautier, and Octave Uzanne as well as on language pedagogy. She is currently pursuing a second Master’s degree in the College of Education at UNR. Delighted to be back in her native Nevada and studying at her alma mater, Erin looks forward to helping the next generation of Honors students make the most of their university experience.


Contact Erin by email at

N.N., Administrative Assistant

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