The Outstanding Alumni Service Award is bestowed upon a Campbell alumnus or alumna who has exemplified Campbell’s mission of service towards others. This person’s commitment towards serving others can be towards Campbell or their community. Brendan Kearns (’93), Luis Olivera (’00), Meredith Palicte (’09), and Danita Perkins (’01) were chosen as this year’s service award winners.
- Brendan Kearns, ’93
- Luis Olivera, ’00
- Meredith Palicte, ’09
- Danita Perkins, ’01
Major Brendan Kearns, of Cary, graduated in 1994 earning his Master of Business Administration in Financial Management. Prior to coming to Campbell, Maj. Kearns earned a bachelor of science degree from S.U.N.Y. Brockport in accounting. As an active member of the Civil Air Patrol, Brendan serves alongside others to carry out emergency service missions during times of disaster as part of the auxiliary arm of the US Air Force. In 2016, Maj. Kearns was twice recognized by the Civil Air Patrol for his good work. Following Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, Major Kearns served as supervisor and team leader of the Civil Air Patrol’s NC State of Emergency Operations Center. During the days following Hurricane Matthew disaster recovery, his cadets were able to make more than 50 air rescues. Maj. Kearns’ leadership and service earned him the Civil Air Patrol’s Meritorious Service Award. Maj. Kearns is employed as a senior treasury analyst at ABB and works with the North Carolina Department of Emergency Management as a liaison officer at the State Emergency Operations Center for cadet programs and aerospace education. He and his wife, Patricia, have two children: Brendan and Brigid.
Luis (Lou) John Olivera, of Fayetteville, currently serves as the District Court Judge for the 12th Judicial District. Elected in 2012, Judge Olivera presides in Cumberland County, which houses the county’s Veteran Treatment Court, serving the nation’s largest active duty military and military retiree community. Judge Olivera actively served in the United States Army from 1989 to 1993, where he attended an advanced specialty course, graduating as a credentialed Counterintelligence Special Agent with the Department of Defense. After his active duty, Judge Olivera remained in the US Army reserves until 1997. A 2000 graduate of the Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, Judge Olivera has served as the Vice President of the North Carolina Bar Association Board of Directors and on the Military and Veterans Law Committee of the NC Bar Association. He has been previously recognized with the North Carolina Chief Justice’s Meritorious Award for Service, the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine award and the Commendation Award for Public Service from the National Commander Veterans of Foreign Wars. Other achievements during his career include the “Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court – Commission on Professionalism -Award for Meritorious” and the “Extraordinary Service and National Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Certificate of Appreciation” for his work with veterans in Veterans Court. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.
Meredith Palicte is a 2009 graduate and currently resides in Honolulu where she serves as Minister of Worship and Internationals at University Avenue Baptist Church in Honolulu. Meredith credits her time at Campbell for sparking a passion for international students and she has spent the past decade of service in international student ministry. She received her Masters of Missiology from Golden Gate Seminary in 2012.
Danita Perkins is a 2001 graduate from Campbell University’s Divinity School where she earned her Master of Divinity degree in Mission & Evangelism, Counseling & Chaplaincy. She was a charter member of the Divinity School, and in 2001, she became its first African-American female graduate. Since graduation, she has generously supported the Letaz Jones and Danita Perkins Scholarship to African-American students. Following graduation, she did a year of residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Nash Health Care in Rocky Mount. Following her residency she returned to her church ministry, until she began working with Martin County Community Action in Williamston. It was during this time that she entered training to become a Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor (CPE), and in 2011 she opened a community based training program for the Ray of Hope Community Development Corporation in Greenville. In 2014, Nash Health Care employed her as a hospital chaplain and she offered her first hospital based Clinical Pastoral Education training program in the fall of 2014. She has supervised five semesters of CPE at Nash Health Care, and three of Campbell’s M.Div. students have trained with her. Prior to attending Campbell, she served six years in the US Army and the Colorado National Guard; served one year in the AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America; and worked 14 years as a software engineer and computer programmer analyst. She earned her bachelor of science in education specializing in elementary & special education from Buffalo State University. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Queens, Danita now resides in Tarboro.