Melanie Pearson Hurley
Melanie Pearson Hurley, of Alexandria, Virginia, earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Virginia Tech in 1981, and then went on to earn a master’s degree in Administration from Central Michigan University in 1984. For the past 28 years, she has been an environmental professional at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Washington, D.C. She is currently a Project Manager responsible for environmental remediation and waste management policy and programs at multiple sites across the DOE complex.
Mrs. Hurley began her professional career with Virginia Tech’s Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory in Manassas, Virginia under the leadership of the late Professor Emeritus Dr. Thomas Grizzard. As an environmental professional in the 1980’s, she was the first Hazardous Material Coordinator for Fairfax County government—implementing programs such as Household Hazardous Waste Clean-up Centers; a program still in existence after more than 30 years.
During her career, she has been received awards and recognition by the National Association of Counties, the Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health, and the DOE Office of Environmental Management for her innovation and expertise in environmental programs. She has been an advocate for STEM education and has been a featured speaker at multiple community and educational events.
Melanie is honored to have been a trailblazer while at Virginia Tech, including being elected the first African-American Military Ball Queen in 1979, a founding member of the Black Student Alliance and serving on the Ring Committee. She has continued to be an advocate and strong supporter of the University through recruiting, financial support and mentorship.
Mrs. Hurley has been involved in civic and philanthropic organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and serving as a Board Member of the Heart of Gold Sickle Cell Foundation of Northern Virginia, which advocates and supports person suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia.