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Suffolk woman named Professor of the Year at TCC

After 27 years of teaching, Kim Utley, a Suffolk resident and the radiography program director at Tidewater Community College, has received the college’s Professor of the Year Award.

“I had no idea I was in the running for it,” Utley said. “The dean had to call me and tell me to come to the ceremony. I’m honored, but I can’t do it alone. I have a great support staff.”

Utley’s support staff secretly nominated her for the award.

“Kim does a terrific job, but is very quiet and understated about all the work she does,” said Ellyn Hodgis, associate professor of radiography who nominated Utley. “She was my teacher and now I’ve worked with her for 10 or 15 years. The program is competitive to get into, and she handles all the details.”

The peer award was established by the TCC Faculty Senate to recognize teaching excellence. For close to three decades, Utley has provided training to radiography students in the classroom and laboratory settings. Utley is involved in the overall administration of the program, which includes handling admissions, accreditation, outcomes assessment, curriculum development, equipment purchases and scheduling. She works with clinical instructors in hospital settings to ensure consistent, quality hands-on training for students.

With construction of the new Regional Health Professions Center, Utley has been involved in the design of the radiography space from specifications on X-ray machines to the thickness of lead in the walls for safe operations.

Utley has completed three rounds in the certification process with the Joint Review Commission on Education in Radiologic Technology, handling the self-study and supporting documentation, which fills an entire shelf in her office.

Under her leadership, the program received the highest level of accreditation for the past two years in a row.

“The fact they got that means it’s an incredible program,” Hodgis said. “A large part of that is her doing.”