Averett CoffeeBreak 1-26-22

Posted on January 26th, 2022 by Matt Bell

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. For the next CoffeeBreak, please submit by Friday, Jan. 28, for a Wednesday, Feb. 2, publication.

Sore throat? Congested?

Even mild symptoms like these can be COVID-19! Anyone experiencing any symptoms should contact the Averett Health Triage Line right away at 434-203-3781. Delaying could cause more exposures, so please do your part to keep everyone safe and report your symptoms.




Vaccine Clinic Schedule

A COVID-19 vaccination event is set for Saturday, Feb. 12, from 9-11 a.m. at Schoolfield Elementary School in the City of Danville for Moderna, J&J and Pfizer shots. First, second and booster shots are being administered.

Want to get a shot at another time? Find specific times and locations for the vaccine of your choice below. Click the image at left to find a clinic, or to obtain more information.

Moderna and J&J
Chatham Health Department – Every Monday from 9-11:30 a.m. Walk-ins accepted. 
Danville Health Department – Every Tuesday from 9-11:30 a.m. Walk-ins accepted.

Due to a rotating schedule with pediatric patients, and individuals 12 and older, the Virginia Department of Health advises those seeking the Pfizer vaccine to please schedule an appointment. Note, all pediatric clinics require an appointment. Click the image above for more information.

Get Your COVID-19 Test On Campus

The on-campus testing kiosk is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can access the QR code to register here: Averett QR Flyer Updated. Appointments are strongly encouraged for faster service.

As a reminder, anyone with an approved COVID-19 vaccine exemption is required to continue testing weekly. Please submit test results to [email protected] by every Wednesday.



New Faces in Averett Athletics

Averett University Athletics is pleased to announce three brand new hires.

Olivia Earls Named Volleyball Head Coach

Olivia Earls was named Averett University’s volleyball head coach in January 2022.

Earls takes over a storied volleyball program that has produced 19 conference championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances, nine All-America selections, five Academic All-America selections, 16 conference player of the year selections and numerous other individual awards.

Earls will lead the Cougars into a new era as Averett moves to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference for the 2022 season, but she is no stranger to the ODAC. She played four seasons at Roanoke College and served as an assistant coach for two seasons from 2020-21 at Ferrum College, including serving as the interim head coach for the Panthers during the fall 2020 semester. Prior to joining the coaching staff at Ferrum, Earls was a graduate assistant at Division II University of Charleston from 2018-20.

In addition to her college coaching experience, Earls has coached club volleyball. She was the head coach of 17 Regional and 18 American Vantage Volleyball from 2019-20, head coach for 17 Open Roanoke United Volleyball from 2017-18 and was a three-year assistant coach for the 16, 17 and 18 Club Roanoke United Volleyball.

As a student-athlete, Earls was a four-year member of Roanoke’s volleyball program from 2014-17 and served as team captain during her senior season.

A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Earls earned her Bachelor of Science in health and physical education from Roanoke in 2017 and received her Master of Science in strategic leadership from Charleston in 2019.

Matt Ford Joins Football Program

Matt Ford joined the Averett University football program in January 2022 as its offensive coordinator. He also coaches the offensive line for the Cougars.

Ford came to Averett from Division I Bucknell University, where he coached tight ends and tackles for three seasons from 2019-21 and served as the program’s recruiting coordinator. Prior to joining Bucknell’s staff, Ford was the tight ends coach at Division I Lehigh University – his alma mater – during the 2018 season, and in 2017 was the tight ends/fullbacks coach at Division I Valparaiso University. Ford got his start in coaching at the Division III level at Franklin & Marshall College, where coach coached tight ends and fullbacks during the 2016 season.

A native of Wall, New Jersey, Ford was a four-year member of the Lehigh football program and served as a team captain his senior season. The 2015 First Team All-Patriot League selection at left guard played 30 games on the offensive line, starting his final 22 contests.

Ford earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lehigh in 2016.

Rafael Walker Named Men’s Lacrosse Assistant Coach

Rafael Walker ’21 was named an assistant coach with the Averett University men’s lacrosse program in December 2021 following a four-year playing career with the Cougars.

A native of Centreville, Virginia, Walker was a midfielder for the Cougars during their first four years as a program. He played in 38 games, scoring nine goals with 11 assists and 20 points totaled. He also finished his career with 137 ground balls and 27 caused turnovers.

In addition to his playing experience, Walker has coached youth sports and served as a camp counselor near his hometown during summer breaks while attending Averett.

Walker graduated from Averett in December 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and is pursuing his Master of Business Administration from Averett.

Averett Staff Recognized by Danville Public Schools

On Wednesday, Jan. 19, members of the community including Averett’s Record Specialist Ashley Bowman were recognized by Danville Public Schools at Central Office for their contributions to the Vote Yes 4 DPS campaign for the sales tax and bond referendums. Ashley’s Averett 101 class was partnered with the Vote Yes team and participated in canvassing events in the Schoolfield neighborhood as well as the Danville-Pittsylvania County fair this past fall. Students who participated with Bowman at these events included Gavin Coldwell, Allison Davis, Saige Johnson, Ayesha Khalid ’21 and Tamaia Williams.

Dr. Samoilenko Published Latest Research

During the summer of 2020, Computer Information Systems Professor Dr. Sergey Samoilenko was approached with the request to design a decision support system (DSS) that would allow healthcare managers to effectively and efficiently allocate COVID-related medical resources at the state level in the United States. The proposed design of the system was tested using Johns Hopkins’ COVID-19 data and found to be successful. Dr. Samoilenko’s research describing the DSS has now been published in the journal Expert Systems With Applications (ESWA), one of the top journals in the areas of artificial intelligence and computer science applications.

The title of the paper is, “Design of a Modular DSS for Public Health Decision-making in the Context of a COVID-19 Pandemic Landscape,” and an online version of the article is available by clicking here.

Paylocity Payroll/HR Updates

The Paylocity Implementation Team, consisting of Sandy Isom, Kristi Phillips, Kathie Tune and Tammy Wall, has put a tremendous amount of effort into the transition from the previous software product (which is no longer supported by the vendor) to Paylocity. Paylocity was used for the most recent payroll, and training on the use of Paylocity for payroll purposes began last week.

During and after the training sessions, the Implementation Team became aware transitioning from the existing “manual” timesheet process to a “punch-in” Paylocity methodology has created confusion and concern. As a result, our Implementation Team has hit pause, and the team will be meeting soon with Paylocity to discuss an alternative approach. The desired approach will strive to emphasize consistent processing for all employee categories.

The implementation timeline and approach has been modified to continue using the existing “timesheet” process until further notice, and to create a Transition and Training Team that will work in tandem with the Implementation Team. This new team is representative of many University areas and includes Kara Robertson, Donna Gourley, Matthew Mann, Drew Bailey, Shannon Stone, Michael Boehm, Tammy Jackson, Angie Bowers and April Love-Loveless. If you or a member of your department would like to be added to the team, please let a member of the Implementation Team know as soon as possible. Also, departments with student workers will need to share the current pause with them.

Thank you for your support of the efforts of the Implementation Team and your patience while the Transition and Training Team refine the timeline and training materials. Please know we value each and every member of the University community.

Professional Development Initiative Series

Tom Siebers, from Millennium Advisory Services, will present information related to financial planning basics virtually today, Jan. 26, from 1-2 p.m. Please register for the event using this link.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Staff Council at [email protected].

Community and Justice in the 21st Century Speakers Forum Series

This monthly series kicks off today, Jan. 26, from 6-8 p.m. Students can register for this free virtual event by emailing Dr. James Hodgson, Averett Online sociology and criminal justice program director, and professor of sociology and criminal justice. Click here for the flyer.

We will be conducting at least one forum per month on various topics. This month, the topic is Stress and Wellness in the Public Safety Profession. Our keynote presenters will be Professor of Criminal Justice at Averett University and Chesterfield County Police Department Lieutenant Dr. Russell Granderson and Averett Online Psychology Program Director and Associate Professor of Psychology at Averett University Dr. Jennifer Wagstaff. This topic has significant impact on all of us, and will provide many tangible coping strategies to keep us well and healthy.

NEW DATE – T.R.U.T.H. Talk: Neighborhood Policing

Averett Family,

We are hosting a community engagement training for seven new police cadets in Danville. Please note, this event has been moved to Monday, Jan. 31, due to a death in the Danville Police Department family. As part of the training, we invite you to join us from 3-4 p.m. in the MPR for an open forum with the new cadets. This forum is meant to be a meaningful dialogue and your chance to share praises, concerns and ask real questions to our police department. Please remember this is a safe space where we appreciate constructive comments and questions.

ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION: What do I wish a new police officer knew before I encountered her/him in public?

Dining Hall Updates

On Monday, Jan. 24, the Dining Hall began extending the dinner service hours to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Our operating hours are as follows:

Breakfast: 7:30-10 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner: 5-8:30 p.m.
Continual Dining: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Brunch: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner: 5-7:30 p.m.

Jut’s Café:
Monday through Thursday, continual operations from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday through Sunday, continual operations from 7:30 p.m. to midnight.

For faculty and staff who wish to dine with us, check out all the meal plan options for faculty and staff by clicking here.

Founders Day Coming Soon

Founders Day is set to be held Thursday, Feb. 3, at 11:15 a.m. in Pritchett Auditorium in the Violet T. Frith Fine Arts Center, and will be livestreamed. The speakers for Founders Day this year include James Contreras ’18, Libby Westphal ’01 and Dr. Roberta Thayer-Smith ’74. Look for more details soon!


Racial Equity Institute Training

In this lively and participatory presentation, Racial Equity Institute organizers will use the groundwater metaphor, along with stories and data, to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature. By examining characteristics of modern-day racial inequity, the presentation introduces participants to an analysis that most find immediately helpful and relevant. Join us Tuesday, Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon via Zoom.

Click here for more details. Use this link to register.

Save the Date: Averett 2025 Soaring to New Heights Luncheon and Tours

Averett Faculty and Staff, please join us for the Averett 2025: Soaring to New Heights Luncheon and Tours at the Danville Regional Airport on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. We are excited to share the 2025 Strategic Plan Year One accomplishments and unveil the take-off of Year Two projects!

Learn more about some important Averett 2025 updates, and check out Averett’s growing footprint at the airport. Enjoy a round-trip tour of the University’s Flight Center and airplane hangars, as well as AU Aviation Services’ location and maintenance hangar, all led by flight instructors and students. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to explore our new FBO and all our Aeronautics program has to offer while you hear how strategic planning projects – like the FBO – are evolving and elevating Averett! Dress warm and wear your walking shoes!

Register here for a timeslot between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. For the health and safety of all employees, tours are restricted to a maximum of 25 people per group, and we ask that you wait to arrive until your allotted timeslot. At the end of the tour and program, lunches will be provided in the hangar and you can either take it to-go or remain and enjoy fellowship with colleagues over lunch.

For questions, contact Katherine Bishop at [email protected].

NEO Save the Date

Make sure to save the date for the spring new employee orientation (NEO) on Wednesday, March 9, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Lunch will be available. If you were hired since the fall 2021 NEO in August, or if you could not make the August program, look for an e-vite via Punchbowl from HR Director Kathie Tune coming soon. We will host this year’s program in the President’s Suite of the Frank R. Campbell Stadium at the E. Stuart James Grant North Campus.

We are so excited to hold this in March and look forward to you joining us. Call or email Kathie Tune with questions at [email protected] or 434-791-7106.

Student Success Updates

The Student Success Center is excited to be supporting our students this spring semester; however, there will be slight changes to note in Holly Kilby’s absence while she is on maternity leave.

During her absence, ADA support will be addressed by Fred Betts. Tutoring support will be addressed by Nia Johnson. Tutoring officially began Monday, Jan. 24. Devenia Thorpe will oversee testing for students requiring ADA accommodations and Isaiah Amos will oversee make-up testing needs.

MLK Week of Service Held

Thanks to all students, faculty and staff who participated in service to support our community during our annual MLK Week of Celebration. Partnered with HAVEN of the Dan River Region, together we packed over 200 coping kits for sexual assault victims on Wednesday, Jan. 19. On Thursday, partnered with the Salvation Army, students, faculty and staff packed 100 winter kits for those in need. We’d like to thank our community partners for their continued service and dedication to make our community stronger.

Arts@Averett: Faculty Concert Held

Associate Professor of Music Dr. Janet Phillips, flute, in concert with Music Professor Dr. Anne Lewis and Michael Rowland on piano, featured a program of music by a diverse group of composers ranging from the Romantic period to the present at West Main Baptist Church Saturday, Jan. 22.

Miss the concert? Watch the performance by clicking here.

Coming soon to the Averett Theatre!

Don’t miss the Averett Theatre’s performance of Peter and the Starcatcher February 17-19 in Pritchett Auditorium in the Violet T. Frith Fine Arts Center. Click here to view show times.

From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes to star stuff, a celestial substance so powerful that it must never fall into the wrong hands, “Peter and the Starcatcher” playfully explores the depths of greed and despair… and the bonds of friendship, duty and love. Come enjoy this Peter Pan foundation story as we follow a nameless orphan boy on his journey to becoming the boy who will never grow up.

Averett Counseling Services

Together we are striving to ensure that all of our traditional students’ mental health needs are being addressed. We are excited to bring together all of our available services. Students now have access to in-person or telehealth counseling services, 24/7 support through Averett Mental Health, an online Wellness Hub that provides tons of helpful information and a FREE subscription to Headspace, a mindfulness and meditation app!

Let’s get the Spring Semester started on a positive note. If you have any questions or have a concern about a student you would like to address, please do not hesitate to reach out to Counseling Services. Click the flyer at left for more information.