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Fredericksburg Firm Establishes Historic Preservation Scholarship

From the University of Mary Washington

University of Mary Washington alumna Kerri S. Barile has carved a career and built a business out of her passion for, and education in, historic preservation. As co-founder and president of Dovetail Cultural Resource Group, she now is giving back to her alma mater while blazing a trail for UMW students to follow in her footsteps.

Dovetail, under the direction of Barile and her business partner, Michael Carmody, recently donated $26,000 to create an endowed scholarship for UMW historic preservation students.

“Mary Washington has given so much to me personally – and now is providing our company with close connections to professors, students, and alumni,” said Barile, who graduated from the University in 1994 with a degree in historic preservation.

Since the 2005 founding of the cultural resource management firm based in Fredericksburg, Dovetail has employed more than 60 Mary Washington alumni and hosted several dozen UMW student interns.

“Our business plan actually specifies that one of our priorities is to hire UMW alumni,” said Barile, who also was an adjunct professor at Mary Washington.

“I’ve seen firsthand how UMW’s historic preservation students experience life beyond the classroom,” Barile said. “They get out in the field; they dig, touch, feel, and learn by doing so they graduate with real-world knowledge and a skill set, passion, and philosophy that we value in our employees.”

UMW Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Historic Preservation Michael Spencer applauded the company’s many contributions.

“For more than a decade, Dovetail has been one of our department’s biggest supporters and advocates, providing internship opportunities, jobs and even sharing their expertise and experiences by lecturing in our classrooms,” he said. “We honestly didn’t think they could give any more to the program, but they found a way with the creation of this wonderful scholarship. For generations to come, UMW’s historic preservation students will continue to pursue careers in archaeology, architectural history, and cultural resource management.”

Barile said she and Carmody are proud to have a part in the education of future preservationists.

“We see the value in UMW’s historic preservation education for our company and beyond,” she said. “Whenever we work on projects in other states, we routinely run into Mary Washington alumni. It’s great to see the impact UMW graduates have locally, as well nationally, and to know they will have success and a longer trajectory in their chosen career path.”

Dovetail currently is conducting fieldwork at the site of Fredericksburg’s future Riverfront Park. The company just completed studies on the tunnel running underneath George Street’s sidewalk, as well as Fredericksburg’s public slave auction block. Dovetail employs nearly 50 staff at both its Fredericksburg location and a satellite office in Wilmington, Delaware.

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