Nudo, Reynolds named SIC 2024 Distinguished Alumni

Southeastern Illinois College announces Dr. Jennifer Nudo and Carl Reynolds as the recipients of the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes outstanding alumni who have demonstrated exceptional achievements and contributions in their respective fields.

Carl Reynolds

Reynolds, originally from Harrisburg, is a retired FBI agent and private investigator. He graduated from SIC in 1967 with an associate in arts, and continued his studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale to earn a bachelor of arts in political science.

He vividly recalls those early days, saying, “Thank God for SIC. When I graduated from Harrisburg Township High School (as it was called then) in 1964, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I was immature. SIC was still located in the high school … so it was a convenient and comfortable transition to college. By the time I entered SIU, I was accustomed to the college routine.”

Reynolds worked his way through college at WEBQ Radio in Harrisburg and then WSIL-TV under then owner O.L. Turner. When graduation time came, he learned that the FBI was hiring agents, so he applied and was accepted. He entered the academy at Quantico, Va., in December 1970.

Eventually, he was assigned to San Francisco, where he worked foreign counterintelligence matters. In 1975, he attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., and in 1976, he received a diploma in the Russian language. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the FBI office in New York City. He returned to San Francisco in 1982 and continued his work in FCI.

“The 1980s were considered to be the decade of the spy, so it was an exciting time for me and my colleagues,” said Reynolds. “The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but its intelligence services did not.”

Reynolds explained that his primary job was to recruit and maintain human intelligence assets — in other words, to convince someone to tell them what was going on in their country.

“The gold standard was to recruit an intelligence officer who still worked in a hostile intelligence service,” said Reynolds. “We all strived for that, but those recruitments were few and far between. When you were successful, you felt that in some small way (and in some instances, large way), you contributed to the well-being of the U.S.”

He retired from the FBI in 1997 and started a private investigation company with cases that generally involved due diligence. Ever the student, he was awarded a diploma from the American Society of Industrial Security as a Certified Protection Professional, and shortly after 9/11 was hired by the NBA to be one of its top security reps for the Golden State Warriors.

"I am honored to accept this award and to be included in the company of the Distinguished Alumni of SIC," said Reynolds. "I know the caliber of those who have received this award, and I couldn’t imagine why I would be included among their number."

Now in his second retirement, Reynolds jokes that he and his wife, Deb (who also worked for the FBI, which is where they met) are trying to qualify for the senior golf tours. Unfortunately, they will be unable to attend the commencement ceremony. However, he does have a bit of advice along with his well wishes for graduates.

“SIC didn’t prepare me for a particular career. It allowed me to mature and prepare for success at the university level. But more importantly, it helped me to realize that at some point, I needed to be a useful and productive member of society and that I needed to support those who would follow a similar path,” said Reynolds. “A final bit of advice: don’t go it alone. By that, I mean find a life partner, someone whom you completely trust, whose opinion you value and who always has your back.”

Dr. Jennifer Nudo

Dr. Jennifer Nudo

Nudo, a native of Eldorado, is a chiropractor and certified functional medicine practitioner. Her studies began at SIC, where she earned an associate of science in 2008 while working at the SIC Bookstore and participating in the Math and Science Club.

One of her instructors, Kim Martin (mathematics), had this to say of Nudo’s time at SIC: “From day one of her time here at SIC, it was obvious that Jennifer was a very bright and very driven student. Her coursework was exemplary as she completed our pre-med curriculum at the top of her class, including being selected as the Sam Porter Outstanding Chemistry Student for her work in the majors’ organic chemistry sequence. Her level of commitment and determination only grew from here, as she worked to become a chiropractor and soon after bought and expanded a very successful clinic in Chicago. Now she is building a second business in health care. Jennifer’s drive and courage are extraordinary, and we are so proud to be able to call her an SIC alum!”

That same sentiment was echoed by math, science and technology Chair Jason Fitzgerald: “One of the things I remember fondly about Jen is how sophisticated she was. Her education was important to her, and you could tell that she was a young woman who had a plan as to what she wanted to do in life, and how she was going to accomplish that. Of course, she also had a fun-loving side to her, as well that shone through during the Math and Science Club activities. It is no surprise to me that she has become so successful and that she has helped many people. She was truly a standout student and is much deserving of the honor of Distinguished Alumna.”

After SIC, Nudo transferred to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Logan College of Chiropractic. She later attended Functional Medicine University to become a certified functional medicine practitioner.

She began working in the field of chiropractics in Chicago in 2013, eventually owning her own business there called Experience Chiropractic. In 2023, she sold the business to start a new functional medicine facility in Nashville called The Wellness Work Up.

Nudo will be the keynote speaker at SIC’s Commencement Ceremony May 9 at 7 p.m.

“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from Southeastern Illinois College and to be among the esteemed recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award,” said Nudo. “My education at SIC laid the foundation for my career in holistic health and chiropractic care, and I am grateful for the opportunities it provided me. I look forward to continuing to serve my community and inspire future generations of students to pursue their passions and make a positive impact in the world.”

Besides being heavily involved in the holistic health community, Nudo has volunteered for organizations such as the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Nourishing Hope, and the Pilsen Food Pantry. She served on the board of the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, facilitating numerous community outreach programs, and participated in fundraising activities for women’s shelters across Chicagoland. In her spare time, she loves spending time with friends and family, attending concerts, working out and playing pickleball.

“Dr. Nudo and Mr. Reynolds exemplify the values of Southeastern Illinois College and serve as inspiring role models for current and future students,” said SIC President Jonah Rice. “Their dedication to excellence and commitment to community service reflect the spirit of the Distinguished Alumni Award."