(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – Army Ranger, Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive tackle and Carnegie Mellon University graduate student Alejandro Villanueva spoke to Tartan student-athletes on Tuesday afternoon. Villanueva spoke about leadership and how he has become the person he is today through his experiences. Villanueva’s session was added to the department’s Student-Athlete Leadership Development Program last spring.
“This session really showed that sometimes to be a good leader, you have to stick to your values, no matter what your friends or teammates believe or are telling you to do,” said junior volleyball student-athlete Sydney Bauer. “Sometimes it’s very difficult to do so, but the best leaders are able to do what they believe is right and not get swayed away from those values by those close to them.”
Villanueva is a starting offensive lineman for the Steelers and a part-time MBA student in the Tepper School of Business. He attended West Point and played football for Army before joining the elite Army Rangers and serving three tours of duty in Afghanistan. Following his time in the United States Army, where he served as a Captain, Villanueva resumed his football career and has become a critical member of the Steelers organization.
“It is an unbelievable opportunity to learn about leadership from Alejandro,” said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. “It is a humbling experience to have the chance to hear his stories, and learn from his experiences. We are truly grateful for his commitment to the university, and our athletics program.”
Following his presentation, Villanueva participated in a question-and-answer session with the student-athletes. Earlier this spring, the Student-Athlete Leadership Development Program gave student-athletes the opportunity to listen to lessons of leadership from Carnegie Mellon alumni Mark Weinsten and Buddy Hobart.