201436
Dr. Krisztina Spong, assistant professor of chemistry. She began teaching at Averett as an adjunct faculty member for the traditional and Graduate Professional Studies programs in spring 2013. Prior to that, she was a research scientist at the University at Buffalo in New York. Krisztina earned her master of science in chemistry from Lajos Kossuth University and her doctor of philosophy degree in organic chemistry from Miami University.

201436
Stephanie Smith '10, our new instructor of biology. As an undergraduate at Averett, she was inducted into the Beta Beta Beta and Alpha Chi honor societies. During the 2010 spring Commencement ceremony she received the C.L. Davenport Award for General Excellence, the most prestigious award granted to a graduate of Averett. She earned her bachelor of science degree in biology: biomedical science and a minor in chemistry and her master of science in anatomy from the University of Dundee.

201436
Mary Lou Dunn, Averett's new clinical instructor of nurse education. Mary Lou comes to Averett by way of Danville Regional Medical Center where she was a nursing instructor for 28 years. Mary Lou earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University and her master of science degree in nursing from the University of Virginia.

201436
Teresa Beach '86, who has been appointed the curriculum development specialist for the nurse education program. She most recently served as the peri-operative manager and instructor at Danville Regional Medical Center. She has also taught at Virginia Commonwealth University. Teresa has over 30 years of experience in the nursing field. She earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Averett College and her master of science in nursing from the University of Virginia.

201436
Dr. Steve Ausband, professor emeritus, who has returned to teach in the English department after one year of retirement. Prior to his retirement in 2013, Steve served Averett for a total of 43 years - 41 years as a professor and two years as vice president for academic affairs. Welcome back, Steve!

201433
Emily Holder, our new coordinator of conferences, camps and special events. She recently completed a Dan River Year Agent position with the Dan River Partnership for a Healthy Community and previously served as co-race director for the third annual Dan River Autism Awareness 5k. Emily, who is originally from High Point, N.C., moved to Danville a year ago from Raleigh after completing her undergraduate degree at NC State.

If you need assistance reserving a room for a meeting, coordinating campus visits for guests or planning an upcoming event, Emily can be reached at ext. 15625, on her cell phone at 336-471-5461 or via email eholder@averett.edu.

201432
Stefan Varner '14, one of our new graduate assistant athletic trainers. After passing his board exam in April, Stefan was well on his way to finding his place in the world. Not many people can say they were a certified athletic trainer before they even graduated! Stefan's desire to further his education has brought him back to his roots here at Averett.

201428
Have you welcomed someone new to your department lately? We want to meet them! Make sure you fill out the CoffeeBreak submission form online so an announcement can be run in the next addition.

201424
Charles E. Phillips III, Averett's new student financial services counselor for the Graduate & Professional Studies program. Charles most recently served as documentation control & internal audit assistant in the fab logistics department at RF Micro Devices, Inc. (RFMD) in Greensboro, N.C. Prior to serving in that capacity, Charles was employed with American National Bank here in Danville.

Charles earned his bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and an associates degree in applied science and math from Piedmont Community College in Roxboro, N.C. Charles' office is located in Averett Central, Main Hall 116.

201421
Pamela Giles is Averett's new associate dean and associate professor of Nurse Education. Dr. Giles comes to Danville from Marion, Indiana, where she most recently served as the Executive Director of the CCCU Center for Research in Adult Education at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Prior to serving in that capacity, Dr. Giles was an associate professor in the university's School of Nursing and chaired the department of graduate studies in nursing education.

Dr. Giles earned her Ph.D. in Education from Walden University, her M.S. in Community Health Nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University, and her B.S. in Nursing from Marion College.

201421
April McCubbins, our new student financial services counselor, her office is located in Averett Central and she will be working with traditional students and performing cashier duties.

201420
Have you welcomed someone new to your department lately? We want to meet them! Make sure you fill out the CoffeeBreak submission form online so an announcement can be run in the next addition.

201417
Pam McKirdy, our new director of institutional research and effectiveness. Pam comes to Averett from Greensboro College, where she served as the associate vice president for assessment. During her time there she also worked as the associate vice president for technology and the director for library services and instructional resources.

Pam earned her undergraduate degree at MIT, her master's at Simmons College, and has completed doctoral course work at Boston College.

We are excited to have Pam on campus!

201414
Have you welcomed someone new to your department lately? We want to meet them! Make sure you fill out the CoffeeBreak submission form online so an announcement can be run in the next addition.

201407
Cleive Adams, our new football head coach. Adams, a longtime Division III assistant, comes to Averett from Ferrum College, a fellow USA South Conference institution where he has been the defensive coordinator since 2007. To read more about Adams, click here to go to the athletics web page.

201404
Shyla Lessington Hairston, our new academic advisor for the GPS Program. No stranger to Averett, Shyla received her MEd from the University in 2008. While attending Averett, she served as an intern graduate athletic trainer, and she was a graduate assistant in the dean of students office. She received her bachelor of science degree in athletic training from Mars Hill College in 2002. After graduating from Averett, she continued to gain experience in the higher education field through positions in residence life, student affairs and academic advising at various collegiate institutions.

A native of Columbia, S.C. she now resides in Greensboro, N.C. with her husband Demond Hairston '08 and their dog Bruno T. Hairston. She is an active member in her church, enjoys time with her family and friends, watching sports and eating cheesecake!

"I am very happy to return to my alma mater," Shyla said. "I am excited and am looking forward to witnessing the amazing things that are happening at Averett University. It feels great to be home!"

201402
Have you welcomed someone new to your department lately? We want to meet them! Make sure you fill out the CoffeeBreak submission form online so an announcement can be run in the next addition.

201350
Kevin Lipscomb, who has joined us as the new systems administrator in IT. Kevin was formerly the network administrator for Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority. He is married and has three adult children and two younger stepchildren. Welcome, Kevin!

201348
Christine Thompson, who has joined the admissions staff as our new campus guest coordinator. Christine is from Madison, Wis. She is married to Jonathan Thompson, Averett's assistant men's basketball coach.

201346
April McCubbins, who also joined the GPS accounting staff in October. She comes to us from the Commonwealth of Virginia. She has two beautiful girls, Logan and Ireland. In her spare time, she is busy taking her oldest daughter, Logan, to horse shows.

201346
Kristi Phillips, who joined the GPS accounting staff in October. She comes to us from Boxer Property/Hull Storey Gibson Co. She is married to Chris and she has two handsome boys, Thomas and Caylen. In her spare time, she is building a house.

201345
Charlette Hardy, who joined Averett in September as academic advisor for the GPS Program in the Tidewater region. She brings to Averett a solid background in higher education and federal grants administration, community program development and secondary education. Charlette holds a bachelor of arts in journalism broadcasting and has worked for two major news stations as a news editor and freelance reporter. She also holds a master of education degree.

In her spare time she is an American Red Cross volunteer.

201341
James Hernandez, who has joined the registrar's office as our new veteran's certifying official. As a veteran himself - James served in the Army and Army National Guard - he will bring a unique perspective to this position. Prior to joining us, he worked for Pittsylvania County Social Services for four years.

James is enrolled in the IDEAL Program where he is pursuing a degree in business administration: management.

Stop by his office in Bishop 106 and say hello.

201340
Have you welcomed someone new to your department lately? We want to meet them! Make sure you fill out the CoffeeBreak submission form online so an announcement can be run in the next addition.

201338
Thad Mangum, who is the textbook coordinator at The Schoolfield House Booksellers. Thad is from the Martinsville area and will graduate from Patrick Henry Community College in December with an associate of business administration degree. After he graduates, he plans to pursue a bachelor of science in business administration/marketing. He has worked at the bookstore since last August.

201338
Anna Kautzman, who joined Averett in May as the associate dean of student success for the GPS Program. She brings to Averett a strong background in higher education administration and student success after working with students at several other schools, both online and ground, traditional and non-traditional, undergraduate and graduate levels. Anna holds a bachelor of arts, a master of education, and juris doctor degrees and is currently working on a doctor of philosophy degree in public policy & administration, policy analysis.

She is the mother of Alliya, a cross-country and track runner who just won her fourth first-place finish of the year (4 for 4)! Alliya is a senior at G.W. High School and is considering attending Averett next year. Anna and Alliya moved to Danville from Kentucky and are happy to be living in such a great community and contributing to a terrific school like Averett!

201337
Jeremy Jennings '11, who has joined the student financial services department as a student financial services counselor for the GPS Program. Jeremy brings to Averett a strong financial background as he most recently worked at an accountant specialist for American National Bank in Danville. In the near future, Jeremy plans to take his Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) licensure with the Virginia Board of Accountancy (VBOA).

Jeremy earned his bachelor of business administration degree with a concentration in accounting from Averett; therefore as an alumnus, he has a wealth of knowledge of Averett's environment and dynamics. As you pass through Averett Central (116 Main Hall) be sure to stop by and welcome Jeremy!

201336
Felix Mann, head coach of the men's and women's tennis programs. Felix comes to Averett after spending two seasons as the assistant coach at Rhodes College. While at Rhodes, he helped the program to its highest conference finish ever, finishing second both seasons he was there. In just two years as an assistant, he helped to lead the top doubles team to the finals of the regional tournament where the duo was awarded a top 15 national ranking, finishing the year inside the top 25 as a doubles team.

Felix had a successful collegiate playing career at Oglethorpe University. He earned All-Conference honorable mention honors his freshman year and then was voted to First-Team All-Conference in each of his final three seasons. Felix finished third for conference player of the year his junior and senior seasons. In his junior season, he finished regionally ranked top 15 in singles play. He ended his career at Oglethorpe as the No. 12 ranked singles player and No. 7 ranked doubles team with partner Ross Beall in the Atlantic South region.

A native of Herndon, he earned his bachelor's degree in economics from Oglethorpe in 2011.

201406
Sarah Pressley, course developer for the nursing program. She taught at Danville Regional's School of Nursing for nearly 20 years, serving as an obstetrics instructor. Sarah and her husband live in Danville. He is the pastor of Schoolfield Pentecostal Holiness Church.

201336
Stacy Gato, who is the University's new vice president of enrollment management. Stacy joins us from the University of New England (UNE) where she served as executive director of university admissions. In that position she oversaw both the office of undergraduate admissions and the office of graduate admissions; supervised a staff of 25 professionals; and was responsible for marketing, recruitment and enrollment for the university's six colleges across two campuses, as well as all online programs.

Stacy is a cum laude graduate of Saint Joseph's College from whom she holds two bachelor of arts degrees – one in English, with a concentration in creative writing; the other in communications with a concentration in public relations. She and her husband, Tim, have two children: Emily, age 12 and Sarah, age 9.

201336
Trish Coleman, who became assistant to the CFO on July 24. Trish moved to North Carolina from Virginia Beach after a 23-year career in the Navy. She lives in Reidsville with her husband, a 30-year Navy vet, and their nine-year old son.

201336
Lori Bidgood, who has joined Averett's department of institutional advancement as graphic designer. Lori most recently served as a media specialist and head graphic designer at Danville Community College (2006-2013). In that capacity, she designed all of the college's brochures, catalogs, schedules, print advertisements and more. She also photographed events and staff portraits for use in publications and on the Web, and shot and edited video for commercials and promotional DVDs.

Lori earned her bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also earned her MBA from Averett University - so as an alumna, she has an intimate knowledge of Averett's DNA.

201334
Have you welcomed someone new to your department lately? We want to meet them! Make sure you fill out the CoffeeBreak submission form online so an announcement can be run in the next addition.

201333
Deelynn Leigh, an academic advisor for the GPS Central Region. Deelynn is no stranger to Averett - her father, Derwin Leigh Sr., will graduate this month. She joins us from Liberty University where she worked in the financial aid area. She is weeks away from obtaining her master degree in religious education. Deelynn's hobbies are writing poetry and doing outdoor activities like hiking, biking, canoeing and camping. She also enjoys exercising, playing cards, board games, scrapbooking and wedding planning.

201333
Dr. Martha Wall-Whitfield joined Averett in September 2012 and is an assistant professor in the education department. She teaches courses on adult learning, philosophy of education, research and instructional strategies. Since joining Averett, she guided the development of the M.Ed. in administration and supervision program that is now being reviewed by the Virginia Department of Education. Prior to coming to Averett, Martha was a faculty member at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. She earned her M.Ed. in administration and supervision as well as her Ph.D. in educational leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her doctoral dissertation focused on gangs and schools, a topic that remains her research interest and about which she presents at a variety of conferences.

201333
Dr. Sergey V. Samoilenko, who joins us as chair of the computer and information science department and as associate professor of information systems. Sergey comes from Virginia Union University, where he served as chair of computer information systems and as a full-time faculty member teaching courses such as systems analysis and design; networking; computer hardware and software; database design and implementation; and information engineering. He earned his Ph.D. at Virginia Commonwealth University where his research interests focused on information systems economics, decision models for IS management and information technology and development.

201333
Bill Lawrence, who returns to Averett as interim chair of education. After the search for a permanent chair is completed, Bill will transition into an assistant professor role where he will serve as director of educational outreach working with schools, school districts and faculty members in graduate education programs to take education programs statewide. Bill first joined the Averett community in 2008 after many years in Danville Public Schools - he served as principal of Galileo Magnet High School from 2003-07. Bill holds a M.Ed. in special education from Lynchburg College and earned his licensure in administration and supervision from Longwood University.

201333
Dr. Jennifer Hughes, who comes to Averett from Young Harris College in Georgia where she served as assistant professor of English, mentor to new faculty, Title IX faculty coordinator and faculty co-advisor for the English majors organization. She earned her master of arts in English from the University of Virginia and her Ph.D. from Emory University. Her teaching at Young Harris included courses on women in literature and humor in literature. She has a book in progress titled "The Mirror of Mirth: Laughter, Sentiment, and Democracy in the Nineteenth-Century United States."

201333
Stephen Davidson, Averett's new instructor of mathematics. Since earning his master of science degree in mathematics from Virginia Tech, Stephen has taught at the high school and college levels. He most recently has been an instructor at Danville Community College, where he taught mathematics for allied health and served as a tutor in the Academic Success Center. Stephen also teaches all levels of mathematics on an individual basis at Sylvan Learning Center, where he enjoys working with students and parents.

201332
Christopher McDonald '11, a new admissions counselor for the traditional admissions department. Christopher graduated from Averett with a bachelor of science degree in physical education. He will be counseling students from the western counties of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and the Great Lakes region. Welcome, Christopher!

201331
Carrie Hendrick, our new head athletic trainer. Carrie comes to Averett with a wealth of clinical experience, having previously served as the assistant athletic trainer at Lenoir Rhyne University. For more information about Carrie, visit the athletics website by clicking here.

201331
Meg Stevens, our new director of athletics. Meg joins us from Buffalo State where she was the assistant director of athletics, senior woman administrator and head coach for women's lacrosse. She served as Buffalo State's assistant director of athletics since 2009 and spent the past 11 years as the women's lacrosse head coach, director of the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program and as the advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). For more information about Meg, please visit the athletics website by clicking here.

201328
Dr. Jill Hamlin has joined Averett as the director of autism studies. Jill is a licensed occupational therapist and prior to joining Averett was working in that capacity at Piedmont Regional Feeding & Oral-Motor Clinic, LLC. Not new to Averett, Jill has taught autism classes offered through Averett's education department. Jill is a native of Danville and attained her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy from Rocky Mountain University in Provo, Utah, and her B.S. in human occupational studies from Lenoir-Rhyne University. She completed BCBA coursework at the Florida Institute of Technology. Jill's office is located in Blount Library in room 302.

201328
Rebecca Raab, Averett's new director of writing support and English as a second language programs. Rebecca has a master's degree in education - curriculum and instruction with a concentration in English as a second language from Virginia Tech. She has taught as an adjunct professor in Averett's English department for the past year, and specifically developed the English as a second language course. Prior to coming to Averett, Rebecca taught English as a second language and developed online courses for Granville County Schools in Oxford, N.C. Rebecca is married to Assistant Art Professor Lee Sandstead. Rebecca's office is located in the Galesi Family Student Success Center.

201325
Rodney Harper, our new mailroom clerk. Rodney began his duties on Monday, June 10. He comes to us from Aramark, where he worked with maintenance for the last year. Rodney is currently working to obtain a degree in a HVAC program at Danville Community College. In his off time he works with the prison ministry. He and his wife Gayl have three children - two girls and a boy - and they reside in Danville.

201324
Have you welcomed someone new to your department lately? Make sure to fill out the form so an announcement can be run in the next addition of Coffee Break.

201317
Have you welcomed someone new to your department lately? Make sure to fill out the form so an announcement can be run in the next addition of Coffee Break.

201308
Sam Ferguson ’97, Averett’s former director of athletics, and most recently, executive director of the law firm of Clement & Wheatley, has rejoined Averett as our new Director of Annual Giving.

Sam’s first day will be February 28th. Please give him a warm Averett welcome when you see him!

201307
Julian Oliver '10 has accepted the student financial services counselor position for the Graduate and Professional Studies Program. Be sure to welcome Julian to this new role at Averett.

201304
Chris Roberts, who joined the IT department as our new systems administrator Jan. 14. He comes to us from Birmingham, Ala. where he worked as an IT specialist at Corporate America Credit Union for the past five years. His office is located in Danville 103. Welcome, Chris!

201303
Kara Hankins '12, who joins the student financial services office as the new student financial services counselor for transfer students. Kara's office is in Averett Central, room 121. Welcome, Kara!

201302
Margaret "Peggy" Parrish, who joins us as a visiting instructor in the business administration department for the spring semester. Peggy has worked in the corporate arena and higher education, most recently as associate campus dean at Strayer University in Midlothian.

In the past she has held positions at the Virginia Employment Commission and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. She earned her undergraduate degree at Sweet Briar College, her MBA at the University of Pittsburgh, and her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law.

201251
Jason Ferrell who joins the Aramark family as the North Campus grounds supervisor. Jason is a graduate of Virginia Tech where he majored in turf management.

"Jason's knowledge of turf management will enhance our grounds program," said Alonzo Jones, director of facilities. "We ask you to join us in welcoming Jason to campus."

201250
Have you welcomed someone new to your department lately? Make sure to fill out the submission form so an announcement can be run in the next addition of Coffee Break.

201243
Pam Paynter, who joins the business office as the staff accountant - payroll and benefits. Pam comes to us from Halifax Regional Hospital in South Boston where she worked as payroll coordinator for 15 years. She and her husband, Tommy, live in South Boston. They have three children, three grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

201242
Pam Paynter joins the business office as the staff accountant - payroll and benefits. Pam comes to us from Halifax Regional Hospital in South Boston where she worked as payroll coordinator for 15 years. She and her husband, Tommy, live in South Boston. They have three children, three grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

201242
Chris Akers, the new men's and women's head tennis coach. Prior to joining Averett, Chris served as the boys' tennis coach at George Washington (GW) High School from 2005-12. He guided his 2010 Eagles squad to a 14-2 record and the program's first district title since 1986, and his teams made consecutive regional tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011.

Chris has also served as GW's assistant varsity football coach since 2004 and the junior varsity head coach since 2006. He also had a stint as the GW freshmen boys' basketball coach from 2004-08.

A native of Bluefield, he earned his bachelor's degree from Radford University in 2004. He teaches physical education at Westwood Middle School in Danville. Welcome, Chris!

201242
Ashley Jackson '11, who joins the admissions office as a counselor for students from Florida, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts as well as multiple cities and counties in Virginia.

Ashley graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and political science. When she was a student she served as a resident assistant in Main Hall, was the editor-in-chief for The Chanticleer. Prior to joining the admissions office, she worked as a news reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin.

In her spare time, Ashley enjoys singing, playing the guitar and piano, as well as hunting, hiking and fishing. She is a native of Axton and now resides in Martinsville. Welcome, Ashley!

201241
Travis Dix, who joined the IA team as the University's new webmaster. Travis, a native of Danville, comes to us from Danville Community College, where he served as an IT specialist for the last five years. Since 2004, Travis has also been a freelance web designer, helping companies from as far away as Arizona, Wisconsin and Florida. He graduated cum laude from Danville Community College in 1997 with an associate degree in computer information systems.

201241
Stephen Stone, who joins the IT department as systems and security analyst. Stephen comes to us from Montreat College, where he completed a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems and served as a student worker in the IT Department. Stephen also completed his internship at Montreat, where he was in charge of the installation of a campus-wide wireless infrastructure. In addition, he has earned certifications in A+ and Security+. Stephen is already impacting our community by improving Internet and wireless access on the Main Campus.

201201
The office of institutional advancement is pleased to announce that Edward "Ed" Jones will be joining their team as the new director of marketing and communication in September. Ed received his bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Davidson College. Before becoming director of marketing at Belmont Abbey College, he was a writer and associate creative director at Loeffler Ketchum Mountjoy, an advertising agency in Charlotte, N.C. During his advertising career, Ed won more than 350 local, regional and national awards for creativity, including two Clio Awards.

During his five-year tenure at Belmont Abbey, the college set new records for applications every year, total enrollment increased by 28 percent and the advertising and public relations campaigns Ed's team produced garnered significant national recognition for the Abbey.

Ed is married to Ann Arey Jones, who grew up in Danville, and they have two children: Christopher, 25, who works on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant for Congressman Rick Crawford (R-Ark.); and Patrick, 22, who is an up-and-coming actor in New York City.

201201
John Parkin graduated from Averett with a bachelor of science in sociology concentrating in criminal justice in 2010. Since graduation, he has been living and working in Daytona Beach, Fla. where he attended Phoenix East Aviation and earned his Aircraft Dispatcher License. John is excited for the opportunity to give back to residence life and the Averett University community. While an undergrad at AU, John served residence life for three years as a resident assistant and was an active member of the international student organization on campus. John will be pursuing his MBA while serving residence life as a hall director for the Mt. View Apartments.

201201
Residence Life Welcomes two new Graduate Hall Directors to its staff:

Joel Simpson graduated from Averett with a bachelor of science in aviation management: flight operations in 2011. Last year he served the University as a flight instructor. While an undergrad at AU, Joel served residence life for three years as a resident assistant, and was an active member of the international student organization on campus. Joel is celebrating a recent engagement to Michelle Sposato, who is completing her M.Ed. at James Madison University. Joel will be pursuing his MBA while serving residence life as a hall director for the Main Building Complex.

201201
As an alumna, Sherri Garrett '91 is no stranger to Averett and now she's back, not just as a lab assistant in the nursing program but as a student in the program as well. Sherri was born and raised in Danville and pursued a degree in English/journalism-communications because she wanted to pursue a career in television. It's such a competitive field and as someone more timid she found it difficult.

She returned to school and graduated from DRMC's School of Nursing in 1998, finding her niche in pediatrics. "I love children and I love seeing them get well," Sherri said. "It was a perfect fit for me."

Sherri has been happily married to Jack Garrett '79 for nearly 19 years and they have three children.

201234
Other new faces you may have seen around campus include:
Patrick Bolen '08, defensive assistant coach for the football team
Johanna Bradford, assistant tennis coach for the women's tennis team
Justin Cozart '12, flight instructor
Tony Harris '11, IT Technician
Heather Merchant, corporate education liaison, GPS, Danville
Thomas Underwood '08, assistant athletic trainer
Travis Wireman '11, flight instructor

201234
J.D. Tyree is the tight end coach for the football team. A native of Martinsville, Tyree graduated from Columbia University where he played two seasons of football before his collegiate career was cut short due to injury. Prior to joining Averett he coached two summers at Magna Vista High School.

201234
Sara Porter is the new assistant volleyball coach. A native of Toledo, Ohio, she played four seasons at Defiance College from 2007-2010. An outside hitter, Sara played in 429 sets over 118 matches and averaged 2.23 kills and 3.17 digs per set. She earned Heartland Collegiate Athletic All-Conference Honorable Mention honors in 2009 and was named to the conference all-tournament team the same season. She graduated in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in wellness and corporate fitness.

201234
Dr. George Odongo joins Averett as assistant professor of special education. A native of Kenya, George comes most recently from Texas Tech University, where he earned his doctor of education in special education. While at Texas Tech, he taught a host of courses, from introduction to educational research to human development in education. He has presented papers at conferences across the United States, and is currently a member of the American Council on Rural Special Education and the American Association of the Deaf-Blind.

201234
Karen Oaks, clinical assistant professor in nurse education, previously taught at Danville Regional Medical Center's School of Health Professions since 2007 as a nursing instructor. Prior to becoming a nurse educator, Karen worked as a staff nurse at DRMC. She earned her master of science in nursing degree from Old Dominion University, and currently is working on a family nurse practitioner post-master's certificate through East Tennessee State University.

201234
Dana Nelson is the manager for the Schoolfield House Booksellers. Born and raised in Pittsylvania County, she has worked with trade books for Barnes & Noble (B. Dalton Booksellers) for 14 years before coming to Averett. She has been the textbook coordinator at Averett since April 2010.

201234
Glenn Mungcal joins the GPS Program's advising team in the Tidewater Region. No stranger to Averett, Glenn previously worked with the program in Tidewater nearly four years ago. He returns to the family now that his wife has finished her graduate studies in pharmacology in Nevada. While in Nevada, he served as an adult literacy instructor of the College of Southern Nevada.

201234
Brad Lopez is the new running back coach for the football team. A native of Axton, Brad coached high school football, most recently at George Washington High School, for 23 years before joining Averett. While at GW he served as the assistant head coach and passing coordinator. He graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor of science degree in secondary education.

201234
Dr. Ralph Hawkins joins Averett as an associate professor in the religion department. Ralph comes to Averett from Kentucky Christian University, where he served as assistant professor of Biblical studies. His areas of expertise include Old Testament, near Eastern archaeology and the history and religion of Mesopotamia. He has authored numerous books, with his latest published by Eisenbrauns this summer. He earned his doctor of ministry at The School of Theology, University of the South, and his doctor of philosophy at Andrews University.

201234
Valerie Harr '11, a native of Pittsylvania County, is working as a graduate assistant in the equestrian studies department. She was a founding member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Team and rode on the Intercollegiate Dressage Association team as well. Valerie is managing the freshmen work experience and teaching two riding courses.

201234
Alexandria "Alex" Grandia is an intern athletic trainer for the Cougars. A native of New Mexico, Alex was born and raised in her hometown of Albuquerque. She graduated in May 2012 from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor of science degree in athletic training. Throughout her time as an undergrad, Alex worked with the various Division I sports at New Mexico. Her most unique experience was working the New Mexico State Fair Rodeo, where she helped cover everything from bull riding to barrel racing and roping.

201234
Antoinette "Toni" Gazda is a visiting instructor in the English department, and will coordinate Averett's service learning initiative during the coming year. Toni has worked as an adjunct instructor at Averett since 2011. She received her master of arts from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where she worked as a writing tutor as well as executive assistant to the vice chancellor.

201234
Laura Evans '12 joins the women's soccer program as an assistant coach after playing four seasons for the Cougars - served as a team captain during her senior season. She gained coaching experience with the Commonwealth Soccer Programs as a camp instructor from 2010-11 and also served as a travel coach for the Danville Soccer Club in 2012. Laura holds a USSF E License. A native of Virginia Beach, she earned USA South Academic All-Conference honors and was Averett's representative on the USA South All-Sportsmanship Team. Laura is currently working toward her MBA at Averett.

201234
Henry Echeverria, yes, he and Amy are married, is the technical director and sound engineer for the theatre department. Henry has worked as a draftsmen/fabricator for Benchmark Scenery and Depict Studios, both in California. In addition, he has been a scenic carpenter for Acme Design Group Studios, a production manager/technical for A Noise Within, a prop shop supervisor for Humboldt State University and a production manager/technical director for Kingsmen Shakespeare Company. Henry also taught classes at Humboldt State. He received his bachelor's degree in theatre from California State University of Bakersfield and a master of fine arts degree in scenography with concentrations in technical director and scenic design from Humboldt State.

201234
Amy Echeverria joins Averett as the costume shop supervisor and costume designer for the theatre department. She has a bachelor's degree in theatre with an emphasis in acting from California State University of Bakersfield and master of fine arts in scenography with concentrations in costume and lighting design from Humboldt State University. Prior to joining Averett, Amy taught at Humboldt State and was the assistant costume shop manager from 2007-11. She also worked as the lead seamstress at The House of Greg Lauren: Fashion House, was the head seamstress/first hand for A Noise Within, a theatre company in California, and was costume shop manager at the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival.

201234
Ronnie Dix joins the Averett softball program as an assistant coach. A native of the Danville area, Ronnie has a wealth of coaching knowledge in baseball and softball that dates back to 2000. From 2008-11, he coached the Blue Ridge Bombers 18U fast-pitch team. He was also an assistant softball coach at Tunstall High School from 2008-09. Prior to that, he assisted with the Tunstall baseball team from 2004-05 and coached the Danville Bulls 16U baseball team from 2000-04. Outside of athletics, Ronnie has worked for Nestle since 1988. He attended Montreat College from 1981-83, where he studied business administration. He lives in Danville with his wife, Sharon, and children, Corey and Taylor.

201234
Zana Këpuska Devlin '08 returns to Averett as a visiting instructor in the biological and physical sciences department. She earned her master of science degree in pathology at Duke University. While at Duke, she worked as a graduate research assistant in immunology and radiation biology. In addition to her academic expertise in the biological and physical sciences, Zana brings with her immense international experience - she has been able to apply her education in places such as China, Kosovo and Croatia.

201234
Nancy Dameron, clinical assistant professor in nurse education, previously worked at Virginia Western Community College (VWCC), where she was an assistant professor in the nursing program. While at VWCC, Nancy implemented a pilot project on collaborative learning that was subsequently incorporated into the VWCC Level I curriculum. She also has worked as a staff nurse as well as a hospice clinical coordinator. She brings with her not only professional experience, but civic experience through her work with FEMA's Emergency Management Institute and the Martinsville Area Community Foundation Hospice Fund.

201234
Aimee Brenner is a visiting assistant professor of education who comes to us from Virginia Tech, where she is completing a doctorate in instructional design and technology. Aimee holds two master's degrees - a master of arts in curriculum and instruction and a master of science in educational leadership. She has been a K-12 teacher and administrator, adjunct faculty member at Virginia Tech and Roanoke College, and currently works at Virginia Tech's Faculty Development Institute as a presenter and instructional designer. She is certified as an advanced online instructor, and has presented at various conferences from Blacksburg to Anaheim.

201234
Brad Bass is an artist in residence for the theatre department. Brad will be pursuing a degree in theatre education here at Averett. He has performed on Broadway in "Wicked," with the Tony Award winning cast of "Memphis" and in "Jersey Boys." A native of Ringgold, Brad graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.

201234
Dennis Ballance is the media specialist for the department of nurse education. He is also a GPS student working toward a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Dennis is a native of Wilmington, N.C. He and his wife, Kelly, moved to South Boston in 2003. They have two children, Grayson and Harper. Dennis enjoys music, running and coaching youth athletics.

201232
Katie Kollar, who is joining the women's basketball coaching staff as a graduate assistant. Katie, who is pursuing an MBA degree through the GPS Program, comes to us from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. A spring graduate of Nazareth, Katie played on the women's basketball team there for four years as a shooting guard. She was co-captain her junior and senior year. She broke the college's single season three-point record her senior year. In addition to playing, Katie was a head coach for an Amateur Athletic Union in Rochester for the past two seasons, coaching a U-16 and then a U-17 girls' team.

201232
Meaghan graduated from AU in 2008 and has spent the past several years working in Germany with American rider and competitor Catherine Haddad and German rider Hieke Kemmer as an assistant trainer and barn manager. Meaghan will be teaching several courses, helping with intercollegiate teams and coordinating the development of study abroad experiences for ES students.

201232
The Equestrian Studies Department welcomes two new equestrian studies associates - Carolyn "Cricket" Morris and Meaghan Byrne. Both Cricket and Meaghan bring a wealth of unique experiences with them. They can be reached at the Riding Center 336-388-5950.

Cricket joined the equestrian studies department part time last year as coach for the IHSA Team, and this year she will be a full time staff member responsible for coaching the hunt seat team as well as teaching several courses and working on camp opportunities for next summer. She comes to Averett with a wealth of experience in collegiate riding having worked at St. Andrews University and Sweet Briar College.

201231
Kathy Ross '11 is the new administrative assistant for the department of education and Frith 4th floor faculty. She graduated from Averett with a bachelor of arts degree in English and has more than 10 years of corporate administrative assistant experience.

201230
Danville native Patricia J. Shelton joins the AU family as the academic advisor for the Central Region where her primary focus will be students from the Charlottesville area. Patricia comes to us from Nottoway County High School where she was a substitute teacher.

No stranger to Averett, Patricia earned her associate degree in 2005 and her bachelor of business administration in 2007. She is currently working on her master degree in biblical studies with an emphasis in Christian leadership at Grand Canyon University. The academic services team and the Charlottesville students are pleased to have Patricia on board.

201230
Alex Sample joined the GPS staff as an enrollment counselor in Central Virginia in April. He comes to us from the University of Phoenix where he was an enrollment advisor in Arizona. Alex is embracing the many changes, which range from working fact to face with students to getting used to the trees and greenery - rain is a novelty.

In addition to a proven track record with enrollment, Alex is a talented artist, working primarily with a technique called reverse painting on Plexiglas. Using clear acrylic sheets instead of canvas, the process is painting in reverse, or painting the foreground before the background. To see this method, and his work, visit his website: www.asample.biz.

He earned his bachelor of fine arts in studio art from Arizona State University with a focus on woodworking, metalworking and art history. He and his wife, Tammy, are enjoying life in Richmond.

201229
Also joining the admissions team is Kendall Ratliffe as the BGAV ambassador. Kendall will promote Averett’s mission, value and academics at churches, various denominational and youth events (local, regional, and national), individual church visits, and through regional church gatherings. Kendall holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Juniata College and a master’s in divinity from Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond. Kendall’s office will be located in the GPS Innsbrook facility.

201229
The office of admissions is pleased to welcome two new members to its team. Matthew Mann joins the University as an admissions counselor. Matthew graduated from Averett in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration: global marketing management. He will be counseling students from Northern Virginia, Eastern North Carolina and the West Coast of the U.S.

201229
Kyle Patterson joins the AU family and residence life team as the area director for Fugate Hall and coordinator of housing operations. Kyle joins us from Catawba College where he served as an area coordinator for housing and programming.

He is currently working to complete a master’s degree in student personnel administration in higher education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Kyle graduated from the University of South Florida Saint Petersburg in 2010 where he majored in mass communication and minored in sociology. While at USF Saint Petersburg, Kyle served in leadership roles with both the resident assistant and orientation programs. Residence life is very excited to have Kyle on board!

201221
An old kid on the block is new again. We welcome back Don D'Alfonzo to the information technology department. Effective May 21, Don will serve as network administrator. Reporting to CIO Tom McMurtry, Don will be responsible for maintaining the network and our Linux servers. Don returns to Averett after serving 10 years, most recently as director of technology. Welcome back, Don!

201217
We are pleased to welcome Kim McMurtry as the new instructional technologist. She began her duties at Averett on April 16. McMurtry comes to us from Montreat College in Black Mountain, N.C. where she worked for 18 years in various positions including English faculty, faculty technology trainer and executive assistant to the president. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in computing technology in education at Nova Southeastern University.

201217
We are pleased to welcome Alexis Ehrhardt who joined Averett on April 2 as assistant for academic affairs. She comes to us from Danville Community College where she worked for four years as the transition counselor and SDV coordinator. Ehrhardt lives in Danville with her husband, Scott, and their 17-month-old son, Xavier.

201214
Tom McMurtry will be joining Averett University on April 9 as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) & Director of Information Technology Services. Tom will lead the IT Services team and will focus on enhancing technology at Averett.

201212
Patrick Henry, who has joined the Averett football team as the passing game coordinator for the Cougars' offense and the team's quarterbacks coach. Henry previously served as a graduate assistant coach at Division I Ball State University, where he coached offense for two years. He played quarterback at Defiance College from 2001-04, graduating in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in integrated social studies in secondary education. He earned his master's of education from Clarion University in 2006.

201210
Michael Moroni, our new food services manager. Moroni joins us from Duke University where he was executive chef. During his tenure at Duke, his focus was on health and sustainability when preparing food.

201203
Dr. Michael Parsons joined Averett Jan. 3 as the associate vice president of the Graduate and Professional Studies Program. He brings more than 30 years of experience in higher education to Averett. Most recently, Michael served as the associate director for student services and operations at the Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi Women's College in the United Arab Emirates.

He was awarded a Ph.D. in higher education from Indiana University. He also holds the distinction of Fulbright Senior Scholar at Karaganda State University in Karaganda, Republic of Kazakhstan.

Michael and his wife, Alla, have two daughters and two grandchildren and enjoy traveling abroad. Welcome Michael and Alla!

201405
Dr. Darnell Cockram, who has been named interim dean of the school of nursing. She is the former director of the Danville Regional Medical Center School of Nursing, where she served for 25 years. A native of Patrick County, she makes her home in Martinsville with her prized cat, Richie. Darnell brings a wealth of experience to Averett and is a welcome addition to our school of nursing.

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