Averett CoffeeBreak 10-28-2020

Posted on October 28th, 2020 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, Oct. 30, for a Wednesday, Nov. 4, publication.

Academic Calendar and Events Updates


Averett University’s Winter 2020 Commencement will be held on its established scheduled date of Saturday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m. for all May 2020, August 2020 and December 2020 graduates.

To maximize health precautions for COVID-19, the event will be held outdoors on Daly Field inside the Frank R. Campbell Stadium on Averett’s E. Stuart James Grant North Campus, 707 Mount Cross Rd. In the case of inclement weather, Commencement will be postponed until the following day on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 1 p.m. at the stadium.

To ensure social distancing, two tickets will be distributed to graduating seniors, and guests will be spaced out in seating on the field. To further limit exposure, there will also be no graduation rehearsal for students.

To keep all graduates, faculty, staff and guests safe, all University COVID-19 health and safety guidelines will be strictly enforced. All participants and attendees must wear an appropriate face covering and maintain social distancing. Failure to follow the guidelines will result in not being admitted to the event and or being asked to leave.

More information regarding the particulars of Commencement with be forthcoming. In the meantime, questions regarding commencement can be sent to Katie Johnston, kjohnston@averett.edu or Mary Sullivan, msullivan@averett.edu.

Spring 2021 Semester
The Spring 2021 semester will follow the published schedule, but to maximize safety precautions, Spring Break for the Traditional Program will be replaced by five days with no class that will be sprinkled throughout the semester. More information will follow. To honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the tradition of service, there will be no classes on MLK, Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18, to allow for service and other observances, but offices will be open.

Meet & Greet: Vice President of Philanthropy Finalists

Two remaining finalists for the position of vice president of philanthropy will be on campus for interviews today through November 3. There will be a “meet and greet” open session for faculty and staff who are not involved in the interviews to stop by Jut’s Café to meet and visit with either candidate as follows:

Vicki Stouffer – Today, Oct. 28, 3:30-4:15 p.m.
Stouffer recently served as vice president of institutional advancement. She has more than 17 years of advancement experience in the liberal arts, professional schools and various educational settings.

Mark Drozdowski – Monday, Nov. 2, 3:30-4:15 p.m.
Drozdowski recently served as senior executive counsel. He has 30 years of experience in higher education development and held senior roles in a variety of institutions.

If you prefer a virtual option or are not able to meet the candidate in person, we are providing a Zoom Meet & Greet as follows:

Vicki Stouffer – Thursday, Oct. 29, 11-11:30 a.m. (register)
Mark Drozdowski – Tuesday, Nov. 3, 11-11:30 a.m. (register)

This is a wonderful way for the finalists to experience the people of Averett and for our campus community to get acquainted with them. If you would like to review each candidate’s resume, please let Cyndie Basinger know. Dr. Franks is hopeful that many of you will be able to attend the open session, either in person or via Zoom, and welcomes you to email her with your impression of each candidate.

Open Enrollment Q&A

A reminder to check in with Kathie Tune or Tammy Wall with your open enrollment questions. In order to address your questions and concerns, we have scheduled Zoom meetings for the next three consecutive Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. We want to ensure that you have every opportunity to understand our benefit plans and all of your choices for 2021. The Zoom meeting schedule is as follows: October 28, November 4 and 11. Use this link to register to connect for the benefits coordinator meeting.

Kathie Tune is also available every Thursday from 10-11:30 a.m. via Zoom. Use this link to register for that meeting.

Hybrid Halloween Costume Contest

It’s time to get spooky! Don’t forget that tomorrow, Oct. 29, is our Hybrid Halloween Costume Contest. Follow the directions below to enter the contest.

Submit a picture or come to the MPR from 9-10 a.m. to get your picture taken. Submit pictures to staffcouncil@averett.edu. Pet costumes can only be submitted virtually, because no pets are allowed in MPR. Virtual/Decorated Zoom backgrounds will be judged during staff meeting. (No picture is needed to be entered into that contest.)

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.

Costume Contests Categories:

Group Costume: Submit ONE group picture before 10 a.m. on October 29, 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 29, 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 29. Feel free to be in the picture with your pet if you have outfits that go together.

Zoom Background Contest: Put together a virtual or handmade background to show off during the staff meeting. Your background will be judged during the  meeting.

Upcoming Tree Removal

In order to keep our community safe, we must remove a tree from the Main Hall lawn at the corner of West Main Street and Mountain View Avenue. While a beautiful part of campus grounds, the tree has become unhealthy and is deteriorating, so its removal is a matter of safety.

The removal will likely take place next week, depending on weather. We will keep the campus community updated with any roadside parking restrictions that may occur via LiveSafe.

Upcoming University Branding Survey

Very soon, all employees and students will receive an email inviting them to participate in an important project underway at Averett. We have retained Carnegie Dartlet, a leading reputation strategy firm, to conduct a consensus-building research project focused on promoting communication clarity and alignment for the institution. Their original methodology has been delivered at universities across the country with great success. The fundamental questions Carnegie Dartlet will answer are: Who is Averett University at its best? What does Averett University need to communicate to be most effective?

The survey is the first step, to be followed by interactive live workshops via Zoom, to begin defining the human personality and story of Averett. It will take about 15 minutes to complete. Your voice will help shape the University’s communication platform for years to come. Stay tuned, and please take the time to participate in this important work.

IT Assessment Rescheduled

Due to scheduling conflicts, Moran Technology Consulting (MTC) will begin an independent IT assessment for Averett University that will evaluate and review the current state of information technology services beginning November 3.

Over the next few weeks, MTC will be meeting with many of you to discuss your thoughts and ideas. Areas included in this IT assessment will be administrative systems, academic technology, infrastructure, culture, communications, IT governance, IT leadership, strategic planning and IT funding.

Thank you in advance for your participation in the IT assessment. If you have any questions, contact Don Aungst or Michael Boehm.

Join Us for a Virtual TRUTH Talk

The CCECC and the University of Virginia Cancer Center are hosting a virtual TRUTH Talk on Thursday, Oct. 29, via Zoom from 6-6:30 p.m. The topic is the HPV epidemic and its effects. To participate, register by using this link.

Panelists include Dr. Emma Mitchell, UVA assistant professor and community health nurse, and Janaye Oliver, Virginia Department of Health’s adolescent immunization program coordinator.

A raffle for several gift cards will be held at the end of the Q&A.


Election Q&A

Do you have questions or thoughts about the upcoming presidential election? If so, you are encouraged to attend our Election Q&A Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. on Zoom. Averett University Assistant Professor of Political Science & History Joshua Sperber will lead a discussion in which we address the relevant historical and procedural issues at play. All are encouraged to attend and participate.

Ride to the Polls

The CCECC will be shuttling any Averett student who needs a ride to the polling center on Tuesday, Nov. 3, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. We’ll have two vans (4-5 students each) making continuous loops. If you know a student who needs a ride, have them come to the CCECC. For questions, email bwooten@averett.edu or tyancey@averett.edu.


Habitat for Humanity Breakfast Fundraiser

Our local Habitat for Humanity chapter in Danville and Pittsylvania County is hosting a virtual breakfast fundraiser on Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Proceeds will go toward developing one of our most ambitious projects to date – the Habitat Village. Imagine how an entire community of homes for underserved populations could benefit our region and change the lives of deserving people. Please join us for a virtual breakfast and open your hearts (and wallets). We will have prizes throughout.

What’s Your Passion?

The Centers for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness are hosting an innovation workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the MPR. Free pizza and drinks provided! Come out and join our roundtable discussion of issues you care about and would like to pursue. Want to start a new business? Want to advocate for cleaner water? Any issue is fair game. Learn to be INNOVATIVE.

TEDxDanville Coming Soon

TEDxDanville will showcase the resilience of Danville,  transitioning from a “Milltown without a Mill” to an All-America City with a global competitive edge. Speakers will demonstrate the power of collaborative efforts and establish the tone for the future of the region through their work.

Diana Schwartz, executive director of the River District Association, will discuss entrepreneurship and the importance of positioning your city center (the River District) or downtown area for taking advantage of future and potential growth while enhancing quality of life. The River District Association has helped to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is positioning Danville’s small business community for a vibrant future.

Warrick Scott, founder and CEO of the Wendell Scott Foundation, will present the importance of STEM and the impact it can have on the region economically going forward. The Wendell Scott Foundation has created educational opportunities for K-12 students through STEM by using NASCAR simulations as a method of delivery.

Corrie Teague Bobe, director of economic development for the City of Danville, will demonstrate how the power of public and private collaboration helped the economy transition from a “Milltown without a Mill” to a vibrant All-America City, and the futuristic outlook. Bobe’s career began with the office of economic development in 2009 as research and marketing manager. She has seen textile companies close their doors while Danville battled to overcome the highest unemployment in the state and nation, to empowering entrepreneurship and development while embracing history.

TEDxDanville will video and present on the international TEDTalk platform; material will demonstrate economic and community development efforts through a collaborative approach.

To RSVP tickets are available on EventBrite.com search for TEDxDanville. For more information contact TEDxDanville co-chair Justin Ferrell at justin@shopwhereto.com.

The TEDxDanville event will be located at 319 Lynn St. on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 6 p.m.

Who are the Outstanding Alumni?

In the alumni office, we are working to connect alumni with Averett, and renewing our search for influential alumni with a special initiative. These are alumni that deserve awards, or could be supporting Averett with a monetary gift. Please take a moment to think of five alumni that love Averett and send those names to Dan Hayes by email or interoffice mail.

Averett 101: Through the Eyes of Freshmen

During every Averett 101 class each fall semester, the students go to the president’s house and enjoy a dinner with Dr. Franks and her husband, Joe. During that time, Dr. Franks asks the students what they love about Averett, and if they have any concerns. Throughout the year, we will be sharing some of the comments students shared with Dr. Franks and Joe about Averett!

“I love LINKS coffee shop downtown.”
“People here are really great.”
“There’s no better home-feeling university.”
“People make eye contact and greet you.”
“Wrestling is fun.”
“The weather is nice in Danville.”
“Professors really work with you.”
“I’m liking basketball.”
“The ethernet cables work better.”
“My labs are going ok – chemistry.”