Every spring, Averett's faculty, staff, students and alumni nominate current faculty and staff for the Outstanding Faculty and Outstanding Staff Member of the Year. The recipients of the awards were named and recognized at the Faculty, Staff & Retiree luncheon April 25 at the University. This year's Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year is Virginia "Ginger" Henderson, assistant professor of equestrian studies. This year's Outstanding Staff Member of the Year is Gloria Robertson, faculty secretary.
In her nominations, Henderson, a resident of Chatham and 1991 graduate of Averett, was described as a "leader, teacher, advisor, friend and confidant." Henderson is very involved in the equine industry and that involvement has benefited the students in the form of field trips, workshops on campus and internships. In addition to her teaching duties, Henderson is the coach of the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team. Many of the riders on the team have qualified for the national finals, competed at introductory through the third level of dressage and won in combined training events under her tutelage. Her peers voted her IDA Coach of the Year in 2010. One alumna said of her "she was there all the time through thick and thin. She was my 'mom' away from home — like she is to all her students."
Robertson, a Danville resident, was described as going above and beyond the daily routine with a can-do spirit. Her work, one nomination said, is her mission — a mission of friendship, grace under fire, tough love and compassion. To Robertson, her colleagues are her collective family. She shares with them in the good times and the bad. The nominations for Robertson included such words as "unconditional support, mentor, nursemaid, dutiful and diligent, mother and confidant." Robertson is known for her timeliness in completing tasks asked of her, often completing them sooner than expected. One nomination said "she has an open ear, soft shoulders and makes no judgment. It's nice to have her serve as my sounding board."
Also during the luncheon, the University recognized a number of employees for their years of service. Those recognized included:
• Dr. Don Ethington - 40 years
• Dr. David Hoffman & Susan Newcomb - 35 years
• Kendall Carter, Wanda Fallen, Dr. Anne Lewis & Katherine Pappas - 25 years
• Paul Collins, Dr. Richard Ferguson & Dr. Alice Obenchain-Leeson - 20 years
• Donna Gourley, Kevin Harden, Laura Hartman, Alonzo Jones, Robin Martin, Susan Osborne & Sherman Woodson - 15 years
• Dr. John Guarino, Chris Hanks, Priscilla Culley, Daniel Jones, Vickie Knowles, Brenda Stone, Dr. Philip Sturm, Jim Verdini, Amy Williamson & Donna Zimmerman - 10 years
• Donna P. Benz, Donna Brande, Wayne Dabney, Dr. Deborah M. DeMarey, Hank Dempsey, Brenda Farmer, Linda Fisher, Aretha Fitzgerald, Traci Fitzgerald, Debbie Flinn, Dr. Tiffany Franks, Ed Goodhines, Reggie Hairston, Dan Hayes, Sarah Hudson, Marty Jackson, Dr. Michelle Liu, David McMoore, Carly Michelle Pearce, Gene Pounds, Robin Robinson, Felecia Saunders, Donna Schweiger, Tim Shipman, James Thurnes, Dr. Patrick D. Wasley, Gabe Waterman, Clarence Wilson, Drew Wilson, Dr. Jane Wiseman & Amanda Yager - 5 years
MAIN CAMPUS 420 West Main St., Danville VA 24541 Phone: (434 ) 791-5600 1-800-AVERETT
RIVERVIEW CAMPUS 512 Bridge St., Danville, VA 24541
NORTH CAMPUS 707 Mount Cross Road, Danville, VA 24540 Phone: (434 ) 791-5700 1-800-AVERETT