Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in Communications from the University of Miami in 1989.
Served as the Orange Bowl Queen in 1985-1986.
Nespral became the first Hispanic ever to anchor a network news program in English when she was hired on NBC's Weekend Today Show in 1991. Before then, she had worked for ten months at Univision, the Spanish-language television network, anchoring the news program Noticias y Mas (News and More). Since she and her husband lived in Coconut Grove, she had to commute to New York every Thursday and return home every Sunday. Her last appearance on the Weekend Today Show was New Year's Day, 1994, and she debuted on WTVJ-NBC6 two weeks later, in 1995.
A finalist in the 1983 Contest for Miss National Teenager.
Her parents left Cuba in the 1950s; she was born in the Little Havana section of Miami. She attended St. Brendan High School in West Dade County.
Nespral received a graduate degree in journalism from Florida International University in 1991.
Nespral married her childhood sweetheart, Armando Hassun, an anesthesiologist. When they met, he was 17 and she was only 14.
Launched her television career as a model on Univision's Saturday night variety show, "Sabado Gigante."
During her very first day at WTVJ (NBC's Miami affiliate), at the beginning of August 1992, Nespral had to do a segment in which she went to the home of Martha Stewart to watch Martha cook paella. The spectacle of Martha teaching a Cuban American woman how to cook a Cuban American dinner provided television critics with a feast of irony for their follow-up columns.
Modeled designer fashions from Macy's spring/summer catalog in April, 1995, for a charity sponsored by Macy's "Hottest News on the Runway" fashion show. Nespral often hosts or emcees charity events. Her mother had gotten her into modeling, and Jackie was crowned Orange Bowl queen at the age of 19, one of the youngest queens in Orange Bowl history and the first Cuban-American to earn the honor.
Early in her career, she served as reporter and anchor for Voice of America's TV Martí.
Purchased a $750,000 home in Coral Gables, Florida, with her husband Armando.
Personal Quotes (2)
Our household was a mixture of Latin and American traditions. I come from a very unified family; we're very close, we have the religious background, we share the Cuban culture. We also enjoy the independence of the American heritage, the independence of the women. My parents knew that I could become successful as a woman, as a Hispanic, and that I could be a mother and a professional at the same time. [June 30, 1992]
[about anchoring for NBC's Miami news program] I think that I can offer a lot to the station. I've lived and felt through my bones what this community has been through. It's a part of who I am. [April 12, 2001]