Annie R. Pearce, Ph.D., will be honored at a ceremony later this year as the recipient of the Virginia Tech 2016 Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence. Announced in a letter by Jan Helge Bohn, on behalf of the Selection Committee for the Commission on Outreach and International Affairs, part of the Alumni Association, Dr. Pearce was cited for “years of outstanding contributions to outreach and community engagement” at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. The letter called her efforts “very impressive and notably sustained throughout [her] entire career.”
Each year the recipient of the award receives a check for $2,000 and a plaque, and is automatically inducted into the Academy of Outreach Excellence at Virginia Tech. When notified of the award, Pearce smiled acknowledgement and said, “The plaque will look great in my office, but the money will help pay past and future charitable expenses.”
In the lengthy annual nomination process, the Alumni Association is looking for University employees who are engaged in strategic partnerships that enhance the economic and social well-being of individuals, families, businesses, and communities around the commonwealth, the nation, and the world. In addition to expertise in all aspects of the various individual projects, the Selection Committee evaluates innovation, creativity, and other criteria.
Student projects in which Pearce’s Building and Construction classes were involved over the past few years include building prototype feral cat feeding stations for the Animal Hope Alliance,
conducting a site survey of the Oakbridge Apartments UnBuild project,
completing a materials inventory and deconstruction of a building adjacent to campus,
using recycled materials in a demonstration greenhouse for the Unbuild Project, initiating the design and construction of a stand-alone adoption center for cats called the PantherHouse at the Radford Animal Shelter,
and undertaking the construction of a conference room using recycled materials at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Christiansburg.
A tenured professor in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virgina Tech, Pearce heads Graduate Studies and is actively involved in both the classroom and the Sustainable Facilities and Infrastructure Laboratory. Among her many publications is the textbook Sustainable Buildings and Infrastructure, which has been translated into several languages. In addition to serving on several professional boards nationally, Pearce regularly represents her School in presentations and consultations around the world. A graduate of Georgia Tech and Carnegie Mellon, she is a native of Western Pennsylvania.
Dr. Pearce’s hobbies include caring for both a feral cat colony and several indoor cats. In addition, she maintains several bee hives, a permaculture garden, and small orchard. She resides in a solar house with passive and active solar collectors behind a glass wall and photovoltaics on the roof. The house has a rainwater harvesting system, geothermal heating and cooling, and a woodstove. Tours of the home and property are regular parts of her classes, and additional photo and video updates of all her projects are available on FaceBook.
An avid trained musician, Dr. Pearce is a member of the Blacksburg Master Chorale which performs regularly with the New River Valley Symphony Orchestra. She also serves on the Planning Commission for the City of Radford.
Compilation of information and photos by
Larry Pearce, proud father