Nancy Marie Spears is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. She has spent the majority of her time as an undergraduate student journalist at the University of Oklahoma specializing in Indigenous affairs. She earned her bachelor’s degree in print journalism in May 2022 and during her time as a student journalist, she covered an Indigenous affairs political beat for Gaylord News as a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent and was lead writer for a national story for Cronkite College at ASU. Her experience in investigative reporting and data journalism includes contributions to a nationwide map tracking the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Indigenous communities that was co-produced by Indian Country Today and Johns Hopkins American Indian Health Center. Her work on that study will soon be published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, The Lancet. Post-graduation, she now works as the contracted reporter to cover the Indian Child Welfare Act and Indigenous child welfare topics for The Imprint, the nation's only publication focusing on child welfare and youth justice issues. When she isn’t living and breathing journalism, you can find Nancy outdoors hiking, camping, gardening, drinking hot tea, cooking vegan foods and spending time with her family and her beloved pets, which include two hedgehogs, cats, dogs, and garden snails.