After Hours: Pam Oxendine

Years at NCSSM: 10. She started off as receptionist for the chancellor, and moved after six months to the counseling team. 

Home: Durham, but she’s originally from Cleveland Heights, Ohio

What she does outside of work:
In May 2016, Oxendine was elected president of the Orange, Durham, and Chatham county chapter of the League of Women Voters. She was inspired by her cousin, Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, who served as the first African American president of the National League of Women Voters.

“My role involves giving direction and organizing,” Oxendine says of the nonpartisan political association. She loves her fellow volunteers, some of them “feisty older women. One told me, ‘I’m here because I’m a Southern woman, raised in the South, and I was taught to look away when I saw social injustices. But I don’t want to look away any more.’ That touched my heart.”

The group advocates with legislators on issues ranging from education to the environment and gun violence, but “the bedrock of our organization is voter services and voter protection.” In advance of the November 8 election, the league just wrapped up its voter registration drive; now they are organizing efforts to help get people to the polls.

Pam Oxendine (right) and Eva Rogers at their installation as 2016-17 president and vice president, respectively, of the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham, and Chatham counties.

Oxendine also visits colleges and youth groups to teach etiquette classes. “Before I left Cleveland, I was a professional model, but I didn’t like it because I like to eat,” she says. “But the one part of modeling school I really liked was about etiquette and manners like table manners, etiquette for interviews and the business world, posture, those kinds of things.” She has written a curriculum and is working with a publisher to create a textbook and workbook on etiquette.

“The college kids really enjoy the classes, but they always pull me aside and ask me about dating etiquette,” Oxendine says. “The children? They love it, they’re my favorite. For their graduation I take them out to eat somewhere fancy… I let them dress up, wear hats and ties and things. They always want to point out all the people in the restaurant who are doing things incorrectly.”

Last but not least, Oxendine is the proud mom of five “beautiful children”: Nicole, a dance teacher at Hillside High and owner of Empower Dance Studio; Robert, an aerospace engineer for John Hopkins Labs; Alece, a vice president at GoDigital; Christina, a business analyst/SAS programmer for NC Community Colleges; and Jamie, a junior at NC A&T majoring in pre-medicine.

What her coworkers may not know:

“Hmm, they know everything! We’re very close,” she says of her counseling coworkers. Others on campus may not know that she loves to dance and takes ballroom dancing classes. And that she holds two degrees: a bachelor’s in business administration and a masters in public administration.

Best part of her job:

Working with the students. “They’re so genuine and authentic. You don’t always get that in corporate America” (where Oxendine worked for 10 years before joining NCSSM).

Favorite perk of working at NCSSM:

Working out in the PEC. “About two years ago I hired a trainer to come work out with me there, and I dropped 35 pounds and two dress sizes.”

One thing about working here that she would do differently:

She wishes staff members would communicate with each other more and spend more time together. “I enjoy when Dr. Roberts holds get-togethers to start and end the year, something where we can be more connected.”