Nicole Nieto honored by University of Texas at Austin with lifetime service award
Nicole Nieto, the National Hispanic Institute’s Executive Vice President, has been honored by the University of Texas at Austin with an award for her lifetime service in volunteerism and forwarding leadership education.
Nieto was honored with the William C. Powers, Jr. Lifetime Service Award, among a group honored with various awards at May 4’s annual Tower Awards presentation, which according to UT’s website, are given “to honor excellence in volunteerism among the students, faculty, and staff of The University of Texas at Austin. Since 1992, awards have been presented at an on-campus ceremony to honor the dedication of the Longhorn community.”
Nieto received a dual MBA in 1996 from the University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Business and El Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico.
“It was a great honor to receive this award,” Nieto remarked. “Through my MBA at UT and Tec de Monterrey, I was given the opportunity to begin building relationships in Mexico. It’s been a joy to watch the internationalization of the NHI community and to see friendships spark and endure. I see students stay in touch as they journey into college and beyond, and commit themselves to working for the greater good. These students have become jewels in our society today.”
NHI board member John F. Lopez, in nominating Nieto, noted that she’s been involved with NHI since she was 11 years old, and in addition to her tireless work for NHI, notes her roles as a former School Board Member for Lockhart ISD and volunteer leader with the Girl Scouts, and has also “brought her passion for education and leadership development to volunteer roles” with Emory & Henry College’s Ampersand Connected Learning Program, Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago’s Equity and Access Employer Council, as well as with Vassar College as a reunion class officer.
“Nicole has a passion for creating opportunities for others,” Lopez wrote. “In her role at NHI, her goal is to inspire young people to view their communities from an asset-based perspective and to craft visions for themselves as leaders. NHI’s mission is to engage young people in leadership experiences in order to enhance the quality of life in the international Latinx community. Nicole brings her tremendous energy to the students and models effective, innovative, and ethical leadership. With her educational credentials and demonstrated skills, Nicole could have pursued more lucrative opportunities in business or academia. She chose to devote herself to serving her community through investing in young people.”
Lopez also noted that Nieto exemplified NHI Fundamental #9, “Proceed Only on Faith (POOF)” in response to the pandemic that put in-person programs on hold in the summer of 2020. “For an organization like NHI which relies on programs to generate its operating revenue, COVID could have forced NHI to shut its doors. Under Nicole’s leadership, NHI was able to develop innovative responses and provide engaging leadership training programs to students online.”
NHI will continue its relationship with UT-Austin this summer via interns from the university who will help with the organization’s full slate of summer programs. In prior years, UT-Austin has served as a host for NHI summer programs, and NHI enjoys ongoing collaboration with the school’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.