Student Spotlight: Nicole Spear
Life is like a river. Both have a beginning and ending, are full of twists and turns, and move swiftly and slowly at various junctures. Other waters will join with and diverge from the river at various stages, just as our lives meet and diverge with those of others. We never know where life will take us; so like the river, we must go with the flow to wherever life takes us. No one knows this better than Nicole Spears
Since Nicole graduated from IU East with highest distinction in 2004, her life has taken various paths. She worked as a clinician in a lab and in Heart Services at Reid Health for a few years then entered the graduate program at the University of Bridgeport where she earned a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition. After obtaining her Master’s, she completed post-graduate training and certifications as a clinical nutritionist and a functional medicine practitioner. She has worked as an adjunct faculty member at IU East since 2010 where she teaches and develops both face-to-face and online nutrition courses. She also owns a small business (Pure Life Health and Wellness) where she works with physicians, other healthcare providers, and clients to develop individualized nutrition and nutraceutical plans to support a variety of health concerns and writes research articles and patient and practitioner education pieces for a practitioner-only supplement company. Her writing skills have allowed her to serve as a ghostwriter for several integrative physicians; and in October of 2017, she published her first book. This book, Healthy Gut, Healthy Life: A Scientifically Proven Plan to Reverse Disease and Chronic Illness, is a comprehensive guide to gut health and restoration and is a roadmap for restoring the organ that houses your immune system and affects your body’s ability to heal and repair itself from any health condition.
According to Nicole, her time at IU East was invaluable for the work that she accomplishes today. While at IU East, she learned excellent study skills that prepared her for her continued education and how to develop and read formal lab reports, something that she has never been able to escape and that is foundational for her work as an author and researcher. She has several good memories of IU East as both a student and as an instructor, but the most memorable moment was the morning of the 9/11 attacks. According to Nicole, she walked into Whitewater Hall for her A&P class to discover students and faculty members gathering around a small box television in the corner of the lobby. “As we witnessed the damage to the first of the twin towers, and soon, the second, there were tears, hugs, and phone calls. In the midst of fear and shock, students, staff, and faculty unified to comfort and offer assistance to one another. It was a moment where we truly became an IU East family.”