Honor the research legacy of Madison alumna Alison Doherty (’80) by supporting the undergraduate research of today’s geology students.

That’s what she would have wanted. Doherty’s family established the Alison MacDonald Doherty ('80) Endowment for Geology Student Research Scholarship. Now they hope others who knew Alison and still others who believe in her commitment to undergraduate research will help grow the endowment to underwrite the hands-on research of additional geology students.

As a professional environmental geologist, Doherty knew the value of hands-on geology research at Madison and its role in addressing the issues society faces. She took her JMU undergraduate research on Karst formations in the Shenandoah Valley and built it into a career addressing how environmental contaminants move through and are affected by geological formations. She investigated Superfund sites and underground contamination in her work as a hydrogeologist for several nationally recognized environmental firms.

JMU is known for the emphasis it places on the undergraduate research experience under the guidance of expert and engaged faculty mentors paired with the liberal arts foundation that will provide societal context for the decisions they will be making as future science leaders.

Doherty was encouraged in her education by faculty mentor Lance Kearns. "Alison was so enthusiastic and so committed,” Kearns says. “She raised the bar for student scholarship at JMU.”

Your gift will help perpetuate that hands-on research experience for future JMU students like Doherty who want to make a difference in the world. “Alison's professionalism will live on through the fund's research opportunities for our students to achieve just as she did,” Kearns says.

Help amplify the impact of the Doherty family’s generosity and Alison Doherty’s research legacy.

Together, by combining our vision and talents, we can give students the early start that qualifies them ahead of the research curve to enter graduate school, research labs, the teaching profession, the workforce or anywhere else they seek to go to boost America's culture of innovation and discovery.

That’s how the national model of the Engaged University operates. Your gift makes it possible.

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