AU Coffeebreak 2-8-17

Posted on February 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, Feb. 10, for a Wednesday, Feb. 15, publication.

New Employee in the Student Success Office

Aries Wilson NKOTBPlease extend a warm welcome to Aries Wilson, M.Ed., our new assistant director of student success, who attended Bluefield College, where she received a bachelor’s of science in management and leadership. Most recently, she received her master’s of science in education with a concentration in academic advising from Kansas State University. Aries’ ten years of experience in post-secondary education is comprised of extensive background in diversity-based programming in her multiple roles for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the University of Mary Washington. In her tenure at UMW, she contributed to the development and oversight of university and community-related initiatives for the Student Transition Program and the James Farmer Scholars Program.

Additionally, her involvements included but were not limited to, serving as an instructor for college-readiness seminars for high school juniors and seniors, the administration of a high school and college-based summer bridge program, and academic advising for first-year students. Aries aspires to carry out a long-term career in higher education and to eventually pursue her doctorate in educational leadership.


BroadwayCon CB SmallerOur Brad Bass was asked to be a part of BroadwayCon, January 27-29, the biggest convention for Broadway performers, teachers and aficionados of theatre at the Javits Center in New York City. Here is a photo of him teaching at the event! (Photo credited to: Caitlin Spiess)




Student Accolades

CongratsThis week, Student Life would like to recognize Melinda Ausband, Clifton Glover, Chase McKinney, Nick Brown, Hannah Mattson and Elizabeth Kueng.

Last 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.

GPS Student Spotlight: Bobbie Grant

GPS Student Spotlight Bobbie GrantThroughout 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 Bobbie Grant who is pursuing his master’s of business administration and is expected to graduate in 2017.

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree? “My motivation for obtaining an MBA with a minor in human resources is to meet higher expectations, gain a competitive edge, demonstrate success and most importantly be a beacon of light for my children to follow in life. I was always taught that no one can take away knowledge that is learned. No matter what the age is, it is never too late to attend college.”

Why did you choose Averett’s Graduate & Professional Studies Program? “I chose Averett’s GPS Program because of its graduate success rate. Averett has proven itself to be a forerunner in graduate study programs among universities. At this point in my life, I am not a traditional, in-class student. By having the ability to take all my classes online, it allows me to juggle many areas in my life such as my family, job and community activities. The ability to work online is priceless.”

Please share one tip for your fellow classmates and future AU students. “The most valuable tip I could possibly give fellow classmates and AU students is to go the extra mile and be one of those students that your professors and classmates will remember for years to come.”

What helps to keep you motivated while you are in the program? “The encouragement that I receive from friends and family helps tremendously. There is a passage of scripture from Philippians 4:13 that reads, ‘I can do all things, because God has given me the strength.'”

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.


NSSE Participation for Students

NSSE Logo CBAt Averett University, our paramount commitment is to prepare students to be a catalyst for positive change. To that end, we once again are inviting students to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). NSSE helps us understand how students are spending time in and out of the classroom, which guides decisions that will benefit our students.

The first invitation was sent to a population of freshmen and seniors yesterday, and we ask that you encourage students to complete the survey. Any questions, please contact Pam McKirdy at or Alexis Ehrhardt at

Black History Month: Poetry and a Movie

artsataverettJoin us for 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 at the door to each faculty and staff member with an Averett ID. All other tickets are $5.

Next, Averett will host “Dear White People,” a satirical drama film released in 2014 that focuses on escalating racial tensions at a prestigious Ivy League college from the perspective of several African-American students. Following the film, there will be a conversation led by Averett faculty and staff about the movie and how the movie’s themes relate to Danville in 2017. Join us on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. in Blount Chapel. The event is free.


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!

Averett’s Mission

As a reminder, Averett University will undergo its on-site peer review visit by SACSCOC evaluators February 21-23. During this time, all students, faculty and staff should be aware of the evaluation team, and please be welcoming if you encounter them. They may ask questions, and it’s important that you speak with them and answer their questions, while giving them a warm Averett welcome.

One of the primary questions they can ask about is the University’s mission, so it’s important for you to know just what that is and how it affects you. The mission is as follows:

Averett University prepares students to serve and lead as catalysts for positive change. Averett fulfills this mission by educating students from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and nations through liberal arts-based undergraduate and graduate programs in a personal, collegial, interdisciplinary environment.

Things to Consider

  • How does your position help fulfill our mission?
  • Which University goals most apply to the program or unit you support?
  • What is your primary point of pride in regards to your program or unit at the University?

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

Spring Vacation Riding Camp

Summer Riding Camp CBThe Averett University Equestrian Studies Department is offering a vacation camp March 20-22 for horse enthusiasts ages 6 and up, taught by our student instructors. This camp offers a variety of activities from the basics of handling and grooming horses to riding at the walk, trot and canter. Campers will ride twice a day with educational activities and lunch in between.

The camp will be held at the Averett University Equestrian Center from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. This 3-day camp will cost $75 per camper. Applications and $25 deposit are due March 13th. Space is limited. For more information or an application, please contact Hannah Walters at (804) 310-5024 or  

Expand and Enhance your Classroom with Zoom!

College ClassroomThe Engaged Teaching & Learning Committee invites you to come learn about Zoom. Marietta Sanford with GPS, will present ideas on using Zoom cloud-based software. The GPS program has been using Zoom technology to connect student classrooms in Richmond and Danville, as well as holding tutoring sessions and student one-on-one sessions.

Come and learn how you can take your classroom beyond the brick and mortar! The session will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 11:15 a.m. in Frith Hall, room 208.

Service Year Webinar

serviceyearexchangeJoin us for an upcoming webinar “Beyond Community Service: Cultivating the Next Generation of Service Year Members.” The webinar is presented by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The webinar will explain what it means to take on a year of service, communicate the skills development associated with doing a service year, breakdown how service years are an on-ramp to career readiness and help you develop programming in your office for the purpose of increasing student awareness of service year opportunities.

A service year can serve as a powerful career pathway and can offer our graduates a chance to impact the community. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 1-2 p.m. in the multipurpose room. Please contact Angie McAdams with any questions at (434) 791-5629 or

Policy Resource for Averett Employees

Policy CBYou’re working on a project, and the thought comes, ‘We must have a policy on this.’ You are probably right, but where do you go to find that policy to make sure that you are following it or applying it correctly? The website? The handbook? The intranet? What department? If you have a quick question, the Faculty Handbook or the Employee Handbook probably has a summary policy statement to help you out. But, if you need more detail, check the Policy Library for the full policy.

When you log into the University intranet, you’ll see a new tab: Policy Library. As policies are finalized, updated and identified, the final versions in the official University format are being uploaded to the Policy Library. Organized into 10 topical/departmental sections, the Policy Library features full, formal policies available for reference and download. Once you identify the section/department you need, just click ‘Title’ to sort the policies into alphabetical order for easier browsing. Or, use the search feature in the upper right corner of the page.

If you have an approved policy that affects more than just your department and that is not included in the Policy Library yet, please send it via email to so we can add it.

Paid Leave and Timesheets

Calculate payroll for employeeAverett appreciates and values each employee. One way the University shows that respect and value is to pay employees for a 40-hour work week (8-hour work day) even though the normal scheduled work week for most of us is only 35 hours. As we complete our timesheets, it is important to keep in mind that paid leave is calculated based on an 8-hour work day.

What that means is if you are ill and take a day off to recover, you report 8 hours of sick leave used on your timesheet for that day. Likewise, if you work part of a day and use paid leave for the balance, the work day is still calculated based on 8 hours. For example, if you work from 8:30 until 12:30 and then leave to see the doctor because you don’t feel well, you would report 4 hours of work time and 4 hours of sick leave used on your timesheet, to equal the full 8-hour day. The same practice applies to other paid leave (vacation and volunteer service leave) except personal leave which can be taken only as one full 8-hour day. The total hours worked plus the total paid leave must equal 8 hours for the day.

Another key point to remember is that time is reported in 15-minute increments only. If you work 7 or fewer minutes, you round down; if you work more, you round up. So 3 hours and 20 minutes is reported as 3.25 (3 hours, 15 minutes) hours, whether it is work or leave time. On the other hand, 4 hours and 55 minutes is reported as 5 hours.

The payroll and HR teams have worked together to create new webpages on the Averett website to provide helpful information, including links to the employee handbook and a series of Q&A topics to help employees navigate and stay in compliance with University policy.