Averett CoffeeBreak 3-11-2020

Posted on March 11th, 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, March 13, for a Wednesday, March 18, publication.

Don Aungst Accepts Position of Vice President & Chief Financial & Operating Officer

We are very happy to announce that Don Aungst has accepted the position of Averett’s vice president and chief financial & operating officer. He brings more than 30 years’ experience serving as a vice president and chief financial planning officer in private higher education, 18 of which were with small colleges.

“After an exhaustive national search,” says Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, “we found the absolute best person for this position. Don is unassuming and highly personable, and he comes to us with an impressive and proven track record, as well as an enthusiastic commitment to Averett’s mission. He brings everything we want for this important position.

“When you see him on campus, be sure to introduce yourself and tell him, ‘Welcome.’ He is an astute listener who wants to know all of us, and I know you’ll be happy to know him.”

His most recent experiences include serving as vice president and CFO at Mercy College, Upper Iowa University, Capital University and Susquehanna University. He earned a B.S. in accounting with an additional concentration in computer science from Shippensburg [Pa.] University, and is a certified public accountant. Don and his wife, Peggy, are the proud parents of five children.

I am most grateful for the great work of our search committee – chaired by Professor Brian Turner along with Professor Ginger Henderson, Dr. Timothy Fulop, Coach Danny Miller, Admissions Director Joel Nester and Dean Lesley Villarose. In addition, I want to express appreciation to all the many faculty, staff, students and trustees who participated in the interview process for our finalists.

Please help me welcome Don and his wife Peggy to the Averett Family!

With appreciation,

Coronavirus Faculty and Staff Update Meeting

Dear Colleagues,

In order to keep all employees abreast of the most current information on the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the numerous and complex considerations for Averett, I want to acknowledge the concerns and questions many of you may have regarding the virus’ status and how Averett would respond should a more local impact ensue. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are of the utmost importance, and there are many discussions underway regarding how we can ensure the wellbeing of our campus community while maintaining our operations and educating our students.

I encourage each of you to join me and others from our Emergency Response Team on Thursday, March 12, at 11:15 a.m. in Blount Chapel. During this time, we will walk through some basic information about the virus, as well as scenarios of varying degrees of severity for which we are preparing.

I invite you to submit any questions you may have in advance by emailing Cassie Jones at cwjones@averett.edu by 6 p.m. today, March 11, and we will do our best to get through as many questions as possible during our time together. Your concerns are important to us, so please know we will work to address them either during this time or with follow-up communications.

I am grateful to our teams who have been working diligently to prepare us for potential effects from COVID-19, and am eager for them to share what they are working through with you Thursday. Meanwhile, we encourage all students, faculty and staff to follow the most current information and read through our FAQs by visiting Averett.edu/alert, or find live CDC updates right from your LiveSafe app.

Dr. Tiffany M. Franks

A Conversation of Purpose

As part of Averett’s strategic plan to grow enrollment in both the traditional and online programs, a four-part series will begin in mid-March to help all of our Averett faculty and staff prepare for this growth. Our sessions will be conducted by Roger Ott who has extensive experience helping colleges and universities grow. He has been working with Averett for a year-and-a-half on multiple projects to facilitate enrollment growth.

What: A Conversation of Purpose to influence the way we view our roles and communication.

Why: These sessions are designed to help us reimagine our roles and understand our impact on students and each other.

Who: All are encouraged to attend.

Where: Blount Chapel

When: All sessions will be held from noon to 12:45 p.m. starting today, March 11, as well as March 18, March 25 and April 1.

How long: 45 minutes each and attending all four sessions is strongly suggested. This will not replace your lunch so feel free to eat either before or after!

RSVP: Please click here

Sleep Series

Thank you to everyone who attended last week’s sleep program. If you haven’t already, please attest to your participation in the portal.

Today, March 11, week 3 of the sleep series will be held in Carrington Conference Room from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Please RSVP by emailing wellness@averett.edu.

Health Savings Account Transfers This Week

The transfer from Health Savings to HealthEquity should take place today, March 11, or Thursday, March 12. Please check your accounts on Friday, March 13, if you transferred.

SET Weekly Events

Spring Fling will be held beginning today, March 11, through Saturday, March 14! We look forward to seeing everyone come out and enjoying these events brought to you by the Student Government Association. Let’s have a roaring good time! The events are listed as follows:

Today, March 11, intramural basketball games will start at 6 p.m. in Carrington Gym. Come out and show support to the teams! For more information, contact Phillip Mitchell at pmitchell@averett.edu.

On Thursday, March 12, a talent show will be held at 8 p.m. in Pritchett Auditorium. Spoken Word Artist B- Love will be a special guest host. The first-place winner will receive $200, the second place winner will receive $100 and the third place winner will receive $50! Come out and see all the talent that our  cougars have!

On Friday, March 13, laser tag will be held in Carrington Gym at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, March 14, the Red Carpet Gala will be held at Stratford Conference Center, 149 Piney Forest Rd., from 8 p.m. to midnight. Come out and enjoy free food, music, casino games and a photo booth. Suggested attire is formal or semi-formal dress; no jeans. For students needing transportation, they can stop by the Student Engagement Office for assistance. Use this link to RSVP to the event.

On Tuesday, March 17, SGA will hold a meeting at 9 p.m. in the Student Engagement Office.

Upcoming Canvas Workshops

Given the uncertainly of the situation regarding the novel coronavirus, we should be thinking about ways faculty would be able to continue instruction should the campus have to be closed temporarily. If this occurs, our best option would be to utilize Canvas as a tool to facilitate the continuance of courses currently taking place in the classroom. This does not mean that any faculty member would be expected to make their entire courses fully accessible to students online. It simply means that you would be prepared to continue instruction by posting assignments and communicating with your students in Canvas during a short-term closure.

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to access and use Canvas, Susan Rowland will be offering some one-hour workshops over the next week:

  • Thursday, March 12: Bishop 304 at 3 p.m.
  • Friday, March 13: Bishop 302 at 8 a.m.
  • Monday, March 16: Bishop 304 at 4 p.m.

Please feel free to attend any workshop that your schedule allows. If you don’t see a time that is convenient for you, call Rowland at 434-791-7257 or email her at srowland@averett.edu to schedule an individual session.

Spring Career Development Workshop Series

Are you resume ready? Are you LinkedIn and Handshake ready?

An open resume review workshop will be held Thursday, March 12, from 11:15 a.m. to noon in Frith 205.

Students may follow this link to learn more. Contact Angie McAdams or Ryan Taube with any questions.

Wellness Events

On Friday, March 13, Tammy Wall will be hosting our Social Wellbeing: Chalk Couture. The themes of the crafts in this event will be spring and St. Patrick’s Day.

Please RSVP to either event by emailing wellness@averett.edu.

Arts in March

The 2020 Arts@Averett season continues with several events this month.

Dr. Phillips and Friends Concert: On Sunday, March 15, hear Dr. Janet Phillips at West Main Baptist Church at 2:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Spring Student Art Show: See a selection of student art work at Blount Library March 16-April 20.

Musical Theatre Cabaret: Enjoy hit songs from Broadway’s greatest musicals performed by the Theatre Department March 19-21 at 7 p.m. in Pritchett Auditorium. All faculty and staff receive two free tickets, and all Averett students are free. Community tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for students and senior citizens over 60.

Millennium Advisory Services’ Virtual Meetings

Take advantage of the enhanced options available to Averett employees through the 403(b) MEP retirement plan contract! Financial advisors from Millennium Advisory Services will be available to meet with employees who are interested in reviewing any questions pertaining to the Averett University retirement plan and their retirement account, going through Millennium’s financial planning process offered to all employees, and retaining Millennium for professional asset management of their retirement plan account(s).

Advisors will be available to meet virtually from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 20.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact Millennium’s Scheduling Team via phone at 877-435-2489, option 1, or via email at schedule@mcmva.com to schedule time to meet or speak with an advisor.

Millennium Advisory Services is a registered investment advisory firm that specializes in working with higher education institutions and their employees, providing education and advice services to retirement plan participants.

All Averett University employees are offered the opportunity to meet privately with an advisor to go through Millennium’s financial planning process and receive a personalized financial plan. This goal-based financial planning process is intended to help provide guidance on issues such as how much you should be saving for retirement, how your retirement account should be invested and whether you are on track to reach your personal retirement goals. Spouses/significant others are encouraged to participate, as well.

March Staff Meeting

The March staff meeting will be held Thursday, March 19, at 11:15 a.m. in the MPR.

If there is someone around campus who you think deserves recognition for their the hard work and dedication to the University, please send your Golden Bagel nominations to staffcouncil@averett.edu.

Habitat Spirit Night at Jersey Mike’s

Support the Danville Pittsylvania County Habitat for Humanity on Thursday, March 19, at Jersey Mike’s!


Cancer Awareness Series Coming Soon

A Cancer Awareness Series is coming to our campus on March 25, April 1 and April 8. Brian Pryce with the UVA Cancer Center will speak on all three topics. You can earn wellness points if you attend.

The first program in the series is on Wednesday, March 25, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the MPR. “Understanding Cancer” is an educational curriculum focused on informing community members about the cancer disease. The program provides an introduction to cancer by addressing topics on the disease. These topics include explaining how cancer develops in a person’s body, identifying cancer risk factors and prevention, cancer screening recommendations, cancer diagnosis and treatment options, supporting patient, cancer survivors and caregivers, and interpreting articles about cancer in the media.

The second program is set for 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, in the Averett Student Center. “Hitting Cancer below the Belt with UVA Cancer Center and VCU Massey Cancer Center. Let’s Talk: Guts & Butts.” Learn more about colorectal cancer and why early detection is so important, as well as screening options. Try some gut-healthy treats, get connected to community resources and stroll through the inflatable colon for some laughs and conversation.

The final program on Wednesday, April 8, is set for 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the MPR. “Finding the Right Health and Wellness Program for You; Nutrition and Exercise – Putting It All Together” is an hour-long program designed to help participants find that right balance of nutrition and exercise that best helps them meet their quality of life goals. At the conclusion of the program, each participant will leave with a basic outline of a health and wellness plan specifically tailored for them.

Contact Kathie Tune, ktune@averett.edu, for additional information.

Spring Career Fair

Averett is hosting a career fair Tuesday, March 31, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the MPR. Please encourage students to attend, and direct students to Angie McAdams or Ryan Taube at the CCECC with any questions.


Cougar Golf Classic

Create a golf team with your family, coworkers and friends for the annual URW Cougar Golf Classic. Novice golfers are welcome, because it’s all about a good time with friends and family! Tee times are available for Friday, June 12, at either 8 a.m. or 1 p.m. Come and enjoy the beautiful Goodyear Golf Course and support Averett Athletics at the same time!

There is a $400 entry fee per four-person team which includes 18 holes, cart fees, lunch and apparel. Hole sponsorships are also available if you aren’t into golfing and still want to support our student-athletes. Contact Bren Taylor by email or call 434-791-5677 for more information.

Social Media Survey: Coming Soon

A brief survey analyzing social media usage from the Office of Marketing and Communications is coming soon for all faculty, staff and students. The survey should take less than two minutes. Look for more information in next week’s CoffeeBreak!