Averett CoffeeBreak 11-23-22

Posted on November 23rd, 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 Monday, Nov. 28, for a Wednesday, Nov. 30, publication.

Farewell, Tammi and Christy

Tammi Devlin, our inaugural director of health services, established our Health Services clinic in fall 2021. She has been instrumental in helping Averett manage COVID and student heath since arriving. Her expertise and commitment to student health and our campus community will be missed.

Tammi’s passion is working with the older generation in nursing homes and managing a nursing staff. She will be returning to this vocation. Teresa Barker, MSN, RN will join Averett on December 1 as the new director of health services.



Christy Mayes, director of counseling services who also joined Averett in fall 2021, has been our sole provider supporting student mental health this semester. Christy is leaving Averett at the end of the semester to pursue her own private practice. Atticia Bundy, Ph.D., NCC, LCMHCS will join Averett as the new director of counseling services on Jan. 1, 2023.

A joint farewell reception to thank them both Tammi and Christy for their work supporting student success here at Averett will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 3:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Student Center.

Thanksgiving Starts Early This Year!

Dear Colleagues,

As we prepare for Thanksgiving festivities, I am overwhelmingly thankful for our Averett Family and give thanks for our many blessings at Averett. Your gifts of time, talents and treasures are so deeply appreciated and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you give to Averett.

With much appreciation, everyone is invited to begin their holiday starting at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23.

Joe joins me in wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving and joyous holiday season ahead.



Important Update Regarding Future Winter Commencements

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying the short week and preparing for a lovely holiday weekend. I am writing to let you all know about the changes to future Commencement plans at the University in the event that you have questions or if students come to you with concerns.

After this December Commencement ceremony, the University will be moving to having only a May Commencement. Students will still be able to have their degrees conferred in August and December with an opportunity to participate in the following May ceremony. The following email will be sent to a targeted list of students who will be graduating within the next year or so.

I am writing to share with you an important update regarding Averett University’s future commencement plans. You are receiving this communication because of your current status as a candidate for graduation within the next year.

Commencement is a significant milestone for graduates, their families and all the faculty and staff who have helped them achieve this goal. As the University’s premier event, graduation requires significant planning and utilizes expansive resources. In order to ensure that Averett graduates receive the best possible experience celebrating alongside all those completing their educational milestones, the University is moving to only one Spring Commencement ceremony each year. Averett will hold its last Winter Commencement this December. Spring Commencement 2023 will be held in May, followed by Spring Commencement in May of 2024. Candidates for degree completion in August or December will still be certified at the point in which they have achieved all degree requirements, but will have the opportunity to walk in the following Spring Commencement exercises.

This decision was made after much research and evaluation. We want each and every Averett graduate and their guests to have the fullest experience possible and to revel in their big moment walking across the commencement stage. Moving to this model ensures we can achieve the ultimate success for such an illustrious and commemorative event.

As always, our doors are open if we can help support your progress and nurture your success here at Averett University. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and a successful completion of this fall semester.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Thank you,


Wreaths for a Cause

Wreaths for a Cause is open now at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) through Thursday, Dec. 15, when a live and silent auction will be held will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Averett has a wreath on display, and the money raised from this auction will go toward the Cougar Cares fund.





Angel Tree Celebration

Join us for our annual Angel Tree Celebration on Monday, Nov. 28, from 5-6:30 p.m. in Carrington Gym. Click the flyer at left for more information.

If you have any questions, please email Tia Yancey.





Final Week: Averett Fall Semester Student Art Exhibition

The Averett Fall Semester Student Art Exhibition ends next week on Friday, Dec. 2 in the Mary B. Blount Library.

The Averett Art Department would like to extend an invitation to the public and to the Averett Family to view the fall 2022 art exhibition showcasing work from the drawing, printing and ceramics classes. This particular exhibition is dedicated to the late Robert Marsh (1944-2022).

This exhibition focuses on new ways of looking – the printing and drawing classes specifically concentrated on microscopic views and macro or satellite photographs to inspire compositions. Please leave a comment, and feedback in the book provided in the library. The library is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Save the Date: Averett Giving Tuesday

To our Averett Family,

We are excited to be a part of National Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 to focus on celebrating philanthropy, volunteerism and community service. This is a day, after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which has grown into a global movement encouraging people to do good. Each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people can reflect and act on the importance of generosity.

As faculty and staff – we more than anyone else – are keenly aware of the University’s ongoing and future needs. We see our students’ journeys and through giving, we have a profound influence on external support, demonstrating our commitment to a strong and vital University.

Take your steps in this journey by making a minimum gift of $50 or more and receive a token of our appreciation with a pair of limited-edition, Averett branded socks.

Donate Now!

Volunteers Needed for Late Night Breakfast

As we near the end of this semester, we gain another opportunity to fellowship with our student body. On Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 10 p.m.-midnight, we will have Late Night Breakfast in the Cougar Den. As you know, we have a new dining service provider so this may look a little different this year, however, we will need volunteers as always. Email Nate Lake if you wish to volunteer that night or if you have any further questions.


Averett Celebrates Christmas

Join us for Averett Celebrates Christmas Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. for a free concert in Pritchett Auditorium in the Violet T. Frith Fine Arts Center. Enjoy this annual festival of old and new holiday favorites with the Averett Music Department’s ensembles and special guests.




Dr. Betty Heard Christmas Readings

Linda Lemery, retired circulation manager at Averett’s Mary B. Blount Library, was a long-time staff and adjunct faculty member of Averett. Lemery has led the Betty Heard Christmas Readings for several years, and delights children with her lively Christmas tales. The late Dr. Betty Heard was a dear friend and Averett colleagues, and was our first reader for the children. Because of her love for children’s literature and the Christmas Readings, we named this special night at Averett in her memory. Join Lemery Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in the MPR.




Join Us for a Christmas Party!

Averett faculty, staff and retirees (plus a guest) are invited for a Christmas Party hosted by Tiffany and Joe Franks on Thursday, Dec. 8, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at 500 Hawthorne Drive.

Please respond to Cyndie Basinger at [email protected], and include your guest’s name.





Lighting Upgrades Continue on Campus

Lighting upgrades are happening throughout Averett’s Main Campus. Beginning today, Nov. 23, crews will be working in the Student Center, Bishop Hall and Frith Hall. Be sure to check them out!




New Water Dispensers

Students asked and we listened! Now available across campus, with more on the way, are water bottle filling stations. Averett has now switched out the old water fountains in the Grant Center, Fugate, Bishop and Danville and added the bottle filling stations similar to those in Main Hall.




Commencement Volunteers Needed

If you would like to volunteer to help with the December commencement, please email Debbie Pike. We need volunteers to help collect tickets, seat special guests, wear the Cougar costume and to help out where needed. Graduation will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Tuition Remission Form

A reminder to complete and submit your Tuition Remission form (available here) if you, your spouse or a dependent are planning on enrolling in spring and/or summer classes 2023.

Call or email Kathie Tune ([email protected]) with your questions. The forms are due by the ADD/DROP date of each semester or they may not be accepted.

Soon, the form will be available on the HR SharePoint drive.

VTAG: Help Our Students

Help our Virginia Students!

Every Virginia resident receives $4,500 in the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG) to attend Averett University. In order to keep these funds available for students and at its current amount, we need your help! Please take five minutes of your time to write an electronic “Thank you for VTAG” note to your legislative body. It is important for our leaders to know how important this grant is for our students and families.

  1. Please click here.
  2. Put in your correct address
  3. Once your address and local officials are input, click the “Take Action” button toward the top. This will lead you to the page you can write in (in 2 boxes now) to your specific legislators and tell them how much we need VTAG. Make sure when you finish, at the bottom, under College Affiliation to put: Averett University.

You may also stop by the cafeteria and fill out your letter during lunch in the coming week with Admissions/Financial Aid.

Talking Points

  • Introduce yourself. Students should mention where they attend college, major and future career plans. Parents should provide some general information about themselves, along with the college, major and future career plans of their children attending a Virginia private college. Alumni should mention their alma mater and current career information.
  • Thank them for their support of TAG. The current TAG award is $4,500 for undergraduate students
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Strongly urge the Governor and General Assembly to make TAG a priority by increasing TAG funding in the budget. Virginia’s private colleges strongly encourage the Governor to increase funding to the TAG award.

Emergency Protocols

The following is the Emergency Protocol Procedure for Facilities. Please be sure to utilize on-call and security for after hours and all weekend issues. They will get the correct person to respond promptly. Click the picture for more.




Averett 110: In the Eyes of First Year Students

President Franks and Joe Franks are continuing the tradition of hosting Averett 110 classes for dinners at the President’s House this fall. Please see some of the positive comments that were shared at recent dinners:

“The campus size is convenient to get places.”
“I like the events like bingo.”
“The community of Danville is friendly.”
“The people in the community have your back – they like Averett.”
“I like the small class sizes.”
“Lots of resources – easy to get help.”
“I like the tutors.”
“It’s easy to talk to people.”
“People are friendly and accepting of me.”
“The football coaching staff really cares about me as a person and student.”

A Word about Injuries at Work and Workers’ Compensation

Averett University has an obligation to all of its employees, including student employees, to prevent injuries on the job. However, when an employee is injured on the job, the protocol is to dial 911 if immediate attention is needed, while also ensuring someone contacts their supervisor, who will report the injury to security (434-791-5888) and Human Resources (434-791-7106).

Workers’ Compensation information is provided for all employees on the posters located in offices across the campus including North Campus, Riverview, the Airport and the Equestrian Center. In addition, a list of medical facilities (known as the panel of physicians) is listed on the SharePoint Drive in the HR department section.

The area providers listed at this link are for reference when treatment is not considered an emergency but necessary. As well, if you are located in an area where a MedExpress type facility is located, please seek medical attention where the facility is conveniently located to your office or home, especially if you are working in a remote work position. Separate panels have been created for the Equestrian Center, and the region around the Richmond office and the Norfolk ABSN campus location. Those lists will be available on the SharePoint HR drive.

Once a report is made, the HR office records that information with Traveler’s Insurance, the University’s Worker’s Comp carrier. A claim number is assigned which will be forwarded to the injured employee. An insurance adjuster or a nurse agent (check the term) will contact you soon thereafter.

For additional information and guidance, please contact Chief Human Resources Office Kathie Tune at [email protected].

Wellness Wednesday Updates

Kudos to all who participated in the biometric screening and flu shot clinic. Don’t  forget you can log points in the wellness portal for attending!

Speaking of points, remember to make the hamburger icon in the top right of the portal your best friend. Under this icon you can find all the tabs that will help you navigate the system. Be sure to check out the rewards tab to log points you have earned throughout 2022., and don’t forget about the easy points, like listening to the wellness podcasts.

Finally, make sure you spend some quality time with friends and family over the break. Happy Thanksgiving!