Nicola Benning’s Bio

Nicola Benning

Chief Operating Officer

Nicola was born and raised in the UK and moved to Texarkana in 2016. She has an undergraduate joint honors degree in Biology and Geography and a Masters degree in Environmental Conservation. After graduating college she worked for the British National Health Service at an HIV/AIDs clinic, helping patients access medical and mental health services. She then worked for many years managing agricultural, health and environmental projects in Africa, before moving to San Diego to work in scientific research. Nicola is currently an Adjunct Professor at Texas A&M – Texarkana as well as a full-time wife to Ben (a native Ohioan) and mom to two kids, four cats and a snake.

Nicola has volunteered her time to many charities since first being a ‘Meals on Wheels’ driver when she was 17. She taught history and life skill classes at the Braille Institute in San Diego and she was a puppy socializer for ‘Hearing Dogs for Deaf People’, helping to train assistance dogs in the UK. She was also a committee member that implemented a community-run store in a rural village in England, helping raise over $175,000, and also acted as a fundraiser for a preschool in the same village.

Nicola is a passionate advocate for science education, especially encouraging young women to pursue scientific careers. In her spare time, she daydreams about living in a Frank Lloyd Wright house and getting a puppy (even though her husband won’t let her).