AU CoffeeBreak 10-26-16

Posted on October 26th, 2016 by Cassie Jones

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 by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, for a Wednesday, Nov. 2 publication.

Rowland Earns Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design

rowland_susan1Susan Rowland has completed the requirements for a graduate certificate in instructional design through the University of Wisconsin-Stout. The eight-month intensive program revolved around best practices in the instructional design field and emphasized the design of effective instruction for instructor-led or web-based delivery through the alignment of appropriate instructional strategies and assessments. Courses also focused on strategies for developing computer-mediated training and the application of technology tools to instructional problems in addition to managing the instructional design process for one or multiple projects.


Student Accolades

student_accoladesLast fall, the Student Life department began recognizing students that go the extra mile in whatever they are doing on campus. Each week, the staff meets to select students for recognition for their dedication to Averett, and they are notified they’ve been nominated for a chance to win a $50 Visa Gift Card. At the end of the semester, we put all the names in a bowl and draw the name of one lucky student. This is our way to let the students know we appreciate all that they do.

This week we would like to recognize Joelle Deese, Nicole Cannon, Emily Myers, Savannah Davis, Tyler Henley, Philip Owens, Tevin Perry, Joseph Cloud and Alex Humphries.

GPS Student Spotlight: Toney McNair

toneymcnairThroughout the month, the Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) admissions team interviews and highlights our GPS students. We hope you will enjoy learning more about these amazing members of our Averett family!

Meet Toney McNair, one of our students pursuing his Master of Education in Administration and Supervision. He will graduate in 2017.

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree? “My school administration expressed that they would like for me to consider moving into an administration position. I would need the credentials in order for this to become a possible reality.”

Why he chose the GPS program: “I appreciated the customer service that I received from Andrea in the Chesapeake office as I was trying to make a decision about which college to attend. I was also impressed with the course offerings.”

What keeps him motivated: “Being a good example for my students motivates me while I am in this program. They are aware of my progress/journey along the way and they always ask how I am doing in school (just like I ask them!).”

Tip for fellow and future classmates: “Be encouraged to embrace every aspect of learning, no matter what! Each leg of your journey will offer essential opportunities for developing deeper insights about oneself as well as your course content.”

Accolades: Toney was recently recognized as Teacher of the Year in his region in Tidewater, Va., soon followed by being named Virginia Teacher of the Year from the state Department of Education. He was chosen by a committee including representatives of professional and educational associations, the business community and the 2016 state winner, beating out seven other finalists from around the Commonwealth. He was recently honored at a ceremony in Richmond.

Toney, you are an inspiration to all of us here at Averett, and it is a true honor to have you as a member of the Averett Family! Congratulations on all of your success, and thank you for allowing us the privilege to share this journey with you.

Averett Women’s Network: Speed Networking Tonight

networkingJoin us at 2 Witches Winery and Brewing Co. (209 Trade St.) today at 4:30 p.m. for Averett Women’s Network’s first speed networking event. Participants will have the opportunity to network with one another in a “speed” setting, not only building relationships, but also having a great time. Conversation starters and light refreshments will be provided, and beverages for purchase will be available. We hope to see you there!

Halloween Costume Contest

Halloween CostumesStaff Council will host the annual Halloween Costume Contest on Monday, Oct. 31, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the dining hall, so let your creativity go wild!

Students, faculty and staff are allowed to enter as an individual or as a group. We look forward to seeing you!

Faculty and Staff Employee Giving

give1Don’t forget! Our annual faculty and staff giving campaign ends Monday, Oct. 31. It’s not about how much you give, but rather that everyone gives something – the percentage of employees who give is what counts most! Contact Dan Hayes at or (434) 791-7252 for more information on how to give.

Also, we want to hear from you. Get creative and tell us what fun and silly things you’d like for Dan and Buddy Rawley to do to celebrate this year if we reach our goal of 87 percent participation. Send your ideas to Dan this month for consideration, and if your idea gets chosen, you will be guaranteed a role in the fun!

Southern Hills Golf Discounts

golf1Southern Hills Golf Course, located at 188 Stokesland Ave. in Danville, is offering Averett faculty, staff and students a special discounted rate. The cost will be $16 to play 18 holes of golf. In order to receive this discount, you must register before Monday, Oct. 31, by emailing Barbara Kushubar at


Study Abroad Info Session

facultyledhomeheader2Study Abroad Director Dr. Catherine Clark will host an information session and round table for faculty and staff on Friday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. in the multipurpose room. Dr. Clark will highlight affordable semester programs for Averett students and present various models of faculty-led programs across departments. There will also be information on integrating service learning and internships into short or long-term travel. Refreshments will be served. Visit for more information.

Open Enrollment for Benefits Plans Coming Soon

save_the_date1The Open Enrollment period for health, vision, dental and flexible spending and health savings accounts begins Monday, Nov. 7, and ends at midnight Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.

Representatives from Anthem (medical) and UniCare UniView (vision), LD&B (flexible spending account/FSA), Health Savings Administrators (HSA), AFLAC, Bankers Insurance, California Casualty and Colonial Life will be available for the Enrollment Benefits Fair on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and Thursday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the multipurpose room. They each will be stationed at a table for you to come anytime during the fair hours to ask questions pertaining to plan options and respective coverage.

Information packets are in interoffice mail this week and will be sent to home addresses for eligible faculty and staff who do not receive interoffice mail.

Have Questions about FLSA or Payroll Changes?

PaydayMake note of your questions about FLSA and the upcoming payroll changes and bring them with you to one of three discussion sessions. The first session for supervisors will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 3 p.m. in the multipurpose room. Any non-student employee is welcome to attend one of two other sessions:

  • Monday, Nov. 7, at 9:30 a.m. in the multipurpose room, or
  • Thursday, Nov. 17, at 2:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room.

We have established an email address to submit those questions. Personnel from Human Resources and Payroll will try to respond to those questions. If a question is asked repeatedly, we will include the information in future communications for everyone. Send questions to

To help you understand the changes related to a biweekly payroll versus a monthly payroll, an example is posted on the Averett intranet under Business Office and Payroll. You can enter your own salary and the spreadsheet will recalculate to show what you might expect (before any deductions or withholding is made).

Carrington Academic Center Open

Carrington Academic CenterWe are very happy to announce that the Carrington Academic Center on North Campus was officially opened for use on Tuesday, Oct. 11. The center houses five desktop computers, 15 hard-lined connections for laptops, 30 desks, a WEPA Printing Station and a phone charging station. The center will be open weekdays during the fall and spring semesters from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is closed on weekends. Please announce to all students that it is now available and stress the following rules:

  • Hours are 6 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekdays and closed on weekends.
  • Quiet Zone for studying, earphones required for media purposes.
  • No food or open drink containers.
  • Doors are to remain closed to reduce noise.
  • Lights are to remain on at all times.
  • Study Hall log book will be located inside the Carrington Academic Center.

This space was made possible through a generous donation from The Alexander Berkeley Carrington, Jr., and Ruth Simpson Carrington Charitable Trust. This is an example of another project coming to fruition from our Averett 2020 strategic plan. It’s great to see the hard work of so many directly benefiting our students!

Supply Drive for Haiti

Hope_for_Haiti's_LogoThe Averett University French Club is collecting donations to send to Haiti. The club will package and mail supplies to the local Haitian relief group, Hope for Haiti. Look for our donation boxes and change jars around campus, and visit for more information.

Averett FWS Program Moves to Biweekly Payroll Schedule

Federal Work StudyWith HR law changes, Averett University must go to a biweekly payroll schedule. In order for Averett to get the FWS Program on the new payroll schedule, October 26-December 3 will be one pay period. After December 3, the new biweekly schedule will be placed into effect. The October 26-December 3 timesheet should have already been emailed to you. You must provide the hours your student works by Sunday, Dec 4,  in order for payroll to be processed in time. This change will make it very important for FWS supervisors and students to send their hours worked in a timely manner. A biweekly timesheet will be emailed before December.

Exempt or Not Exempt – What’s the Difference?

USDeptLabor1The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) is intended to assure that hard-working Americans are paid for the time they work or are free to spend time with family and friends, or enjoying leisure activities. Under the FLSA, there are two categories of employees: 1) employees who are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week (non-exempt); and 2) employees who are not (exempt). Generally, employees classified as exempt can work as many extra hours a week as needed, without additional pay.

This year, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new rules under the FLSA raising the salary threshold for the exempt category which requires businesses to reclassify employees, effective Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. As a result, more people will be entitled to overtime pay (at time-and-a-half their regular rate of pay for the week). To be sure that everyone is paid correctly, accurate time records need to be kept and reported to payroll promptly.

At Averett, this rule change means that some people will become eligible for overtime pay when they work more. It also is an opportunity for us to review how work is allocated and managed. Change can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. Assuring that our community members are treated and paid fairly is an important part of who we are and a reflection of our core value of integrity.