Scholar of the Week

Nicole Price
New Mexico State University

Scholarship Sponsored by Intel

Passionate about bringing diversity to the field of Computer Science, Nicole Price uses her personal experiences to address the issue of under-representation in STEM fields. Her incredible initiative, exemplary academic performance, and extensive cyber security experience have led her to receive a 2019 Intel Corporation Scholarship presented by Great Minds in STEM. Nicole graduated Summa Cum Laude from New Mexico State University (NMSU) in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Information Engineering Technology and a minor in Information Security. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science at NMSU and plans to graduate in May of 2020.

Growing up in a small town in Northern New Mexico, Nicole initially struggled to find ways she could express her passion for mathematics. Since her high school offered no computer science classes, she remained unaware of the field until she discovered the major while looking for mathematics-based programs at NMSU. Knowing her family would be unable to finance her education, Nicole began to seek out scholarships to assist with the cost. These experiences inspired her to help others find similar opportunities, “I have a life goal of making Computer Science and Technology more accessible to people living in small towns and minority areas. I also have a goal of helping students find scholarships and helping them break any financial boundaries that might prevent them from going to college.”

Upon attending college, Nicole noticed a lack of diversity in her field of study and questioned whether she had chosen the wrong major. Rather than getting discouraged, she persevered and became involved in the computer science community. Nicole served as a research assistant for Young Women in Computing, where Nicole led all-girl workshops and after school classes in computer science. She also researched educational and cultural causes of underrepresentation in STEM fields and presented her findings at various conferences, including CAHSI.

In addition to her scholastic and outreach involvement, Nicole has worked professionally at eBay, Google, and Traveler’s Insurance. Furthermore, she has a patent application pending for an off-road vehicle blinker system. Most recently, Nicole has created an initiative to generate interest in NMSU’s new Cyber Security degree. Her after-school program, through which she has already mentored 18 students, features cyber security activities designed to serve female and Hispanic high school students in the area. She explains, “I hope that thinking about and tackling diversity issues from the very beginning will help students feel confident and supported in the field.” Great Minds in STEM excitedly awaits Nicole’s future accomplishments as a leader in the STEM community and is proud to recognize her as Scholar of the Week.

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