The Office of Advancement Services
The University of Texas System
210 West 7th Street
Austin, TX 78701
The Office of Advancement Services
Since joining The University of Texas System in 2005, Melissa Jackson has worked to build and strengthen the bonds between the UT System and the many organizations and individuals with whom the System maintains relationships in Texas and beyond. As executive director of External Relations, Ms. Jackson assumes many responsibilities, from representing the UT System’s interests before community-based groups and professional associations, to participating in strategic communications that advance the UT System’s mission.
A fourth-generation Austinite, Ms. Jackson has spent her professional career and personal life in service to Central Texas-based companies and community organizations. Ms. Jackson has served on the boards of The Junior League of Austin (President and Sustaining President), The Women’s Symphony League, Helping Hand Home for Children, Paramount Theatre, American Lung Association and other organizations. She was appointed to the Governor’s Commission for Women and currently serves on the board of the Beacon State Fund which supports the commission.
Ms. Jackson received a bachelor of science degree in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin.
Andria Brannon serves as Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement Services and oversees the UT System-wide Endowment Compliance Program; provides support to the various institutions with regard to complex gifts, namings and unique assets; and handles various operational functions of the Office of External Relations. Andria has devoted much of her career to higher education and non-profit service, including more than ten years of experience in advancement and gift planning at UT Austin. Other philanthropic work over the last twenty years has included roles with a national charity, a hospital system, a grass-roots non-profit, and most recently for a statewide coalition of Texas-based non-profits.
Andria has a passion for service and community engagement, lending her time and talents as a volunteer with the Texas Book Festival, her church, neighborhood association, children’s schools, and serving as an advocate for victim’s rights issues. She received her undergraduate degree in English and her master of science in counseling, both from the University of North Texas. She received her doctor of jurisprudence from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
“I am excited to bring together my experiences in philanthropy, health care, and higher education to serve all of the institutions across the UT System. As a fifth-generation native Texan, I can’t think of a better way to give back to the state I love.”
As Director of Endowment Compliance and Development Operations, Jean Bennett administers the system-wide Endowment Compliance Program for the UT academic and health institutions, and is also responsible for the administration of non-cash gifts and data reporting.
Jean joined UT System in 2012.
Karoline Felts, Director for Estate and Trust Administration, is responsible for estate and trust administration for University of Texas institutions.
“It is impressive to see the loyalty donors have to UT. Obviously their time at UT has positively impacted their lives and they want to show their gratitude by giving back to the University,” says Karoline.
Karoline joined the Office of External Relations in 2014 after eight years at The University of Texas at Austin working at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Harry Ransom Center. She earned her B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas. Rock Chalk!
Stephanie Washington, Associate Director for Advancement Services, is responsible for direct advancement services support for the UT institutions in areas of endowment creation and administration, naming negotiation requests, and matters of gift administration policies and law.
Stephanie joined the Office of External Relations in 2021 after several years of managing corporate and association sponsorship agreements, administering contractual negotiations and documentation, and conducting industry research for Austin’s local tourism bureau. She also has prior higher education administration experience in the areas of career services, compliance, and real estate at UT Austin and UT System, respectively.
Stephanie received her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from The University of Texas at Austin.
Jose Perez, Senior Development Specialist, is primarily responsible for maintaining all endowment, estate, trust, and gift records, both physically and digitally, for the University of Texas institutions.
Jose joined the UT System in 2015 initially focusing on file and gift imaging. He has then learned the tools of the trade in records and information management and has taken on a variety of projects, including the complete digitization of all endowment, estate and trust records.
Jose served in the United States Air Force and received a BBA from the University of Texas at El Paso and an MBA from Louisiana State University-Shreveport.
Hannah joined UT System in 2022 as a part-time Office Associate and in 2023, transitioned to the full-time role of Associate Director for Gift Administration. She loves how dedicated donors are to the furthering of Texan education and is honored to help facilitate their philanthropic wishes. Hannah brings a unique background of teaching, music, and legal assistance to UT System. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano.
Judy Collins, Director of Administrative Operations and Data Services, is primarily responsible for maintaining the constituent database that consists of members, community constituents and colleagues. “The reliability and integrity of our information is key to the Chancellor, the Development team and colleagues, so we can actively engage with our constituents,” Judy says.
Judy relies on her exceptional attention-to-detail to maintain the rosters for five Membership Societies and the Chancellor’s E-Communication.
Judy joined the Development & Gift Planning Services Department in 2005. She was previously employed as the Membership Manager at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Judy received her Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Office Technology from the State University of New York at Morrisville.