AU CoffeeBreak 8-2-17

Posted on August 2nd, 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, Aug. 4, for a Wednesday, Aug. 9, publication.

Averett Welcomes a New Director of Facilities

Elliot Baynes joins Averett as the new director of Facilities Services. Prior to joining Averett, Baynes was the Facilities Manager at American National Bank & Trust. He has 20+ years in the construction/HVAC industry. Baynes has a staff of five maintenance personnel to take care of all maintenance issues. He will also oversee the housekeeping and grounds vendors.

A Danville native, Baynes and his wife, Amy, have a three-year-old daughter named Eden. He enjoys spending time with his family and working on their horse farm. Welcome to the Averett Family, Elliot!


Athletics Welcomes New Women’s Basketball Assistant Coaches, Assistant to the Director of Athletics

Lindsay Hieronymus joins the Averett University women’s basketball program as an assistant coach. Previously, Hieronymus served as an assistant high school coach at the Sayre School following a four-year playing career at Division III Transylvania University.

A native of Lexington, Ky., Hieronymus was a four-year member of the women’s basketball team at Transylvania, where she helped the program win three conference regular season championships and one conference tournament title while making two NCAA Tournament appearances. A captain and starter during her senior campaign, Hieronymus twice earned academic all-conference honors from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and was on the league’s all-sportsmanship team her senior year.

Hieronymus graduated from Translyvania with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2016. She is currently pursuing her master’s of business administration from Averett. Click here to learn more about Hieronymus.

Toshina Jessamy joins the Averett University women’s basketball program as an assistant coach. Previously, she worked as a skill development coach with the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Division III Mitchell College, her alma mater.

Jessamy, a native of Hartford, Connecticut, played two seasons at Mitchell, where she earned academic all-conference honors from the New England Collegiate Conference. While at Mitchell, Jessamy also served as a representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She began her collegiate career at Division II Post University, where she played one season after redshirting her first year with the Eagles.

Jessamy earned her bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Mitchell in 2016. She is currently pursuing her master’s of business administration from Averett. Click here to learn more about Jessamy.

Courtney Leddy joins the Averett University Department of Athletics as an assistant to the Director of Athletics.

Prior to Averett, Leddy was a student worker at Bridgewater State University, where she was responsible for scheduling student employees for all home athletics events and coordinating setup and breakdown of all sports venues. She also gained experience as a building manager and orientation leader at Bridgewater State, and was an athletics intern during her final semester.

A native of Saugus, Mass., Leddy earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Bridgewater State in 2017. She is pursuing her master’s degree in business administration from Averett. Click here to learn more about Leddy.

Welcome to the Averett Family!

School of Nursing Welcomes New Faculty Members

Please share a warm Averett welcome to Kelly Fuller as she begins her faculty role with the School of Nursing. Fuller comes to us from Piney Forest Health & Rehabilitation Center, where she served as the director of nursing for the past 11 years. She has served as a clinical instructor with the School of Nursing since 2015.





Please share a warm Averett welcome with Les Waller as he begins his faculty role with the School of Nursing. Waller comes to us from Danville Regional Medical Center, where he has worked extensively in Critical Care and the PACU. He has served as both clinical and adjunct faculty for the School of Nursing since 2015.

The Averett Family is happy to have you both! Welcome!




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 Jennifer Mullen, who is pursuing her master of education in administration and supervision. She is expected to graduate in 2018.

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree? “I have spent many years working to educate, support and help change the lives of my students through providing a compassionate, constructive and collaborative learning environment. Now it is time to turn the tables and provide these tools to help support other teachers! I love to learn and grow and am motivated by seeing the growth in the others around me.”

Why did you choose Averett’s Graduate & Professional Studies Program? “I feel Averett’s program is a good fit for me because the program is created with the adult learner in mind. The classes are rigorous enough to keep me interested, but manageable enough to fit my very busy schedule. Pat Williams and other university staff are knowledgeable, approachable and helpful.”

Please share one tip for your fellow classmates and future AU students. “Find a balance! When taking on this endeavor I was anxious that I would not be able to find a balance between work life, school life and home life. But by setting small daily goals and working a little each day to reach them, I have found the balance to make my degree possible. To quote a favorite story I read to my kindergartners, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… I knew I could!”

What helps to keep you motivated while you are in the program? “I can see the finish line getting a little closer each day, just a few more classes to go. I knew when I began that the leadership program would be tough, but all good things worth working for are. I just stay focused on the end goal. Having a support system of people who want to me succeed and believe in my abilities as a leader is vital to my confidence and ability to meet my goals.”

A Successful Summer of Hosting Campers at Averett

Around 1,000 campers spent time in our dorms during June and July as Averett hosted three weeks of Passport Camps and one week of IMPACT Mission Camps this summer. Not only did the campers get to experience living, worshiping, playing and studying at Averett, they also worked on projects throughout our community for the betterment of the entire region. The community members reached out to the camp participants in such a positive and welcoming way, making all the hard work and effort worthwhile.

Lynnette Lawson, coordinator of conferences, camps and special events, would like to extend a big thank you to every member of our Averett Family who greeted a camper with a smile and a welcome. You all have no idea how much these small things mean to our visitors. Lawson would like to extend a special thanks to security, housekeeping, maintenance and residence life who made their stays safe and hassle-free. It takes a village to pull this off and our Averett team did a phenomenal job!

Adjunct Instructor: Driver’s Education Position Available

Averett University is seeking an adjunct faculty member to teach driver’s education in the Department of Physical Education, Wellness and Sports Science. A candidate must be certified to teach driver’s education by the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles, be familiar with the Virginia Department of Education driver’s education curriculum and have a valid driver’s license. Click here for additional information.

Save the Dates: TIAA Representative on Campus

A TIAA-CREF representative will be on campus Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 19-20, in Main 131 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The last available appointment will be at 3 p.m. Appointment registration information will be available soon on the TIAA website. Contact Kathie Tune for additional information at or (434) 791.7106. All Averett (non-student) employees are eligible to join the Averett retirement plan.

Back to School Prayer

The Moffett Memorial Baptist Church, 1026 N. Main Street, is welcoming all of our faculty, staff and students to join them at a prayer event on Thursday, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m. The church group is hosting a public special prayer time for students, teachers, administrators and all others involved in the educational system in our community. John Gilstrap, Danville City Mayor; Dr. Stanley Jones, Superintendent of Danville City Schools; Dr. Mark Jones, Superintendent of Pittsylvania County Schools; and Kenny Lewis, Better Together; will be present for the event. No need to call ahead, just bring yourself and some friends.

Stories of the Middle Border

Stories of the Middle Border, an initiative of the Middle Border Forward Fellowship 2016-17 Cohort, seeks to celebrate our differences while highlighting the common ties that bind us together as a community through public photographs in Danville’s River District and online video interviews. The project will showcase the unique stories of our region, celebrating the diversity we all share.

We want to ensure Averett is represented in the public project, so please consider participating. Residents of Danville, Pittsylvania County or Caswell County who would like to be featured can submit an interest form at by August 11. For more information or for questions, contact Cassie Jones at or (434) 791-5684.