Lorraine T. Benuto
I attended college at a small, liberal arts university that was heavily focused on social justice. My college experiences (and inspiring mentors) led me to pursue a career in clinical psychology and so I attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where I earned my doctoral degree and I completed a clinical internship at the Veteran's Administration in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I then spent several years working on grants that allowed underserved populations to access behavioral health services. In 2016 I joined the faculty in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Nevada, Reno as an Assistant Professor.
I founded the DICE Center where I conduct research on the dissemination and implementation of culturally sensitive, evidence-based psychological services (with an emphasis on establishing internal barriers to behavioral health services and developing a mechanism to address these). I am also the director and founder of La Clinica VIVA, a specialized clinic where survivors of interpersonal violence can receive culturally sensitive, behavioral health services.
Guadalupe Del Castillo
I was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico. My dad crossed the border in 1985 and in 1986, my mother, brother and sister and myself followed him searching for a better life. My dad came to the USA in search for a job, we followed him shortly after. I am from Mexico, and I love my roots but my home was California and now, Nevada. I am proud of everything my parents have done to get us where we are today. And I am extremely proud to be called an American Citizen and to give back to the country that gave us an opportunity to succeed. I am a Mexican woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and an ally!
I got my Bachelor's degree in Business Marketing from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA. I am also part of a sorority called Alpha Pi Sigma Inc. I graduated from college and got offered a job as a case manager at a nonprofit institution that worked with disconnected youth. This job helped me discover that promoting higher education was my career path. Helping students accomplish their educational goals brought a warm feeling inside and a sense of satisfaction that I was giving back to my community. Then I got a job at Universal Technical Institute as a Student Services Coordinator, I then got promoted to Registrars and Records Coordinator. Eventually I got married and moved to Reno and got a job at the University of Nevada, Reno as the Support Operations Coordinator and recently got promoted to Housing Operations Manager.
Senior Enterprise Data Architect
Office of Information Technology
Languages: Spanish, English (fluent).
I was born in Puerto Rico (cue Paul Simon's song) and left the island in order to pursue an advanced degree in the U.S. I graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon, with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science. I have a Master's Degree in Computer Science from Indiana University, Bloomington, where I also met my husband. I am the oldest of four siblings and thoroughly enjoy our family gatherings, which are always filled with music and laughter. My favorite vacation is spending time at the beach, swimming, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking in warm, crystal clear, ocean waters. My hobbies are yoga, hiking, listening to live music and dancing.
I have worked at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1996, in different technology roles related to software applications and databases. Prior to that, I worked at the Desert Research Institute and at Indiana University.
Maria Clara Duque-Rueda
Library Operations Manager and Outreach Coordinator
DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library, Libraries
Languages: Spanish, English (fluent). Italian, Portuguese (reading).
I was born and raised in Bogotá D.C., Colombia. My mother became a widow shortly before I turned 3, she raised my four brothers and me by herself. I completed my International Trade studies as a full-time student while I was working also full-time. After working in cultural institutions for several years, I taught ESL for local schools and corporations. When I became a widow myself, I made the move to USA with my three children and settled in Las Vegas, three years ago I moved to Reno to join the University of Nevada, Reno.
I have been in the librarianship profession for more than 25 years now. I started in the Luis Angel Arango Library in Bogotá, Colombia, where I also worked a little more than 17 years in other cultural areas including the Gold Museum and the Cultural Division, as they all were part of the central bank Banco de la República. When I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada 15 years ago, I joined the Las Vegas Clark County Library District. To further develop my library skills, I completed the online program of Library and Information Technology with the Central Carolina CC, NC, and became the first and only Library Support Staff Certified in Nevada by ALA/APA. I am the 2017-2020 S.E.C. representative for Libraries, and participate in the Diversity Council, part of the University of Nevada, Reno Diversity Initiatives.
I am a daughter of Salvadoran immigrants. Born in California, I grew up in Pico-Union, a predominantly Central American neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles. I studied English, Philosophy/Law and Society, and Spanish at U.C. Riverside, before obtaining a doctorate in English from U.C.L.A. I then spent three years in the heart of Manhattan as a postdoctoral fellow in human rights at N.Y.U.
In 2018, I arrived at the University of Nevada, Reno, where I currently hold a joint position in the English Department and the Gender, Race and Identity Program. My research focuses on Latinx and Latin American narratives that shed an ethical light on human rights regimes and imagine otherwise in the new millennium. I decided to become an academic because I experienced firsthand how education can empower and emancipate. I want to play a part in enabling the dreams of my students.
Languages: Fluent in English. Proficient in Greek and Hebrew.
I was born in central California, a fourth and fifth generation Mexican-American. I grew up with my three siblings in a small farming community, approximately 60% of the population being Hispanic. Since high school, my parents have divorced and remarried, so now I have four additional siblings. I am a first-generation college student. I attended the University of California, Los Angeles where I earned my B.A. in English. I also attended the Dallas Theological Seminary and earned my Masters of Theology (Th.M.) with a focus in Systematic Theology and Christian Education. After Dallas, my husband, Joe, and I moved to Bakersfield, CA, then to Reno to work at the University. We have a three year old son named Cruz.
I held internships at a church in Dallas for their Ministry to Women, and worked at a private post-secondary school in Admissions after leaving the seminary. Then I went to California State University, Bakersfield and worked in Financial Aid. Since moving to Reno, I now do administrative work for President Johnson and Government Relations. And I also do administrative work and assist in coordinating our various events and trainings for Diversity Initiatives.
Robert was born and raised in San José, CA and is a proud first-generation college student. He received his A.A. degree in General Education before transferring to San José State University where he received his B.A. and M.A. in Communication Studies with a focus on critical communication pedagogy, feminist rhetoric, and queer performance studies. Later, he received his Ph.D. in Culture and Communication from the University of Denver. Throughout the process, Robert relied on the mentoring and guidance of women and women of color to navigate the multiple systems that placed hurdles in front of him. It is because of these experiences that I love to work with and engage with students through mentoring, social justice programming, and teaching.
Dr. Robert Gutierrez-Perez is a queer of color scholar, activist, and performance artist who resides as an Assistant Professor of Culture and Communication at the University of Nevada, Reno in the department of Communication Studies. His research and life revolves around the goal of empowering, remembering, and advocating for queer people of color with a particular focus on the LGBTQ Chicanx and Latinx community. For example, Gutierrez-Perez has not only taught courses in intercultural communication, gender and communication, public speaking, and social justice approaches to research at universities across the U.S. Southwest, including the University of Nevada, Reno, but he has nearly a decade of experience presenting workshops, papers, performances, and invited speeches on issues of advocacy, civic engagement, and social justice. Additionally, he is the co-editor of This Bridge We Call Communication: Anzaldúan Approaches to Theory, Method, and Praxis. Other research interests include critical intercultural communication, performance studies, critical communication pedagogy, and queer of color theory and critique. His most recent scholarly work has been published in academic journals, such as the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Qualitative Inquiry, and QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, as well in several books on race, gender, pedagogy, performance, queer theory, and critical/cultural studies.
María Sandra Jiménez
Upward Bound Programs
Languages: Fluent in Spanish and English.
While I was born in Jalisco, Mexico, I call the United States my home country. I grew up as a migrant child along with my three siblings. Due to my parent’s farmworker status, as a family we moved around a lot, which lead me to attend several different elementary schools in the state of California, including attending one year of grammar school in Mexico. After my parents legally separated, my father moved back to Mexico and my three siblings and I moved to South Lake Tahoe with our mother for a few years, finally settling in Carson City, Nevada. Given my mom’s new role as a single mom, I assumed adult responsibilities at an early age that involved serving as the bridge for communication between my mom and doctors, schoolteachers, insurance agents, including completing job applications and school excuse notes. While my mom did not participate in school-sponsored activities due to working two jobs, she instilled in us the love of folklore, culture and art.
I graduated from Carson City High School, attended two community colleges, and enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno as a transfer student where I have completed several degrees: a B.A. in English Literature/Secondary Education Teaching, an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership, and am currently pursuing a doctorate in Equity and Diversity in Education. I have served in various K-16 roles; such as, in an administrative leadership role in a public school, college and University setting, K-12 teaching, as well as, teaching at the community college and university level. Currently, I serve as assistant director for Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science programs, federally funded college preparatory programs for first-generation/income qualified high school students. The major functions of my leadership role include: significant oversight of a cumulative $1,168.911 annual budget, for four federal grants; preparation of state audits, inventory audits and summer foods grant audits; direct oversight of program assessment and evaluation; and collection, analysis, and submittal of four federal annual performance reports to the US Department of Education.
I was born in México City, where I spent my early years before moving to the state of Puebla (also central México). Although my first love was music (I completed a B.A. in Music Performance and Music History at the University of Southern Mississippi), I was always interested in language. My enthusiasm for the study of language started at an early age, when I attended a bilingual immersion school in México City. Eventually, I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Iowa on Second Language Acquisition with a Specialization in Linguistics. I also worked as a postdoctoral research scholar at Indiana University, where I investigated the acquisition and processing of (sociolinguistically) variable structures in Spanish. Because of my interest in language acquisition, I am very intrigued by all contact language phenomena and in Spanish as spoken in the U.S.
I am a linguist who specializes on the acquisition of languages. I am especially interested in second language acquisition (how we learn languages beyond our first) but also in the acquisition of heritage languages, especially of Spanish in the context of the U.S. Most of the research work I do is experimental; although I base my research and hypotheses on specific linguistic theories, I attempt to answer my questions with empirical data based on the outcomes of behavioral and psycholinguistic experiments. Within linguistics, I specialize on the domains known as syntax, morphology and pragmatics. My research centers on the acquisition and comprehension of syntax and morphology and is purposefully interdisciplinary, incorporating elements from theoretical and applied linguistics as well as from psycholinguistics. I have strong interests in language comprehension as it happens in real time (language processing) as well as in advancing our understanding and characterization of the underlying linguistic knowledge of speakers, be it of a first, second, or heritage language. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of my research, I am also keenly interested in the current methodological and epistemological issues that have arisen in the field as a by-product of conducting research that integrates different approaches. My research has appeared in journals such as Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Lingua, Applied Linguistics, The International Journal of Bilingualism, Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, and Language Teaching Research, among others.
I was born in a pueblito by the name of Villanueva in the central state of Zacatecas, México. I did all my primary and secondary education there and came to the United States at the age of 16. All of my family migrated to Santa Ana, California where I did three years of High School before moving on to Central Arizona Community College and then to the University of Arizona in Tucson with an athletic scholarship in Cross Country and Track and Field. Needless to say, I love running.
I have been at the University of Nevada, Reno since 2002 and I love it here. I got my baccalaureate degree in Political Science and Spanish, my Master's degree in Spanish Literature, and my Ph.D. in Medieval Spanish Literature, all at the University of Arizona. I have published articles in different academic journals and I am happy to announce that my second book titled, East Meets West: Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II) Epistle to Mehmet II, just came out. I am also an associate editor for the AATSP Hispania (The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese). It is the oldest journal in the United States for Spanish and Portuguese languages. The first issue came out in 1917.
Philosophy/Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology Program/Integrative Neuroscience Program
Languages: Spanish and English. Some proficiency in American Sign Language.
I was born in Texas, but raised in New Mexico. My parents are originally from México City, although we have relatives in Guadalajara, Querétaro, and many other parts of México, as well as in California and New Mexico. I attended New Mexico State University, where I completed a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications. After two years of working in newspapers in New Mexico, I started a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Biology at Duke University, which I finished in 2014.
After my Ph.D., I worked in the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Philosophy at Dalhousie University, as well as the History of Science Program at University of King's College. I was a Postdoctoral Fellow for W. Ford Doolittle, winner of the 2013 Herzberg Medal for Science and NAS Member. I then joined the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Philosophy in 2016 as an assistant professor of Philosophy, focusing on Philosophy of Biology and Philosophy of Science. I was subsequently added to the faculty of the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology and Integrative Neuroscience Programs. My research centers on what we can know about Life in the Universe, the Origins of Life, and Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology. I have held or currently hold positions in a number of professional organizations focusing on these topics.
I attended seven different Washoe County School District schools from 1st to 12th grades and I was an English as a Second Language (ESL) student until 5th grade. As a first-generation college student, I received my Master's in Educational Leadership in Higher Education from the University of Nevada, Reno as well as my Bachelor's Degrees in Spanish and Biology and a minor in Chemistry. I have worked extensively with diverse populations in the areas of outreach, retention and graduation in northern Nevada. I couldn't have done this without the support of great role models – I am a proud alumna of two TRiO programs. Advocating for students and parents is just one way of giving back as I once received from others in the form of advice and direction. Everything I have achieved is thanks to my mother's sacrifices and the hardships she had to overcome. I am who I am today thanks to the support of my family.
Social Services, Coordinator
Equal Opportunity & Title IX
Languages: Spanish, English and Spanglish.
I was born in Los Angeles, CA but I was raised in Reno, NV. I am the daughter of Salvadoran parents. My parents migrated to the United States in the midst of the Salvadoran Civil War. The negative impacts of the Salvadoran Civil war had on my parents inspired me to seek a degree in Social Work. In my childhood, my parents emphasized the importance in being civically engaged and seeking a higher education. During my undergrad I sought out opportunities to learn how institutional policies impact underrepresented populations and migrant communities. In my free time I paint portraits that reflects the injustices in our communities. You will find many of my paintings in my office!
In 2015, I completed my undergraduate degree in Social Work and a minor in Addiction Treatment Services. Soon after my graduation I began working in a state funded program that assisted older persons and individuals with physical disabilities. I also have experience in community organizing and juvenile services. I joined the University of Nevada, Reno in May 2017, to assist students and their families in finding appropriate on campus and community bases resources. Additionally, I support the unique challenges that impact students who are undocumented, students with DACA and students in mixed status families. I am in the process in completing my Master's Degree in Social Work in hopes of one day becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) where I can serve underrepresented populations and migrant communities.
Ignacio Lorenzo Montoya
Languages: Spanish and English. Some proficiency in Italian, Portuguese, French and Hebrew. Currently learning Navajo and Northern Paiute and hope to soon learn Washo and Shoshone.
I was born in Southern New Mexico and was raised in a very small town on the border of the United States and Mexico. At the age of 13, my mother, my two younger brothers, my grandmother, and I moved to the Phoenix area, where my family continues to live. For college, I went to Harvard and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology. After graduating from college, I became a teacher. My first teaching assignment was a kindergarten and first grade bilingual class in the Los Angeles Unified School District. I continued to teach for eleven years at the elementary and middle school level in Los Angeles and then New York City (where I also earned a master's degree in education from Teachers College, Columbia University) prior to beginning my graduate work. In 2017, I earned a PhD in linguistics at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.
As a graduate student, I taught as an adjunct professor at Queens College, City College of New York, and Lehman College, which are all part of the City University of New York system. I also worked in various capacities, including that of coordinator, for the CUNY Pipeline Program, which is an organization that supports college students from underrepresented groups who are interested in graduate school. After earning my doctorate, I came to the University of Nevada, Reno in 2017 as an assistant professor in the English Department.
My current research interests are focused on the indigenous languages of North America. My dissertation included research on Navajo, and now that I'm living in Northern Nevada, I am working on research involving the indigenous languages of the area - Northern Paiute, Washo, and Shoshone - beginning with work on Paiute. My work involving these languages includes conducting theoretical linguistic research as well as supporting the local communities in their efforts to preserve and fortify their languages.
Claudia E. Ortega-Lukas
I was born in México City but grew up in a small town called Texcoco. I am the oldest of four siblings. I love to travel and experience different cultures. Growing up, my family hosted exchange students from the United States, and now, we continue hosting international visitors from all over the world. We enjoy listening to foreign languages and learning about far away cultures.
I graduated from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara with a degree in journalism and mass communications. After an exchange program at the University of Oklahoma, I received a scholarship from the Inter American Press Association that allowed me to attend the University of Missouri. I graduated from Mizzou with a master's degree in journalism.
I have been a graphic designer in the office of Marketing & Communications at the University of Nevada, Reno since 2000, but I have been with the University since 1997. Those 3 years I taught Media Graphics at the Reynolds School of Journalism. Before coming to Nevada, I was the Features and Sports Planning Editor at the Savannah Morning News in Savannah, Ga. Previously, I had been a designer for the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Throughout my life, I have served in many organizations and boards, from Mizzou's Latin American Student Association to the (now defunct) Latinos for Political Education (in Reno) and the Northern Nevada International Center. I also served for a few years as a Spanish-language docent at the Nevada Museum of Art. Currently, I serve on the Nevada Humanities board. At the University I serve in different committees and organizations.
Gaby Ortiz Flores
Coordinator, Democratic Engagement & Special Events
ASUN Center for Student Engagement
Languages: Spanish and English.
I was born in Iguala in the state of Guerrero in México. My mother’s side of the family is from Guerrero and my father’s side of the family is of Maya descent from the state of Yucatán. When I was about three, my parents brought me to United States. Writer and photographer Taiye Selasi talks about the difference between where you’re “local” as opposed to where you’re “from.” In that spirit, I’m a local of the Mercado in Iguala where my maternal grandparents sold clothes and Santa María Tomatlán where I lived with my paternal grandparents until I was three. I am also a local of the Chicago neighborhoods of Brighton Park, Chicago Lawn, Marquette Park, Hyde Park, Andersonville, and Rogers Park. These are the places that nurtured me from my childhood to adulthood. I am from black box theaters, ensemble performances, writing workshops, youth leadership programs, and the stories that are shared with me. I attended the University of Chicago where I got my Bachelor’s Degree in English literature and language. I received my Master’s Degree from Loyola University Chicago in digital media & storytelling.
I’m currently the Coordinator for Democratic Engagement & Special Events in the Center for Student Engagement and started my position here in September 2017. Prior to my current position, I worked in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of Chicago. I also spent a number of years working in the Department of Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs at Loyola University Chicago. In addition to working in student affairs, I have roots in theater, arts education, digital media, youth work, and activism. In my current role I advise two ASUN programming boards. I also work with students, colleagues, and community members on ways to increase democratic engagement amongst college students and youth.
Daniel E. Pérez
I was born in Texas, but raised in Phoenix. I am the son of migrant farmworkers and was a farmworker myself as a young child. My family is from Guanajuato and Sonora, México, with roots in Yaqui culture. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. I attended Arizona State University, where I completed a B.A. in Mathematics, an M.A. in Comparative Literature, and a Ph.D. in Spanish with a specialty in Chicanx and Latinx literature and culture.
I joined the University of Nevada, Reno Department of World Languages and Literatures in 2004 as an assistant professor of Chicanx and Latinx studies. I'm a founding member of the Gender, Race and Identity program and the Latino Research Center at University of Nevada, Reno. I am currently the director of Core Humanities and an associate professor in the Department of WLL. My research centers on Jotería studies-gender and sexuality in Chicanx and Latinx culture. I also serve on the board of the Nevada Humanities and the national Association for Jotería Arts, Activism and Scholarship.
José David Quiroga
I was born in Valencia, Venezuela, where I spent my early childhood. My family and I immigrated to the United States in 2001. We first lived in the San Francisco Bay Area but moved to Northern Nevada during my high school years. I earned an AA from Western Nevada College, and both a B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Educational Leadership at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Like many administrative faculty members, I began my career as a student worker. At Western Nevada College I was a student body senator, and worked in the counseling office as a peer advisor. When WNC transitioned to a new student information system, I was hired to help train other departments in the new system which led to a position as the Financial Aid Systems Coordinator. In 2016, I came to my current position at the University of Nevada, Reno as Financial Aid Advisor/ Loan Coordinator. I advise students regarding their financial aid and oversee the packaging and disbursement of over $80 million per year in student and parent loans.
Coordinator of Student Affairs and Outreach
College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources
Languages: English and Spanish.
I am first generation citizen and a first-generation college student. I am from a small district (not even a town) in Northern California outside of Chico. My parents are originally from a small town outside La Piedad, Michoacán México. I identify as Mexican-American and spent most of my early childhood visiting México annually to visit my grandparents and other family members. My first language was Spanish but English quickly dominated. When I visited México I was often referred to as "Güera" or "Pocha" because of my accent, fair skin and light eyes. I turned to books such as Gold of Rain, Pocho and House on Mango Street to help me cope and understand my own experience.
I attended Sonoma State University (SSU) in California, where I completed my B.A. in Spanish and Psychology, while at SSU I had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain. I also held several on campus positions within student affairs such as but not limited to Summer Orientation Guide, Peer Mentor for the Summer Bridge Programs (4 years), Peer Mentor for First Year Experience Courses, a member of the Latino Student Congress, Psi Chi Honor Society and Multicultural Sorority, Lambda Sigma Gamma, Inc. I am also a proud alum of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at SSU. I attribute many of my successes to my experience as an EOP student and the support I received from my advisors, mentors and peers. I am forever grateful for them to this day!
After working at SSU as an Admissions Counselor/Recruiter I moved to Reno, NV to recruit for the University of Nevada, Reno. I received my Master's degree from UNR in Counseling and Educational Psychology with an emphasis in College Student Development. I worked full-time while pursuing my Master's and graduated in May 2009.
I have lived in Reno for 13 years and have held 3 different positions at the University of Nevada, Reno. I have an immense ardor and willingness to provide students with the appropriate resources needed in their pursuit of higher education and academic success. I have a strong and sincere commitment to the welfare of our students and a sensitivity to issues of access to higher education.
I was born in Chicago, and I grew up in Hammond, which is a heavily industrial town on the border between Illinois and Indiana. I attended the University of Chicago where I double majored in History as well as English Language and Literature. After completing my B.A., I moved to Chile and worked as an English instructor at a private academy in Santiago. After spending a year in South America, I moved to England and earned a M.A. in Medieval Studies from the University of York. Next, I traveled to México and worked at a small university in Oaxaca teaching English. After living for about a year in México, I began a Ph.D. in Literature at the University of Notre Dame. I completed my Ph.D. in May 2016 with a focus on literature and history in medieval Iberia.
My first experience teaching at the university level came as an Instructor of English at the Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca in Huajuapan de León, a small town in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. As a graduate student at Notre Dame, I taught Spanish language classes as well as humanities courses, which focused on great works of literature, history, and philosophy. During this period, I also worked as an Instructor of Spanish at Indiana University, South Bend, where I taught Spanish language courses.
After finishing my Ph.D. in 2016, I worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. After a year in Turkey, I began working as a Lecturer of Core Humanities at the University of Nevada, Reno, in Fall 2017. I feel incredibly fortunate to have worked with students from such diverse backgrounds, and I am excited to have the chance to work with student here in Nevada.
Coordinator, The Center: Every Student, Every Story.
Interim Assistant Director, New Student Initiatives.
Languages: English and Spanish.
Ricardo "Ricky" received his Master's in Social Work degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in May of 2015. He completed his B.A. in Criminal Justice in 2011. Ricky has previous experience working with income-qualified, first-generation youth; however, his areas of interest include exploring the intersectionality of race, sexual identity and the Latinx culture. He serves as a strong advocate for the LGBTQIA+ population and believes he can impact new and continuing students by (re)creating and restoring humanity through difficult conversations. Ricky has been with this University since his involvement with the Upward Bound Program in 2002. He currently runs the Latinx and Pride Initiatives through The Center: Every Student. Every Story., and serves as the Interim Assistant Director for New Student Initiatives. When he is not working at the University, Ricky spends his time producing music and jamming to cumbia colombiana with his family band, Ritmo Ardiente.
Jafeth E. Sánchez
I was born in México but raised in Nevada. I am the youngest of two and come from a family of immigrants; I experienced an undocumented childhood. I am the first in my immediate family to graduate from college, and I uniquely attained all my degrees at the University of Nevada Reno (i.e., B.A. in Secondary Education, M.A. in Educational Leadership, Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration) as a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar. I love to spend time with my family, enjoy the runner's "high," and am always excited about the next get-away.
My role centers on developing high quality school leaders in K12 education. My research agenda is on educational leadership practices, organizational change efforts, gender and ethnic equity, outreach, student resiliency, P16 alignment, and educational outcomes. I have actively managed and attained grant funding as a principal investigator or coinvestigator for approximately $2.6 million since Fall 2012. I previously taught mathematics and was awarded Northern Nevada Math Teacher of the Year 2012 by the Northern Nevada Math Council. My passion for educational improvements and access to higher education are embedded in all aspects of my work in teaching, research, and service.
Daniel C. Villanueva
GEAR UP Ambassador Coordinator
Division of Academic and Student Affairs
Nevada System of Higher Education
Languages: English and German. Some proficiency in Russian and French.
I was born in Long Beach, CA, and adopted by a Mexican-American family with roots in Guanajuato and Maryland. Spanish was the "secret language" spoken by relatives, so I was never formally taught the language and struggle with it still. My bicultural parents did encourage my love of language and culture, so I took up German and Russian as a (first-gen) undergrad at American University (Washington, DC). After several years studying and working in Germany (among other places, the German Parliament), I returned to the USA and received my Ph.D. in German Studies from Duke University.
After completing my doctorate at Duke, I became a German professor and faculty affiliate of the Honors College at UNLV from 1999-2012, with research interests in translation, minority representations in German/Austrian literature, and second-language acquisition. I then became Assistant Director of the University of Nevada, Reno Honors Program, and have - since April 2017 - been GEAR UP Ambassador Coordinator at the Nevada System of Higher Education. Here I am responsible for professional development and a statewide network of college-readiness "Ambassadors" at each of Nevada's institutions of higher education. Outside of academia, I'm active with the Northern Nevada International Center, the ACT Council of Nevada, the Western Regional Honors Council, and McQueen HS Global Studies Steering Committee.