AU CoffeeBreak 11-8-17

Posted on November 8th, 2017 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 by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, for a Wednesday, Nov. 15, publication.

Dr. Samoilenko Publishes Book

Dr. Sergey Samoilenko, associate professor and chair of computer science and information systems, has his latest book titled, “Creating Theoretical Research Frameworks Using Multiple Methods: Insight from ICT4D Investigations,” which has been published by Taylor & Francis’ CRC Group. The book carries Averett’s affiliation and is currently available on Amazon here.

Taylor & Francis provided Dr. Samoilenko with a few copies of the book, so, he will be happy to barter a copy for a double espresso. If the double espresso comes with a napkin (just in case of a spillage), then Dr. Samoilenko will sign a copy with a message of choice of the espresso provider.




GPS Student Spotlight

Meet Vansheika Stewart, a student pursuing her Master of Business Administration degree and is expected to graduate in 2019. To see her on the GPS blog, click here.

QUESTION: What is your motivation for obtaining your degree?

ANSWER: “Furthering my education is a very important aspect, due to being introduced to greater opportunity as I focus on beginning my career. However, the biggest motivation for obtaining my degree is my son, and exposing him to better opportunities and being able to inform those around me that there is so much that education has to offer. I also push myself to complete the necessary assignments and participate in weekly discussions so that I can obtain my degree.”

Shakespeare Students Visit the American Shakespeare Center

Averett students enrolled in Dr. Charles Wuest’s Shakespeare course recently visited the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Va., an internationally recognized venue that performs Shakespeare’s plays with staging conditions closely resembling an original Renaissance theater. The group got to see “Much Ado About Nothing,” and was given a back-stage tour after the show, including views of the balcony and of the “infernal” world beneath the stage’s trap door.

Athletic Training Student of the Month

The Averett Athletic Training staff has nominated senior Carlos Lora as Athletic Training Student of the Month. Lora has done an excellent job balancing his duty as captain of the Tennis team and receiving all of his clinical hours. He has continually been one of the hardest working students in and out of the classroom. His dedication to the craft has provided other Athletic Training students with a standard to uphold.

Miranda Magadanz, assistant athletic trainer, commended Lora by saying, “Carlos comes in every day with a helpful, positive attitude and demonstrates the ability to critically think and apply concepts he has learned.” Collectively, let’s give our congratulations to Lora and wish him good luck on his future endeavors pursuing chiropractic school. Thank you again and keep up the hard work!



Flu Shot Clinic

Today, Nov. 8, is the last day for the flu shot clinic. You can stop by until noon in the multipurpose room. Bring your insurance card and your photo ID. It is free if you are Averett insured.



Celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday

Please join us in the dining hall for a festive lunch tomorrow, Nov. 9, beginning at 11 a.m. Bon Appétit Management Company will prepare a special meal to honor the traditions of the Thanksgiving holiday. The menu will feature carved turkey with all the trimmings, a seasonal salad bar, traditional desserts and other holiday favorites. We look forward to seeing you there!

This event will have special pricing. All taxes included: adults, $8.50; children 6-12 years of age, $6.40; children five and under, no charge. There is a $3.10 surcharge for faculty and staff with meal plans.

Averett Women’s Leadership Circle: Fall Speaker Series

For our annual Fall Speaker’s Series, the real-life Averett Indiana Jones – Dr. Ralph Hawkins – will detail the lost secrets of an ancient society; the first Biblical settlers of Jerusalem – an undiscovered, completely untouched archaeological site and the earliest settlement in the Jordan Valley. Join us tomorrow, Nov. 9, at 4 p.m. in the multipurpose room.

Arts@Averett Presents: Low and Lower

Tomorrow, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., Arts@Averett invites you to “Low & Lower” in Blount Chapel. Cellist Brooks Whitehouse and Bassist Paul Sharpe are Low & Lower, America’s no. one-selling cello bass duo. This ensemble’s performances are a mashup of artistry, virtuosity and satire. With MacGyver-like determination they create, inspire and commission works using only the limited materials at hand – a cello, a bass, two voices, a sense of humor, a touch of theater and a willingness to do almost anything. The event is free for faculty, staff and students!

International Education Week

International Education Week is next week, November 13-17. Each day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. there will be events in the back of the dining hall. With help from students, faculty and staff, we will highlight various countries through culture and arts, food, currency and entertainment! Please see the highlights for the week below.

Monday: Language – mini language lessons
Tuesday: Passport – travel around the world
Wednesday: Music – live entertainment
Thursday: Passport – travel around the world
Friday: Dance – Kuumba Dance Company

Sam’s Club on Campus

Karen Shields, our Sam’s Club representative, will be on campus to renew memberships and register new ones on Wednesday, Nov. 15, and Thursday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the dining hall. A $10 gift card and $100 instant savings are available. Karen can renew several months in advance if necessary. Contact Kathie Tune at or Karen at (434) 250-4303 for additional information. The Plus Membership (Advantage and Business) is $100. The Basic Membership (Advantage and Business) is $45.

Averett Women’s Network

Please join us on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 4 p.m. for the next Averett Women’s Network Event, a panel with two extraordinary community leaders; Dr. Janet Laughlin, retired vice president for academic affairs, Averett University and Dr. Martha Walker, extension specialist, community viability, Virginia Cooperative Extension. The event will be in the multipurpose room. We hope to see you there!

Policing in the 21st Century Speakers’ Forum

The “Policing in the 21st Century Speakers’ Forum” will be a bi-monthly gathering of students, staff, faculty and community members organized to present and discuss issues that have an impact on public safety and our communities. The first forum will take place on Thursday, Nov. 16, from 6-8 p.m. in Blount Chapel. The topic is “Community Partners and Policing.” The panel will consist of four members: Deputy Chief Dean Hairston, Danville Police Department, Danville, Va.; Ms. Tara Martin, executive director, Community Improvement Council Head Start Program, Danville, Va.; Dr. Alexis Ehrhardt, executive director, CCECC at Averett University; and Dr. James Hodgson, director of Sociology/Criminal Justice, GPS, Averett University.

Open House – 105 Commons

The 2020 Strategic Planning Team invites all faculty and staff to an Open House on Friday, Nov. 17, from 1-2:30 p.m., to view the new community lounge for students at 105 Commons Apartments. This is part of the first phase of the Residence Hall Master Plan and we would love for you to see this newest renovation. Refreshments will be provided.

 Annual Boys & Girls Clubs Angel Tree Celebration

Come choose an Angel! Students, faculty and staff can now stop by the CCECC any time to choose an Angel to sponsor. For the fourth year, the CCECC is partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Danville Area to host an Angel Tree on campus. All presents must be dropped off at the CCECC before Thanksgiving Break, so come pick an Angel today!

The Angel Tree Celebration will be on Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 5:30-7 p.m. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR THE CELEBRATION! Volunteers must arrive by 5 p.m. in the multipurpose room. From there, each volunteer will be “buddied up” with a child for dinner in the back cafe. After everyone has eaten pizza and decorated cookies, the volunteers will walk with their “buddy” over to Carrington Gym to open presents! For questions, contact Tia Yancey at

Faculty and Staff Giving Contest Winners

Winners of our annual faculty and staff giving campaign have been drawn, and are as follows:

1st Place:  – Chris Ellis: iPad Mini
2nd Place:  – Kristi Gilliam: $50 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Place:  – Dr. Richard Ferguson: $50 Gift Card to Averett Bookstore

We haven’t yet reached our goal of 87 percent, but are still committed to hitting it. 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 still give.

Aramark Reorganization of Custodial Staff

Aramark is in the process of making some staff changes where employees will be reassigned to different locations throughout the University. So, you may see some familiar faces in different places. Please be aware that there may be an adjustment period as these folks get used to their new assignments. Aramark’s new building assignments and schedules allow for the reallocation of time to include two project custodians to be assigned to an evening shift, allowing for year-round floor maintenance and special projects. This is all in an effort to improve custodial services.

GPS Structure Update

As you know, the Graduate and Professional Studies Program is focused on maximizing efficiencies, providing outstanding student service and growing enrollment. The GPS structure reflects our need to continue supporting our students as we prepare for enrollment growth through new admission and retention strategies.

GPS Operations and GPS Student Success have been combined into GPS Student Services led by Carly Pearce, executive director for GPS Student Services, Chris Ellis, director of GPS Student Services, and includes filling Chris’s vacated Student Success Counselor position with a Student Success Coach. This position will be posted on our Averett website shortly.

The GPS Student Readiness Team has been combined with GPS Admissions under the leadership of Melissa Anderson, director of GPS Admissions. Christina Davis will serve as assistant director of GPS Admissions to lead the Readiness Team of Kamrin Johnson and Kaitlin Buchanan, both within GPS Admissions as new start coordinators. A GPS Admissions Assistant position will be posted on our Averett website shortly.

GPS Faculty Services, led by Marietta Sanford, director of GPS Academic Services, is now part of Academic Affairs reporting to Pam McKirdy, director of Institutional Reporting and Effectiveness.

Ron Lonzo’s position, adjusted to half-time, is dedicated to cultivating partnerships to generate measurable enrollment as part of the GPS team.

Regarding IDEAL:
New students will continue to go through GPS Admissions.
Current students enrolled in an IDEAL degree program are now part of the Student Success Coaches caseload.
Traditional students taking an IDEAL course are now working through their Department Advisor.
GPS students taking an IDEAL course are now working through their Student Success Coach.

This reorganization facilitates a focused, student-centered approach and transparency in reporting and responsibilities.

Professional Development Spring’18 Fund Requests Deadline

The Professional Development Committee would like to remind all faculty members that the deadline for Spring’18 professional development fund requests is Friday, Dec. 1. Application requests can be submitted to Zana Devlin at

Golden Bagel Nominations

Congratulations to Caroline Wilborn, associate accountant, who won the first Golden Bagel award! The Golden Bagel trophy will be awarded every month at staff meetings, to the staff member of the month. Nominations can be sent to, with details about why you think your co-worker is deserving of the award.

For those who missed the last staff meeting, the Golden Bagel award was created by Staff Council as a fun way to show our appreciation for each other and create pride among staff members. The trophy stays with the staff member of the month, during that month, and then is passed to the next! A big thank you to Dan Hayes for telling Staff Council about a similar Golden Bagel award that was given out around 10 years ago!

Disability Awareness and Sensitivity Week

The Student Success Center hosted a Disability Awareness and Sensitivity Week from October 23-27.  During the week, there were several events that took place on campus, including a rock painting activity to raise awareness, a “Working Beyond Limits” ARC of Southside presentation and an Impairment Awareness and Sensitivity workshop. We at the Student Success Center appreciate all your support during this eventful week!

 Campaign for Puerto Rico Crisis

Averett University is a community that fosters awareness, inclusiveness, equity and service while fulfilling our mission and vision. To this end, the Student Success Center is asking our university and community to join in our effort to raise funds that will be donated to GlobalGiving, allowing us to assist in their relief and recovery efforts to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. GlobalGiving is hoping to raise $10,000,000 to support hurricane recovery and relief efforts.

As a university, we hope to raise at least $1,000 by the end of the semester, which we will contribute to GlobalGiving’s overall goal. The Student Success Center and the CCECC will house several donation jars for students, faculty and staff to contribute loose change or bills to this effort. We are willing to provide donation jars to any departments or offices that would like to house one as well. Donation jars will come with instructions on housing them in the different locations. If you would like to know more, please contact Ms. Aries Wilson at

Mindset Minute: Averett’s QEP

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: Replace the word “failing” with the word “learning.” When you make a mistake or fall short of your goal, you haven’t failed; you’ve learned.