Dr. Judy Stout spent the majority of her career at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. With a PhD in Marine Biology, she was Assistant Director for 22 years. Then, during the tenure of University of South Alabama President Gordan Moulton, she served 7 years as Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs. At USA, she founded and directed the Honors Program and retired in 2005 as Acting Dean of the Graduate Program.
As impressive as those professions are, equally impressive is what Dr. Stout has accomplished away from her careers.
"In both of my jobs, I worked with the public schools, and in 2005, when John Holland stepped down from his position on the School Board (District 2), I submitted an application to finish out his term," Stout said. "I was appointed, then elected, and served for 7 1/2 years on the Mobile County Public School Board. It was the hardest and most importand job I ever had."
Since choosing not to run for another term on the school board, Dr. Stout has devoted even more time to the volunteer jobs she already had and added more.
One of her greatest loves is gardening and she spends much of her time at Mobile Botanical Gardens. She's immediate past president and, as a frequent volunteer, she schedules tours, helps with sales and trains docents. She is particularly interested in preserving, and sharing her knowledge of, our area's native plants.
She is second vice president of Mobile County Master Gardeners and works with Junior Master Gardeners at various schools, including Castlen Elementary and Dawes Intermediate and even a couple in Washington County. She chairs the group's Speaker's Bureau and speaks wherever she's asked--garden clubs, senior centers--and has taught gardening seminars with the University of South Alabama's Odyssey Program.
Of course, Dr. Stout has never given up her dedication to education and is a Reading Buddy with the Mobile Area Education Foundation. On Mondays, she travels down to Dauphin Island to tutor two young boys, and she's very proud of their progress. She tutors wherever and whenever she's needed and can schedule sessions. She has been a weekly Rolling Reader in the past, but now mostly reads to students on special days such as Dr. Seuss Day and during Professional's Week.
Dr. Stout's talents, energy and interests seem boundless: She works on a 4H Club committee for Mobile County Extension System; she's on the boards of directors (or has been) of Alabama Coastal Foundation; Penelope House; Coastal Quiz Kids and Presbyterian Children's Home.
Judy Stout played the clarinet with Mobile Pops for a number of years and plays the bells at Spring Hill Presbyterian Church. "Music and gardening are my therapy," she said, and after long days of volunteering, according to one friend, Stout sometimes does her gardening at her Fowl River home by flashlight.
For Dr. Stout, wife of Judge Rick Stout, public service is not only a right and a privilege but is a civic responsibility that affects the quality of life for both the giver and the receiver.