Marketing Professor Dr. Melissa Burnett is a master at developing community partnerships, applied research, marketing and branding. But her investment in active mentorship, teaching beyond the textbook, and putting her students first, has been the cornerstone for many successes. Teaching and overseeing Missouri State’s interdisciplinary Ad Team, she credits her students for capturing the true spirit of the public affairs mission. Under her direction, the Ad Team has won first place in several national and international competitions resulting in grant awards, high profile contracts, student job offers and outstanding experiential learning. Dr. Burnett has extended MSU’s public affairs footprint, and has set a global benchmark for other Ad Team institutions.