AU CoffeeBreak 4-19-17

Posted on April 19th, 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, Apr. 21, for a Wednesday, Apr. 26, publication.


GPS Student Spotlight

Throughout 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!

Today, meet Navid Ahrarian, who is pursuing his bachelor of business administration. He is expected to graduate in 2018.

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree? “First, by obtaining my degree I am finishing something I started back in the 90’s after several changes of major. It’s a personal goal to complete the degree. Second, by majoring in business administration, I am learning a side of business that was once partly conjecture. I could talk about certain aspects such as management, ethics and accounting, but I found it challenging to assess since I had not learned the foundations. By obtaining the degree, I am placing myself in a position to grow professionally.”

Why did you choose Averett’s Graduate & Professional Studies Program? “A work colleague introduced me to the GPS program. She is very successful in her role and had nothing but positive remarks about the program, school and instructors. A third of the way in and I have those same wonderful remarks! Averett is affordable, and even though I was once against online learning, I have actually adapted to the process and find it very convenient.”

Please share one tip for your fellow classmates and future AU students. “I work 40-50 hours per week, work out 8-10 hours per week, and study roughly 15 hours per week. One could say I’m pretty busy. The BBA program is a rolling, nonstop program so I prepared my year by not scheduling major events for 2017. I set tangible, short-term goals for myself knowing that the light at the end of the tunnel will begin to brighten half-way through the year. I try not to think farther ahead than the current class except in the cases of setting longer term goals, keeping those also to a minimum.”

What helps to keep you motivated while you are in the program? “From the beginning, I level set with myself to understand the reasons why I decided to start the program, going back to the key motivators. I engaged all my friends and family to let them know what I’m attempting. This translated to more supportive viewpoints and less opportunity for major distractions from my school work. Everyone understood that I may be less involved during 2017. No big deal. I love endurance sport and the very nature of it requires both short-term and long-term drivers. I parallel those with my school, professional and personal goals.”

President’s Special Announcement

main_hallPresident Tiffany Franks and the Averett Board of Trustees cordially invite you to a Special Announcement tomorrow, Apr. 20, at 11:30 a.m. in front of the steps of Main Hall. The announcement will be followed by lunch on the lawn of Main Hall. In case of inclement weather, we will email you Thursday morning with plans to move the event to the MPR.



Mindset Minute: Averett’s QEP

Ever wonder from what research our QEP was founded? Want ideas on how to develop a growth mindset in your students? Each week we will provide a snapshot into the world of growth mindset research and practice through “Mindset Minute,” where you can check back for more tips and links to key related research and application.

Here’s a snippet pulled directly from the QEP report about growth mindset intervention our QEP outlines for our incoming freshmen:

Yeager, Walton, Ritter and Dweck (2013) tested the online growth-mindset intervention at a large four-year university in Texas. As part of freshman orientation, all incoming students were required to complete an online growth mindset module. It took approximately 22 minutes to complete the module, and more than 91 percent, or 7,342 students, participated. Although students continue to be tracked, the study’s initial focus was on the number of students who successfully completed more than 12 credits their first semester, a common indicator of academic success and persistence. The findings were significant with 64 percent of the growth-mindset intervention group completing more than 12 credits compared to 61 percent of the control group. The effects were larger for African-American students. Only 45 percent of African-Americans in the control group earned more than 12 hours compared to 55 percent of students receiving the mindset instruction. This one-time intervention reduced the achievement gap between Caucasian students and African-American students by 63 percent.

The Great Colleges Survey: Campus Safety

As part of the responses around campus safety in the Great Colleges to Work For survey, many faculty and staff members expressed a need for more to be done to make them feel safe in the campus environment. An initiative that derived directly from that feedback is the new LiveSafe app, recently announced by the Threat Assessment Team and rolled out to the campus community.

We are committed to constantly improving our safe campus experience for our students, parents, faculty, staff and community, and taking safety and security measures into the 21st century using technology for instant reporting and response. 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.

The mobile app allows for:

  • Tip reporting, including the option to add in video, audio and image files, and then engage in real-time chat with the safety officials.
  • Emergency communications, which enables users to call 911 and the dashboard at the same time, while our system has record of the sender’s profile and real-time location tracking on a map.
  • Mapping, an in-app map that shows users’ safety locations, and published crime info of potential hot spots.
  • User-to-user communications, allows users to send their real-time location to their contacts and friends as well as 911 and the dashboard, engage in real-time online chat, or alarm button in case of emergency.  This item will be particularly useful for women walking alone to their car, for example, to have someone online talking with them.

This new tool will enable us to interact directly with anyone reporting a tip, and push out emergency notifications. It also allows for data capture and retention to record statistics on number of incidences, images and safety record – all of which are important facts for Averett, students and parents.

All faculty, staff and community members are strongly encouraged to download the app right away. The free app can be used on iPhones or Androids, and can be downloaded from the app store or Google Play. Once you’ve got the app, explore and learn more about the many great features it offers our campus security.

Please note: you still need to be registered for our e2campus notifications, as we will continue to push out notifications with this tool for the rest of the semester. Please take some time now to be sure that you are signed up to receive messages via the e2campus system. You can sign up on the Averett website by clicking here.

Sam’s Club on Campus

A Sam’s Club representative will be in the dining hall today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Renewals and new memberships are available.


Community Meeting: Mt. Cross Road Corridor Study

There is a community meeting regarding Mt. Cross Road and a new corridor study to compliment ongoing planning efforts and identify improvements for better access to sporting events, as well as balance transportation needs of local residents, businesses and regional traffic throughout the city. Please come by to share your thoughts with the group any time today between 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Grant Center on North Campus. To see the full flyer, click here.

Want to Relieve Stress Right at Your Desk?

In this 30-minute webinar, you’ll gain tips and tools to relax and de-stress right from your work desk. You will get a chance to practice various proven relaxation exercises that will prepare you to take on the challenges of this hectic time of year and beyond. Join us at your desk tomorrow, Apr. 20, at 2 p.m. Email Shawna Manning, wellness advocate/health coach, at to register and click here for the online meeting link that day.


Women in Church Leadership Bible Forum

Can a woman be a pastor, preacher, elder, deacon or theologian? CSF will be hosting its second Bible Forum, discussing the topic of women in church leadership. Two pastors representing two opinions on that subject will speak, and one female children’s minister will give testimony. A time for Q&A will follow. What a great opportunity to develop your opinion on the subject of women in leadership! Join us tomorrow, April 20, from 8:30-9:30 p.m. in Blount Chapel.

Music Department Spring Concerts

The AU Cougar Band will hold its spring concert Friday, Apr. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pritchett Auditorium. The band program includes popular numbers from Phantom of the Opera, It Is Well With My Soul and classic rock. There will also be jazz, rock and solo ensembles.

On Sunday, Apr. 23, at 2:30 p.m., join the Averett Singers and Averett Ringers at Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church (just beyond the hospital on Main St.) for their spring concert. These student and community-based ensembles will perform sacred works along with Broadway tunes and popular songs in the theme of music’s power for unity in a time of division. Both events are free.

Grad Hall Director Candidates on Campus

Candidates for three open graduate hall director positions will be on campus over the next two weeks. Faculty and staff are invited to meet with the candidates on all three days from 2:45–3:30 p.m. On Monday, Apr. 24, the candidate interview will be in the multipurpose room. On Wednesday, Apr. 26, and Thursday, May 4, the candidates interview will be in the Carrington Conference Room.

School of Nursing Community Project Presentations

Come check out Averett’s senior class of nursing students community assessment projects. The students collected data regarding the health, education and environment in this area. Then they analyzed the data to identify needs in the community. They will be presenting their projects on Monday, Apr. 24, from 2:30-4:30 p.m., in the Riverview Community room 242. All are welcome.

Reading Day and Late Night Breakfast

It is almost time for the annual Late Night Breakfast! The breakfast will take place on Reading Day, Thursday, Apr. 27, at 10 p.m. Faculty and staff volunteers are needed to help prepare and serve breakfast to the students! If you would like to help and serve breakfast to the students, please email Taylor Mahaffey at or Sierra Braxton-Sears at

Engaged Employers Service Leave

Please don’t forget your Engaged Employers Service Leave – up to eight hours of paid leave you may use each year to serve our region. More information can be found on the HR section of the intranet, along with the form to submit your hours. Please contact Alexis Ehrhardt at with any questions.

Service Year Fellowships

Do you know a graduating senior or young alumnus who wants to engage in a year of service? In response to a national call for more service opportunities for young people, the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness is partnering with the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County on the first Service Year Fellowships of their kind. Fellows will serve one year in the locality, and a monthly stipend will be provided. More information can be found in the posting for the City of Danville and the posting for Pittsylvania County. Please contact Alexis Ehrhardt at or (434) 791-7212, with any questions.

Preparing for Medicare

Carolyn B. Smith, Marketplace Agency & ElderCare Associates, Inc. president & CEO, and her associates will discuss coverage options before you turn 65, explain how Medicare works for you, what plans are available and when to enroll into your plan choices. Their focus is on personalized service. The presentation is designed to be educational and informative and is not a sales opportunity for the agency. Join them on Wednesday, May 10, from 2-4 p.m. in the multipurpose room. Please email Kathie Tune at if you are interested so she can make sure an information booklet is available for you.