AU Coffeebreak 2-1-17

Posted on February 1st, 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, Feb. 3, for a Wednesday, Feb. 8, publication.

 Thursday Common Hour

Averett New LogoDear Averett Family,

As I mentioned at the faculty and staff meetings last week, I would like your help with something I believe can be very positive for our campus.

In order to embrace Averett’s Judeo-Christian heritage, we would like to give students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to fellowship and worship together. In the past, there have been periodic opportunities for worship, yet students, faculty, and staff tell us they are unable to attend due to committee meetings and activities happening at the same time. Therefore, I would like for us all to set aside one time a month in which no departmental or committee meetings are scheduled – from 11:30 a.m. – noon, on Thurs., Feb.2, Thurs., March 2, and Thurs., April 6. During these times, Chaplain Skyler Daniel will hold a non-denominational Christian worship service in Blount Chapel that is open to the entire Averett Family.

For any questions or more information about this worship service, contact Skyler Daniel at or ext. 17104.

Dr. Tiffany M. Franks


GPS Student Spotlight: Jakesha Saunders

Jakesha Saunders CBThroughout 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 Jakesha Saunders who is pursuing her bachelors of applied science and is expected to graduate in 2017.

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree? “My motivation for obtaining my degree is the passion I have to help others in my community. Once I realized my purpose in life is to help others and make a difference in my community, this degree was exactly what I needed to prepare me for the road ahead.”

Why did you choose Averett’s Graduate & Professional Studies Program? “I honestly didn’t choose the program, the program chose me, which to me was an awesome sign that I was on the right track of living out my purpose. This program that magically ended up in my mailbox helped me to become a better and more prepared leader than I was before. This program has taught me how to handle and resolve conflict, how to work respectfully with others, and how a good leader is to be of service to others first. Most important it has taught me that my mistakes are not failures when you have a purpose but instead your mistakes are an opportunity for improvement and will eventually lead you to your greatest success.”

Please share one tip for your fellow classmates and future AU students. “I would have to say prayer and persistence is key. When no one else is there to motivate you, motivate yourself and remember why you decided to further your education. If you don’t know something, ask someone that does. I found that the Averett staff is always available and will lead you in the right direction. Most of all don’t give up; see it through to the end.”

What helps to keep you motivated while you are in the program? “What keeps me motivated is my faith in God, my children, my fellow students and my purpose in life.”

Meet the Candidates

MeetGreetThe Student Success Center has invited three candidates to campus for the coordinator of academic support position. Please stop by the Student Success Center, conference room 116, from 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. today, Feb. 1, to see Ms. Holly Kilby, then on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 2:30-3 p.m. to see Dr. Jeremy Groskopf. On Friday, Feb. 3, from 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m., the third candidate, Jo Hawke, will be here. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Sherill Anderson, director of student success, at

Black History Month: Kuumba Dance Company

CoffeeBreak Arts at AverettAverett University is kicking off its Black History Month celebrations with The Kuumba Dance Company. The group shares West African culture through song, rhythm and dance by demonstrating how celebrations are carried out in traditional West African settings. Join us on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Carrington Gym.

Next, Averett will host The Poetry Project, an organization that prides itself on using poetry to teach, inspire and build the communities we call home. Through structured workshops, performances and open mics, it creates safe spaces to share our lives and tell our stories. This art form has the power to transcend barriers and bring people together. Prepare to be intrigued, inspired and reminded of just how powerful your voice can be through an evening of spoken word poetry. Come to see what it’s all about on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. in Blount Chapel.

Two free tickets are available for each event at the door to each faculty and staff member with an Averett ID. All other tickets are $5.

Coffeehouse Lecture Series

1859 Coffeehouse Lecture SeriesJoin us for the 1859 Coffeehouse Lecture Series – International Entrees. Antionette Gazda from Hawaii, and Dr. George Odongo from Kenya, will introduce an entrée from their home country or culture. They will present the culture and meaning in the country or origin behind the entrée.

Samples will be available for everyone! The event will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. in the multipurpose room. The event is free and open to the community.


Growth Mindset

Growth MindsetWe are getting ready to kick off of the new QEP – Student Resiliency through Growth Mindset. Janna Peskett from Growth Mindset Works will give faculty and staff background on the exciting research around this topic, how it impacts our students and what you can do to help cultivate growth mindset in your classrooms, teams and offices across campus.

The day will be split up into two sessions, beginning with one for faculty in the morning as part of Interdisciplinary Day, and a second in the afternoon for staff. The sessions will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 8, for faculty from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and for staff from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room. Please note that staff who are interested in learning about implementation in the classroom are welcome to attend the faculty session as well.

On behalf of all the members of the QEP Development Committee, we hope you will enjoy this presentation and get as excited about this project as we are. This QEP has the potential to make a real impact on our University community and we want everyone to be a part of it!


SACSCOCEvery week, you will see this section discussing the reaccreditation for Averett University by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC. Each week will provide a new piece of vital information, so please be sure to check back weekly!

The Quality Enhancement Plan

All member institutions are required by SACSCOC to develop and implement a Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP. The topic was up to us, but the QEP must focus on learning outcomes and address key issues resulting from ongoing institutional assessments.

What is the QEP for Averett?

Averett’s QEP is focused on student resiliency. Academic progress and success require resiliency, and resiliency requires continued effort even in the face of failure. We will focus on helping our students face academic challenges with a positive attitude and to learn from both their successes and failures.

How was it created?

A QEP Development Committee was formed in 2015, and the team looked at what Averett’s topic should be. They spent the year researching and discovered that the concept of student resiliency has been explored in recent research and literature quite a bit. With much evidence and research to base a plan on, the team selected this topic and developed Averett’s QEP around the enhancement of student resiliency.

What will it do? What does it mean for me?

Three main action items were identified in Averett’s QEP:

  1. In February of 2017, a representative from Mindset Works, a global leader in growth mindset training for educators and students, will present a one-day workshop with all Averett faculty and staff on the growth mindset concept, the research behind it and implementation strategies.
  2. In the Fall 2017 semester, a module developed by Perts, a company dedicated to improving the equity of learning outcomes by bridging the gap between cutting-edge research and implementation practices, will be embedded into the Freshman IDS course so that all incoming freshmen learn about the concept of growth mindset.
  3. Long-term opportunities will be available for faculty interested in gaining more training and learning more about the concept of growth mindset and ways to implement it specifically in their courses.

Things to Consider

  • How were you involved in the QEP topic selection and plan development?
  • Why is student resiliency important to the University?
  • How do you think Averett’s QEP will benefit students?

For more information about Averett University’s Reaffirmation 2017 process, contact The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Research at (434) 791-5618 or, or visit

Bookstore to Close for Annual Inventory

bookstoreThe Schoolfield House Booksellers at the Averett University Campus Store will close at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, and reopen at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, for their annual inventory. During this time orders can be placed online, here. Please contact Dana Nelson or Sarah Collie at (434) 791-5640 with any questions or concerns.


Faculty Development Proposals

Faculty CBJust a reminder to submit any requests you have for faculty development funds to be used during spring semester. Please submit to by Wednesday, Feb. 8. The deadline for applications for funding during the summer is the first Friday in April.

Sam’s Club on Campus

Sams_ClubSam’s Club will be on campus today, Wednesday, Feb. 1, and Thursday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the dining hall. Renewals and new memberships welcome.

TIAA-CREF on Campus

TIAA-CREF-logoNo matter where you are in life—just getting started or planning for retirement—a session with Matt Meade can help you create a unique plan for your goals. And, it’s at no additional cost as a part of your retirement plan. Meade can help answer many questions like: Am I invested in the right mix of investments to help meet my goals? Am I saving enough to create the retirement income I need? How do I take income from my retirement account once I stop working?

If you are interested in enrolling in the Averett University retirement plan prior to Meade’s visit, please contact Kathie Tune, director of human resources, at or Tammy Wall, senior account and benefits coordinator, at Current full and part-time employees (non-student) are eligible to join the 403b plan.

TIAA-CREF representative will be on campus Tuesday, Mar. 28, and Wednesday, Mar. 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Main Hall, room 131.

To register for one of the sessions and get an action plan created especially for you, click here.

Save the Date: Luncheon

luncheonSave the date for the faculty/staff/retiree appreciation luncheon from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, in the dining hall. An e-vite will be coming soon. Contact Kathie Tune for additional information at or (434) 791-7106.