BCTC professor set to retire

After 30 years at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Jean Jackson said retirement is finally in sight.

Though, she’s not ready to leave entirely.

“I’m planning to continue working as an adjunct for a while,” Jackson said.

Jackson, a native of Manchester, England, attended college in Sheffield and Leeds, Yorkshire, where she earned a bachelor’s in zoology, a master’s in education and a doctorate in pharmacology.

Jackson has taught at BCTC for over 30 years, spending nearly 11 of those years at the Winchester-Clark County campus. Jackson said she brought the anatomy and physiology classes here. She also worked a few stints as an adviser.

She taught a year of high school in England, but ultimately decided it wasn’t a good fit, she said, so she went back to research before coming to the U.S.

In 1981, she moved to Lexington, where she lives with her husband, son and two cats, Bert and Jasper.

Jackson said she is more of a physiologist by training, but she later became interested in nutrition.

“I’ve just always been interested in nutrition,” Jackson said. “There’s a lot of overlap, of course, between chronic diseases and, and the area of nutrition.”

She started teaching nutrition in 2005.

“I’d always wanted to teach the nutrition, but I didn’t have any formal courses in nutrition,” Jackson said. “So when I took my sabbatical, I did that and came back and started to coordinate the nutrition program.”

In her spare time, she enjoys planning and cooking nutritious meals, sports, music, gardening and exercise.

“I like to keep up with the health and wellness,” Jackson said. “ … There’s always a lot going on in nutrition news.”

Jackson said she has also been a part of diabetes coalitions as well as the Clark County Activity Coalition. She’s also taught nutrition classes during the Wellness Challenge for some time.

Last week, Jackson explored the fundamentals of eating for health and wellness. As part of the Wellness Challenge, Jackson discussed nutrient recommendations, food groups and labels, portion sizes, fad diets and guidelines for physical activity and weight loss.

Jackson said a lot of people don’t realize the impact nutrition has on their health. With an overload of information, Jackson said it’s important for people to get the facts about nutrition from reputable sources.

“We tell students to look for trustworthy sites,” Jackson said. “Things like, for example, Mayo Clinic or the American Dietetic. So look for those .org or .edu websites.”

Jackson said she loves being a teacher, as she loves seeing her students grasp new concepts.

“I really enjoyed the application and then thinking critically, mastering concepts,” Jackson said.

Jackson said she has a lot of great students this year.

“I always remember my outstanding students,” Jackson said. “We give awards in biology to our outstanding students. I think back over the years, to some of those outstanding students who gone on and have been successful. I remember one guy in particular. It was probably about my first or second year teaching. I had him for non-majors animal biology. And he went on to get an MD and a Ph.D. Not everybody does that.”