Our people

Nicole Colon Carrion
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Nicole Colon Carrion

MANO Project Program Associate

Through her career, Nicole has focused on creating professional development and educational programs for underrepresented communities, particularly Puerto Rican communities. Her professional journey spans academia, industry, and nonprofit sectors where she has consistently advocated for accessible and equal education and professional development tools for underrepresented minorities. Through strategic partnerships and innovative initiatives, Nicole has contributed to bridging the gap in access to education, empowering individuals to pursue and thrive in their chosen fields. Nicole holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey, and a Doctorate in Plant Pathology with a focus on forest conservation and agroecology. She also holds a Certification in College Teaching from the University of Arizona, and a Certification in Project Management from Google.

Before joining Hispanic Access, she worked at Corteva Agriscience as a scientist and outreach steering team member. During this period, Nicole conducted research on sustainable products aimed at controlling plant diseases in the Midwest, while developing and supporting educational initiative to introduce Indiana’s youth to STEM fields, fostering a passion for science and innovation among the next generation.


Why she works for Hispanic Access…

"I join Hispanic Access because I am deeply passionate about addressing the lack of equity in opportunities and education for Hispanic communities. Through my education and early career, I have witnessed firsthand the disparities faced by these communities, and I am driven to make a difference and advocate for change. Hispanic Access values resonate with me on a personal level, as they align closely with my own goals and values. I believe working here will provide me with the platform to make a meaningful difference in the lives of these communities."


In her spare time…

“In my spare time I enjoy reading, mostly fantasy books. I also love spending time outdoors hiking, visiting new landscapes, and taking my 4 dogs on walks on the beach. I enjoy dancing and baking, and spending time with family.”

Her favorite book…

“Selecting one is really hard. From Latin American Authors, Paula from Isabel Allende and El Alquimista from Paulo Coelho will be my top two. In terms of English fantasy books, the City of Bones Series by Cassandra Clare and the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling are my top two.”

A person she finds inspirational…

“In my personal life, I find inspiration in my family. One of my biggest inspirations is my mom. During my early childhood, she became a single-mother and put a pause on her dream and professional goals to provide for my sister and me. Her sacrificed allowed us to complete advance degrees in science and education and contributed to our development as professionals. She has instilled in us the importance of working hard for your dreams, contributing to our community, and having integrity.

In my professional life, I draw inspiration from my grandfather and Dr. Alexandra Colon Rodriguez. My grandfather was my first introduction to the agricultural world. He is a farmer and Puerto Rico and thought me the importance of protect our natural resources for future generations. Alexandra is a scientist and my previous internship mentor at Michigan State University. Through her career she had played a leadership role in developing opportunities to provide accessible education and representation to underrepresented minorities. Her programs had impacted more than 140 students increasing their professional capacities and fostering representation in the STEM fields. Alexandra is a fierce and advocate of her mentees, helping them identify opportunities to succeed and caring for their mental health and wellbeing. I could not be the professional I am today without her mentorship, advocacy, and guidance. She has inspired me to follow her footsteps and give back to my community through mentorship.”

About Us

Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

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