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Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Johnston '10

By Elizabeth Wheeler
Development Assistant, UTSA Alumni Association

Melissa Johnston is a Southwest Region Campaign Director for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). LLS is the top worldwide nonprofit organization for blood cancer research and treatment and has invested $1 billion in research to the cause. The southwest region covers eight chapters from Texas to southern Nevada.

Through her position as the Director for School & Youth Programs, Melissa spreads the joy of giving back to others and is a true representation of a Roadrunner.

Her recent campaign, Pennies for Patients, encourages students, schools and the community to collect pocket change to make a difference. She currently oversees 280 schools working together to fight cancer.

The idea of collecting pennies is simple and the results are great and in the millions. Pennies for Patients opens the doors for community members to fund lifesaving research and evolving cancer treatments. With programs like this in place, "the cures of someday are truly happening today," she says.

In 2010, she earned her Master of Public Administration degree at UTSA, which helped propel her into new roles with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. As a Roadrunner, Melissa was able to network and gain a more strategic perspective on development and management. “Following my graduation from the UTSA MPA program, I was blessed to have three promotions in three years. The MPA certainly helped refine my skills to be a valuable manager and director for LLS.” UTSA's Master of Public Administration degree offers public service career advancements and leadership roles in government, public and nonprofit roles.

To share your alumni story, email alumni@utsa.edu.