Alumni Relations

2014 Alumni Awards

We are proud to announce the 2014 Alumni Awards and Hall of Fame Recipients. The Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet was held Friday, October 24, 2014 in the University Center Annex. 

2014 Alumni Award Recipients 

2014 Alumni Award Recipients

From left: Hall of Fame inductees Whitney Beverly, Jelena Shaw, Coach Mike Schaeffer, and Danielle Richardson. Allison Harrington, Outstanding Alumna, Derek Brunson, Young Alumni Award, and Hall of Fame Recipient Jason Morales. Kenneth “Ken” Strickland,  Distinguished Service is not pictured.


Allison HarringtonOutstanding Alumna Award
Allison Harrington`95

Allison Harrington has been given the UNCP Outstanding Alumnus Award for 2014. She is the owner and president of Speech Solutions, Inc. Allison graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from UNC Pembroke and a Master of Education in Communication Disorders from North Carolina Central University. She started Speech Solutions out of her home in Rowland in 2003 with three loyal employees. She now employs 48 people and has expanded her business to 4 surrounding offices in Lumberton, Laurinburg, Whiteville, and Shallotte. 

In March of 2012, she established the Allison Harrington Endowed Scholarship to provide support for a resident of Robeson or Brunswick County who meets strong academic criteria and will attend UNCP. A member of the Chancellor’s Club, she sponsors First Lady, Sarah Carter’s, Garden Party and many other programs across campus. Governor McCrory recently appointed Allison to sit on the North Carolina Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists Board of Examiners.


Ken StricklandDistinguished Service Award
Kenneth Strickland

Kenneth Strickland, a Pembroke County native, is a steadfast supporter of UNC Pembroke and the opportunities an education at UNCP provides for students. A business owner and real estate investor, Ken grew up in the St. Annah and Philadelphius communities near Pembroke.

After graduating from barber school in Florida, he found employment in Virginia as a barber and currently owns two barber shops. He has funded two scholarship programs at UNCP to honor his parents and his high school as well as made contributions to other campus fundraising efforts. A member of the Chancellor’s Club, he has made contributions to many other scholarships and programs and buildings around campus.



Derek BrunsonUNCP Young Alumni Award
Derek Brunson `07

UNC Pembroke wrestling nominated Derek Brunson for the Young Alumni Award. Derek was a 3 time All American for UNCP and a 3 time Regional Champion. He graduated from UNCP with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Upon graduation, he began doing social work by helping at risk kids. Derek is now a professional MMA fighter in the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world, the UFC. He currently has a 3-1 record in the UFC, and his overall professional MMA record is 12-3.

Derek directly attributes his professional success in mixed martial arts to his wrestling history. He gives back to the University and Wrestling program that aided his success, and he donates his time by working out with the current wrestlers and speaking about strategies for success.


Whitney BeverlyWhitney Beverly – Women’s Soccer (2005-2008)

Spending all four years under the direction of head coach Lars Andersson, Beverly earned first-team all-American laurels from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in 2008 after logging an 19-3-1 record, a 0.56 goals against average and a career-best 74 saves between the pipes. The performance proved to be key in UNCP’s run to its first ever NCAA Tournament berth.

A two-year starter, Beverly recorded a school and PBC record 14 shutouts during that magical run in 2008 and still holds a program benchmark with 24 career clean sheets – a number that ranks second in league annals. In addition to all-American laurels in 2008, she was also a three-time Peach Belt Conference Goalkeeper of the Week selection and was decorated with Daktronics All-America honors as well. Her honors also included first team all-region recognition from the NSCAA and Daktronics, as well as first team all-PBC and PBC all-tournament team nods.

The former president of UNCP’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (2008-09) has also been inducted into the Richlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Beverly played in 67 games (54 starts) over her four-year career in the Black & Gold and accumulated a 38-17-2 record. She finished her career with more than 5,000 minutes in goal, a 0.88 GAA, 219 saves and a .817 saves percentage.


Jason MoralesJason Morales – Baseball (2005-2008)

The first all-American selection under head coach Paul O’Neil at UNCP, Morales was drafted in the 24th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Royals. A four-year starter for the Braves, Morales still holds school single season records for runs batted in (78) and defensive assists (216). He played and started all 221 games of his career in Pembroke.

A three-time all-region selection and 2008 all-state pick by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA), Morales earned all-America nods from three different organizations as a senior after hitting .370 (85-for-230) with 34 extra-base hits (15 HR) and 78 RBI. He led the team in nine different offensive statistical categories that season, including establishing then-school records for at-bats, hits and total bases (150).

A two-time PBC Presidential Honor Roll selection, Morales recorded a .354 (304-for-872) career batting average and turned in 92 multiple-hit and 57 multiple-RBI games over a four-year span as well. He helped the Braves compile a 126-95 record and a quartet of 30-win seasons and concluded his playing career with 56 doubles, 10 triples, 40 home runs, 192 runs scored, 82 walks, 33 hit by pitches and went 37-42 on stolen base attempts.

Following a four-year stay in the Kansas City Royals organization that included stops with the Appalachian League’s Burlington (N.C.) Royals, the Pioneer League’s Idaho Falls Chukars and the Midwest League’s Burlington (Iowa) Bees, Morales enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. His wife, Katie (Rubio), is a former standout on the UNCP softball team.


Danielle RichardsonDanielle Richardson – Women’s Basketball (2003-2005)

One of just two UNCP women’s basketball all-Americans since the Braves joined the NCAA Division II ranks (1992-93), Richardson is the only player in the history of the program to earn conference player of the year laurels. A dominant post player, she still holds school records for single game blocks (8), single-season blocks (85) and career blocks (157).

A transplant from Seminole Community College in Sanford, Fla., Richardson earned Kodak All-America (honorable mention) accolades as a senior after averaging a double-double with 16.6 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. The standout senior performance saw the Jacksonville native average 3.0 blocks an outing and shoot better than 48 percent from the field as well. In addition to 2008 PBC Player of the Year recognition, she would also go on to earn a trio of PBC Player of the Week nods, as well as all-region and Armstrong Christmas Tournament all-tournament team honors.

A two-year starter for the Black & Gold, Richardson averaged 13.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. She played in 56 games (53 starts) during her two-year stay in Pembroke and averaged 29 minutes of playing time per game as well. A member of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority while at UNCP, Richardson continued her playing career overseas upon exhausting her eligibility at UNCP.


Mike SchaefferMike Schaeffer – Men’s Soccer Head Coach (1980-2009)

After a storied 30-year career in Pembroke in which he transformed the UNCP men’s soccer team into not only a legitimate contender at the conference and regional levels, but also a player on the national stage, Schaeffer, is the only coach in this year’s induction class. He joined the UNCP athletic family prior to the 1980 season and is the owner of more than 225 career victories during his time at UNCP.

Schaeffer concluded his stellar coaching career with a 231-242-35 record and took three clubs to the NCAA postseason, including the 2004 squad that advanced all the way through to the Final Four. He led the Braves to 13 winning seasons during his tenure, including the 2003 club that posted a program-best 17-1-2 mark. He also led the Braves to a handful of national rankings, as well as numerous rankings in the region poll over the years as well.

In addition to five all-American laurels, 35 Braves earned all-conference laurels under Schaeffer’s tutelage with two of those athletes – Stephen Ademolu (2001) and Christian Staackman (2005) – taking home the PBC Freshman of the Year award as well. A total of 26 players earned all-PBC Tournament laurels under his watch, with UNCP athletes also earning PBC Player of the Week accolades on 30 occasions as well.

Off the playing field, his teams were just as successful with four players earning academic all-America laurels and three others taking home academic all-region honors. A total of 58 players earned the PBC Academic Honor Roll distinction, including 23 that earned the league’s highest academic distinction in multiple seasons.

The 1988 Carolinas Coach of the Year and three-time PBC Coach of the Year (1993, 1996, 2004) retired from coaching in late 2009, but remains an avid supporter of UNCP Athletics and currently is an adjunct professor for UNCP’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department.


Jelena ShawJelena Shaw – Softball (2007-2010)

The only multiple all-America selection in the history of the UNCP softball program, Shaw also holds the distinction of being the program’s first and only PBC Player of the Year honoree. She played a key role in UNCP’s run to a PBC Championship in 2008, as well as the program’s first berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Shaw earned the first of two all-American honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as a sophomore in 2008 after hitting .381 (72-for-189) with 23 extra-base hits (11 HR), 42 RBI and 55 runs scored. The campaign was an encore to a freshman season that watched the Hope Mills native record a .414 (77-for-186) clip with 16 extra-base hits (4 HR), 26 RBI and 55 runs scored en route to PBC Freshman of the Year accolades.

A third team selection in 2008, Shaw earned first team all-America nods from the NFCA as a senior after recording a career- and PBC-best .437 (66-for-151) batting average that complemented 27 extra-base hits (11 HR), 44 RBI and 55 runs scored. Shaw also led the conference in hits, runs scored, doubles (15), total bases (116) and on-base percentage (.522) during her final season. She also logged a career-best 19-game hitting streak during that standout senior campaign as well.

A PBC All-Tournament Team selection as a freshman and a NCAA All-Regional Team selection as a sophomore, Shaw started all 211 games of her career in the Black & Gold and turned in a .402 (276-for-686) batting average with 77 extra-base hits (32 home runs), 134 RBI and 202 runs scored. She was thrown out just five times in 95 career stolen base attempts and also maintained a stellar .462 on-base percentage and .682 slugging percentage.

A two-time all-region, three-time all-conference and three-time PBC Presidential Honor Roll pick, Shaw still holds 10 school records including single-season marks for triples (7), runs scored (55) and total bases (122). She also owns career records for at-bats, batting average, base hits, home runs, runs scored, total bases and walks (63).