Remembering Pharmacy Program Coordinator Chris Jackson

by Idaho State University, Idaho State University  |   

Chris Jackson

Christina (Chris) Jackson, an integral member of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and Idaho State University (ISU) College of Pharmacy families, or “pharmily” as they call it, passed away Monday, August 8, 2022 at her home in Wasilla, AK. At 43, Chris leaves behind two young children and other family members who will miss her most deeply. 

The UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy program is a unique partnership between UAA and ISU that  provide pharmacy education for the state of Alaska. As the Alaska Programs Coordinator, Chris was responsible for recruiting, enrolling, advising and guiding nearly every student who entered the program since its inception in 2016. Chris was also a member of the ISU Staff Council from 2020-2022.

Known for bringing a light-hearted but professional spirit to every meeting, many faculty and staff members have noted what a joy it was to work with Chris.

“Chris was an integral component to the success of the UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy Program,” says Angharad Ratliff, PharmD, clinical assistant professor for the UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy Program. 

“She loved to remind us that she was an employee of the program even before Tom Wadsworth. Chris was very skilled at her job but she never took herself too seriously and she was never too busy to meet with a student or faculty member who needed support. Chris's "cry couch" and candy jar are infamous with the Anchorage group. Chris could always be counted on to have a pulse on the students and know if someone had an exciting event coming up or needed support. When I was a new mom, Chris spent hours talking to me about being a mom and being a working mom. I don't think I would be the faculty member or mom that I am without Chris,” Ratliff adds.

The pharmacy students she helped throughout her six year career at ISU have their own collection of memories about her and the impact she made on their education. 

Duane Wood, Class of 2024, shares, “Chris was an anchor for our program, she brought love, kindness and care to the lives of so many. Anytime that I needed someone to talk to, she was there, as she has been for every student. We would talk about anything and everything under the sun and she taught me more about who I am than I think I would have ever found on my own.”

Tom Wadsworth, who was assigned to the UAA Anchorage campus to establish the collaborative pharmacy program there and worked closely with Chris, says that while death is always difficult to understand, those mourning her can take comfort in knowing that Chris's legacy will live on. 

“Chris was passionate about our students’ welfare and the success of the program,” says Tom Wadsworth, PharmD, executive associate dean for the College of Pharmacy. “She was complicated and simple at the same time, with the ability to pivot from business, to boss, to heart, from laughter to tears to advice. She was a consummate planner, always had good ideas, a sharp eye for quality and style, and a heart bigger than anyone.”

Resources are available for faculty, staff and students at both UAA and ISU, including counseling, employee assistance program, and more. 

For students:

UAA Student Health and Counseling Center  
(907) 786-4050

ISU Counseling and Testing Service  
Pocatello (208) 282-2130
Meridian (208) 373-1921

All employees and their dependents, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in the medical plan, have counseling and emotional support services available to them through UAA’s and ISU’s Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).

For faculty, Counseling and Testing has this resource for faculty entitled Classroom Discussions After a Tragedy