AU CoffeeBreak 1-10-18

Posted on January 10th, 2018 by Danielle Staub

CoffeeBreak is an e-newsletter distributed to Averett faculty and staff to keep them up-to-date on campus activities and information. Please send information you would like included in CoffeeBreak via this form. Please submit by Friday, Jan. 12, for a Wednesday, Jan. 17, publication.

Changes in the Student Success Center

Aries Wilson, assistant director of student success, and Holly Kilby, academic support coordinator, will be sharing Dr. Sherill Anderson’s former responsibilities. It is important for faculty and staff to know that Aries will oversee the Early Alert process, in addition to withdrawals from the University. Holly will oversee ADA accommodations, in addition to academic dishonesty concerns (plagiarism follow-ups).

Two AmeriCorp staff members, Jordan Francis and Kenneth McLellan, will continue with their responsibilities, in addition to overseeing academic workshops. Theresa Lawrence, Averett retiree, will also be filling in when needed, to assist with day-to-day duties. The Student Success Center looks forward to an engaging semester.

Student Life Changes

The SOVAH health clinic currently in the Health and Wellness Center is moving to the fourth floor of the Student Center. They will use the three offices for the clinic that were used for student engagement and the resource room, and will open Monday. This move will allow for Student Engagement to move to the current Health and Wellness Center space in the Galesi Family Student Success Center. The resource room will also move to this space, allowing students the same access as before but with more space to create.

The new space with be called The Student Engagement Center. In this Center, we will house health and wellness, orientation, clubs and organizations, Greek life and student programs. Additionally, the center will provide more opportunities for programming and social space, as well as space for clubs and organizations to work.

In addition, Sierra Braxton-Sears is no longer with the University. For questions or needs around Student Engagement, contact Jill Adams at

Lesley Villarose named Virginia State Co-Director for Region III for NASPA

Lesley Villarose was recently named the 2018 – 2020 Region III Virginia State Co-Director for Region III for NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, which is the leading organization for student affairs professionals. Congratulations, Lesley!





GPS Student Spotlight

Meet Carl Fors, a student pursuing his Bachelor of Business Administration degree who is expected to graduate in 2017. To see him on the GPS blog, click here.

QUESTION: Why did you choose Averett’s Graduate and Professional Studies Program?

ANSWER: “We had a college fair at work in the fall of 2012 and Trish Nicol from Averett University was there representing. After I listened to her and compared to all the other universities, my choice was easy. Averett University makes it easy to study full time at the same time as working full-time and having a family. Thank you Trish for all that you did in early 2013 to get me enrolled to Averett University.”


Spring Chapel Services

Every other Thursday is Averett Chapel, and we want you to be there! Connect with Averett students, faculty and staff as you connect with God for a short, encouraging service. The first service is tomorrow, Jan. 11, at 11:15 a.m. in Blount Chapel.

Each chapel this semester has a special theme and here is the schedule for your calendar:

Jan. 11 – Rev. Skyler Daniel
Jan. 25 – Dr. Gary Tucker
Feb. 8 – Rev. Skyler Daniel
Feb. 22 – Black Student Union
March 22 – Rev. Skyler Daniel
April 12 – Dr. Ralph Hawkins

Don’t forget Averett Chapel Campus Policy: On the second and fourth Thursday of each month, a campus-wide, voluntary, non-sectarian, Christian chapel service will be held between 11:15 and 11:45 a.m. in Blount Chapel. No official student, staff, athletic and faculty meeting is to be held during this time; in addition to setting this time aside for the Averett Chapel, other individuals and/or groups may (or are encouraged to) use this time for their own religious, spiritual or reflective purposes.

Sunday Supper: Seeing Past Appearances

The National Bonner Leader section of Averett 101 is hosting Averett’s first Sunday Supper: “Seeing Past Appearances,” on Sunday, Jan. 14, from 5-7 p.m. in the multipurpose room.

America’s Sunday Supper is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of people of diverse backgrounds interacting on personal levels. At this event, you will join other members of the Averett family for dinner and a facilitated discussion. The discussion will be centered around diversity and equality, and how these issues affect our daily lives. Our guest speaker will be Isaiah Howard, president of Averett’s Black Student Union (BSU).

This event is open to the entire Averett family, so please come out and support our students! To reserve your seat, RSVP on For questions, please contact Rachel Covington at

MLK Day Open Mic Event

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day by joining students, faculty and staff for an Open Mic event on Monday, Jan. 15, from 7-9 p.m. in the back café. Read a poem, speech, short story, novel excerpt or sing a song. This MLK Day event is open to all Averett students, faculty and staff. For inquiries, email Toni Gazda at or Lance Moore at

 Founders’ Day

Founders’ Day will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 11:15 a.m. in Pritchett Auditorium. Adjunct faculty and staff members are invited to participate in the academic procession. In order to participate in the exercises, you must have received at least a graduate degree and have the proper regalia. If you would like to participate, email Mary Sullivan,, by 9 a.m. on  Monday, Jan. 15.

 Commencement Countdown Dinner

This year’s Senior Dinner for any traditional senior graduating any time in 2018 (spring or fall) will be Thursday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. Please remind seniors as you see them! Also, would you be willing to help with it in one of two ways?

1. Work as a server for the event. The event is a sit-down dinner and something extra special for the students is being served by the most important people to Averett. We put on white shirts and black ties and serve, and then eat with the students. It makes for a special night.

2. Provide a prize. We give out special prizes throughout the evening. Do you have a set of Averett coffee mugs that you don’t use any more? Just about anything can be special to a graduating senior. We’ve gotten everything from glasswear to gift cards – and all things are appreciated!

If you have any questions, contact Dan Hayes at or (434) 791-7252.

Cougar Connection Deadlines

Welcome back! Just a friendly reminder that we like to keep Cougar Connection, a weekly newsletter for students, fresh and filled with new content each week so students know about all the events happening on campus each day. Please submit by Wednesday of each week for a following Monday morning publication.

To submit, click here. If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Staub, marketing and communications specialist, at or (434) 791-5681.

Remembering Gary Ferguson

The Averett family remembers Gary Ferguson who passed away at his home in Danville on the morning of December 30 after a long battle with ALS. Until his retirement in 2011, “Mr. Gary” taught as an organ and handbells instructor for many years at Averett, while serving as the minister of music at West Main Baptist Church.

Gary had many colleagues and friends within the Averett Family. His memorial service was held at West Main Baptist Church on January 3. Together, we celebrate his inspiring life and the legacy he left upon the Averett Family and its students.

New Year, New Policies!

Averett’s compliance folks have been working with a number of departments on campus to update or create new policies which can affect everyone and which everyone should make themselves aware of.

As a reminder, you can access the policy library by going to the Averett website, clicking on the “Faculty & Staff” section at the top, then navigating to the “MyInfo Login” link on the left side of the page. Once you login, the policy library link is right next to the “Board of Trustees” tab under the “Home” tab.  A “Policy” button will drop down from the main policy library button which you will need to click on.

Examples of new and updated policies include: Travel (including per diems and mileage), Shared Leave Pool, Weapons on Campus, Background Checks and Confidentiality. All policies in the policy library are in effect and all faculty and staff are responsible for ensuring they are abiding by them.

2018 Fringe Facts sheet

The 2018 Fringe Facts sheet is now available for your reference by clicking here. Contact Kathie Tune with any questions at

Academic Workshop Calendar

The Student Success Center will host weekly academic workshops every Monday from 4:30–5 p.m. in rooms A/B of the Student Success Center. Jordan Francis, AmeriCorp staff member and student success coach, will lead the workshops. Topics cover basic study skills, time management, how to avoid plagiarism, and much more. Click here to see the workshop calendar.

 Tutoring and Writing Support Opportunities

Academic Support tutors and writing consultants begin work Monday, Jan. 22. Students needing tutoring assistance should email to arrange an appointment, and for writing assistance, email to schedule an appointment. If assistance is needed between Wednesday, Jan. 10, and Monday, Jan. 22, students should utilize SmarThinking, our online tutoring program. Click here for instructions for SmarThinking.

Mindset Minute: Averett’s QEP

A new semester and a fresh start! Have you helped a student think with a growth mindset today? Need ideas for encouraging students? Each week we will provide a snapshot into the world of growth mindset research and practice through “Mindset Minute,” where you can check back for tips.

Growth Mindset Tip of the Week: It’s not about being the best, it’s about being better than you were yesterday!