Sara Villanueva is a Professor of Psychology in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, and the Center for Teaching Excellence Faculty Fellow on Diversity. Her area of specialization is in Adolescent Development with a specific focus on Parent-Adolescent Relationships and Parenting from various cultural perspectives. She has taught Adolescent Psychology and conducted research on this developmental period for many years. Dr. V has given many presentations to both academic and professional organizations around the globe. She is a teacher, a researcher, and the author of the book The Angst of Adolescence: How to Parent Your Teen (and Live to Laugh About It!).
In her role as Diversity Faculty Fellow, Dr. Villanueva’s primary objective is to increase faculty support related to the St. Edward's University Operating Principles around understanding and promoting Diversity and Inclusion. Her work includes offering workshops and other resources to faculty, individual faculty consultations, and conducting training sessions at the school and department levels. She has recently attended the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education conference, and the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education.
I strive to make the world a better place by teaching my students the value of knowledge and information from diverse perspectives. I challenge them to play an active role in their learning experiences, to question sources, and critically examine data. The climate in my classroom is one where students should not be satisfied with simply tolerating varying opinions, but to obtain a more robust level of understanding by embracing them. As a lifelong learner, I also seek to gain depth and breadth through interactions with students, colleagues, and other parents from all over the world.
- Professor of Psychology - 2015 to present
- St. Edward's University CTE Faculty Fellow on Diversity
- Associate Professor of Psychology, 2010 - 2015
- Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at The University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 2004
- M.S. in Developmental Psychology at The University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 2003
- B.A. in Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, 1991
Achievement & Involvement
Honors and Awards
Served on the City of Austin Mayor's Task Force on Instutional Racism and Systemic Inequities
NPR On Point Interview: How to Navigate Your Child's Adolescence
Raising Digital Natives Interview
Fast Company magazine feature article on Parenting
Brain,Child Magazine "Top 10 Sanity Saving Books for Moms"
KEYE story now on the St. Edward’s YouTube channel
Austin 360 story
Organizations, Boards and Memberships
- Board member for the SEU Center for Ethics and Leadership
- Previous Board member for Latinitas organization, Austin, Texas
- ACEI Global Summit on Childhood and Youth. San Jose, Costa Rica, March, 2016
- Lilly Conference for College and University Teaching, February, 2015
- International Lifespan Development Conference, Université Catholique de l'Ouest (UCO), February, 2014
- International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, April, 2013
- National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, March, 2012
- Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression, April, 2015, 2012, 2011
- Society for Research on Child Development Conference, March, 2011
My research interests incorporate the transitions involved in Adolescence, as well as the challenges presented to Parents and families. Previous studies have investigated Parenting behaviors as associated with Adolescent Risk-Taking, Adolescents' changing Communication styles and the Impact on Relationships, and most recently, Parenting patterns as they are associated with late Adolescents' successful transition to college. Each year, I work with an extremely talented team of students in the lab
- Villanueva, S. (2015). The Angst of Adolescence: How to Parent Your Teen (and Live to Laugh About It!) Bibliomotion, Inc., Boston, MA.
- Villanueva, S. (2015). The American Adolescent: Examining the Time of Transitions. Journal of International Psychology, Practice and Research, 6, pp. 1 – 10.
- Villanueva, S. (2013). Developmental Psychology: An Academic Journey of Life and Discovery.
In W. Buskist (Ed.), Academic Advising: A Handbook for Advisors and Students.
- Villanueva, S. (2011). School in your skivvies: Lessons learned on promoting student engagement in a virtual versus traditional classroom setting. In R. L. Miller, E. Amsel, B. Beins, K. Kowalewski, and B. Peden (Eds.), Promoting student engagement, Volume 1: Programs, techniques, and opportunities.
- Williams, J., & Villanueva, S. (2011). Embedding guided discussions in class activities and assignments. In R. L. Miller, E. Amsel, B. Beins, K. Kowalewski, and B. Peden (Eds.), Promoting student engagement, Volume 1: Programs, techniques, and opportunities.
- Villanueva, S., Villa, V. & Fischer, A. (2011). Eyes on the Prize: Body Image and Eating Disturbance Behaviors in College-Aged Young Men. American Journal of Psychological Research, 7(1), 43 – 63.
- Villanueva, S., Carrizales, I. (2009). Risky Behaviors in Male versus Female College Students: A Modern Day Paradigm Shift. American Journal of Psychological Research, Vol. 5(1), pp. 30 – 42.
- Villanueva, S., Osment, J.M. & Panke, S. (2009). Comparing Effectiveness of Traditional versus Blended Teaching Methods: Efforts to Meet the Demands of Students in a Blend 2.0. Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2009, World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp.2765 - 2774).
- Villanueva, S., Graber, J.A., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2008). The roles of respect for parental authority and parenting practices in parent-child conflict among African American, Latino, and European American families. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(1), pp. 1- 10.
- Villanueva, S. (2017). Teaching the teacher: Managing difficult discussions in the classroom. Presentation given at the annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, Ft. Worth, TA. May, 2017.
- Villanueva, S. (2016). The American Adolescent: Examining the Teen Experience in the Changing Social Climate. Presentation given at the ACEI Global Summit on Childhood and Youth. San Jose, Costa Rica.
- Villanueva, S., & Kothmann-Paskos, D. (2015). Addressing the Realities of Work-Life Imbalance: Striving for Successful Work-Life Integration in Academia. Presentation given at the Lilly Conference for College and University Teaching. Newport Beach, CA. February, 2015.
- Villanueva, S. (2014). Parenting Adolescents: Weathering the Storm and Managing the Stress. Presentation given at the Growing and Aging: Rethinking the Ages of Life. International Lifespan Development Conference, Université Catholique de l'Ouest (UCO). February, 19, 2014. Angers, France.
- Villanueva, S., Kerzil, J., Yarnall, H.*, & Torres, J.* (2014). Growing Older and Getting Wider? Cross Cultural Comparisons of Children’s Perceptions of Aging in the U.S. and France. Presentation given at the Growing and Aging: Rethinking the Ages of Life. International Lifespan Development Conference, Université Catholique de l'Ouest (UCO). February, 19, 2014. Angers, France. Villanueva, S. (2014).
- Villanueva, S. (2014). Sturm und Drang: The Perceptions and Realities of Parent-Adolescent Conflict.
Presentation given at the Capital Area Psychological Association at the University of Texas at Austin AT&T Conference Center. October 2014.
- Villanueva, S. (2014). The Adolescent Mind: What Were They Thinking? Presentation given at the 2014 TMCEC Juvenile Case Manager Conference. Austin, Texas.
- Villanueva, S. (2013). When Your Children are Teenagers, its Important to Have a Dog (*so that someone in the house is happy to see you!) Capital Area Psychological Association at the University of Texas at Austin AT&T Conference Center on April 12, 2013.
- Villanueva, S. (2013). Learning in the Blogosphere: Using Technology to Reinforce Interactive Teaching and Learning. International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, April 11, 2013, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
I use Blackboard primarily for Grades. Most often, I create specific course websites to communicate with students, to post lectures, video clips, and of course, the class syllabus.
Why I Teach
I love to learn. So, I teach to get my students excited about learning as well. I try various innovative techniques to keep teaching and learning fresh, effective, challenging, and fun!