Four University of North Carolina at Pembroke alumni who stand out for successful careers and service to others have been selected as recipients of the 2023 UNCP Alumni Awards. Presented annually by the UNCP Alumni Association, the awards celebrate the accomplishments and impact of former students who make a difference in countless ways.
This year’s winners are Dr. Shelli Brewington, Kelvin Oxendine, Trey Allen and Madison Wilcox. They will be honored at the annual Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony on October 27 at the University Center Annex, beginning at 6 p.m.
Outstanding Alumna Award
Dr. Shelli Brewington ‘99
A podiatric surgeon with Mission Foot & Ankle in Lumberton, N.C., Brewington graduated from UNCP in 1999 before starting a medical career. She completed her residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, emphasizing diabetic limb salvage/reconstruction and lower extremity trauma. Her local practice focuses on traumatic foot and ankle injuries, deformity correction and diabetic foot care.
Brewington is a fellow in the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and is board-certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.
She reliably advocates for UNCP in the community and with prospective students. Brewington frequently volunteers to support UNCP students by participating in career panels and other opportunities to engage with students. A member of the Lumbee Tribe, Brewington is active in the tribe’s Boys & Girls Clubs and other civic organizations.
“My tenure at UNC Pembroke included many great memories that influenced me and shaped my career path,” Brewington said. “Some of my most memorable experiences were the esteemed faculty who invested their time and cared about my educational and professional growth. UNC Pembroke provided a small, family atmosphere of talented, diverse individuals in my hometown while offering an exceptional educational curriculum. UNC Pembroke was a solid stepping stone to additional educational opportunities that have led me to where I am today. I continue to hold my UNC Pembroke experience in the highest regard.”
Outstanding Alumnus Award
Kelvin Oxendine ‘90
Kelvin Oxendine played baseball at UNCP for one year under Coach Danny Davis and graduated in 1990 with a degree in business management. He worked with United Parcel Service for three years as a part-time associate while attending college. He began his human resources career with Abbott Laboratories and Hospira, Inc., serving 12 years in various progressively responsible roles with the company.
Oxendine joined Campbell Soup Company in Maxton in 2006 as manager of organizational development and human resources manager, supporting 850 employees through numerous HR initiatives that increased engagement and productivity.
His career path eventually took him to Florida, where Oxendine led human resources activities for several organizations, including Cardinal Health, Chromalloy and Siemens Energy. At Siemens, Oxendine built the human resources operation for Advanced Airfoil Components, a newly created business. He was responsible for the $4 million HR start-up budget, implementing employee benefits and growing the original staff of 10 to more than 175 people.
Oxendine joined Scotland Health Care System in Laurinburg in 2020 as senior human resources director. He was promoted to vice president of human resources in February 2021 and served with the organization through September 2023.
He participated in a 2021 virtual fireside chat with the UNCP career center, sharing his perspective on how UNCP prepared him for the workforce. He supports and promotes the university and is a frequent visitor to campus for events, athletic contests and other activities. His wife, Dinah, is a 1993 UNCP alumna and their sons, Jacob and Ben, are UNCP students. Jacob is a Chancellor’s Ambassador and Ben is a men’s track and field team member. Their daughter, Madison Oxendine-Dial, completed her RN and BSN in nursing at UNCP in 2021. She also works at Scotland Health Care System.
“I’m very honored and humbled to receive this award,” Oxendine said. “Anthony Locklear in admissions and Lisa Schaeffer, director of career planning and placement and who later became vice chancellor for student affairs, were instrumental in my success. I got an outstanding education at UNC Pembroke, and I’ve had the chance to work for some great companies because of it.”
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Hon. Trey Allen ‘97
A Robeson County native, the Honorable Trey Allen was installed as an associate justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court in January. He graduated from UNCP in 1997 with philosophy and political science degrees before earning a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000.
After law school, Allen served as a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, primarily in Okinawa, Japan. He advised commanding generals and subordinate commanders on military justice and operational law, prosecuted violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and helped fellow Marines resolve personal legal issues. He was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Following his honorable discharge from the military, Allen clerked for current North Carolina Chief Justice Paul Newby before joining the law firm of Tharrington Smith LLP in Raleigh. He represented public school districts and litigated various civil claims, including constitutional ones, in state and federal court.
Allen has served on the faculty at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Government, focusing his research on local government's regulatory and enforcement powers, local government liability and board procedures. He received the school’s Margaret Taylor Writing Award for his book Local Government Immunity to Lawsuits in North Carolina.
He has served as general counsel for the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts and chaired the North Carolina Bar Association’s Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities Section for 2015-16.
“I am honored beyond words to be named UNCP’s Distinguished Alumnus for 2023,” Allen said. “I look back on my time as a UNCP student with pleasure and gratitude. Professors and administrators took a genuine interest in my success and significantly impacted my future. The friendship and support of fellow students helped me grow academically and personally. So many blessings in my life can be traced to the education I received and the friendships I made at UNCP.
Young Alumnus/Alumna Award
Madison Wilcox ‘16
From her first days on campus as a student, Madison Wilcox was committed to serving others. She got involved on campus by serving as a student ambassador. In her freshman year, she developed the idea for a program to foster the inclusion of children with disabilities. By her junior year, her vision became a reality.
Wilcox co-created and coordinated the Sports Empowerment Program, which brought students from the local community together with UNCP students, faculty and staff to participate on an inclusive softball team.
Wilcox said UNCP’s Maynor Honors College encouraged her to think on a higher level.
“A course called The Individual in Society had an important impact on me. I still think about what I learned in that class and how it challenged me to look at society.”
Wilcox said that support from faculty and staff played a critical role in her success as a student.
“I had so many people who mentored me and were invested in me. Dr. Jeff Bolles, Dr. Marisa Scott, Dr. Steven Bourquin and Dr. Laura Dobson are just a few of the people who impacted my time at UNCP. Everyone in the Office of Civic and Community Engagement felt like family!”
She pursued her interest in occupational therapy at UNCP, completing a senior project on techniques therapists can use to help children with developmental delays. She graduated in 2016 with a degree in exercise and sports science, a concentration in exercise physiology and a minor in Spanish.
Wilcox earned a master’s degree in occupational therapy from East Carolina University in 2018. She joined the Therapy Playground in Fayetteville as an occupational therapist in 2019. She works with pediatric patients in their homes and the clinic and remains passionate about giving parents tools to support their child’s development and independence.