Claudia Tristán was born in Austin to a huge family with four siblings.
At 13, her family moved overseas for diplomatic work. She lived in Greece, Botswana and Sri Lanka before returning to the U.S. for college.
Tristán graduated from Texas Tech University in 2014 with two bachelor’s degrees, one in print journalism and the other in marketing. She also got a minor in Spanish.
In college, Tristán worked for a student-led digital news website. Her work on covering campus sexual assault won recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists Region 8; it also placed third in the Student Work Gold Circle Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
Tristán began her broadcast career in Abilene, Texas, working as a news and weather anchor for Telemundo. Shortly after helping establish the new station, her contract was bought out and she was transferred back to Lubbock to work as the station’s first bilingual reporter for the Fox and Telemundo affiliates.
Tristán also continued her work as a weather anchor for Telemundo Lubbock and Telemundo New Mexico. While working in Lubbock, Tristán earned her master’s degree in strategic communication and innovation from Texas Tech.