Faculty Spotlight: Who is Jackie Utton?

More stories from Sabrina Riley

As you walk on the second floor of Grewen Hall and glance into room 206, you can find Jackie Utton sitting at her desk. She is either typing on her computer, talking on the phone, or organizing documents to keep the nursing department in order, according to Susan Bastable, the former chair of the department. As students and professors are on their way to class, Utton remains sitting at her desk going about her normal working routine, which may not be considered normal for everyone.

“She keeps the department running like a well oiled machine,” said Bastable. “She was my right-hand person and she probably knows more about everything than I do.”

Since the department was created in 2004 until this past year, Utton has been by Bastable’s side; assisting her in running the successful and growing nursing program. Utton’s focus and motivation from within has led her to this place in her life.  

Utton, the administrative assistant of the nursing department, is known to be hardworking, intelligent, and dependable, according to her colleagues. When she isn’t keeping track of people’s schedules or filing paperwork, she loves relaxing and traveling with her friends.

Utton has worked around medical professionals for most of her life. However, working for Le Moyne has allowed her to leave an imprint on the nursing department through her character.

Many of Utton’s colleagues feel as if the department would not run properly if she wasn’t here. Kathy Gonzalez, the clinical coordinator of the program, often expresses how important Utton is to the department and faculty.  

“It feels like without her, we would not be able to function! She keeps us together and on target. I like to say she does all the hard work!” said Gonzalez.

Utton is genuinely a kindhearted individual who not only cares about the department, but also for the students involved in the nursing program. She is constantly going out of her way to help anyone with anything.

Before the nursing department moved their offices to Grewen Hall, there was a time when Utton would leave a stapler near her work station for the students. There would be a big sign that said “Yes! You can use the stapler!” as students would be passing by in search of one. There would also always be a dish of candy near the stapler, according to another colleague of Utton’s, Professor McLees.   

Utton has been working for the department since the very beginning, when it was created in 2004. “This is how God got me to college,” she said.

Utton saw this new opportunity 11 years ago and took it. However, she never attended college and had to further learn about higher education for the position at Le Moyne.

The nursing department continues to grow each year and Utton juggles more responsibility with enthusiasm.

There were over 100 people who applied for the administrative assistant to the department in 2004. The Office of Human Resources narrowed it down to seven and Utton was among those finalists.

Utton’s character was first shown eleven years ago when Bastable interviewed her for the position.

“Although I liked a couple of the candidates, it was not until I met Jackie that I was sure I had found the right person,” Bastable said.

Utton came into the room with an instantaneous smile and shook Bastable’s hand firmly showing how self-confident she was. When Bastable asked Utton, “What is the best thing that has happened to you in the last 24 hours?” She replied, “I was called back for a second interview for this position.” It was then that Bastable knew she really wanted it.

When Utton decides to leave Le Moyne she wants to be remembered as a hardworking, funny and helping person. Still, many of the faculty members in the department already see her leaving her mark on Le Moyne more and more each day.