Undergrad: SUNY Geneseo
Hometown: Pine Bush, NY
Assistantship: Residential Life - Assistant Residence Hall Director
Bio: Hi everyone! My name is Nikko Garmendiz and I am from a small town called Pine Bush, which is about an hour north of NYC. I graduated from SUNY Geneseo in December 2019 where I was a Sociology Major and highly involved student leader. I was a proud AOP (Access Opportunity Program) student, RA, ARD, Admissions Intern, Theatre tech, peer mentor, and more. After I graduated, I was hired to serve as a Residence Director at Geneseo, and the transition from student to staff was definitely weird, especially that I literally went to class with people in December and was supervising them in January. Going into undergrad and partway through my sophomore year, I thought I was going to be a Pre-Med/Bio major and dreamed of becoming an orthopedic surgeon and team doctor for a professional sports team. But I quickly learned that science wasn't my passion and having an honest conversation with a mentor of mine, I started my journey into Higher Ed.
Being a POC at a PWI, it only made me fall in love with my Latinx culture even more and helped me realize how it made me unique. This helped motivate me to advocate for more social justice and resources for students like me on campus. In undergrad, I heavily explored the idea of college access for students from historically marginalized backgrounds, and how we can improve admission and retention of these groups. Picking UConn honestly came down to their support and commitment to issues of DEI and equity for all. I can't wait to start my journey in Connecticut and begin my career as a Higher Education professional helping students and making a difference.