skip to main content
Melanie in maroon sweater outside in front of Hokie Stone

2019 Hall of Distinction Inductee

Melanie Pearson Hurley joins our Hall of Distinction

This past May, the College of Science inducted alumna Melanie Pearson Hurley (Biology, ’81) into its Hall of Distinction, the college’s celebrated family of alumni and friends who are science leaders, mentors, advisors, and future employers of Virginia Tech students.

Hurley, of Alexandria, Virginia, has worked as an environmental professional at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, D.C., for nearly 30 years. She has received awards from 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 also has advocated for STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — education, and is a sought-after speaker. While at Virginia Tech, Hurley was a trailblazer, being elected the first African-American Military Ball Queen in 1979, was a founding member of the Black Student Alliance, and served on the Ring Committee.

“Melanie is among the most inspiring examples of Virginia Tech’s tradition of scientists, innovators, caregivers, and problem-solvers, exemplifying the best of Ut Prosim,” said Sally C. Morton, dean of the college, at the induction ceremony.

For further reading, visit Alumna Melanie Pearson Hurley inducted into College of Science’s Hall of Distinction