Endowment Repays Encouragement & Support Found at UH

Bartusch Leverages Matching Funds to Support Field Camp

When Jane Bartusch (B.S. ’83, M.S. ’87, Geology) started her bachelor’s degree at the University of Houston, she already held a bachelor’s degree in psychology. But now, she was entering a program that at the time was not a traditional field for women – geology.

“UH and my professors were so supportive of women and nontraditional students,” Bartusch said. “I was encouraged to earn a degree in geology. It wasn’t seen as a problem for me to pursue what was then considered a man’s field.”

Bartusch’s interest in geology grew, and she particularly enjoyed the field trips to see geological features up close. She found a career for life.

UH Geology Degree Well Recognized by Industry

“A degree in the geosciences from UH is well recognized by industry,” Bartusch said. “It allowed me to have a fulfilling, and fun, career.”

bartusch-endowmentJane Bartusch and Duane Johnson at NSM’s Say Goodbye to “Downton Abbey” Event.Bartusch started her career at Elf Aquitaine (now part of Total) and then worked 17 years at ExxonMobil as a senior exploration geologist. During that time, she specialized in computer mapping, working with geologic data from every continent except Antarctica.

While at UH, she needed financial support to complete her degrees and benefited from scholarships. “Several years ago, I decided it was time to begin paying back for all the encouragement and financial assistance I received as a student at UH,” Bartusch said.

Giving Back: Supporting Field Camp

In 2015, she established the Jane M. Bartusch Endowment in Geology. The endowment covers costs associated with the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences’ field camp, including student scholarships and equipment.

“Geology Field Camp is a unique educational experience, almost a rite of passage for geologists,” she said. “Not every university that grants geoscience degrees is able to have their own field camp course.”

The Bartusch endowment helps the department manage the costs associated with such an exceptional educational opportunity.

“I believe alumni can and should help the University provide excellent programs for students,” she said. “I found out that by only slightly increasing my yearly contribution to UH, that I could establish this endowment supporting the field camp.”

Bartusch made the most of her gift by participating in ExxonMobil’s generous matching educational fund program and encourages other UH alumni to use similar programs at their workplaces.

“ExxonMobil’s program allowed me to use their money to substantially increase financial gifts to the educational institutions of my choice,” she said. “For every dollar I give to UH, ExxonMobil adds three dollars; it makes a huge difference.”

Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics