Nicole Rodriguez is a South West Florida-based journalist covering Sarasota government for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Nicole covered the Trump Administration and immigration for Newsweek in New York City before joining the Herald-Tribune in February 2018.
Prior to Newsweek, Nicole was a government watchdog reporter covering Port St. Lucie, the eighth largest city in Florida. Nicole transformed the government beat into something much more than just reporting on City Council meetings. A majority of her stories were enterprise, analysis and investigative pieces that delved deeper beyond meeting agendas.
The seasoned reporter, who has an uncanny eye for detail and unwavering love for her craft, is someone who will bring creativity, energy and initiative to any newsroom.
"Cole," as her family calls her, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication with a specialization in journalism from Florida International University in Miami. Prior to attending FIU, Nicole studied journalism at St. John's University in New York City.
Nicole credits her late college professor, Larry Offner, for much of her success. Professor O, a veteran journalist with a heart of gold, taught Nicole the tenets of the trade and showed her how to "schmooze" like a professional news lady.
When she's not writing, the South Florida native can be found listening to Michael Jackson, reading, interior decorating and, most importantly, spending time with her family.
The life-long news buff filed her first report on the death of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1994. Feet barely touching the ground, the then nine-year-old anchored the breaking news from behind her parents' dining room table with her father at the camera's helm.
But it was the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 seven years later that would solidify her determination to pursue a career in news and realize her life's purpose. There were thousands of heart-wrenching stories to tell and Nicole wanted to pen every last one.