Megan Burkes, manager of annual giving and special projects at The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, was named one of the Top 10 Under 40 at the One Coast Awards held on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Miss.
The ceremony, which also honored ten Top Community Leaders, recognized those who dedicate their time to bring a positive and lasting impact to the community of South Mississippi. More than 70 individuals were nominated for the awards.
Burkes holds nearly 10 years of experience in public relations, marketing and fundraising. In her role at Southern Miss, she manages all aspects of student, parent, employee and alumni annual giving and develops and implements strategies to include direct marketing, e-campaigns, crowdfunding and loyalty societies.
As an active community member, Burkes serves in leadership roles for Leadership Gulf Coast, the Southeast Mississippi chapter of The American Red Cross and the Public Relations Association of Mississippi. She focuses much of her time on being a mentor to rising professionals and bridging the gap between the younger generation and established community members.
“I am honored to have been nominated and recognized by a group of my friends and respected peers,” said Burkes. “I enjoy being engaged in my community; out of that engagement has come relationships with amazing mentors—many who inspire me to be my best. I can only hope I am able to have such a positive impact on others.”
Burkes holds a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Memphis and a master’s in public relations from The University of Southern Mississippi.
The One Coast awards are built on the idea that all communities along the coastline share a common interest and together can bring a myriad of unique qualities that will better serve the residents of South Mississippi.