Curtis Bell Headshot

Meet Curtis Bell.

Hometown: Inglewood, Calif.

Education: bachelor’s in kinesiology

Before Curtis Bell (M.S. ’17) worked with elite athletes and earned his master’s degree in nutrition from Northeast College, he dropped out of his Los Angeles high school when he was a junior.

Dr. Bell’s journey into health sciences was anything but traditional. He joined the U.S. Navy, where he was a sonar technician. Upon completion of duty, Bell returned to school. With a love of sports and fascination with the human body, Bell earned a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from University of Southern California in 1992. He immediately began working in sports medicine and rehabilitation and has since worked in physical therapy clinics and at every level of competitive sports, from Little League to the Olympics.

A certified athletic trainer and neuromuscular therapist, Bell has worked as head athletic trainer with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New Jersey Devils, and the Florida Panthers, and is now the director of sports performance for the Pittsburgh Penguins and has been since 2012.

To further advance his expertise and better help the team’s elite athletes reach their optimal health and performance, Bell returned to college once again, this time earning his master’s degree in applied clinical nutrition from Northeast College in 2017.

Through his studies and personal experiences, Bell has learned to develop nutrition plans and neuromuscular therapies that help athletes reach their optimal performance. Bell has even been called hockey’s optimizer.

Why Northeast for Nutrition? 

Bell chose Northeast’s nutrition program because it allowed him to continue working full time. He says: “I was also looking for a program that used real science to apply practical nutrition in real-world settings. I really wanted practical applications rather than just theories about nutrition.” He enjoys the fact that he now has the knowledge and experience to help athletes achieve their goals on the ice by what they can do together off the ice.

When asked what helped him in his career and what he would recommend to students, Bell’s answer was simple: “Be a learner not a knower. Continue to seek out courses, seminars, and educational opportunities to continue growing and learning. Accept viewpoints from others and never believe you have found the answers. Those are really just more questions.”

Bell sees nutrigenomics and biochemical individuality as the true form of health and wellness and predicts that these areas of nutrition and diagnostic testing are going to explode in the next decade.