AU CoffeeBreak 11-2-16

Posted on November 2nd, 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, Nov. 4, for a Wednesday, Nov. 9 publication.


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 the following students for their contributions to Averett: Clarice Ellinger, Ora McMillian, Brandon Baker and Brooklyn Ash.

GPS Student Spotlight: Donna Dillard

donnadillardThroughout 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 Donna Dillard, one of our students pursuing her Associate of Science in Business. She will graduate in 2018.

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree? “As the parents of two children, my husband and I spent a great deal of our time ensuring that our children were able to achieve their goals and secure successful futures. Now that our children are older, I want to put that same time and energy into pursuing a degree for myself. I’ve always had the passion to obtain a degree, and now it is my time to follow my passion. In an article concerning adults returning back to school, Maria Shriver once wrote, “You’re in it to thrive, bloom and prosper. This time, it’s all about YOU.” I am motivated, now more than ever, to follow the advice that I repeatedly shared with my children so that I, too, can achieve my goals and continue to secure a successful future.”

Why she chose the GPS program: “While researching possible degree programs, I was looking for a program that was flexible, yet academically challenging. As a full-time employee, I am not able to devote my full attention to a full-time degree program. Averett’s GPS program is the perfect fit for my busy schedule. Also, after speaking with an Averett GPS program admissions counselor, I realized I was not only accepted into a degree program, but I was also accepted into the Averett GPS family. The Averett GPS faculty and staff are supportive and very encouraging! ”

What keeps her motivated: “My family keeps me motivated. My husband and I instilled the importance of education in our children. Now that the roles have reversed, and I am the student, my children and my husband constantly provide me with encouragement. My children are always willing to provide insight or advice to ensure my success in obtaining my degree. Also, I realize that I must not only set an example for my family, but for my community. As a recently appointed Martinsville City Public Schools school board member, I want to set an example for students and their parents.”

Tip for fellow and future classmates: “Never be afraid to ask for help! First, always ask professors for assistance if you don’t understand something. It is better to ask for help before completing an assignment. Next, take advantage of the resources around you. If you are not able to utilize resources on campus, reach out to local teachers or even libraries for extra support. Last, communicate with your classmates. You and your classmates want the same outcome – to be successful! Don’t be afraid to ask classmates about an unclear assignment or for better understanding about a confusing lesson.”

Benefits and Other Deductions


With the change to a bi-weekly pay schedule starting in December, most months will have two paydays a month, while two months will have three paydays. In general, deductions for your elected benefits (health, dental, vision, HSA, FSA, voluntary life and AFLAC) will be taken from two paychecks each month, and the first two in months that have three paydays. All other deductions will be taken from every paycheck in the appropriately calculated or proportional amount (403(b), employee giving, garnishments and child support).

The change also brings a new timesheet format since we now will need to track hours worked each week to address overtime properly. The new timesheet will become effective on Sunday, Nov. 20. The Excel timesheet is posted on the Averett intranet under Business Office – Payroll.

The payroll and HR teams continue to develop materials to help you plan for the transition. These materials will be posted on the Averett website in the near future. The new webpage will include schedules, explanations, Q&A’s and other resources to help with the transition and into the future. In the meantime, you can submit questions to and we will try to respond as quickly as we can, as well as include frequently asked questions in future communications.

The new timesheet and deduction schedule will be presented at the upcoming discussion sessions. Make note of your questions and bring them with you. The first session for supervisors will be held today, 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.

Football Saturday and Kids Day: Averett vs. Ferrum

Averett North Campus StadiumJoin the Averett Cougars as they face off against Ferrum College this Saturday, Nov. 5, at 6 p.m. at the Frank R. Campbell Stadium on North Campus. All faculty, staff and students get in free with and Averett ID card, and for this game, all kids 17 and under receive free general admission. For more information on tickets and tailgating, click here for the full flyer.

Open Enrollment Reminder

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.

Open enrollment reminders will continue until November 14 in order to answer any questions employees may have and to keep them appraised of the event details. Here’s  the first of several: All eligible (full-time) employees must re-enroll in their benefits plans or waive coverage for 2017 in the system by midnight on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016 – no exceptions. The portal will be available to all eligible faculty and staff on Monday, Nov. 7, and the official 14-page open enrollment memo  will be placed in the Reference Center and the Averett intranet.

Boys & Girls Club Angel Tree

boys-and-girls-clubThe CCECC is partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Danville Area to host the Angel Tree Celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m.

If you would like to sponsor an Angel this year, stop by the CCECC before Wednesday, Nov. 9, to choose your Angel’s wishlist!

Click here to see the guidelines for purchasing gifts. All gifts must be wrapped and returned to the CCECC before Thanksgiving break. If you have any questions, please contact Cierra Gunter (

 “Education Improv”

main_hallAll faculty are invited to join the “Averett 2020” Strategic Plan’s Engaged Teaching and Learning Team on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 11:15 a.m. in Frith 208 for “Education Improv.” Dr. Stephen Davidson will lead a discussion on “what works well in our classrooms.” Bring your ideas and your lunch (if you like) and enjoy connecting with your colleagues.


Military Appreciation Day Presentation

danaskydiveAs part of Averett University’s Military Appreciation Day, we are thrilled to bring Sgt. First Class (Ret.) Dana Bowman to campus November 11-14. After parachuting into the Saturday, Nov. 12 football game from the airplane flyover and landing on his two prosthetic legs to deliver the game ball, he will be available at multiple times to talk with students, faculty and staff about his inspiring story.

While the Cougars face off against Huntingdon College at 1 p.m. Saturday, join us at half time or immediately following the game in the Frank R. Campbell Stadium for a meet-and-greet with Bowman. Then, on Sunday, Nov. 13, all are invited to hear his address to the Averett University community at 6 p.m. in the Violet T. Frith Fine Arts Center.

Bowman is a retired First Class Sergeant with the U.S. Army, where he was a Special Forces Soldier and a member of the U.S. Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights. The double amputee lost both of his legs in an accident during an annual training in 1994. Nine months later, he turned this tragedy into a triumph when he became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the United States Army, which he did airborne style – skydiving with his commander into the ceremony. After his re-enlistment, he became the U.S. Parachute Team’s lead speaker and recruiting commander before retiring in 1996. Since then, he has delivered more than 1,000 speeches all over the country, and has been featured by top media outlets. For more information, visit

Coat and Winter Clothing Drive

CoatCan’t participate in the Angel Tree? You can still make a difference!

Hannah Mattson, a resident assistant in Main Hall, is collecting winter coats and clothing for children and youth in Cardinal Village. Winter coats are the biggest need, but you can also donate hats, scarves, gloves, etc. Donation boxes are located in the CCECC and the following residence halls: Fugate Lobby, Mountain View Apartment Lobby and third floor Main Hall.

** If you are donating a winter coat, please stop by one of the donation locations to choose a specific size before you buy! ** If you have any questions, click here or contact Hannah Mattson at

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. If you will be unable to return the paper timesheet on time, send your name and total hours worked to Stephanie Walker at, and bring your timesheet to Averett Central.