Ann Hutchens motivated by university research and change through 45-year career
Virginia Tech employee Ann Hutchens has spent the last 45 years adapting and contributing to the changes, improvements, and research efforts at the university. Hutchens, a fiscal technician in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said that her favorite part of her job is being able to witness the university invent the future first-hand.
“I have the opportunity to go in the labs, see the experiments, meet the students, and ask questions about what they are working on,” said Hutchens. “I find it fascinating to see what their interests are and what type of knowledge that they are gaining from their work. You never know – their experiments could change the whole university, the whole country, or even the whole world.”
Hutchens is one of seven Virginia Tech employees who are being honored for 45 years of service to Virginia Tech. She was recognized during the 2016 Service Recognition Program this spring.
Hutchens came to Virginia Tech in 1971 as an office secretary for the then Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), working in the Extension Division of VPI. While her job titles have changed over the years, her responsibilities have generally stayed the same. For the past seven years of her career, Hutchens has worked as a fiscal technician for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the Latham Hall research building.
Her job duties include several office and fiscal support tasks, such as managing budgets and serving as support personnel for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' director of facilities and for Latham Hall.
Hutchens’ coworkers recognize her exemplary work ethic and unwavering commitment to the university.
“The university, and specifically the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has undergone enormous changes during Ann’s tenure, rising to the level of making significant contributions in research and instruction worldwide,” said the college’s facilities director, Dennis Gehrt. “Virginia Tech has achieved these types of accomplishments through the hard work of people like Ann.”
Hutchens sees herself as the caretaker for Latham Hall. She manages building and research equipment repairs and provides support for faculty, staff, and students who work in the building.
“There is no such thing as a typical work day,” said Hutchens. “Some days I am working on the computer all day, and other days I am running around the building trying to put out fires. There is such a variety of work going on in this building, so there is always something new to take on.”
Though her job provides an array of responsibilities that are sometimes difficult to juggle, Hutchens said her time here has helped her to adapt to and thrive in an ever-changing environment.
“Change is here to stay,” Hutchens said. “Be ready for anything at any moment, because change can happen often and many times in the blink of an eye.”
Written by Mackenzie Nicely, a senior from Lexington, Virginia, majoring in public relations and political science.