A friend of a friend-Brandi Norman and Sharon Kissick-May 8

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for May 8, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

Tonight at 7PM will be the first of two straight days of graduation ceremonies being conducted at UNC Pembroke. Tomorrow will be the undergraduate commencement but tonight it will be the 160 plus students who are earning a master’s degree turn. Tonight will also be sad in a number of respects because it will be the last graduate commencement ceremony not only for Dr. Kyle R. Carter the Chancellor but also a friend of mine Sharon Kissick who serves as the registrar at UNCP.

UNCP Commencement

The registrar has a daunting task of doing a myriad of functions for a university but the fun part is handing the diplomas to the chancellor to give to the students. Sharon truly loves that aspect of her job. Other duties include recording students grades, mailing out transcripts, and evaluating that students have taken all the correct courses to graduate from the university.

Sharon is originally from Cary, NC and has accepted a position as the registrar at William Peace University in Raleigh, NC which will get her close to family. Sharon has done great things at UNC Pembroke and she will be missed not only for competency on the job but for her infectious enthusiasm for life. Sharon was a great ambassador for UNCP and got involved in a lot of activities on campus. She just recently had a role in a student theater production called the Government Inspector where she brought the house down with her performance. Sharon has also supported community causes like United Way. In 2014 she paired with Adam Ward a project manager at Southern Heating and Air Conditioning, to help raise funding for education initiatives in Robeson County, NC and to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

She came to UNC Pembroke in 2008 after a four-year stint as registrar for the University of Maryland (U.M.) University College in Heidelberg, Germany. She supervised a staff of up to 17 employees, serving primarily members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families who were attending the University of Maryland.

While in Europe, Kissick earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from University of Maryland University College and a Master of Education in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum from University of Oklahoma.

Sharon is also a big sports fan especially the UNC Pembroke Braves Basketball and Football Teams. She has been a season ticket holder for both teams and has been one of the most vocal fans of the men’s basketball team since 2009.

UNCP Basketball

She has a son Jaden that has become a fixture around the UNC Pembroke campus and I know that student athletes and coaches are going to miss both Sharon and Jaden. Jaden is the reason I got to meet one of her friends who eventually became a friend of our family.

In 2009 at Halloween Sharon and her son Jaden came to our house to trick and treat with a biology faculty member at UNC Pembroke. That friend’s name was Brandi Norman.


Sharon and Jaden


Brandi Norman

Two woman who love basketball

When I got introduced to Brandi Norman I was the Athletic Director at UNC Pembroke. We usually have a wild time at our house on Halloween Night. Everyone on our street gets into the trick and treat spirit maybe because I live on Elm Street. A number of homes try to create that “Nightmare on Elm Street” feeling including a number of friends of mine including Tonnie Prevatte. After the trick and treating is done we usually have a bunch of people stay at the house for food and drinks. Sharon and Brandi had there children with them and they stayed and I got to know Brandi through her friend Sharon.

Over the years you could always count on Sharon and Brandi to support the UNC Pembroke basketball team. A large part of this was due to Sharon and Brandi having a friendship with Heather Miller the basketball coach’s wife at UNCP. Brandi knew her basketball and she has nurtured that love of the game into her son Adam.

What I always admired about Brandi and Sharon were they were die-hard fans when UNCP wasn’t having the NCAA post season success they have had the last five years. They helped support the team in ways beyond just being a fan. In fact players got close to both of their families and became baby-sitters and tutors.

Photo below of Tyler Kordenbrock with Brandi and her family

(l-r) Brandi, Adam (on his toes), Tyler Kordenbrock, and Emma.

Tyler Brandi

When George “Big George” Blakeney played basketball for Pembroke both Sharon and Brandi’s sons could be found in the hallway waiting for George to come out of the locker so they could get a high-five from him.


These two friends were more than fans they were moms to UNCP students.

I somehow think that Brandi and Sharon are not going to let the Sharon’s move to Raleigh get in the way of their friendship.

(l-r) Sharon Kissick and Brandi Norman

Sharon and Brandi

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