Numerous letters of support from both students and faculty accompanied Hutchings’ nomination. These cited her exemplary performance in all aspects of teaching at the School, whether in the classroom, lab or clinic. Letter after letter praised her ability to make difficult concepts both accessible and relevant to optometric practice. One example: “Putting It Together” sessions in which students take foundational concepts and then apply them to simulated clinical situations, such as developing a recommendation for eyeglasses to suit a specific patient case.
Hutchings was also recognized for leadership in curriculum development at the School, her efforts to mentor early career faculty, and a deep concern for student well-being.
As one student noted, "Dr. Hutchings is not only beyond intelligent and an incredible educator, she is also caring, supportive and understanding. Students feel comfortable approaching her to ask questions and she is always more than willing to help. Dr. Hutchings truly believes that there is no such thing as a ‘bad question’ to be asked."
Also receiving the 2019 ESTA was Marcel Pinheiro of the Department of Biology.