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  Avila senior tackles two job markets    
  Kansas City, MO    
May 15, 2009

With courses wrapping up, seniors across the metro are gearing up to receive their degrees, but for Avila senior Lucas Villanueva, two degrees are waiting.

This month, Villanueva, of Kansas City, Mo., will receive two unlikely-paired degrees, both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with an acting concentration and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

“I originally started off as a theatre major with a minor in computer science, but as I put more time and effort into the computer minor, I started talking with my advisor,” Villanueva said. “This was in plans for the future. My passion is theatre, but I would like to be sure I have the money I need to survive between acting jobs.”

Villanueva has been acting since 8th grade and said he loves being able to connect with many different people. He also said that he has always had an interest in programming, especially for video games.

“Theatre is definitely still my favorite,” Villanueva said. “Both majors require a lot of time and effort, but for me, theatre has a much more immediate and emotional impact. I do very much enjoy working with computers and will continue to do so in the future – but my love is the theatre.”

Villanueva said that both of his advisors encouraged him to pursue the double major. Computer science advisor Ron McCleary was excited about the rare combination of concentrations and said he would encourage more unique degree combinations in the future. Theatre advisor Robert Foulk was also excited about the combination, sharing stories about colleagues in the theatre community who also work in computer-related fields.

“I have already been auditioning at several theatres around town, but I'm also going to be looking at getting a job in computers,” Villanueva said. “I'd like to start saving some money and building a better resume. Eventually, I want to move west.”

Before heading to Hollywood, Villanueva will have to build his resume in Kansas City. This summer, Villanueva will be participating in the Theatre for Young America production of “Treasure Island.”

“I've put in five amazing years at Avila, and I really feel like I'm ready to burst out into the real world,” Villanueva said. “I've learned so much already, and I know there's more for me to learn out there in the professional world – and I'm ready for it.”


Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.