September 26, 2008

Allison Lynn Dauer

Allison Lynn Dauer

In 2000, while attending an NCAA basketball tournament in Austin, Texas, Allison Lynn Dauer met a group of students from the University of North Carolina. She spent the next hour talking to them. As they discussed activities and aspirations, Allison sensed that the students were deeply intelligent and insightful and desired to make a difference in the world. That very day, she decided she would mail a college application to Chapel Hill.

“They really made an impression on her,” says Joanne Dauer, Allison’s mother. “She kept talking about how the students were smart, friendly, down-to-earth and naturally engaging with a complete stranger. She said, ‘I want to be this type of student. I want to go to this type of university.'”

In 2005, Allison graduated from the UNC School of Public Health with a bachelor’s degree in health policy and administration. This year, her parents are giving something back to the school that shaped much of Allison’s professional life, and they are doing it in her name. Through the Dauer Family Foundation, Dr. Edward Dauer and his wife Joanne established the Allison Lynn Dauer Scholarship in Public Health with a gift of $125,000 to the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health that is meant to support the education of highly qualified students seeking degrees in public health.

“We think it’s very important to give back to institutions that have helped make you a success in life,” says Edward Dauer. “Philanthropy is something you learn from your parents, so by setting up this scholarship in her name, we are underscoring its importance. We’ve no doubt Allison will pass this along to her children.”

The Dauers say their intent is to provide a life-changing difference in students’ lives by directing them toward a field that is ever growing in importance.

“I am so pleased this scholarship has come about,” Allison says. “I’m honored that it is in my name. I have a strong belief in the education that the School of Public Health provides and I like the idea of giving back to a school that has given so much to me.”

Allison now works as a registered nurse in the macular degeneration and retinal clinic at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which was named best eye hospital in the United States by U.S. News and World Report in 2007 and 2008. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Miami shortly after she left Chapel Hill. “She’s applying her clinical degree by caring for patients and her public health degree by teaching her patients how to take care of their eyes and prevent eye disease,” says Joanne.

Allison’s parents are also health care professionals. Joanne Dauer is a registered nurse and a clinical instructor at the University of Miami’s School of Nursing. Edward Dauer is a medical doctor and a research associate professor of biomedical engineering and radiology, also at the University of Miami.

The Dauers have made many other generous gifts to the School, including a facilities gift that named the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s address — 135 Dauer Drive.

— Margarita de Pano

Carolina Public Health is a publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. To subscribe to Carolina Public Health or to view the entire Fall 2008 issue in PDF, visit