Auburn University recognizes accomplishments of young alumni with awards

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University recently awarded 16 Young Alumni Achievement Awards to recognize extraordinary accomplishments by members of the Auburn Family, 40 years of age and under.

The award, sponsored by the Office of Alumni Affairs, was created in 2011 and honors recipients for significant achievement in their professional lives and for distinguished community service.

“Auburn graduates are making significant contributions in a variety of occupations all across the globe, and some of the more interesting stories are happening with our young alumni,” said Debbie Shaw, vice president for alumni affairs at Auburn University. “It’s a great honor to recognize them in this way. Auburn’s future is shining a bit brighter due to the impact made by these impressive individuals.”

This year’s awardees include: Octavia Spencer, Oscar-winning actress; Rebecca Balkcom, a teacher with Auburn City Schools; Jeffrey Brewer, vice president and principal-in-charge of the architecture, civil engineering, municipal engineering and geotechnical divisions of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood of Birmingham; Jessica Brookshire, founder of Kids Against Ridicule, Meanness and Aggression, or K.A.R.M.A.; Courtney Dow, director of NightLight Atlanta, an organization that fights international commercial sexual exploitation; Denisha Hendricks, director of athletics and assistant professor at Kentucky State University; Mark Spencer, chairman and chief technology officer of Digium, the leading open source telecommunication provider in the world; Katy Law, director of sales for the Americas for Design Hotels in New York; Kyes Stevens, founder and director of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project at Auburn University; Emily Pauli, director of research and oncology specialists at Clearwater Cancer Institute; Richard Bell, deputy director of the Afghanistan Assessment Group at International Security and Assistance Force Headquarters in Kabul; Brent Fox, assistant professor in Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy; Richard Hall, senior vice president of timberland services for Bank of America in Atlanta; Candace Mangum, a nurse practitioner at Notasulga Health Care Family Practice Clinic; Dee Jones, Alabama State Public Health Veterinarian with the Alabama Department of Public Health and Epidemiology Division; and Steven Brotherton, an attorney with Frogomen, Del Rey, Bersen, and Loewy and leader of the Export Controls Practice Group.

Awardees will be recognized in the fall issue of Auburn Magazine and will receive a certificate and special commemoration of the honor. Recipients were selected for distinguished community service locally, regionally, nationally or globally and for prominence in their business, profession or vocational endeavors.

(Written by Carol Nelson.)

Contact: Carol Nelson, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (, or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (