Averett CoffeeBreak 5-12-21

Posted on May 12th, 2021 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, May 14, for a Wednesday, May 19, publication.

From the COVID Coordinating Team: Summer Health and Safety Guidelines

Summer Session is here and we are thankful the number of faculty, staff and students who have been vaccinated continues to grow, COVID related incidents are extremely low, and COVID related restrictions are beginning to be reduced by the Governor. We are pleased to announce the following updates:

  • Everyone in the Averett community is to continue to fill out your daily LiveSafe health questionnaire, maintain social distancing and keep your hands and workspaces clean.
  • For employees who are fully vaccinated, you may remove your face covering outdoors or when meeting with others indoors who are all fully vaccinated. During outdoor events and indoor gatherings, for which we are not certain that all attendees are fully vaccinated, everyone will still be required to wear face coverings.
  • Unvaccinated employees should continue to wear their face coverings when outdoors as well as indoors when in the presence of others.
  • Visitors, including those on campus tours and admissions visits, will be required to wear face coverings at all times.

Thank you all for maintaining vigilance regarding COVID-19 health protocols – you are helping keep our campus and one another safe!

Second Dose Vaccination Clinic

For those who received their first dose at our on-campus vaccination clinic in April, don’t forget the upcoming second dose clinic on Friday, May 21. More details to follow.

Rescheduled COVID-19 Discussion with Kathie Tune

The recurring COVID-19 discussion with Kathie Tune is now being held on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Click here to register in advance. For any immediate questions or concerns, contact Kathie Tune at 434-791-7106 or by email.



School of Nursing Faculty Updates

Averett School of Nursing Dean Dr. Pamela Giles, who joined Averett in 2014, has accepted the position of founding dean of the Ward School of Nursing at Bryan College. Her last day at Averett will be May 20, 2021. Dr. Giles’ accomplishments at Averett are significant as she established a firm foundation for a very new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, achieved accreditation and was instrumental in starting both the MSN in family nurse practitioner program, emergency nurse practitioner post-graduate certificate, and the accelerated BSN program in Norfolk, which enrolled its first cohort of ABSN students last week. The University is grateful to Dr. Giles for all of her work to move the School of Nursing forward and we wish her well in her future endeavors.

Kelly Fuller, assistant professor of nursing at Averett since 2017, is taking a position at the United Health Corporation as a family nurse practioner, a certification she earned while teaching at Averett. She will continue to be connected to Averett as an adjunct instructor as she did from 2015-2017. We wish her well as she begins a new career as a nurse practitioner.

Mary Sullivan Receives Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Certification from Cornell University

Congratulations to Mary Sullivan who recently completed Cornell University’s online Diversity and Inclusion Certificate program. The eight week program consisted of four courses: Counteracting Unconscious Bias, Diversity and Inclusion at Work, Fostering an Inclusive Climate and Improving Engagement.

Publication of New Book

Dr. Ralph Hawkins, professor and chair of religion, has just published a new book, “Discovering EXODUS.” This volume is a concise introduction to the interpretation of the book of Exodus. It encourages in-depth study of the text and deliberate grappling with related theological and historical questions by providing a critical assessment of key interpreters and interpretative debates. It draws on a range of methodological approaches (author-, text- and reader-centered) and reflects the growing scholarly attention to the reception history of biblical texts, increasingly viewed as a vital aspect of interpretation rather than an optional extra.

Throughout Discovering Exodus, Hawkins gives strategies for reading the book of Exodus, including archaeological criticism. He also reviews key issues raised by Exodus and connects these issues to questions of how this important Old Testament book should be interpreted today.

VP Search Feedback

Thank you to all who attended some or all of the meet and greets for our four Vice President of Student Engagement and Senior Student Experience Officer finalists. Please email your impression of each candidate to Cyndie Basinger at cbasinger@averett.edu no later than tomorrow, May 13, using this candidate comment sheet. 

Thank you for your participation in this very important process, and thank you to the search committee – led by Dr. Carly Pearce and includes Ms. Emma Olsson, Ms. Holly Kilby, Dr. Jenny Wagstaff, Dr. Marc Muneal, Dr. Melanie Lewis, and Ms. Tia Yancey – who have done such great work to bring these wonderful candidates to our campus.


Dr. Tiffany M. Franks

Summer Courses

Please reach out to your advisees who may benefit from summer courses, which may allow a student to avoid academic probation/boost GPA, earn credits to move into the next class ranking, take a course to fulfill grad school prerequisites or benefit in various other ways. The first classes begin May 19.

Please inform students that the courses cost $350 per credit hour and they should contact Averett Central with inquiries regarding financial aid. More information, including a link to a list of summer courses and session dates, is found here; however, a more detailed description of the courses is available on PC Self-Service. Most of the courses are online in an accelerated format of four to eight weeks, but a few options are offered on campus. Please advise students to be aware of the format of the course (on campus, synchronous, asynchronous) when registering.

As an alternate to reaching out to particular advisees, please consider sending a blanket email to your advisees including a link to the list of courses and some benefits to be sure our students are aware of the options we are offering this summer. Please also be encouraged to regularly check your advisee list on PC Self-Service to approve new registration changes. For questions, contact Stephanie Smith, assistant professor of biological sciences, at spsmith@averett.edu.

University Book Club: New Location, Time

On Thursday, May 20, the Averett University Book Club will meet socially distanced and in person with a new time. For the warmer months, our new location will be the Averett Bookstore porch at 5 p.m. There are some chairs but you may feel comfortable bringing your own. Also, please wear your mask! No books assigned. We share what we are reading!

We meet for approximately one hour. The book club is open to Averett students, staff, faculty, retirees and alumni. If you have questions, please feel free to email Penny Hudson, Linda Lemery or Liz Cervantes.

Derck & Edson Cougar Golf Classic

Do you golf, or do you just like being outside and enjoying friends and coworkers? Join us for the 2021 Derck & Edson Cougar Golf Classic on Friday, June 11. Tee times throughout the day. See the flyer for registration information.

Commencement 2021 Held Saturday

For the first time from the Frank R. Campbell Stadium, Averett University conferred degrees of almost 200 graduates outdoors on Saturday, May 8, from its E. Stuart James Grant North Campus.

The graduating class of 2021, aged 20 to 60, includes 17 veterans and seven international students from Australia, Bahamas, Canada, Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom. At least 40% of the graduates are first-generation college attendees.

For more on this story, click here.

Retirees, Faculty and Staff Members of the Year Recognized

Thanks to all who attended our annual Faculty, Staff and Retiree Appreciation Celebration on Thursday, May 6.

For a recap on the ceremony that celebrated your milestones and accomplishments and honored retirees, click here.

Nurse Pinning, First Nurse White Coat Ceremony Held

We added yet another meaningful tradition to our end-of-year roster of celebrations with our first-ever nurse practitioner white coat ceremony – an event following the annual Nurse Pinning Ceremony for the 2021 nursing graduates.

During the 2021 National Nurses Week, the School of Nursing held both ceremonies on May 7 at our Riverview Campus downtown.

For more on this story, click here.

First Senior Celebration Held

The Office of Institutional Advancement held its first ever Senior Celebration Cookout Thursday, May 6. More than 20 seniors participated and received a T-shirt and meal. Alumni Board President Jackson Weller ’01 shared with seniors his personal story of what the Averett Family means to him.

Vice President of Philanthropy Melissa Wohlstein offered seniors a warm welcome into the Alumni Association, and congratulations on completing their degrees.

Averett Participates in Visit by First Lady of Virginia

Commonwealth of Virginia’s First Lady, Pamela Northam, was in Danville last week to recognize educators for Teacher Appreciation Week. Averett’s Department of Education was invited to meet with her at Danville Community College’s Early Learning Center.
Averett Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success Dr. Timothy Fulop, Chair of the Education Department Dr. Nancy Riddell, Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Nina Huff and several teacher candidates participated in the recognition ceremony.

Education Students Present History Units to Museum

Six juniors from the Department of Education presented local history units to the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History (DMFAH) Tuesday, May 4. Each unit is a plastic storage bin containing educational resources for students and teachers. Students Morgan Jones, Jordan Bennett, Kaitlyn Ritchie, Morgann Dills, Makayla Woods and Sarah Toothman, created the units in their history methods class for kindergarten through fifth grade students in Danville Public Schools.

DMFAH Director Elsabe Dixon noted these are the first type of local history ties available to area teachers following the 2019 creation of the 1960s Danville civil rights movement timeline. She also said Rachel Fehrnstrom with the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired will be working with the museum to add in content for students who are blind or visually impaired.

For more on this story, click here.

Partner Appreciation

The Averett University Department of Education would like to recognize our partners for going above and beyond during the pandemic. We would especially like to thank Steven Mayhew of Pittsylvania County Schools, as well as Mona Whittle of Danville Public Schools. They were distinguished earlier this year as honorary members of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education at our bi-annual Celebration of Success.

These individuals have always ensured our students were able to have placements, whether virtually or physically in the classroom. This was a huge responsibility during times of great uncertainty. In addition, we would like to thank all of the clinical educators for volunteering to accept an extra responsibility. Many teachers did not have any experience teaching in a virtual environment, so they were still learning themselves. These individuals are truly inspiring and embody the heart and dedication of the teaching profession.