Daniel Villanueva

Daniel C. Villanueva

GEAR UP Ambassador Coordinator, Division of Academic and Student Affairs, Nevada System of Higher Education He/Him


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.