Success & Impact

Alumna Shapes Next Generation of Changemakers

During her time on Hawk Hill, Johanna Lynch ’15 was heavily involved in service opportunities, inspiring her to pursue a career path in public service. Now a Presidential Management Fellow at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Lynch hopes to bridge the divide between government bodies creating policy and the people impacted by them.

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by Meghan Goff

It's been 10 years since Johanna Lynch ’15 stepped on campus as a first-year student, but for her, the decision was simple: Saint Joseph’s University had it all. Leaving her native Rhode Island, Lynch wanted something different, a place that would challenge her academically and offer the cultural opportunities and new experiences of a city like Philadelphia. Looking back, she realizes Saint Joseph’s gave her all of that — and more. 

“Hawk Hill is a place that shaped my understanding of myself and the world around me,” Lynch says. “I wouldn’t be on the path I am on today if it weren’t for my education.” 

Lynch, who attended the University with the assistance of a scholarship, became involved in several service opportunities during her time on campus. Upon moving to Oakland, California, to join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps after graduation. Lynch continued her work in public service, managing a variety of federal safety net programs at organizations like Civicorps and Alameda County Community Food Bank, where she oversaw 85 food banks across the county. 

It was in these roles, she noticed a growing disconnect between the government bodies creating policy and the real people feeling their impact at the ground level, ultimately leading her to graduate school and her current role as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Now, as an alumna and member of the Barbelin Society who proudly gives back to the University, Lynch understands the impact this support can have on students as they pursue the areas they are most passionate about. Barbelin members support all areas of the University, including academic programs, student life initiatives and other vital areas of need, like financial aid. 

“I knew I was likely going to end up in public service, so the ability to graduate with little to no debt allowed me to achieve my goals,” she says. “This is a way I can ensure other students have the same experience and opportunities I did.” 

Today, Saint Joseph’s celebrates National Philanthropy Day with the launch of its Hawks With And For Others Crowdfunding campaign. Explore the student-run projects and initiatives seeking support and shape future generations today.