ABOUT ME

SURE, THIS WHOLE SITE'S ABOUT ME, BUT HERE'S WHAT DIDN'T FIT IN THE OTHER PLACES.

2020.09.16_NikoLiepinsSeniorPhotos-016.j
NKTL Logo + NameType Black.png

Innovative. Passionate. Resourceful.

 

Whenever something catches my interest, I set out to teach myself how to do it. Whether sleight-of-hand at age five, baking at ten, or Adobe Premiere Pro and drone repair at 17, I’m never afraid to get my hands dirty to figure it out. From cookies to coding, I enjoy sharing that energy with those around me, helping them find ways to tackle their impossible through experiential learning and a-ha moments.


My problem-solving, observational, and curiosity-/action-rooted approach to the world constantly engages me with new ideas. I know I don’t know everything, but I’m curious about anything. So, I’m always eager to chat with others about their stories and interests, then brainstorm ways to bridge our passions to produce something new. Connecting dots that no one ever thought to connect while making life better for others through innovation excites me.

I’m not afraid to challenge the impossible, but the only way to do it is by working with each other, and I’m ready to dive in.

FUN FACTS

  • I speak English & Spanish

  • I'm an Eagle Scout

  • Preferred writing implement is a fountain pen

  • I have a collection of 12 typewriters

  • I was obsessed with the Titanic in 3rd Grade

  • I play the cello and am teaching myself to play the piano

  • One of my favorite seasons is winter because I get to watch the snow fall with a cup of hot cocoa (and lots of marshmallows) in hand

Want to get to know me better? I'd love to hear from you!

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

(PHOTO)JOURNALISM

Minnesota Student Journalist of the Year First Runner-Up

1st Place MHSPA Gold Medallion for Yearbook - Student Life Story

3rd Place MHSPA Gold Medallion for Photojournalism - Photo Illustration

Best of School Newspapers Online (SNO) for "Omar talks foreign policy and historic first term"

Best of School Newspapers Online (SNO) for "Sanders rally energizes Minnesota voters ahead of Super Tuesday"

Published in 40+ publications throughout 14+ states and six countries.

The Rubicon/RubicOnline Publication Awards:

 

2020 – 2021
NSPA Awards – JEA/NSPA Virtual Convention (announced Nov. 20, 2020)

  • RubicOnline – 2nd Place Best of Show (Website)

 

Columbia Scholastic Press Association

  • The Rubicon / rubiconline.com – Hybrid Crown Award finalist (announced Mar 2021)

 

2020-21 Awards – State Journalism Convention – Oct. 8, 2020 (virtual awards)

  • All State Gold – Newspaper – The Rubicon

  • All State Gold – Website – RubicOnline

 

Minnesota High School Press Association – Best of Show

  • First Place – Newspaper – The Rubicon

  • Second Place – Website – RubicOnline

2019 – 2020

Columbia Scholastic Press Association

  • The Rubicon / RubicOnline – Gold Medallion

  • The Rubicon / RubicOnline.com – Gold Crown Award

  • The Rubicon – All-American

  • RubicOnline – All-American

  • JEA/NSPA Washington D.C. – Nov. 20-24

  • NSPA Best of Show 4th Place – RubicOnline

 

Journalism Educators of Minnesota

  • The Rubicon – All-State Gold

  • RubicOnline – All-State Gold

  • Convention Best of Show

  • The Rubicon – 1st Place

  • RubicOnline – 2nd Place

 

National Scholastic Press Association

  • RubicOnline – Pacemaker Finalist / Pacemaker Winner

  • 2020 SNO Distinguished Site

PHOTOGRAPHY

"St. Paul's Cathedral Sunset" (photo) in Iris: Art + Lit (2020)

"Minnehaha's Frozen Falls" (photo) in Iris: Art + Lit (2020)

"Golden Gate Bridge" (photo) in Iris: Art + Lit (2019)

WRITING

"A Murderous Wave" (poetry) in Iris: Art + Lit (2020)

"Alto Churumazu, 2004" (poetry) in Iris: Art + Lit (2020)

SCOUTING

Eagle Scout (2020)

William T. Hornaday Award (2020)

Ralph Davis Award (2018)

World Conservation Award (2019)

Spanish Interpreter Strip (2019)
Messengers of Peace (2019)

Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor Nominee (2020)
 

ENVIRONMENTAL

2017 NAPPC Pollinator Advocate Award for the USA

Received a $10,000 grant from a Minnesota-based nonprofit to write a book on bees for a youth audience. I’m currently working on the book, which should be published by the end of 2021. Per my request, most if not all the copies produced under the grant will be donated to Minnesota schools.

ENTREPRENEUR

2018 Minnesota Cup Semifinalist - Youth Division

ACADEMIC

​Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Finalist (2021)

3M Young Inventor Recognition (2021)

Harvard Prize Book (2020)

National Qualifier for Congressional Debate National Tournament (2020)

MN Certificate of Proficiency for ACTFL Intermediate-Low Proficiency in Spanish (2018)

Letter in Fencing

ADDITIONAL

Top Finalist - MN Poetry Out Loud (2019)