Melissa Gordon Pringle, Class of 1991, came to Millsaps determined to become a physician like her father. That dream changed when she was inspired by Biology Professor Sarah Armstrong, who introduced her to environmental sciences.
Today, she is vice president and senior principal scientist within Eco-Systems, an environmental engineering and consulting firm in Jackson.
There, she specializes in environmental policy and management with a focus in environmental assessment, water quality management, natural and coastal resources management and watershed assessment and management. She currently serves on the Gulf of Mexico's Action Plan's Resilience Group and assisted in the development of a five-year resiliency plan for the Gulf.
After graduating from high school in Meridian, Pringle attended the University of Mississippi her freshman year where she pledged a sorority and served as a member of the Rebelettes dance team. She realized a smaller campus suited her better and transferred to Millsaps her sophomore year. Choosing to major in biology with a pre-med concentration, Pringle learned that success at Millsaps meant working hard.
"My experience at Millsaps was enriched because I developed strong friendships; I was challenged by dedicated professors, and I was supported by a loving family," Pringle said.
After her graduation at Millsaps, Pringle began graduate studies at Louisiana State University where she earned a master's of science in environmental studies and a doctorate of oceanography and coastal sciences.
She conducted her post-doctoral fellowship in the Office of the Chief Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, D.C. and stayed on as Program Coordinator for the Year of the Ocean after the fellowship was finished. Pringle then moved to Southern California where her career in environmental consulting began.
Lessons learned at Millsaps—such as the College's emphasis on writing—have proved helpful in the multiple technical papers and publications she has written during her career. She has presented at many conferences such as the Coastal Development Strategies Conference and the Coastal Society Conference.
Pringle is a former board member of the Rotary Club of Meridian, Main Street Program, East Mississippi Foothills Land Trust and Love's Kitchen. In 2005, she was honored as one of Mississippi's 50 Leading Business Women.
When she's not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her three children ages 4, 7 and 15.