AU CoffeeBreak 8-9-17

Posted on August 9th, 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. 11, for a Wednesday, Aug. 16, publication.

Office of Health and Wellness Welcomes New Graduate Assistants

Kennsel Anderson is from Richmond, Va., and is a recent graduate of Ferrum College. He was recently hired as a graduate assistant, programming specialist for the Office of Health and Wellness, where he will focus on health related programming for the students. While working as a graduate assistant he will also be pursuing his education to receive a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing.

Anderson received a bachelor’s degree in health and human performance with a concentration in health promotion in the spring of 2017. While he attended Ferrum, Anderson was an active leader on campus as he was an resident assistant for two years, part of the football team for three years, was on the SGA public relations committee, the president of the Black Student Union, as well as the president for the Brother4Brother mentoring program. He enjoys fitness, sports, reading and actively participates in community service.

Williane “Ann” Charles graduated in May of 2017 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a minor in health education from Longwood University. She was recently hired as the graduate assistant, office manager for the Office of Health and Wellness, as she continues to pursue her education to earn a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in leadership.

While at Longwood University, she was highly involved on-campus. She worked in several offices, including the Residential & Commuter Life, Citizen Leadership and Social Justice Education, Office of First Year Experience and Family Programs, and she is a brother of Alpha Phi Omega. She enjoys mentoring students, volunteering, attending concerts, crafting and spending time with her family and friends.

Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Welcomes Assistant Coaches

A native of Farmingville, N.Y., Jacqui Montague joins Averett as an assistant coach with the Women’s Lacrosse team. Montague played four seasons at Albright College, helping the program reach the playoffs for the first time in program history and notch its first playoff win. A three-year starting attacker, Montague also served as a team captain. In addition, she was involved as a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative during her time at Albright.

Montague gained coaching experience as a volunteer coach with the Deer Park girls lacrosse. She also completed a summer accounting internship with the NHL’s New York Islanders. To learn more about Montague, click here.

A native of Mooresville, N.C., Erin Murphy joins Averett as an assistant coach for the Women’s Lacrosse team. Murphy previously served as a volunteer assistant with the Cougars’ program for five months during the spring of 2017, helping with clinics on campus.

Murphy played four seasons of collegiate lacrosse, including her final two at Division II Wingate University, where she was a two-time team captain. She earned all-conference second team honors at midfield, leading her team in scoring in 2015. To learn more about Murphy, click here.

A native of McGraw, N.Y., David Fernandes joins Averett as an assistant coach with the Men’s Lacrosse team. Fernandes played four seasons of collegiate lacrosse, finishing his career at Tusculum College, where he was a part of their inaugural team as an attacker.

He began his career playing junior college lacrosse at SUNY New Delhi, where he led the team in goals scored both seasons. He was a two-time second team all-region selection and a three-time Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Week. To learn more about Fernandes, click here.

A native of Shoreham, N.Y., Kyle Sopko joins Averett as an assistant coach with the Men’s Lacrosse Team. Prior to Averett, Sopko was the assistant coach of the varsity lacrosse program at Mattituck High School for four seasons, where he was responsible for running the offense and working with the goalkeepers. While at Mattituck, Sopko guided his team to back-to-back county championship games. In addition, Sopko has worked and coached with numerous travel lacrosse organizations on Long Island.

Sopko played collegiately, finishing his career at Division II Dowling College. A midfielder, Sopko appeared in 37 games over three seasons and was a key member of the 2012 national championship team. To learn more about Sopko, click here.



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 Margaret Burnette, who is pursuing her master’s of business administration. She is expected to graduate in 2018.

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree? “When I was hired into the Business Office at SOVAH Health (formerly Danville Regional Medical Center), I fell in love with the aspects of my job. I knew I wanted to learn as much as I could about the business side of things and I knew by bettering my education I would have a greater chance of doing that.”

Why did you choose Averett’s Graduate & Professional Studies Program? “I chose the GPS Program at Averett because I received my Bachelor’s degree there and I had a great experience. I knew it was a top quality place with skilled professors and I knew I would get a great higher education again.”

Please share one tip for your fellow classmates and future AU students. “The best tip I can give is to create a structure for yourself. Allot time for work, family, school and personal time. Maintaining a structure for myself has really helped me in not feeling too overwhelmed.”

What helps to keep you motivated while you are in the program? “Support from the people around me really keeps me going. Motivation from my family, friends, co-workers and fellow students drives me. Knowing I have so many people in my corner makes we want to make them proud.”

 RSVP for the August Opening Today!

This year’s Opening of the Year Kick-Off session for faculty and staff will be held in the Grant Center on North Campus on Thursday, Aug. 17, at 3 p.m., and will include important University updates, pinning of new faculty and staff members and a special guest speaker to highlight the Averett Experience. Following the presentation, you’ll move into an engaging, interactive journey that’s linked to our upcoming Homecoming theme, “There’s No Place Like Home!” inspired by The Wizard of Oz. You’ll follow the Yellow Brick Road – a path with stops along the way, showcasing some of the many new and innovative initiatives at Averett.

Following the opening session, President Franks and Joe will host a picnic for you and your families (to include dinner and children’s activities), which will begin at 5:15 p.m. You should have already received your Punchbowl invite via email. Today is the last day to RSVP for yourself and the number of family guests you will be bringing (significant others, children). We can’t wait to see you all there!

Orange Cone = Yellow Jackets

The Budd Group is making a host of improvements to the campus grounds. One aspect of their work is identifying and mitigating pests. As they work on campus, when they identify an area they want to treat for Yellow Jackets, they post an orange cone so that they can come back and treat the area the next day. So, if you see the cones in the landscape or on the grass, best to avoid that area (and please don’t move the cone).

 Don’t Miss Out on Huge Savings at the Café!

Fall is coming, students are about to return and renovations to the café have been completed. It’s time to consider purchasing a faculty and staff meal plan for the coming year. You will receive a significant discount over the faculty and staff door rate at the café.

All faculty, staff, graduate assistants, contractor’s and employees currently working at Averett’s campuses who have a valid Averett ID are eligible to enroll in a faculty and staff meal plan. This year, purchased plans will rollover semester to semester until all meals are used, and plan holders will be allowed bring guest to the dining hall with their plan. For more information and pricing, click here. To enroll in a faculty and staff meal plan please contact the dining office at (434) 791-7307 or email

You can check out the Averett magazine online!

The 2017 Averett magazine can now be found online here. Share this link with friends and family! If you would like a physical copy, please stop by Alumni Hall.

Cougar Connection Will Start on August 20

Cougar Connection, a weekly newsletter for students, will start Sunday, Aug. 20. To keep all faculty and staff informed about campus and student activities, this newsletter also goes out to faculty and staff, as well. The deadline to submit to Cougar Connection is the Wednesday prior to the Sunday distribution.

For the first Cougar Connection, please submit by Wednesday, Aug. 16, for a Sunday, Aug. 20, publication. Reminder: all students will be back by Aug. 20, so this will provide them with the upcoming events for their first week of school. To submit, click here. If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Staub, marketing and communications specialist, at (434) 791-5681 or

Back to School Prayer

The Moffett Memorial Baptist Church, 1026 N. Main St., is welcoming all of our faculty, staff and students to join them at a prayer event tomorrow, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m. The pastor, Jonathan Hilliard, ’05 and his wife, Bethany, ’02 are both Averett graduates! The church 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.

Arts@Averett Presents: Ethan Uslan Ragtime Piano

The first event in the 2017-18 Arts@Averett series will include a movie and a piano. Join us for ragtime piano scoring of the silent movie “The Freshman,” a 1925 comedy film that tells the story of a college freshman trying to become popular by joining the school football team. As with old-time silent movies, live piano music accompanied the action on the screen. Come check it out on Thursday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. in Pritchett Auditorium. Faculty and staff receive two free tickets. Students get in free. All other tickets are $5.