Penning the future:Judi Nath's lifelong love of science and writing form a successful teaching and writing career

Dr. Judi Nath, PhD, has always had a love for science and writing.

“On my website readers can see two ‘books’ that I wrote while in grade school: Health Booklet and Human Body Organs.” says Nath.

Nath, of Sandusky, took those childhood passions and turned them into a teaching career that has come in many forms.

While it wasn’t immediately clear how this enthusiasm would shape her life, she did what any budding scientist would do – she majored in German as an undergrad.

Lucky for her future students, she double majored in biology as well. Her first job was as a German teacher at Sylvania Northview High School, but after one year, her craving for more academia seeped in.  

By the time she entered grad school, she had given up German (even after spending time abroad at the University of Salzburg in Austria during her senior year) and focused on health sciences. This began the studies of courses such as statistics, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and many others. This post-grad curriculum is similar to premed students, but without the clinical rotations.

Nath in her writing cottage with a poster that was displayed at a recent book launch. (Photo/Courtesy of Judi Nath)Proudly earning her BS and Master of Education from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. at the University of Toledo, she was able to start teaching at Lourdes University in 1992 with a dual appointment in the biology and nursing departments.

Born out of a desire to help her students learn more efficiently and concisely, Nath began writing packets to fit the style of learning her students needed.

“I had been writing course packs for my students for years when I met some authors and publishers at a professional conference of the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS),” she shares. “That conference changed my life because I made connections to professors, editors, and book publishers across the US and Canada.  Editors were interested in what I was doing in the classroom and how skilled I was at making complex topics easily understood.” 

Nath began working with her first publisher as a review and ancillary writer for anatomy and physiology textbooks. This bloomed into her career as a textbook author.

She is not only an advocate for scientific literature (she is the author of Sins Against Science: How Misinformation Affects our Lives), but she is currently editing the latest edition of her books through publisher powerhouse Pearson to include text language that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion, as, “Pearson is dedicated to creating bias-free content that reflects the diversity, depth, and breadth of all learners’ lived experiences,” according to the Pearson website.

In addition to her inclusive efforts, Nath also hopes to better the world by teaching undergraduate and graduate-level students and writes several science textbooks. At Lourdes, she became a full professor, writer-in-residence, and professor emerita.

Nath holds the 12th edition of Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology, which officially will launch this month. (Photo/Courtesy of Judi Nath)Textbook writing is her full-time job, putting teaching somewhat on the back burner; however, she is still an academic affiliate and adjunct teaching professor at Penn State University.

Nath’s love for her students and her passion for teaching while watching them succeed is ever present. The writing of these textbooks is truly the combination of a love for art and science.  

Born in Sandusky and graduating from Sandusky High in 1984, being a native isn’t the only reason she is so fond of the area. Both she and her husband Mike Nath – affectionately referring to each as their “one and done” – both enjoy the sense of community that Sandusky brings. They even met at Cedar Point.

Avid dog lovers, they enjoy the bay and Lake Erie with their pets. She lives next door to her brother and she and Mike have come to join the Happy Thursday Community Bike Ride. Nath’s love, though, is her pets. Currently her fur babies are BoBo the rescue pit bull and Greta the shepherd puppy.  

“The longest either one of us has been without a dog is two months,” she says. “When I came into this world, there was a German shepherd waiting for me.”

Many of Nath's books have been translated into Korean, French, Italian, and Spanish. (Photo/Courtesy of Judi Nath)No matter if she is spending time with her husband or her dogs, Nath’s love for her career is never far from her mind, as she says she is a “teacher to the core.”

“I love teaching,” she says. “I wouldn’t be able to write if I didn’t have classroom experience because science writing cannot be divorced from teaching.” 

Her books have sold worldwide, which gives her the opportunity to influence millions of would-be healthcare workers. 

“Writing is a solitary endeavor, but teaching is interactive and energetic and there’s no better way to mentor students than by being with them,” Nath says.

Nath says she is “training the future healthcare of America” and while that might be true, it’s evident by her kindness and passion for people, art, and science, that she just might be training them to be good humans as well.