Averett CoffeeBreak 10-13-2021

Posted on October 13th, 2021 by Cassie Jones

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, Oct. 15, for a Wednesday, Oct. 20, publication.

Mid-Semester Health and Safety Status and Updates

Dear Colleagues,

We’ve reached the mid-point of the semester, and we have much for which to be proud. We continue to persevere through challenging times, and I am grateful for your continued dedication to our students and this institution.

I’m writing to share the latest updates regarding COVID-19 on our campus, as well as address some frequent questions we are hearing. As of Monday morning, the total vaccination rate for students and employees who have received at least one dose was 85%. Although we are proud that the percentage of vaccinated individuals on campus has increased greatly since the start of the semester, we remain committed to our goal of a fully vaccinated campus. We cannot become complacent; it is imperative we remain vigilant in the pursuit of keeping our Averett Family safe.

We continue to be asked what happens to those students and employees who choose not to be vaccinated and who do not have an approved exemption. The vaccine requirement deadline has passed, and those not yet vaccinated or exempt are out of compliance. Those students and employees continue to receive reminders from our Health Services team and their area vice presidents, and they must continue to undergo weekly COVID-19 PCR testing.

Additionally, the University has held numerous listening sessions for students and employees, and continues to reach out to individuals for whom the decision to vaccinate has been difficult.

Students who are not yet vaccinated received notification that they have a registration hold on their account. Any who had not provided proof of testing during Homecoming week were not allowed to enter some of the indoor events over that weekend and will continue to lose some on-campus privileges in an effort to keep our campus safe.

For employees not fully vaccinated by November 12, their positions will be posted online as a job opening in anticipation that they have chosen no longer to be employed by Averett after December 17. Meanwhile, they may also lose access to some on-campus privileges, like attendance at some events and student productions or access to the Dining Hall for dining in.

For the Spring 2022 semester, all Averett on-campus students and employees will need to be vaccinated or have an approved exemption. There is still an option to come into compliance by receiving the vaccine, and we sincerely hope that this will be the case for those who have not yet done so.

We are delighted to offer an extra personal day off for those staff members who did comply by the deadline, and we will offer credits to the Dining Hall for qualifying faculty members. Students were entered into a drawing for five chances at a $1,000 credit toward their Averett account. Those names have already been drawn, and they have each expressed sincere gratitude. We also will continue to offer local gift card rewards for compliant students.

All graduating students and faculty members will be allowed to participate in our Winter Commencement ceremonies on December 11, including those from Averett Online (for whom the vaccine requirement did not apply because they are not on our campuses). Anyone unvaccinated will be required to provide a negative test result prior to participating in the ceremonies. More details are forthcoming.

As you know, we made these tough decisions to ensure we are doing what’s best for the safety of our employees, students and surrounding community. Please know that your area vice presidents, the members of the COVID-19 Core Campus team and I continue to be resources for concerns or questions, and we are working diligently to keep our campuses healthy and open.

Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation. Take good care, and stay safe.


Dr. Tiffany M. Franks

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccination and Flu Shot Clinics

The Virginia Department of Health is offering weekly COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Chatham on Mondays and in Danville on Tuesdays in October. Please find the full schedule below.

Chatham Health Department
200 H G McGhee Drive
Chatham, Virginia 24531
Mondays: 10/18/21, 10/25/21
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. = Moderna
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. = Pfizer

Danville Health Department
326 Taylor Drive
Danville, Virginia 24541
Tuesdays: 10/19/21, 10/26/21
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. = Moderna
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. = Pfizer

Also, VDH will be at the Farmer’s Market, 629 Craghead St., on Friday, Oct. 8, from 1-4 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 22, from 9 a.m. to noon, offering COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines and flu shots at no cost.

Office of Health Services: Hours this Week

This week, the Health Services Clinic will not have a nurse on site after noon on Thursday, Oct. 14, and will be completely closed on Friday, Oct. 15. Students with symptoms or COVID- should call the Health Triage Line at 434-203-3781 when the clinic is closed, which will still connect them with the nurse.


COVID-19 Discussion with Tammi Devlin

The recurring COVID-19 discussion with Tammi Devlin will be held at 4 p.m. today. Click here to join the discussion. For any immediate questions or concerns, contact Devlin at tdevlin@Averett.edu.



Muneal Published Again on Inside Higher Ed Site

Dr. Marc Muneal’s article “Another Trip Down Memoir Lane” appears today on Inside Higher Ed. The piece, offering further reflections on using memoir assignments in first-year literature classes during the pandemic, follows from “Memoirs Are Made of This,” published last year. Read the article here.



Averett Equestrian Combined Training Show

Averett’s Equestrian Department is hosting its Dressage and Combined Training show again after a COVID-19 hiatus.

This year we are bringing back the faculty and staff lead line class, as well as trick-or-treating for the kids on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 1:30 p.m. at the Equestrian Center.




Averett Diversity Project

As part of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work, we have a wonderful opportunity to showcase Averett’s diversity regionwide. In partnership with SOVAH Health, we have been asked to create an Averett mural as part of a much larger project. The ask is very simple:

  1. By October 18, we need you (students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees) to take a selfie that you feel demonstrates an aspect of your diverse identity – what makes you YOU! This could be a reflection of your race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, athletic team member, extra-curricular activity, academic major, career choice, first generation status – whatever you feel best represents you. Be creative!
  2. Send that selfie as an attachment to Tia Yancey at tyancey@averett.edu.
  3. We will then compile all the selfies into a banner design that best reflects a diverse Averett University.
  4. Our banner will be among dozens of other displays that will be unveiled at a ceremony on November 9th in Pritchett Auditorium from 4:30-6, hosted by SOVAH Health and Averett’s CCECC. We will have heavy refreshments available in the lobby. Please mark your calendars.

Spring 2022 Pre-Registration

It’s that time of year again! Students begin pre-registering for the Spring 2022 semester this month.

Prior to the pre-registration period, all students will meet with their advisors to discuss their continued course of study and to select courses for the next term(s).

Below, are the pre-registration dates and a description of HOLDS that prevent students from registering:

  • BOSR: Business Office HOLD- NOT Eligible to register (Students will need to contact Student Accounts at 434-791-5610)
  • LOIM: Immunization HOLD- NOT Eligible to register: Required immunization records needed (Students will need to contact Health Services at 434-791-5824)
  • REG: Registration HOLD- NOT Eligible to register: Transcripts and/or other required items are needed (Students will need to contact the Registrar’s Office at 434-791-5653)

Advising Day is Thursday, Oct. 21, and pre-registration starts Monday, Oct. 25, as follows:

  • Seniors (90+ Credits): 7 a.m. October 25-26
  • Juniors (60-89 Credits): 7 a.m. October 27-28
  • Sophomores (30-59 Credits): 7 a.m. October 29-30
  • Freshman (00-29 Credits): 7 a.m. October 31-November 1

For questions about the pre-registration process, contact Averett Central at 434-791-5600 or email us at averettcentral@averett.edu.

Spring 2022 African & African American Studies Courses

Upcoming spring semester courses in the African & African American Studies program will be offered in the disciplines of English (2), Sociology (2), Women & Gender Studies, Theatre, Health & Wellness, and French. Click on the link for course specifics. All students are welcome! Those students interested in pursuing a minor in African & African American Studies should speak with their advisors and/or contact Toni Gazda at agazda@averett.edu for more information.




Anytime, Anywhere

As a reminder, the Anytime, Anywhere model is being fully implemented as a project under the 2025 Strategic Plan in preparation for the spring semester. Your advisees received communication through Cougar Connection on Monday to introduce the option to take Averett Online courses.

Please review this fact sheet for faculty and advising form prior to Advising Day on October 21. See a list of Averett Online courses available here as a quick guide. As noted in this fact sheet, these courses will be listed along with the traditional courses in PCSS under 2022 Spring. Be sure to pay close attention to the designation of courses (/U01 for AU online) and the duration of the course to differentiate these options from traditional courses when helping your advisees.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Stephanie Patton at spatton@averett.edu.

Averett Theatre Presents: Scotland Road

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 7 p.m.
Pritchett Auditorium
Tickets free for Averett students and employees

The Averett Theatre Department presents “Scotland Road” by Jeffrey Hatcher. In the last decade of the twentieth century, a beautiful young woman in nineteenth-century clothing is found floating on an iceberg in the middle of the North Atlantic. When rescued, she says only one word: Titanic. The woman, Winifred, is taken to an isolated spot on the coast of Maine where an expert on the sinking of the liner, a mysterious man named John, has arranged to interrogate her for six days. His goal: to crack her story, get her to confess she’s a fake, and reveal her true identity; his one clue: her enigmatic references to an unknown place called “Scotland Road.” By the play’s end, one of the characters is dead, all the character’s identities have been questioned, and John and Winifred’s shared secret is revealed as they make one final journey to Scotland Road.

2021 Averett Cybersecurity Seminar

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, sponsored by NIST and NSA within the U.S. government. Averett’s 2021 Cybersecurity Seminar will be held on Friday, Oct. 22, from 8 a.m.-11 a.m.

This event is open in-person to Averett students and employees in Frith 209, as well as remotely on Zoom for the community. Presenters include:

Nathan Sable, Practice Manager of Cybersecurity and IT, GENEDGE
Gary Sheehan, CISO, Elon University
Tom Hendricks, Retired NSA and new Averett Adjunct Instructor
Dawn Hendricks, NSA
Chuck Sivley, CIO, American National Bank
Sam Fox,  Red Team Operations Manager, Black Lantern Security

Contact John Hoag at jhoag@averett.edu for questions and for the Zoom registration info.

Take Back the Night

Save the Date! On Monday, Oct. 25, from 6:30-8 p.m. on the Student Center Patio, we will host our annual TAKE BACK THE NIGHT, a program to raise awareness of rape and sexual assault. We will have interactive displays, guest speakers, a cookout and free swag (T-shirts, whistles, wristbands, buttons and more). Please come out and show solidarity against rape and sexual assault. View the flyer here: Take-Back-the-Night-Oct-2021.



Hybrid Halloween Costume Contest

It’s time to get spooky! Our Annual Halloween Costume Party will be, Thursday, Oct. 28 and will be in a hybrid format, similar to the contest last year. Our costume contestants will be displayed during our staff meeting. Voting will take place at the end of the staff meeting, and in the event it runs over, voting will take place by email after the meeting. Follow the directions below to enter the contest.

Costume Contests Categories:

Group Costume: Submit ONE group picture before 10 a.m. on October 28, or come to the MPR from 9-10 a.m. for us to take your picture for you. (Masks are required if you decide to come to MPR to take a photo.)

Individual Costume: Submit your picture before 10 a.m. on October 28, or come to the MPR from 9-10 a.m. for us to take your picture for you.(Masks are required if you decide to come to MPR to take a photo.)

Pet Costume: Please send your picture of your pet in costume before 10 a.m. on October 28. Feel free to be in the picture with your pet if you have outfits that go together.

There will be prizes given for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category.

Blood Drive

On Thursday, Nov. 4, Averett will host a blood drive in front of the Student Success Center. To donate you will need to sign up for a time at Health Services. If you have any questions, please contact Nathaniel Lake at nclake@averett.edu.


2021 Averett Invitational

Come and join us for a day at The Danville Golf Club on November 5!

Not a golfer? No problem! Come join us for a wonderful dinner buffet in their beautiful ballroom that afternoon while spending time with Averett Family & Friends.

Learn more here.


Teacher of the Year Meets with Education Students

The 2021 Teacher of the Year and Averett alumnus Anthony Swann made a visit to the Education Department earlier this month. He shared his inspirational journey of the challenges he faced earlier in his career and gave insightful advice for students pursuing a career in teaching. At a time where there is a shortage of teachers, he reassured students that this is a calling where lives will be changed and children will be impacted in a positive manner.

The Education Department is very grateful that he could return and share his story with students in the same program that helped start his career. His appearance took place during Homecoming Week and highlighted the many individuals that have moved on from their journey at Averett University to achieve success in their field and to leave a lasting impression on their colleagues and peers.

Biometric Screening & Flu Clinic

Be on the lookout for our dual biometric screening and flu clinic event in November! Our Wellness program is partnering with WebMD to begin hosting clinics for benefit eligible faculty and staff. This will not only allow you to track the progress of your health, but ensure that you take prominent steps toward a healthy future. Be on the lookout for updates about upcoming events. We hope that you will join us to ensure a healthier tomorrow.

We also have a new Instagram account to connect with you and keep you updated on upcoming events, news about WebMD, and nutritional facts and alternatives. Follow us @Averett_Wellness

Anthem Introduces Health Plan Participants to Brainshark

As we prepare the 2022 Open Enrollment (OE) for health benefits letter, coming to your Averett email next week, we wanted to give you a bird’s eye view of Anthem’s programs available to Averett  health plan participants via their Brainshark video (runtime is 11:07 minutes). Feel free to contact Tammy Wall at twall@averett.edu or 434.791.5679 with any benefits related questions.

Brainshark Link:  https://wcc.on24.com/webcast/previewlobby?e=3401045&k=E6292817D6314C9E220899549489CB08

A Zoom meeting schedule will be included in the OE information. The Zoom meetings will offer navigation tips within the new benefits portal, Empyrean, as well as addressing questions  before choosing and enrolling in your 2022 benefits plans.

Save the Dates for Open Enrollment for Health Benefits

The Averett University Open Enrollment time frame for eligible employees to enroll in health benefits (medical, dental and vision) is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 1, through Tuesday, Nov. 16.

To ensure you are registered in the portal, please open the link, click the register button and continue to follow the prompts to enter additional information and to verify your profile information already in the portal such as your mailing address. You will save time and some troubleshooting by registering now for a username and password instead of waiting until the open enrollment window opens.

Once you have registered, take a few minutes to look around the Empyrean site as it has a Resources page with Health and Welfare Contacts and a Documents Library of resources for you to learn about the programs offered through the VPCBC such as First Moms, Health Advocate, IngenioRX and LiveHealth Online, just to name a few.

Questions can be sent to Tammy Wall, senior accountant/benefits coordinator, at twall@averett.edu, or by calling 434-791-5679.

Register for WebMD if you are Eligible for the University Health Plan

There’s never been a better time to put your wellness first.

Whether you’d like to spend more time in nature or in the comfort of your home, the new well-being platform, powered by WebMD ONE, makes it easy to personalize your plan based on your unique interests, and we’ll be there to inspire you on your wellness journey every step of the way.

Discover health and happiness.

The new well-being platform will create a personalized experience based on your interests and point you toward proven resources:

  • Health Assessment – Receive a personalized report on your health along with steps to help you improve it.
  • Daily Habits – Set and track health goals through a personalized, mobile-first experience.
  • Media library – Watch videos and listen to podcasts on well-being topics.
  • Device and App Connection Center – Connect a fitness device or app to automatically upload your activity.
  • Personal Health Record – View all of your health information in one place.

How to log in to the new well-being platform:
Visit www.webmdhealth.com/vpc and click on “Create Account” to register. Your Registration ID is your date of birth in MMDDYYYY format followed by the last 6 digits of your SSN. (Example: 11151980123456). If you need assistance, call Customer Service: 866-513-2505.

Download our app, Wellness At Your Side. Work toward your well-being goals anytime, anywhere.

  1. Visit the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and search for “Wellness At Your Side.”
  2. Download and open the app, then enter your connection code: VPC

Look for wellness updates each week in CoffeeBreak!

Questions? Contact Bri Harris, wellness coordinator, at bdharris@averett.edu.

Averett 101: In the Eyes of First Year Students

President Franks and Joe Franks are continuing the tradition of hosting Averett 101 classes for dinners at the President’s House this fall. Please see some of the positive comments that were shared at recent dinners:

The teacher/student interaction is great.
There are lots of opportunities to be involved sports and classroom needs are balanced.
I like that I can get writing help in the Success Center.
I like the small class sizes – it’s easy to get to know people.
I like activities like open gym.
The campus is small and accessible.
I like that I like the club opportunities like Brother to Brother and the International Club.
I’m enjoying my work study in athletic concessions.
Study Hall really helps, four hours per week.