AU CoffeeBreak 4-13-16

Posted on April 13th, 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 15 for a Wednesday, April 20 publication.


Trantham_MindiGPS Student Spotlight

Meet Mindi Trantham, a bachelor of business administration (BBA) student. Mindi, who works in the education office at Newport News Shipbuilding, will graduate in May. She has played a pivotal role in the success of our ‪#‎AverettFamily members who work there with her. They have experienced challenges this year regarding funding due to budget cuts and layoffs, and Mindi has been an amazing source of support for her fellow Averett students, and for the staff here at AU, as she has assisted us in navigating new information and policies related to education funding in her organization.

In addition to the important part she has played in the lives of her fellow colleagues and classmates, she is also an amazing student here at Averett!

Why she chose the GPS Program: “The GPS Program allows me to attend class in a traditional setting and the schedule and workload are ideal. I attend class one night a week, which allows me time to spend with my family as well as setting aside time for homework.”

What is motivating her to earn her BBA: “My motivation is personal fulfillment and the thought of setting a positive example for my children and building a future for my family. At this point in life, I felt obtaining my degree was a dream beyond my reach until my co-workers talked to me about their experience with Averett and the GPS Program.”

What keeps her motivated: “The reward of personal gratification and my family are what keep me motivated. When I reach a bump in the road and life happens I recall my favorite poem, “Footprints in the Sand” … “It was then that I carried you.” And he certainly has.”

Tip for fellow and future classmates: “Follow your dreams and always believe in yourself. We can accomplish far more than we believe we are capable. Finally, never give up.”

honors_recognitionHonors Recognition Program

On April 3, the university held its annual Honors Recognition program, recognizing students for their academic achievements for the year. For the complete list of those who received awards click here. As you see these students around campus, congratulate them on a job well done.

student_accoladesStudent Accolades

The Student Life Department has been recognizing students who go the extra mile in whatever they are doing on campus since the fall of 2014. Each week during Student Life staff meetings, staff members nominate students whose dedication to the university they want to recognize. Students are notified about the nomination and their chance to win a $50 Visa gift card. At the end of the semester, all the names of those who were nominated are put into a bowl and the name of one lucky student is selected. This is the department’s way of letting students know their efforts and hard work is appreciated.

This week they are recognizing Kayla Sanon, Ryne Gammon, Jake Comer and Nicholas Brown.



fielder_evanGPS Faculty Spotlight

In July 2015, GPS Adjunct Instructor Dr. Evan Fiedler co-published an article entitled “Critical Thinking Through Technology Applied in Collegiate Pedagogy.” Evan, who was the lead editor of this collaborative effort, worked with eight colleges and universities to study critical thinking within the STEM disciplines.

An avid runner, Evan has published or co-published numerous articles on running and exercise. He also maintains several websites on running and exercise. He holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from Virginia Tech and a doctorate of chiropractic from Sherman Chiropractic College. In addition, he also holds a Virginia teaching license with endorsements in biology, chemistry, earth and space science. He has taught in the Virginia Beach school system for more than 10 years. Evan has been teaching in the GPS Program since 2008.

His latest article, along with his other published works, may be found at



awards2013Appreciation Luncheon

Last week, you should have received an invite from the university via with a subject line of “Faculty, Staff & Retiree Appreciation Luncheon Thursday, May 5, 2016.” This email is your invitation to the annual faculty, staff and retiree appreciation luncheon. Make sure to RSVP you are coming!

AUlogoWhere’s the Logo?

We need your help! As you’re walking around campus, make note of places where the old logo is. Then send an email to Cassie Williams Jones with your list. We want to make sure everything gets changed.

equestrian_studiesFaculty/Staff Horse Show

Students are asking some of their favorite faculty and staff to come and compete with them in our first faculty/staff lead-line class at our Saturday, April 16 open horse show. Students will lead their partner on their horse in a hotly contested competition judged on tenacity, courage, grace under pressure, whoever stays on…. (just kidding, you will be safe!). There will be huge prizes (not really!). Come on out after the open house lunch and join us for a fun afternoon. If you have not been approached by a student and are interested, come out to the Equestrian Center and we will pair you up. If you have questions, email Ginger Henderson, associate professor of equestrian studies.

book-review“Catching Fire” Book Review

A reminder that the Hunger Games Trilogy Book Review Series using the Socratic Seminar method is now underway. Discussions have been animated and enthusiastic! The book review on “Mockingjay” will be held on Tuesday, April 19 at 4 p.m. in the cozy couches area on the main floor of Blount Library. These book reviews are open to Averett students, staff, and faculty as well as members from the surrounding community. Please contact Linda Lemery if you would like to attend.

Once_IslandA Caribbean Love Story

The theatre and music departments have joined forces to present the last production of the season – “Once on this Island,” which will be performed April 14-16 at 7:30 p.m. and April 17 at 2:30 p.m. Faculty and staff receive two, free, non-transferrable tickets, to the production.

The musical tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl, who is unlucky enough to have the gods show an interest in her life. The gods of Earth, Water, Love and Death place a wager to see which is more powerful: love or death. During a monsoon, Ti Moune rescues a rich young man named Daniel and nurses him back to health. The two fall in love, but will the gods allow Ti Moune to have a happy ending with Daniel? Come find out!

save_the_date1Save the Date

A retirement workshop will be held Thursday, May 12 from 2-4 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Student Center. Contact Kathie Tune with questions.


survey_man1Great Colleges Survey

Thank you for taking the time to complete the Great Colleges to Work For survey. Your input and comments are invaluable and will help to create even more initiatives to make Averett University an even better college to work for. Our response rate was 50 percent and exceeded the overall response average for all colleges surveyed by 20 percent!

admin_day1Administrative Professionals Day

The Annual Southside Virginia SHRM Administrative Professional’s Luncheon is Wednesday, April 27. Complete the form at this link to make your reservation.


Sams_ClubSam’s Club Representative

The university’s Sam’s Club representative will be on campus Wednesday, April 20 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the dining hall.


coates_bookLibrary Coffee Talk

On Monday, April 18, at 6 p.m., Marilyn P. Gunter will lead a discussion of “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This book recently won both the National Book Award and the NAACP Image Award. It appeared on many 2015 best books of the year lists.

Join us for this Library Coffee Talk in the Academic Commons at Blount Library. Coffee and tea will be served courtesy of the Averett Library Friends.

emergency_training1Community Emergency Response Training

Next month, a free, six-day course in community emergency response training (CERT) will be offered to Averett faculty and staff. The training will be offered from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. May 11-13 and 16-18. Participants must be able to attend all days. To sign up for the training, contact Kathie Tune by Friday, May 6.

Averett currently has about 20 CERT trained faculty/staff, and we would love for that number to grow. For a list of those who have already completed the course and could answer questions, please log into the intranet and look for Emergency Management under the groups/committees tab.

What is CERT?

CERT is a FEMA course that educates individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. Using training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT volunteers can assist others in their community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT volunteers are also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects.

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. Early registration, which costs $25, ends this Sunday (April 17).

Please consider participating 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 or concerns.



health_screening1Wellness Screening

Just a reminder to all health plan participants that the annual spring wellness screening is Monday, April 18 from 7 a.m.-12 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Student Center.

Make sure to register for an appointment in the beBetter Wellness portal.