Madelene Loftin, recurring giving employee donor
21 Mar 2024

Making a Difference as an Employee Donor: Madelene Loftin

As a HudsonAlpha employee and donor for nearly fifteen years , Madelene Loftin sees firsthand how important philanthropy is in helping HudsonAlpha improve life through genomics

Madelene Loftin has been a HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology employee since 2009, and a donor for nearly just as long. She describes herself as a HudsonAlpha “foster fail.” Having spent her career as a high school biology teacher, she joined HudsonAlpha as part of a temporary educator residency program and was hired full time as one of the Institute’s members of the Educational Outreach team at the end of the term.

“The scientific research that was happening here at HudsonAlpha was fascinating,” said Madelene. “When I first joined the residency program, I never thought I would work outside of a classroom. The mission to bring that research into classrooms and to the public in a way that is approachable felt so powerful to me, and I never looked back.”

Madelene is HudsonAlpha’s Director of Educator Professional Learning, where she is responsible for developing resources and teaching materials to help STEM educators translate HudsonAlpha’s work in genetics and genomics to their classrooms. This includes leading week-long teacher trainings at HudsonAlpha, traveling across Alabama to educate teachers in their own classrooms on how to use HudsonAlpha materials, and assisting with student experiences on HudsonAlpha’s campus.

“Through my position at HudsonAlpha, I’m able to have an impact on thousands of students every year through the teachers and children I serve, whereas as a teacher I might only be able to impact 100 children or so,” said Madelene. “That’s the power of HudsonAlpha. As a donor or as an employee, the ripples you make in the pond are much bigger here.”

By supporting HudsonAlpha through her paychecks as well as through annual one-time gifts, Madelene has made a measurable impact on HudsonAlpha. Her giving supports the Institute’s Annual Fund, which fuels scientific research in genomics, educational programming, the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, and more. 

Read on as Madelene shares about why giving back to HudsonAlpha is a priority, her unique perspective on philanthropy as an employee donor, and what she’s most excited about at HudsonAlpha.

HudsonAlpha Foundation: What inspired you to become a supporter of HudsonAlpha?

Madelene Loftin: I’ve been giving the whole time I’ve been working here. The efforts to bridge the gap between the research labs and the classroom are incredible. When I first came here, I kept thinking about how I wished I had resources like HudsonAlpha was developing for my students when I was a science teacher back in Mississippi. 

HAF: You have a unique perspective of HudsonAlpha as an employee and as a donor. Why are you excited about working at HudsonAlpha as well as supporting the Institute philanthropically?

ML: I see the impact HudsonAlpha has on people’s lives whenever I’m in the classroom. I see it on students’ faces, I see it when kids ask questions in the classroom, or when teachers become more confident to have conversations about genomics with their students. Our mission is reaffirmed every day to me, and I’m lucky to see that.

HAF: Your support provides crucial resources for HudsonAlpha’s mission, from research to education. What are you most excited for your gifts to impact?

ML: I’m most excited about the efforts to make sure there’s equitable access to STEM education. There are so many students in communities who might be missed by existing educational systems or programs, and I’m excited that HudsonAlpha and my team are addressing that. I’m also excited about HudsonAlpha’s effort to bring in a new faculty member. Having new minds who are engaged in their field come on board gives us new stories to tell that build on the work we’re already doing. It keeps us on the cutting-edge and helps us look at problems in a new way.

HAF: If you were speaking to someone who might be considering making their own donation to HudsonAlpha, what would you tell them? Why HudsonAlpha?

ML: At HudsonAlpha, there’s a return on your gift because of what HudsonAlpha does for the community, for our state, and for beyond. HudsonAlpha is big enough to be able to make a difference with your gift, but your donation won’t get lost or forgotten. You will have an impact.

As a nonprofit organization, HudsonAlpha relies on philanthropic support to fuel genomics research, STEM education, and the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine.
Click here if you’re interested in supporting HudsonAlpha’s mission by giving to the Annual Fund. If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Herrin, Senior Director of Advancement, at or 256.327.0442.