2023 Winner

  Melvin HinesMelvin Hines, Jr. JD '09, MBA '11

    Co-Founder and CEO, Upswing



Melvin Hines, Jr. is the co-founder and CEO of Upswing, an organization that uses engagement software to help keep online students and adult learners on the path towards graduation. Today, Upswing supports over 500,000 students in nearly 70 colleges. Melvin grew up in south Georgia, where he was one of only 68 students to graduate out of class of 250. This ignited his passion for finding a way to empower students to take their futures into their own hands through higher education. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Melvin received a JD/MBA from Duke University where he started a law forum for educational equality. Afterwards, he became a professor at North Carolina Central University, where he supported first-year student success.

What impact has your Fuqua experience had on your career/life?

Fuqua has had an immense impact on my life. When I first began at Fuqua, I didn't really have an understanding of just how vast the world of business was. I had just graduated from Duke Law, and so seeing this new world was exciting. I also met one of my closest friends at Fuqua. Amrut Dhumal later became my roommate, and it was our late-night discussions that led to me deciding to start Upswing. Finally, Howie Rhee led Duke's entrepreneurship focus when I attended, and he gave us our first opportunity to pitch Upswing at a Google Pitch competition in California.  

Professionally or personally, what are you excited about right now?

When I first started Upswing, the idea of starting a business with impact was a nascent concept. Today, people are recognizing that it is possible to do good and generate revenue, and so seeing the creative ways in which new businesses are helping the world is very exciting to me. It also excites me to see more founders of color have the opportunity to see their visions become reality. 

What does Team Fuqua mean to you?

Team Fuqua is about recognizing that your experiences and connections don't end when graduation happens. You are connected to so many others who are here to help you see your vision through to the finish line. And as a result, you must also be sure to do the same for others.


Year Recipients
2021-22 Rachael Classi MBA '14
Cesar Del Castillo De Pando MBA '16
2020-21 Gautam Bazaz MBA '09
2019-20 Sanjith Shetty MBA '95
2018-19 Beverly Sobel-Redler MBA '90
2017-18 Cara Sabin MBA '98
2016-17 Laurie Gomer MBA '13
 2015-16 Brian Bell MBA '05
Amy Katch MBA '93
 2014-15 Matt Koidin MBA '05
Paul Straub MBA '05
 2013-14 Andrei Zuzin MBA '04
David Cummings '99, MBA '04
 2012-13 Warren Farr MBA '93
J.D. Lubenetski MBA '08
 2011-12 Bassam Bitar MBA '07
 2010-11 Shaun Horrigan MBA '10
 2009-10 Lisa Parker MBA  '85
Paula Weiner MBA '85
 2008-09 Matt Bailey MBA '99
 2007-08 Judy Maness MBA '83
Wenny Tung MBA '03
 2006-07 Kate Bostock T' 94, MBA '02
 2005-06 Chris Rae MBA '01
Javed Tapia MBA '91

Triangle Alumni Club Leadership Team
Michael Dombeck MBA '03, Tera Ferguson MBA '03, Todd Creech MBA '03, Jane Brown MBA '97,
Rod Santomassimo MBA '87, Mark De Cain MBA '02, Jonathan Brimfield MBA '03 and Jan Bouten MBA '03

 2003-04 Rod Santomassimo MBA '87
Jonathan Wigser MBA '94
 2002-03 Jon Sherwin MHA '78
William Randolph Smith MHA '72
 2001-02 Wendy Aims Rowe T '79, MBA '93
Janice Newsom MBA '77