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Nancy Elizabeth Spence, Ph. D.

Dr. Spence is co-founder i∙ki∙gai and creator and principal facilitator of “What Should I Do with My Life?” workshops.

Over the past four decades, she has developed numerous programs and courses winning local and national recognitions, including a U.S. Presidential citation for “outstanding public service.”

Her national-award-winning class on how to live a meaningful life (which she taught for seven years at the University of Cincinnati) was cited by a major online news source as “among the ten most worthwhile, interesting courses on college campuses.”

Her book Life Medicine: Wisdom for Extraordinary Living, now in its 4th edition, has been used by faculty or staff in more than 60 colleges and universities.  (The book is available at Cincinnati's Joseph Beth Booksellers, Rookwood Commons.  Click here for a brief description; click here to listen to radio interviews.)

During the thirteen years she served as a director in student affairs at the University of Cincinnati, she created a variety of groups and one-of-a-kind courses to enhance students’ psycho-spiritual development, including material now part of “What Should I Do with My Life?” workshops. 

Further inspiration comes from the eight years she served as faculty for learners earning advanced degrees in clinical psychology, education, organizational management, leadership studies and religion and from additional years teaching literature and writing at both the community-college and university levels, including four years at Xavier University where her department chair described her teaching as “provocative, challenging … inventive and engaged…with an unusual capacity to reach a wide variety of students.)  

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Penn State, Spence earned two masters degrees from the University of Michigan and Ph.D. in East-West Psychology.  Her doctoral dissertation has been described by a founder of human-potential psychology as “a very, very important study… rich, crucial and quite wonderful.”

She has served as a trainer for Cincinnati Women Helping Women, the Cincinnati Police Department, and the Cincinnati YWCA and has presented over 70 local, national, and international radio, television, and conference programs.  For the past ten years, she’s been cited in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, or Who’s Who among American Women.

Her lifelong passion for world cultures and what they have to teach about optimal well-being has taken her to 30 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Far East, and South Pacific. She has studied Asian psychotherapies in Japan; explored Chinese medicines in The Peoples' Republic of China; observed Hindu ritual along the sacred Ganges; shared midnight stories with New Zealand's Maori; studied Celtic spirituality in Ireland and Iona, Scotland; and hiked East Africa's Serengeti with one of the world's last semi-nomadic tribes.

At the heart of it all is a deep enthusiasm for exploring how humans live their best lives and then helping others discover and maximize their own unique excellence.

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