NOVA Community Stories

Katie (Disharoon) Brussard '98

"When you have smart classmates and teachers who really care about your development as a human, you can't help but start to take on their good traits as well!"

So, what are you doing?
I am a Naturopathic physician (ND) in Salt Lake City. I help prevent and treat chronic illness with natural methods like diet, lifestyle, supplements and herbs. I specialize in gut health, immune issues, joint and muscle pain and hormone imbalances.

Tell us about your career path.
Growing up in Olympia I had an amazing ND who inspired me to become one myself. I was so interested in the field of natural medicine that I attended Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Health Psychology while also getting my pre-med prerequisites and massage therapy certificate. After a year off I entered Naturopathic medical school at National College of Natural Medicine (now NUNM) in Portland, OR. In 2011, after graduating with my ND, I began a general practice residency in Tempe, AZ. After my residency, I entered practice in Seattle, where I began to pursue an interest in hormone replacement and ventured into the world of testosterone replacement therapy. After a big move from the PNW to the Mountain West, I started my own practice here in Salt Lake City. Thanks to some amazing training I've recently received, I've added speciality injections in my practice including Prolozone, Ozone Therapy, and Neural Therapy.

What are some favorite memories of NOVA?
Oh my goodness, I have so many! Some of my favorites include: going to Cispus and doing the ropes course with all of my classmates; Valentine's Day gift exchanges; our school trips to Washington D.C., Friday Harbor, Crystal Mountain, and Portland, OR; making cool pottery with our art teacher; dissecting fetal pigs with our science teacher; accumulating 'Loteria' points in Spanish class; the old building on Ruddell Road and walking down to the lake for swimming.

What's one thing you learned about yourself at NOVA?
I definitely learned that I was a unique little nerd and I'm happy that I learned it then. Middle school can be such an unforgiving and ugly place — and NOVA gave me a safe space where I could nerd out with other creative kids without the judgement or shame I might have received in other school settings.

How do you think NOVA prepared you for life after middle school?
NOVA gave me solid study skills and a healthy work ethic. It was at NOVA that I began to put more serious effort toward studying, which meant high school was much easier to handle. When you have smart classmates and teachers who really care about your development as a human, you can't help but start to take on their good traits as well!

Any advice for current NOVA students?
Find your group of pals and be as genuine as you can be with them. Those people we love being around most are the ones who are most genuinely and shamelessly themselves.

Alumni Spotlight

Sarah Joy (Cundiff) White 2008

NOVA was really a key place for me at a pivotal time in life.

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Alumni Spotlight

Matthew Rosen 2012

NOVA taught me to think critically, to be curious, and to love learning.

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Alumni Spotlight

Laurel (Olfson-Manning) Schimelfenig 2007

NOVA was a safe place where I knew the staff, teachers, and fellow peers were there to support and guide me.

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