June 15, 2023

Daniel Esquivel

“I would encourage alumni to get involved in any way that is meaningful to them—from showing up to events to taking the lead in planning them, there’s no right or wrong way to get involved. Every event I’ve been to or led has resulted in great conversations, meaningful community building, and fun camaraderie in reminiscing about our time at NYU,” says Daniel Esquivel (STEINHARDT '11) [he/him/él]. With a BA in communication studies from Sonoma State University, a MA in higher education from NYU Steinhardt, and now pursuing a EdD in educational leadership from California State University, Long Beach, Daniel has served as the co-president of the NYU Alumni Club in Los Angeles for more than seven years. Along with volunteering his time to the alumni club, Daniel also serves on the NYU Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Since graduating from Steinhardt, he’s held many other leadership roles within the larger NYU community such as being a senior unit representative, chair, and senator for the Administrative Management Council; co-founder of the NYU Multicultural Alumni Club in Los Angeles; and the inaugural program manager for NYU LA, the university’s newest global academic center. Daniel’s dedication and passion for NYU reaches an alumni community of over 15,000 alumni across Southern California. He has been instrumental in helping plan and staff several events in LA every month ranging from sporting events to happy hours to community service opportunities and hikes, which has led to the club winning multiple NYU Alumni Volunteer Awards. 

The NYU Alumni Association is grateful to have Daniel’s incredible enthusiasm for the community. He says, “no other university provides for such robust and intentional global immersion…they are not only the most memorable moments from my NYU experience, but truly one of the most memorable of my life.”

Meet Daniel:

How did you first become involved as an NYU alumni volunteer?

In 2012, I became involved as an event leader with the NYU Alumni Club in LA. 

You’ve been an NYU volunteer for 10+ years now. Why do you stay involved with NYU? 

I admittedly did not want to leave New York, and when my first job after graduate school brought me back to Los Angeles, I knew I had to leverage this powerful global network. I reached out to the Alumni Relations office asking to get involved in LA and have been doing so ever since. The NYU global alumni community is like no other—there are countless times I’ve seen NYU pride, including stickers on cars in cities around the country, as well as connecting with alumni abroad. We are everywhere!

Could you tell us a little bit more about your journey in becoming the inaugural Program Manager for NYU LA, NYU's newest global academic center? 

Serving as the first program manager for NYU Los Angeles was a dream come true. As a native Angeleno earning my master’s degree from Steinhardt in higher education and student affairs, combining my two favorite cities and places into creating a memorable study away experience for NYU students was like no other job I’ve had before. NYU LA focuses on many of the aspects that set LA apart—arts, entertainment, sustainability, and activism all play a role in the curriculum and intentional student programming offered to NYU students who are selected to study away for the semester at NYU LA. NYU LA students were the most exceptional students I’ve had the privilege of working with in my 15+ year career in higher education. I’m appreciative of the two and a half years I spent there cultivating student community from the ground up and I look forward to seeing how much NYU LA will inevitably grow in the years to come.

As Co-President of the NYU Alumni Club in Los Angeles, the second largest regional alumni community outside of the NYC tri-state area, what’s your proudest (or most fun) moment from serving this community so far? 

It’s a pleasure to serve such a diverse and inclusive NYU alumni community in Los Angeles. From our hikes and happy hours, to our community service, sporting events, and theme park excursions, every event has been focused on the incredible culture and opportunities Southern California has to offer. I’m most proud of our club winning three NYU Alumni Volunteer Awards (so far!), including Event of the Year (2022) and Alumni Volunteer of the Year (2022 and 2018). Our volunteer club leaders work so hard on top of their personal and professional lives to put on memorable events that sustain the community of over 15,000 NYU alumni across Southern California.

How do you help amplify GIDBEA in your professional and volunteer work?

As a queer person of color, I can’t help but integrate global inclusion, diversity, belonging, equity, and access in every aspect of my life. As the son of a Mexican immigrant and Cuban refugee, I find immense perspective in the intersectionality of identities knowing full well that this diversity of thought, experience, and cultures exist amongst the NYU alumni community we serve. The NYU Alumni Club in LA is intentional in creating belonging at all events and purposefully partnering with local organizations including the LA Regional Food Bank, Downtown Women’s Center, and many others to give back to the community that gives so much to us. As a student affairs practitioner in higher education, I infuse social justice and intersectionality in my daily work serving as the Senior Director for Student Success and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for The Chicago School. Leading our institution’s First-Generation student program is deeply meaningful to me to help build student community and demystify the collegiate experience. I chose my doctorate program in educational leadership at Cal State Long Beach for its intentional focus on racial equity, and I look forward to completing my degree to continue advancing GIDBEA in the spaces I’m privileged to occupy. 

Did you have any NYU classes or instructors who inspired or majorly impacted you?

While all of my professors in the higher education and student affairs program at Steinhardt were outstanding, Dr. Teboho Moja sticks out as an exceptional educational leader. Dr. Moja previously served as an executive director and commissioner of the National Commission on Higher Education in South Africa and was appointed by President Nelson Mandela. As a prospective student, reading her faculty bio absolutely floored me and I knew I had to study, learn, and grow under her leadership. 

Would you please share your most memorable moment(s) from NYU?

During my time at NYU, I was lucky enough to join Drs. Teboho Moja and Ann Marcus on two study abroad experiences in South Africa and India exploring international perspectives on educational reform and global perspectives on higher education, respectively. Immersing ourselves in a new country, culture, and context for weeks on end was beyond transformative as a graduate student and young professional thinking critically about the global needs within higher education. NYU’s global network is the primary reason I decided to study at Steinhardt—no other university provides for such robust and intentional global immersion. I’m so thankful to the faculty, staff, administrators, and student colleagues that supported those two courses, as they are not only the most memorable moments from my NYU experience but truly one of the most memorable of my life.

So that our global community can get to know you a bit better, we have a quick lightning round for you:

  • Your style in one word? Casual
  • What’s a bucket list item you have? Visiting all 7 continents (just a few left to go!)
  • What’s your favorite day off activity in Los Angeles? Beachside brunch
  • An alumni club event coming up that you’re excited about?Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach—a SoCal summer must!
  • Favorite food? Cuban sandwich and fries
  • Preferred social media platform? Facebook (I know, I know)
  • A song you would want to enter a room to? "Get Outta My Way" - Kylie Minogue
  • What’s your favorite place on NYU’s campus? Washington Square Park