Alumni spotlight: Skye Mullarkey
Skye Mullarkey (M.S.’09/H&S) earned her M.S. in Forensic Science from VCU in 2009 and worked in the Virginia Department of Forensic Science. Two years later, she moved from Richmond, Virginia, to Atlanta for a job with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. “I’m a forensic toxicologist, so I analyze biological specimens for the presence of drugs,” Mullarkey says.
Mullarkey works full time while also leading the Atlanta Chapter and volunteering in the visitors’ center of the historic Oakland Cemetery. The cemetery is the city’s oldest public park and the resting place of many noteworthy people, including Atlanta’s first Black mayor, Maynard Jackson, singer Kenny Rogers and “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell.
How did you first get involved with VCU Alumni?
When I moved down to Atlanta, I had a friend who lived here who was also a VCU forensic science alum. I didn’t know anybody else and figured the VCU Alumni chapter would be a way to connect with people.
I would go to events, and in the beginning it was about meeting new people and getting out and trying new restaurants. It was a way to explore my new city.
Then I started making more connections with people, and I eventually became a “wing woman” for the previous leader, Jessica; I was her backup in case she got stuck in traffic and was running late. She eventually moved, and I assumed the role of chapter leader.
What have you gotten out of being a chapter leader?
As a chapter leader, I like being able to maintain a connection back to VCU, especially since the school started doing the Volunteer Leaders Summit [a conference in Richmond for alumni chapter leaders]. I don’t always have excuses to get back to Richmond, so being able to go back there and keep that connection has been very nice.
It’s also fun having VCU connections scattered around the country. If you travel, you have resources to help you find somewhere to stay or a good place to eat. It’s nice to have that network for both professional and personal resources.
What’s your favorite Atlanta Chapter event?
A watch party where everybody’s really into the game is always fun. Going to a Braves game is also fun.
We recently did a service event at Oakland Cemetery. We did some gardening projects, and we followed that with a tour. Then we walked across the street and had tacos at a Mexican restaurant. It was really nice to spend all day together.
What attraction should Atlanta newcomers or visitors check out?
The BeltLine is a popular area in Atlanta. [The BeltLine is the result of an urban redevelopment project converting a historic railroad corridor into a network of public parks, walking trails, affordable housing and transit.] You can get outside, go for a walk, grab a beverage, people watch and pop into some stores.