AU CoffeeBreak 5-10-17

Posted on May 10th, 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, May 12, for a Wednesday, May 17, publication.

Covington Honored with PACE Award

Rachel Covington, assistant director for community engagement at the CCECC, received the Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) Award at the Danville Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner Monday night. The PACE Award is given to those aged 25 to 40 who have made contributions to the Dan River Region through achievements and community/volunteer service. Congratulations Rachel!

Wilson Graduates Leadership Southside

Drew Wilson, sports information director, graduated from Leadership Southside and received his award at the Danville Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner Monday night. The Leadership Southside program works to develop leadership skills by providing information, education, experience and exchange of ideas. Congratulations Drew!




May Graduates Find Success

Taylor Booze ’17, who majored in business, accounting and marketing with a minor in coaching, is heading to Washington D.C. to work for KPMG, an accounting and financial services firm. Taylor played football during his time at Averett. He is originally from Thomasville, NC.




Travis Jackson ’17, is staying with Averett’s Aviation program as a certified flight instructor. Travis majored in aeronautics, flight operations. He is originally from King, N.C.

Congratulations gentlemen!




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 April Croteau-Boadwine, who is pursuing her master’s of business administration. She is expected to graduate in 2017.

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree? “I am a 30-year-old woman who doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. I do know what I want out of my life. I want freedom. I want to be able to support myself, by myself, and also do all the traveling and adventures that make life interesting. Before I started this program, I was working a rewarding, albeit low-paying, job. I was changing lives, but I couldn’t take care of myself alone. Things got rocky at home and I made some life-changing choices. First, I got a new job; second, I got into grad school. I chose a program that seemed the most versatile, and since humans are pretty much part of any job anywhere, I decided an MBA with a concentration in human resource management seemed like a pretty good idea.”

Why did you choose Averett’s Graduate & Professional Studies Program? “I chose Averett because it’s local. I didn’t want to go to a giant school where I couldn’t get help or no one would ever know me more than my ID number. I wanted to go to a real school. I also didn’t want to have to go to a physical location for class. I know myself, and if I could have skipped class, I would have. I need to be able to sit in my pajamas and get my work done. This was the best option for me.”

Please share one tip for your fellow classmates and future AU students. “Make friends! Find that person in message boards that makes you laugh, you can struggle together, succeed together. Talk through difficult concepts, teach each other. It can feel very lonely when you are struggling through a class. Having another person who can commiserate is worth its weight in gold. E-learning is 75 percent teaching yourself complicated things. Sometimes, you just need a peer to work things out with. So I urge you, make friends!”

What helps to keep you motivated while you are in the program? “Mostly the massive amount of student loan debt. I mean, I can’t fail now! Besides that though, I have a great group of friends that I’ve met at Averett. We motivate each other, we keep each other on track, and of all the tools that Averett supplies, my friends have been the most important in supporting me and keeping me motivated to succeed.”

Averett Announces Partnership with PHCC, NCI

On Friday, May 5, Averett signed an agreement with Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) and the New College Institute (NCI) that will provide a seamless path for PHCC applied science graduates to enroll in Averett’s applied sciences baccalaureate program. The partnership was developed out of the shared commitment to the region, and in response to the needs of the region’s workforce.

Averett will now offer its Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Leadership Studies program through online instruction to students who have graduated from PHCC’s Associate of Applied Science program. In addition, Averett and NCI will work together to offer students face-to-face support and other learning opportunities at NCI in Martinsville. To see the full story, click here.

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.

This week, we’re sharing one teachers experience: What do fly fishing and growth mindset have in common? Read how it helped him relate to his struggling students by clicking here.

The Great Colleges Survey: The Wellness Plan Benefit 2016-17

Comments from the GCS Survey 2016 offered notes of appreciation for our work benefits and suggested we make our benefits more competitive. While Averett offers a very competitive benefits package there’s always room for improvement. One area that has steadily gained strength is our Wellness Plan.

The initiatives thus far have included 52 participants in the Biometric Screenings this spring; offering Live and Learn programs (live and online) such as Stress Relief from Laughter: It’s No Joke!, to Personal Finance-Managing Your Money, presented by Captrust Advisors. And, coming soon are two opportunities to enroll in on-demand programs, Systematic Stress Management Program, and Coping with Work, Stress and Burnout, created and moderated by Lynise Anderson, N.D., communication and health promotion leader, Virginia Private Colleges Benefits Consortium.

The University has added a discounted membership fee structure and waived joiner fees at the YMCA to allow us to have a work/life balance and to be more engaged in our health and wellness plan strategy. We’ve even included a flu clinic at the semiannual wellness screenings to create a One Stop Shop for all of our faculty and staff.

So what are the other benefits to participating in the Wellness Plan each year, you ask? To name a few, if you create an account in you are able to track your health assessment, watch webinars on many health-related topics and earn prizes for your involvement in making you a healthy and happy person. Those incentives run from $50 – $125 gift cards. We are also provided a health promotion leader and a designated health advocate for programming and coaching. And, a $20 monthly premium discount is made available to those who meet the Wellness Plan requirements.

Coming soon: Healthy Living Newsletters will be posted to the AU intranet to stay in touch with our promotion leader, read tips on living well, myth busters and healthy recipes.

Needless to say, the Wellness Plan 2016-17 has been an active and robust entity for many faculty, staff and their families. To continue with the momentum, take in a webinar or become a YMCA member. The Wellness Plan is also an important component of the University Strategic Plan, why not make it one of your strategic activities?

New Facilities Services Model

As some of you may know, as of July 1, Averett will be changing to a new model for facilities services. Aramark will continue to provide our housekeeping and we will hire a new firm to manage grounds and landscaping. In addition, we will be hiring the facilities maintenance staff as Averett employees. This person will manage the maintenance staff and then also be the primary liaison to Aramark and the new grounds/landscape firm. Faculty and staff are invited to meet with the candidate in an open forum from 1:30–2:30 pm, tomorrow, May 11th in the multipurpose room.

Years of Service

On Thursday, we celebrated four retirees and the faculty and staff members of the year at the annual Faculty, Staff and Retiree Appreciation Luncheon. To see the full story, click here.

At the luncheon, the University also recognized years of service: members of our faculty and staff who have been with Averett for five to 40 years. We want to again thank and recognize those folks below:

  • 40 Years: Laura Meder, associate professor, Biology;
  • 30 Year: Barbara Kushubar, associate professor, Physical Education, Wellness & Sport Science; Janet Roberson, registrar; Dr. Steve Wray, professor, Sociology/Criminal Justice; Dr. Peggy Wright, professor, Business Administration; Wanda Fallen, housekeeper (Aramark);
  • 25 years: Dr. Barbara Clark, professor, Spanish; Dr. Susan Huckstep, associate professor, Communication Studies/Journalism and English; Marietta Sanford, academic scheduling & faculty operations, GPS; Brenda Williams, operations manager, Flight Center;
  • 20 years: Marion Breen, administrative assistant, Institutional Advancement; Debbie Hyler, admissions coordinator, GPS; Joan Kahwajy-Anderson, director, Counseling Services;
  • 15 years: Rena Leggett, associate director, GPS Student Financial Services; Susan Rowland, director of curriculum services, Distance Education; Deborah Touchstone, library acquisitions & administrative associate, Blount Library; Brian Morris, security, Main Campus (Aramark);
  • 10 years: Celia Wilkerson, records specialist, Registrar’s Office; Wayne Dabney, food service utility (Bon Appetit); Felicia Saunders, supervisor, Hourly (Bon Appetit);
  • 5 years: Dr. Aimee Brenner, associate professor, Education; Meaghan Byrne, assistant professor, Business Administration; Nancy Dameron, assistant professor, Nursing; Zana Devlin, instructor, Biology; Travis Dix, webmaster/graphic designer, Institutional Advancement; Dr. Alexis Ehrhardt, executive director, CCECC; Dr. Ralph Hawkins, associate professor, Religion; Patrick Henry, recruiting coordinator/offensive line coach, Football; Matthew Mann, admissions counselor, Admissions; Carolyn (Cricket) Morris, equestrian associate, Equestrian Studies; Karen Oaks, assistant professor, School of Nursing; Dr. George Odongo, assistant professor, Education; Kyle Patterson, associate director, Residence Life and Coordinator of Student Conduct; Pamela Paynter, staff accountant, Payroll; Ricky Fallen, groundskeeper (Aramark); Phillip Hayes, Riverview Security (Aramark); Sarah Collie, assistant manager, (Follett Higher Education); and Thad Mangum, team leader (Follett Higher Education).

Thank you

Thank you to staff and faculty for assistance during the death of my father. I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the cards, flowers, food and many notes of encouragement during my father’s illness and death. I cannot tell you how much these expressions meant to my mother, my sisters and especially to me. – Janet Roberson.


Preparing for Medicare

Today, Carolyn B. Smith, president & CEO, Marketplace Agency & ElderCare Associates Inc., 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 this afternoon from 2-4 p.m. in the multipurpose room.

Summer Hours and Timesheets

Along with the wonderful joy that accompanies Averett’s ‘summer hours,’ comes the question: “How do I report that on my timesheet?”

The good news is that it is pretty easy. Remember each work day is really 8 hours when leave time is used. So, summer Friday’s are usually 4 hours of work (8:30-12:30) and 4 hours of summer hours leave time. On your timesheet, mark 4 hours under work time for that day (both nonexempt and exempt) and enter 4 hours under “other” and add the note of “summer hours” for the explanation.

What if you work some of that time? If you have swapped your work time so that you can provide department coverage, you simply report the actual hours you worked and report those 4 hours of leave on the day you took them, with the same explanation note.

Be sure to work out your schedule with your supervisor. Because summer hours are paid leave, they do not count toward the 40-hour work week overtime threshold. Thank you Averett for summer Friday afternoons; what a great place to work!

Staff Council Nominations

Staff Council is asking for nominations for new members! There are three positions open for the 2017-2019 term. Nominations are due by May 15, and the candidates will be voted on during the May 18 University staff meeting. Please submit all nominations Mark Sheets, staff council president, at

Please ask the person you are nominating if they are interested in serving on staff council before submitting their name. Staff Council is a leadership position for staff members of Averett University and represents the best interests of all University staff. At a minimum, members of Staff Council are expected to contribute to the monthly meetings, assist in the planning and implementation of Staff Council programs and events, and plan and attend monthly University staff meetings.

Averett to Host NCAA Baseball Regional

Averett was selected to host the NCAA Division III South Baseball Regional next week. We have partnered with the City of Danville and the Braves to make this event work. All games will take place at American Legion Field at Dan Daniel Park (home of the Braves). The tournament will run from Thursday, May 18 to Monday, May 22.

Athletics Staff will be volunteering at this event, but more volunteers are needed to make it run well. We want to make sure we represent Averett to the best of our ability. (nothing too strenuous- selling tickets, hospitality tent attendant etc.) If you are interested and able to work ANY days or times during this event (even if it’s just a few hours), please contact Bren Taylor at, as soon as possible. Every little bit helps!

2017 Cougar Golf Classic

Cougars Golf TourDo you have your team yet? Come join in on the fun and get a four-person team together for this year’s Cougar Golf Classic on Friday, June 9. There is a minimum handicap of 30 required for each team. Prizes are given for 1st and 2nd place and then a random draw for 3rd place so everyone has a chance to win. Every participant receives a gift and has a chance to bid at the silent auction. (Rumor is there are items autographed by Steph Curry along with other valuable choices.) Please contact Barb Kushubar for more information at or at (434) 791-5687. To register click here.

Feeding Studious Cougars

The Student Success Center and the Center for Health and Wellness partnered to provide snacks and drinks for students as they studied for final exams. The table was set up every afternoon between Monday, May 1, and Wednesday, May 3. The table was manned by workers from both the Student Success Center and the Center for Health and Wellness. Many Averett Cougars stopped by to enjoy a snack and conversation!


 Homecoming 2017

Homecoming is October 20-22. If you have an activity that you would like added to the Homecoming agenda, please let Dan Hayes know very soon so it can be added to the brochure and promotional information by emailing