In her 28 years at Boston College, Sheila Tucker, M.A., RD, CSSD, LDN, has taught nutrition and fitness in the Lynch School of Education, nutrition for life in the Woods College of Advancing Studies, and pharmacology and nutrition at CSON. She has served as an executive dietitian for Boston College Dining Services and a performance nutritionist for Boston College Athletics, advising student-athletes on what and when to eat, and “how to navigate the dining halls,” she said.
After years of combining part-time teaching with a clinical nutrition practice on campus, Tucker is now a full-time clinical instructor, dividing her time between the Connell School and the Woods College. At CSON, her teaching focuses on the role of nursing in providing patient care across the lifespan. She teaches wellness nutrition, an elective, at the Woods College.
The science of nutrition is evolving rapidly, she noted. Once patients were given blanket recommendations. Now there is more emphasis on an individualized approach, she said.
In fact, the field is evolving so rapidly that Tucker plans to devote some of her time to updating Nutrition and Diet Therapy for Nurses (Pearson, 2010), a book she wrote with Vera Dauffenbach, an associate professor of nursing at Bellin College in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Nutrition is a life skill, Tucker said. “And I tell my class it’s a moving target. Every day, I have to read new studies.” She tells her students, too, that it is the job of the nurse to act as an educator in reinforcing the importance of diets prescribed to treat such conditions as diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure.
“Teaching,” Tucker added, “is what I absolutely love the most.”
—Chris Reidy, photograph by Lee Pellegrini