AU CoffeeBreak 3-30-16

Posted on March 30th, 2016 by Emily Tomlinson


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, April 1 for a Wednesday, April 6 publication.


A warm Averett welcome is extended to …

jones_cassieCassie Williams Jones, our new director of marketing and communications. Cassie graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a double major in mass communications and Spanish, as well as a master’s degree in strategic public relations. She brings a wealth of expertise in public relations, marketing and crisis communications to Averett.

Cassie has worked for marketing communications agencies in Richmond, as well as in communications for VCU. We are excited to have Cassie as a part of our team! Stop by Alumni Hall to introduce yourself or feel free to send her an email welcoming her to campus.



gold_jjGPS Student Spotlight

Meet J.J. Gold, a bachelor of business administration (BBA) student at our Quantico campus. J.J. will graduate in May.

Why he chose the GPS Program: “I chose Averett’s GPS Program because of Trish Nicols.  Trish was one of Averett’s recruiters, and she had a booth set up at my workplace along with other recruiters from different schools. After telling Trish about my desire to pursue a college education she explained how the GPS Program worked and I knew right away Averett was the school for me.”

What is motivating him to earn his BBA: “I’ve always wanted to pursue my college degree for as long as I can remember. However, my two beautiful kids give me the desire and motivation to keep pushing one week at a time, month after month.”

What keeps him motivated: “Walking by faith to achieve my goal and to set an example for my family and friends.”

Tip for fellow and future classmates: “Mind over matter! Remember you can do anything you set your mind to. Just keep pushing and make your dream come true.”



CCEC-logoCCECC Presents at Conferences

In February, Alexis Ehrhardt, executive director of the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness (CCECC), co-presented with Danville Assistant Director of Economic Development, Corrie Teague, at the NC Campus Compact Pathways to Civic Engagement (PACE) Conference. The presentation was entitled, “The Power of Place, Space, and Community Engagement: Pathways to Innovative Campus-Community Partnerships.”

Also in February, Rachel Covington, assistant director of community engagement, presented “Volunteer Recruitment: Finding Your Why” to the Dan River AmeriCorps members at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR).

On March 23, also at the IALR, Brigid Belko, director of experiential learning, presented “STEM Students Serving” with DCC Biology professor Chris Pantazis at the SoVA STEM-H Conference.

wall_tammyWall Joins HR Staff

Tammy Wall has joined the human resources (HR) department and will retain her role as the senior accountant/benefits coordinator. Tammy will continue to support the business office by providing payroll and benefits (health and pension) management accounting and reporting. She has been the key contact with our online benefits enrollment software ( and instrumental in our ACA compliance reporting. Tammy will continue in those roles as the benefits coordinator.



main_hallAverett a Finalist in Challenge

Averett has been named one of three challenge finalists in the Service Year + Higher Ed: Innovation Challenge. Averett’s proposal is designed to create Averett Leaders in Action who will serve with the Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority among other regional partners. Alexis Ehrhardt, executive director of the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness (CCECC) and Rachel Covington, assistant director of community engagement, will travel to the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. on April 12 to present Averett’s proposed model for a Service Year.

The challenge seeks to provide startup funding for models that incorporate service years into the post-secondary experience, believing this will better prepare students to complete their degree, attain employment and become lifelong engaged citizens. It is sponsored by the Aspen Institute, Campus Compact, the Service Year Alliance and the Lumina Foundation.

autism_awarenessAutism Awareness 5K

April is Autism Awareness Month, and the Autism Awareness 5K is coming up on Saturday, April 23 at Angler’s Park. Please participate in this event to show our community how passionate we are about this issue.

For more details about the race, click here. To sign up for Team Averett, click on the teams tab and scroll down (teams are listed in alphabetical order). Feel free to contact Jill Hamlin should you have any questions. Early registration, which costs $25, ends Sunday, April 17.

blood_drive1Blood Drive

On Tuesday, April 5 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. stop by the parking lot at the Galesi Family Student Success Center to donate blood during a blood drive. Check out the flyer.


fsseFSSE Launched

Averett is once again participating in the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE). The survey was emailed to all faculty yesterday (March 29). While a series of email reminders will be sent, faculty are encouraged to participate as soon as possible.

A high response rate is critical, so that the university can better understand faculty perceptions of: how often students engage in different activities; how faculty organize their time, both in and out of the classroom; and the importance instructional staff place on various areas of learning and development.

If you have any questions, please contact Pam McKirdy, director of institutional research and effectiveness, or Alexis Ehrhardt, executive director of the CCECC.

Enactus_logoFinancial Literacy Summit

If you know of anyone needing information about first-time home ownership or improving their credit score encourage them to attend the financial literacy summit hosted by Enactus this Saturday (April 2) in Blount Chapel. Interested participants should email to register.

award1Faculty & Staff Award Nominations

There is only one day left to nominate a faculty or staff member for the Outstanding Faculty or Outstanding Staff member of the year award. If you have a co-worker you feel is deserving of this annual award submit a nomination form no later than tomorrow (Thursday, March 31) to Nominations received after this date will not be accepted.

Make sure the nomination form is filled out completely as incomplete nominations will not be considered. The criteria for nominations, as well as the form, can be found on the Intranet under Groups & Committees and then under Staff Council.

book-reviewBook Review: Final Reminder

Linda Lemery, circulation manager in the Mary B. Blount Library, will lead three book reviews on the “Hunger Games” trilogy using the Socratic Seminar Method. The reviews, which will take place on the main floor of the library in the couch seating area, will be held at 4 p.m. on the following dates: Tuesday, April 5, (“The Hunger Games”); Tuesday, April 12 (“Catching Fire”); and Tuesday, April 19 (“Mockingjay”).

For questions, or to indicate attendance and reserve your copies of the books, email Linda.



bebetter_healthWellness Program

From March 28-December 31, get rewarded if you participate in the wellness program! Employees can earn a chance at great prizes if required activities are completed.

Activities include:

  • Health Survey
  • Onsite Wellness Activities & Health Coaching
  • Online Programs Challenges
  • Tracking towards personal wellness goals, including integration of your physical activity device or app, such as Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, etc.

For additional information and details, visit For login assistance call (866) 900-5325, ext. 3507 Mon–Fri, 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. ET or email

health_screening1On-campus Wellness Screening

This spring, a wellness screening will be held on the Main Campus Monday, April 18 beginning at 7 a.m. The screening, which will be held in the multipurpose room of the Student Center, is open to health plan participants and their dependents.

Contact Kathie Tune for additional information via email or by calling (434) 791-7106.