It is no exaggeration to say that Daniel Lang, who graduates this spring with a journalism degree and three respective minors in Chinese studies, English literature and communications studies, is an extremely accomplished senior scholar. This semester, he was recognized as senior scholar of the Reynolds School of Journalism, as well as Outstanding Senior at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Honor the Best Awards and the Excellence in Honors Award by the Honors Program at the university.
Last year, he was awarded the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship that enabled him to participate in a language-intensive program in China for eight weeks. His honors thesis explored the intersection between the post-colonialism effects of Catholic Chinese and Taiwanese identities and Chinese-language media bias, a topic near to his heart as a Catholic with Chinese heritage.
“I definitely have found that I love seeking opportunities,’ Lang said.
This May, he received his Certificate in Principles of Public Relations, a certificate offered by the Public Relations Student Society of America to help graduating students stand out in job searches after successful studying and completion of the course. He also received the Associated Students of Nevada Outstanding Student Award this semester.
“He’s just fearless,” his mentor, associate professor Bob Felten said. “He seeks out and accepts every challenge.” Felten worked with Lang as faculty advisor for the University of Nevada, Reno Ad Club, as well as the IMC team this year. “I think he’s just hungry. He just devours knowledge.”
Lang said he’s especially grateful for his mentorship with Felten. “He really helped me know how the industry works. It’s not just simply all books and theories,” he said. “What Bob did for me is he really reinforced the importance of the professional side of this industry.”
Though he has received plenty of advice from professors, Lang said one piece stood out. "'Professionalism is doing the things you don’t want to do,'" he said. “It really got me through a lot of hard nights because it really reminded me there are just some parts of life that aren’t the most fun, but they’re definitely necessary.”
After he graduates, Lang plans to use his skills in communication and Chinese studies with the Peace Corps as an English instructor in Mongolia. After that, he plans to teach with the Maryknoll China Teachers Program, a program that places Catholic teachers in schools where they can teach English language skills to Chinese students.
For Lang, finding ways to help people communicate and serve a community was always his goal.
“I think about how the world is such a diverse place and sometimes we focus a lot on ‘Let’s just include everybody, let’s get the voices heard,’” he said. “I want to go a step further and not just hear the voice but to understand the voice and to get a sense of where it comes from.”
Felten said Lang’s passion to serve makes him stand out. “He’s a very kind person. That isn’t always true of driven people…. He’s not just ‘I’m smart, look at me,’ he’s ‘How do I use this to do good?’”