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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 is author of the book Europe as a Political Project in the CDU as well as articles on German politics and language pedagogy. Daniel is also a certified translator, with publications including a Holocaust survivor’s memoir, a history of the trombone, and a guide to the German Parliament. He has considerable experience studying and working abroad, including at the Aspen Institute Berlin, the German Parliament, and as USAC faculty in Germany. Daniel is the immediate past president of the Western Regional Honors Council, and its current Secretary-Treasurer. Daniel also coordinates Academic WorldQuest for the Northern Nevada International Center and is a member of the Goethe Institute's German Trainer Network.

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

Terri Thompson, MBA, Administrative Assistant

Terri Thompson

Terri has spent over thirteen years working in higher education, the majority of her experience earned through student services positions held within the Nevada System of Higher Education.  She has a student-centered philosophy and supports students in their achievement and success.  Terri holds two degrees from Hawaii Pacific University, a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  Terri is active in supporting both animal and elder rights and enjoys running, swimming and the outdoors.

Contact Terri at

Karen Pugh, Ed.S., Graduate Assistant

Karen Pugh

Karen Pugh is a doctoral student in the Development, Learning, and Technology program at the University of Nevada Reno, College of Education. After ten years of teaching high school English in Nevada and Arizona, Karen decided it was time to pursue her dream of achieving a Ph.D. in education. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University, a Master in Business Administration from the University of Nevada Reno, a Master of Education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and an Educational Specialist degree from George Washington University. When she isn’t working she spends time with her family and friends in the far away town of Silver Springs.

Contact Karen by email at

Jacqueline Cope, Clerical Assistant

Jacqueline Cope

Jacqueline is a Las Vegas native who has come to prefer the high desert climate of the Biggest Little City. She recently graduated from UNR with a Bachelor of Science in International Business and a minor in Women's Studies. She studied abroad in Bilbao, Spain, spent many hours as a volunteer/organizer for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, and wrote an Honors thesis entitled "Culture, Sexism and Legal Remedies: A Three Country Study of Gender Inequality at the Corporate Level." When she isn't working, she is spending time with her beloved dog, Miren, checking out new restaurants in Midtown, or trying a new recipe she found online.

Jacqueline can be reached at

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