From Carnegie Mellon University Athletics
The Carnegie Mellon University athletics department welcomed Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva to speak with its student-athletes on Tuesday, April 25. The Army Ranger, Pittsburgh Steeler and Carnegie Mellon graduate student spoke about leadership and how he has become the person he is today through his experiences. Following his presentation, Villanueva participated in a question-and-answer session with the student-athletes.
“Alejandro's unflinching fearlessness and confidence in the face of danger and denial was inspiring,” said Tartan junior running back Sam Benger. “My favorite line from the talk was ‘always bet on yourself.’ I am a huge advocate of this message. Often times we have no idea of our true potential until we get out of our comfort zone and push ourselves.”
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 was a privilege to have Alejandro spend time with our student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. “I have had the chance to spend time with him, and have found his perspective on leadership – as an American hero, elite athlete and student – to be incredibly inspiring.”
Villanueva’s session was the latest addition to the department’s expanded leadership program offerings. Earlier this spring, student-athletes had the opportunity to listen to lessons of leadership from Carnegie Mellon alumni Mark Weinsten and Buddy Hobart.