hero image
Ricardo Nazario-Colón - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

Ricardo Nazario-Colón

Chief Diversity Officer | Western Carolina University


Ricardo Nazario-Colon has served as Western Carolina University’s Chief Diversity Officer since June 2016.



Ricardo Nazario-Colón Publication




COAL BLACK VOICES - Ricardo Nazario y Colon An Evening with the Affrilachian Poets part 1: Ricardo Nazario y Colon




Ricardo Nazario-Colon has served as Western Carolina University’s Chief Diversity Officer since June 2016. Prior to his appointment at WCU, Nazario-Colon served as director of student activities, inclusion and leadership at Morehead State University from 2011-2016. While at the university, he also served as the director of the University Center and conference serves from 2012-2014.

From 2007-2011, Nazario-Colon was the director of the Office of Diversity Programs at Western Kentucky University and held several positions related to diversity at Western Kentucky University including executive director of the Multicultural Affairs Division, co-chair of the President’s Commission in Diversity, multicultural programs director and director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center.

Nazario-Colon served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1984-1992. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and Spanish Literature from the University of Kentucky in 1992 and his master’s of science for teachers degree in secondary education with an emphasis in Spanish from Pace University in 1996.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Leadership Development

Higher Education

Staff Development

Community Outreach

Student Affairs

Education (3)

Western Carolina University: Ed.D., Higher Education/Higher Education Administration 2021

Pace University: M.S., Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Spanish 1996

University of Kentucky: B.A., Latin American Studies and Spanish Literature 1992

Media Appearances (3)

Ricardo Nazario y Colón gives Puerto Rican, Latinx perspective at Asanbe Diversity Symposium

The All State  online


Co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets and author of the poetry compilation “Of Jíbaros and Hillbillies,” Ricardo Nazario y Colón delivered a keynote lecture during this year’s Asanbe Diversity Symposium at Austin Peay. Colón, who has a doctorate in educational leadership and serves as chief diversity officer at Western Carolina University, spoke on his findings that defied a “racially homogenized rural region” in the Appalachian portion of West Virginia.

view more

Nazario-Colón takes office as president of Appalachian Studies Association

WCU Stories  online


Ricardo Nazario-Colón, chief diversity officer at Western Carolina University, has taken the oath of office as president of the Appalachian Studies Association for 2022-2023. It marks the first time the membership organization will be led by a Latinx.

view more

Nazario y Colón



Ricardo Nazario y Colon, one of the co-founders of the Affrilachian Poets, discusses his collection of poems, Of Jibaros and Hillbillies, as well as his work as diversity programs director at Western Kentucky University.

view more

Event Appearances (1)


Ricardo Nazario-Colón  Appalachian State University