An only child from San Bernardino, Calif., Daniel R. Hernandez (University of California–Riverside, 2007) was a stand-out student, involved in many extracurricular activities, with a keen interest in sports. When he was offered guaranteed admission to the University of California–Riverside, Hernandez jumped at the opportunity to become the first in his family to attend and graduate from college.
Hernandez was not immediately drawn to Greek life; the idea of joining a fraternity didn’t entirely appeal to him. Being a good friend, Hernandez agreed to accompany a friend to some recruitment events. The friend decided not to join after all, but Hernandez found a place to belong in Delta Tau Delta.
“About halfway through, my buddy decided it wasn’t for him, but I met some fantastic guys from Delt during the summer and fall and I decided I wanted to join. What solidified my decision to join a fraternity was Albert N. Le (University of California–Riverside, 2006). Le introduced me to other guys like Adam M. Cadena (University of California– Riverside, 2004) and Dustin J. Braico (University of California–Riverside, 2005), who showed me a different side to fraternity life, something more than what I saw on TV and in movies.
As graduation approached, Hernandez wasn’t quite sure what he would do with his degree in business. This changed thanks to a fellowship awarded by the Delt Foundation.
“I was offered a fellowship to attend the Undergraduate Inter-Fraternity Institute (UIFI) through Delt. The session took place at UCLA. During the program, I met many facilitators and learned about the student affairs profession; it sounded exactly what I wanted to do as a career. When I came back from UIFI, I knew that I was going to look into a career in higher education.”
Indeed, he did. Upon graduation, Hernandez attended Western Illinois University and graduated with his master’s degree in 2009. He started his first professional career at the University of North Texas in July 2009 as the coordinator of Greek life. At the end of 2011, Hernandez accepted a position as assistant director of fraternity and sorority life at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he currently works.
“Throughout my career, I have been working with fraternities and sororities in leadership development, programming and risk education. My professional journey has allowed me to advocate for and assist those who need help in higher education.
Hernandez gives freely of his time, talent and treasure, an attribute he learned through the Ritual and teachings in Delta Tau Delta. He is passionate about preventing and ending sexual violence and advocacy for Latinx professionals, faculty and students. Hernandez volunteers for Delta Tau Delta and several other fraternal organizations. He is also heavily involved in the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) and College Student Educators International (ACPA) through the Latinx Network and involvement with the Coalition of Multicultural Affairs. Hernandez currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Culture of Respect, which builds the capacity of educational institutions to end sexual violence through ongoing, expansive organizational change.
Hernandez’ commitment to educating and supporting students, especially young Delts, is easy to spot. Having served as an advisor, program facilitator and attending countless Delt events, he has become a well-respected source of encouragement for many.
“I continue to support Delt because it has given me more than I ever thought I needed. It is a way to pay it forward to others who come after me, just as has been done by other Delts for generations. The Fraternity literally gave me a direction and a career,” Hernandez said.
As an educator, Hernandez has delivered many lessons to students in both formal and informal settings. He has also learned a thing or two from the students on his campus and the young Delts in which he interacts.
“I have learned so many lessons as a higher education professional and Delt volunteer. Most significantly, I learned to be patient, remember what my mindset was when I was 18 to 22 years old, and you can only do the best you can at any given moment as a volunteer,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez’ career in higher education is focused on facilitating and providing co-curricular experiences like the one he gained through active involvement in Delta Tau Delta. Through that effort, he is fully committed to a life of excellence.
A member of the Delt Foundation’s Delta Alpha Kappa Society and the Order of the C—, Hernandez also received the Shelly Sutherland Volunteer of the Year Award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors.