AU CoffeeBreak 12-6-17

Posted on December 6th, 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. on Friday, Dec. 9, for a Wednesday, Dec. 13, publication. CoffeeBreak entries submitted past the deadline will not be accepted.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce will announce today at noon it has selected Averett’s own Dr. Alexis Ehrhardt to serve as its new CEO/President beginning Jan. 3, 2018. During her time as executive director of the CCECC, Ehrhardt worked locally, regionally and statewide to bring leverage resources to benefit not only the students at Averett, but the region as a whole. She established a local Career Development Advisory Committee, led the recruitment of 22 employers to participate in the Engaged Employers Program, received a state-level grant to establish an AmeriCorps VISTA program in the region, hosted the Governor’s Summit on Engagement in the Commonwealth, and set up the Service Year Fellowship with the County and the City. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Chamber’s PACE Award (Professional and Community Engagement), presented to exceptional young professionals who have made significant contributions to our region through professional achievements as well as through community/volunteer service, and was also named the 2016-17 Averett Staff Member of the Year, presented annually by Staff Council. She joined Averett in April 2012, and led the CCECC from its conception in July 2014.

Averett has a strong and lasting relationship with the Chamber and looks forward to continuing that partnership under Dr. Ehrhardt’s leadership. This is a wonderful opportunity for both she and the region. A search for her replacement will begin in the new year. Stay tuned for details for a gathering to celebrate her accomplishments and send her off. Congratulations, Dr. Ehrhardt!

Saying Goodbye

Dr. Sherill Anderson, director of Averett’s Student Success Center, has accepted another position in her home state of New York. Her last day with Averett will be Monday, Dec. 18, at which time she will serve as the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at SUNY Maritime. While leading the Student Success Center since July 2016, which she helped to restructure, she has been instrumental in redesigning the student withdrawal process and putting ADA compliance processes in place.

A search will commence next semester to fill the vacated position. All are welcome to stop by the Student Success Center on Tuesday, Dec. 12, between 2 and 3 p.m., as we gather for a floating reception to say goodbye and good luck to Dr. Anderson. We wish you well!


GPS Student Spotlight

Meet Donald Cook, a student pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Criminal Justice degree who is expected to graduate in 2018. To see him on the GPS blog, click here.

QUESTION: Why did you choose Averett’s GPS program?

ANSWER: “Although the Averett program was not tailored for me personally, it did fit perfectly with the coursework that I had initially begun years ago to earn a degree. Working changing shifts and life’s unexpected interferences meant that following a typical college schedule and attending classes in person on a campus was not going to work. The online program was an option that I couldn’t pass up.

Jonathan Nichols was another factor that swayed me into choosing Averett University. Jonathan took the time to consider my previous college credits and life experience, then proposed a plan that would help me achieve a bachelor’s degree in the shortest time possible. He truly made me feel that Averett was not only a good choice, but a smart one.”

Athletic Training Student of the Month

The Averett Athletic Training Staff has nominated Maria Ochoa, junior, as the Athletic Training Student of the Month. She has displayed an outstanding amount of dedication balancing her commitments as a Residential Assistant and President of the Averett University Athletic Training Club, all on top of her clinical rotations. Ochoa has expressed a vast knowledge within her in-class curriculum, and translates this to her current clinical rotation, Averett Wrestling. Her dedication to her studies and constant display of hard work is helping her reach new horizons every day.

Brian Benitez, assistant athletic trainer, speaks highly of Ochoa saying, “Since day one in the program, Maria set herself apart from the rest with her hard work and desire to tackle new challenges without question.” We are proud to say she deserves this accomplishment and we hope to see her progress even more into an excellent Athletic Trainer. In the future, she strives to pass her board exam and become an ATC. If you see her, please give her your congratulations!


Bookstore Sale: Today and Tomorrow!

Don’t miss out on the Two-Day Sale, Wednesday, Dec. 6, and Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Campus Store! In-store and online, 25 percent off all Nike, Champion and League Apparel, Drinkware and Headwear. It’s the perfect time to knock out your Christmas list! Click here to shop online.

Celebration of Life

We will host an informal celebration of life for Liz Richardson in the foyer of the music building tomorrow, Dec. 7, from 4-4:30 p.m. This is simply an opportunity for our Averett family members who knew Liz to share a memory and honor the incredible life she lived. Chaplain Skyler will close with a prayer of thanksgiving for her life and the mark she left on this University.

Averett Family Holiday Celebration

Reminder that the Averett Family Holiday Celebration is tomorrow, Dec. 7, from 4:30-7 p.m. at the President’s Home, 500 Hawthorne Dr. President Tiffany Franks and Joe Franks look forward to seeing you there!



LiveSafe Test Friday

Earlier this semester, the Emergency Response Team worked to gather cell phone numbers from faculty and staff members to be used for all text emergency notifications through the LiveSafe system. On Friday, Dec. 8, the team will distribute a test text message, email and push notification (for app holders) alert at 10 a.m. If you have provided your cell number (to the team or through downloading the LiveSafe app) and DO NOT receive the text message, please email both Cassie Williams Jones at and Kevin Lipscomb at

The LiveSafe service is a two-way communication application between users and safety officials. It consists of a mobile app for users on their cell phone and a web-based dashboard for officials. The tool ties right into our existing “See it, Say it!” campaign, and allows for tip reporting, emergency communications, mapping and user-to-user communications. Click here for instructions on how to download the app.

Winter Commencement

Winter Commencement is this Saturday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m. Those wishing to attend commencement, except faculty/staff included in the procession and graduates, will need a ticket, including children of any age. Tickets (one per person) for students and staff, other than graduating seniors, may be picked up at the Dean of Students’ office from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

If you need to make arrangements to pick up your ticket, you may email Tammy Jackson at Commencement questions from graduating seniors should be directed to Katie Johnston at Commencement questions from faculty and staff should be directed to Mary Sullivan at

Decorating the Trees for a Cause

The School of Nursing is representing Averett this year in the “Decorating the Trees for a Cause” fundraiser at The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. The winner is determined by the amount of monetary donations the organization’s tree receives. Voting is open now through December 21, Monday-Friday, 8a.m.-5 p.m. Stop by during lunch and vote for Averett’s tree!


Arts@Averett Presents: The Dr. Betty Heard Christmas Readings

Join us on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. as Ms. Linda Lemery presents “The Dr. Betty Heard Christmas Readings: Communicating with Children” in the multipurpose room. The reccommended ages are 4-9, but all children are welcome! The event is free and open to the public. Please join us for treats and a very special surprise Christmas guest for the kids!

For the past five years, Arts@Averett has presented Christmas Readings for Children. Our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Betty Heard, was our first reader for the children. Because of her love for children’s literature and her love for the Christmas Readings, we are naming this special night in her honor. Ms. Linda Lemery, circulation coordinator in the library and  long-time friend of Dr. Heard, will be our guest reader for this event.

Christmas Volunteer Opportunity

Spread some Christmas magic by helping Danville Parks and Recreation with its “Annual Calls from the North Pole” program. They need Santas, elves and Mrs. Clauses to call children who have signed up for the program. The calls will be made from 5:30-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12. Refreshments will be provided. Click here to sign up.

Travel Policy and Meal Per Diem Reminder

The Travel Policy was updated Oct. 1, 2016, and can be found by clicking here. Please be mindful of the policy as you travel on Averett University business. The policy covers flights, hotels, car rentals, receipt requirements, meal limits and mileage reimbursement. Expense reports must be submitted to the Business Office within 60 days of the end of the trip with itemized receipts, budget numbers and all approvals.

End Of Year Reminder: W-2 Sign Up Clarification

To make sure that we clarity some of the W-2 delivery information we would like to explain the process a little better. If you have already signed in and set up your E-Stub account, you do not have to do anything at this time. You will receive  a notification when your W-2 is ready for you to view and print. When you log in to view your W-2, you will be prompted to consent to the electronic delivery.

If you have never set up your E-Stub account, it is very important that you set it up and log in to get familiar with the system.  After you select your method of notification, you will receive notice when your pay stubs are ready. When your W-2 is ready, you will receive a notice letting you know you can retrieve it.

IF YOU HAVE MOVED: Please fill out a change of address form (including your signature) notifying us to change your address. This information needs to be correct on your W-2. Please contact Pam Paynter at with any questions.

University Holiday Schedule

Averett will be closed for the winter holiday break starting Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, returning Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. During that time, the Admissions and Alumni offices will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22, and Friday, Dec. 29, to assist prospective students and to receive gifts made to the University.

Angel Tree Thank You!!

Thank you to all students, faculty, staff and Bon Appetit for making the Angel Tree Celebration a huge success! See the full story here.


Virginia Medical Reserve Corps

The Medical Reserve Corps is looking for volunteers. The corps is part of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and is a force of dedicated volunteers who stand ready to support the community in the event of a public health emergency. You never know when your community might need you. To learn more, click here.


Averett Featured on Danville Historical Society Holiday Ornament

The Danville Historical Society featured Averett on its holiday ornament this year! Ornaments can be found at Foxglove Clothing, 1011 W. Main St. Cash or check only, $20. All proceeds go to the Danville Historical Society.



Mindset Minute: Averett’s QEP

Thank you for thinking with a growth mindset all semester! As we finish up finals week, here is our last Growth Mindset Tip of the Week for the fall 2017 semester.

Growth Mindset Tip of the Week: Take ownership over your attitude. Once you develop a growth mindset, own it. Acknowledge yourself as someone who possesses a growth mentality and be proud to let it guide you throughout your educational career.