Author and Xavier Alum is Making Black History

Feb 18, 2021

For children’s book author and ‘89 grad Jacqueline Hutsell, the most valuable lesson Xavier taught her was that she is a leader.

“What Xavier gave me were opportunities to lead,” Hutsell said. “Through those opportunities I was able to learn that not only could I lead, I could also have an influence on people's lives.”

When she wasn’t in class as a communications and marketing major, Hutsell was taking full advantage of her Xavier experience. She cheered in the student section at basketball games, played intramural sports and even became president of the Black Student Association. However, after graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she still wasn’t done with Xavier quite yet. In ‘05, she returned for her master’s in human resource development. Little did she know this would lead to her becoming the very first African-American professional in the personnel department at Cincinnati Insurance Co., creating her very own unique mark on black history.

“Black history is about more than the things we can read about,” Hutsell said. “It is my history as a black woman. Black history inspires new generations of black people by showing what’s possible for them to do based on what has been done.”

Hutsell is the ultimate testament to this, having channeled the obstacles that previous black generations overcame, into inspiration to follow her ambitions.  While working with and training people in human resources, Hutsell discovered a spark inside of her. She developed a passion for bringing out the best that individuals had to offer by helping them tap into their most incredible selves.

Today, Hutsell is a coach, mentor, certified consultant, Vice President of the non-profit Council on Aging and most recently author of the children’s book, Asha’s Journey to Her Incredible Self .

“I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book,” Hutsell said. “I wanted to leave words to my grandchildren and their children after them. I wanted them to have something tangible from me that would last forever.” 

How is Hutsell making black history? By leaving it behind for future black generations to inspire them the same way those before inspired her. As it would seem, that inspiration has already begun.

In a recently published review, Hutsell’s 28 year-old daughter, Malai Asha Golston, of whom the book’s main character is the namesake, writes:

“…Asha’s Journey to Her Incredible Self is a wonderful story of love, learning, and faith… I grew up on these very principles on my journey to be my incredible self and my beautiful mother still continues to this day to instill that in me when I become doubtful or stagnant in my journey.”

While Hutsell kept her daughter and future descendants in mind with her book, the overarching goal was to send a message to young black girls everywhere.

“From this book, I want my little sisters to gain an understanding on love,” Hutsell said. “I also want them to know that faith can help you move through any situation.”

The themes of Asha’s Journey to Her Incredible Self are fully in line with Hustsell’s personal mission statement, or as she puts it: To motivate and encourage people to seek their purpose thus to finding their destiny.

Hutsell has had quite an incredible journey of her own since her days at Xavier and her future is sure to bring about even more moments that will go down in history.

By Laurent Che, Content Producer in the Office of Marketing and Communications

You might also like: