‘Mom away from home’ for students

Arlene Jackson celebrates retirement after 37 years
December 21st, 2021

Arlene Jackson, dental dispensing technician in clinical affairs, will celebrate her retirement this month after a 37-year career

The sense of community is something that Arlene Jackson, dental dispensing technician in clinical affairs, says she’ll miss after she retires. Dec. 31 will mark an end to 2021 and the conclusion of Jackson’s 37-year career with the College of Dentistry.

Cherri Kading, director of clinical operations, spoke at Jackson’s retirement party Dec. 20, commenting on her dedication and love for the students.

“I loved working with [her],” Kading says. “I think that’s what we can all say about Arlene; she came to work every day and loved her students.”

Jackson explains, “They were like my children, and they would say, ‘Ms. Arlene, you’re my mom away from home.’ I enjoy working with the students and the staff and my coworkers.”

In retirement she intends to relax and travel but says she will also be getting more involved in a ministry called Wailing Women Win, a faith-based nonprofit that offers transitional housing for women in need.

“I love praying for people. I love helping people,” says Jackson. She thanks central sterilization and the periodontics department for the community they created and says she’ll miss working with them all.

“We were family,” she says. “We might have had our ups and downs, but we were still together. … Thank God for the 37 years that he blessed me to be here, and to make an impact on somebody’s life.”

Arlene Jackson (middle) at her retirement party with dental dispensing technicians Esteban Martinez (left) and Isaac Ruiz (right).


— Caleb Vierkant