Alumna’s gift helps toxicology students

Well before TV crime-scene investigation dramas boosted the visibility of the profession, Teri Stockham, Ph.D. (Ph.D.’87/M), had carefully charted her educational and career path to becoming a chief toxicologist.

Stockham enrolled in the VCU School of Medicine in 1983, one of a cohort of only seven students entering the program that year. Throughout her graduate education, she built camaraderie with fellow students while experiencing the mentorship and research exposure provided by faculty.

Stockham developed great relationships with Joseph Borzellecca, Ph.D., known for his work with the FDA, and Robert Blanke, Ph.D., an associate professor of clinical pathology and a key leader in professional organization Society of Forensic Toxicologists. Since leaving Richmond, Virginia, she has maintained contact not only with faculty members but also with the VCU forensic science community through her involvement with SOFT.

In July 2017, Stockham honored her continuing friendship with the university’s forensic science community with a gift, part of the Make It Real Campaign for VCU, establishing the Dr. Teri Stockham Scholarship in Forensic Toxicology. The scholarship will be awarded to graduate students in the Department of Forensic Science during their first year of study and is renewable for another year if the student remains in good standing.

“I did all of my education without the financial support of family or education loans,” she says. “Scholarships were extremely important to me as a student and got me where I am today. That’s why I want to give back: I want to help someone else make it through.”

A version of this story previously appeared on the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences website.

To learn more about the College of Humanities and Sciences, contact Bethanie Constant, senior director of development, at (804) 828-4543 or