Averett CoffeeBreak 8-31-22

Posted on August 31st, 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 Friday, Sept. 2, for a Wednesday, Sept. 7, publication.

Welcome Morgan Farmer!

I am excited to share that Morgan Farmer, BSN clinical coordinator at Averett, has accepted the position as assistant to the president and coordinator of partnership development. Morgan came to Averett in 2019 and coordinated all BSN student clinical placements as well as communication with our clinical partners. She will support the work of the President’s Office with special projects and emerging initiatives, assist with preparing executive communications, lead formal and informal digital presentations, social media communications, as well as event planning for internal and community relations. She will also continue the work of partnership development for the University. Welcome, Morgan!


Tiffany Franks

Welcome Dr. Jeremy Groskopf to the Library, Archives

We are pleased to have Dr. Jeremy Groskopf join the Blount Library staff as archives and document delivery specialist. Jeremy has taught courses in communications, video games and film studies at Averett including topics as diverse as Disney and Dr. Who. He has a background in history and archival work and brings a fresh perspective to our library programming and services.

Deadline Tomorrow – VPEMM Survey

The search process is underway for our VP for Enrollment Management and University Marketing (VPEMM). I am grateful to the following members of our community who have agreed to serve on the Search Committee: Coach Desiree Driver, Pam Harris, Dr. James Hodgson, Joel Nester, Shannon Stone, John Vigouroux, Josh Williams and Dr. Venita Mitchell, Chair.

Your perspectives are important to me and to the Search Committee and we invite your feedback about the characteristics most desired in the ideal candidate for this key position. We have created an “Ideal Candidate Survey” to gather this information in a totally confidential manner. We are seeking input from all faculty and staff.

I would be most appreciative if you would be willing to complete the Ideal Candidate Survey found via the link below. When you hit “send,” your completed survey goes directly to the President’s Office where it will be compiled and reported in aggregate. This enables your confidential input to be a part of framing our search. This survey will take only a few minutes of your time and please accept my sincere gratitude.

Here is the link to the survey.

You may also access a copy of the position announcement by clicking here. We strived to shape the position so that it captures the VPEMM role not only for today, but into the future. You will see there’s emphasis on experience with new and emerging technologies to aid in personalization of recruiting strategies. Also, you will see the position has been restructured to include oversight of Marketing and Communications for the institution. Structuring this key area under enrollment management moves us to a stronger position because no position generally has more of a handle on the marketplace and marketplace needs than this role. When they are separated, there’s a lot more work to be done to drive integrated strategy, overall campus wide integration and makes accountability more difficult.

Hurry! This survey closes Thursday, Sept. 1.

Thank you very much for your feedback with this important search.


Tiffany M. Franks


Your Input Needed – VPAA Search

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to share that we are ready to launch the search for our next VP of Academic Affairs. We will be partnering with Coleman Lew Canny Bowen (CLCB), an executive search firm, to assist with this search. They have conducted numerous searches for key leaders at colleges and universities across the country.

Shana Plott, the CEO of the firm, and Chris Shade, a consultant who specializes in higher education searches, will be with us on campus September 15 and 16. They will conduct a comprehensive listening tour with stakeholders across campus and we want to hear from you about the ideal candidate profile. Your insight is critical, and I hope you will make every effort to participate in the process.

I am confident we are embarking on a comprehensive process that will ultimately lead to us selecting a stellar next leader for Academic Affairs.

All faculty and staff are invited to participate in one of three open sessions. Faculty Open Sessions are planned for Thursday, Sept. 15, from 1:45-2:45 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 16, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. In addition, there is an Open Session for both Staff and Faculty on Friday, Sept. 16, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. All Open Sessions will be held in the Multipurpose Room, Student Center.

Thank you,

Tiffany M. Franks

Brownouts and Campus Amenities


On Saturday, Aug. 27, Averett’s Main Campus experienced a brownout. This was an unintentional drop in electricity in the power supply system. Brownouts affect the power supply system far different than a blackout, where there is total loss of electricity. In short, brownouts cause even more damage to the system than a blackout does. As a result on Saturday, internet systems, chillers, printers, computer systems and anything tied to the network went down.

The issue when a brownout occurs is it takes longer to get systems restored and back online, resulting in longer wait times for rooms to cool, the internet to work and for computerized systems to respond correctly. Averett’s facilities team and HES Facilities along with IT worked in tandem over the weekend to restore all of Averett’s systems.

It is also important to know that when computer issues occur, whether campus has lost power or not, the Helpdesk should be the first call. Never attempt to unplug any device. Unplugging devices without consulting the proper channels can create more issues resulting in longer wait times for devices to be restored.


Bruce Devlin
Director of Facilities

Payroll Deadline

In the observance of Labor Day, all timesheets will be due to payroll on Friday, Sept. 2, by 3 p.m.



Bookstore Hours

The Schoolfield Booksellers hours are as follows for September:

Monday -Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturdays for September:

September 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
September 10 CLOSED
September 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
September 24 CLOSED

Averett Coffeehouse Lecture Series Kicks Off Next Week

Join the Averett Coffeehouse lecture series for the first presentation on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. in the MPR to hear Assistant Professor in the Department of Music Dr. Janet Phillips. Her presentation is entitled, “Striking Up the Band: The Hows, Whats, and Whys of a University Band Program at Averett.”

Dr. Janet Phillips started a brand new band program from scratch seven years ago. She will show, through photos, videos, and stories, how it was done, why her passion for band and music in general is so strong, what has made it all possible, who inspired her, and how the program looks moving forward.

First Responders Luncheon

Moving the Needle Continues

Fall 2022 marks the beginning of the second year of our Moving the Needle on student retention initiative. Many thanks to our four module teams for their efforts thus far. Curious about their work? See the insert for team member names, ask them about their efforts and how you can help.





Interested in Football Games from the President’s Suite?

Football season is almost upon us! There will be limited space available in the President’s Suite this year for home football games, but we hope to have an opportunity to invite members of our faculty and staff. If you have interest in coming to the President’s Suite for one of the home games listed below, please respond to pressuite@averett.edu and list the games for which you are available. We hope to enjoy the opportunity for fellowship with as many as possible, and encourage you to respond as soon as possible.

Saturday, Sept. 3, 6 p.m. – Apprentice School
Saturday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m. – Shenandoah University
Saturday, Nov. 5, 1 p.m. – Guilford College

Travel is Back!

The Annual Averett Study Abroad Fair will be held on-campus Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room. Faculty and staff, spread the word to students and stop by yourself! Learn how to apply for a passport, maximize financial aid and scholarship opportunities, and realize the career benefits of an abroad experience! Study abroad alumni, international program providers and study abroad advisors will be available to answer questions. Don’t miss the raffle prizes and goody bags! Register for updates and raffles drawings. Browse our new website!


Two Nursing Students Receive “Green Light”

In a partnership between Averett’s School of Nursing and the CCECC, Nursing students Alyssa McNeil, at left, and Katheryn Shrader completed our pilot Green Light Program and received the “green light” to take the NCLEX. Both passed as a result.

This program allows nursing students to take the virtual ATI NCLEX training. Once the VATI is completed and the green light received, nursing students have a 92% or greater probability of passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Both Averett students did just that. Students who complete the virtual training and receive the green light receive a grant to pay for their NCLEX fees and travel expenses to take the exam. Many thanks to Dr. Karen Oaks and Dr. Billy Wooten for collaborating on this program. For more information, please contact Dr. Karen Oaks at 434-791-7220 or koaks@averett.edu.

Averett Advantage – A Summer Success

Averett Advantage, a partnership between Averett’s Student Success and the CCECC, launched this summer and recently wrapped up its pilot run with over 100 new first-year students. Averett Advantage is a program designed to help incoming first years better acclimate to college life and make the transition from high school to college.

The two-week Canvas course and the weekend in-person program contains well over 40 modules that include math, reading and writing proficiency exercises, public speaking, study skills, college jargon, Averett resources and financial planning.

We saw over 87% participation, and many students in Averett 110 report feeling well-prepared as a result. With some slight modifications, Averett Advantage will be offered every summer. Many thanks to Dr. Billy Wooten, Joy Durham-Carthen, Holly Kilby and Fred Betts.

Health Services Update

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Averett University Health Services Open House set for Thursday, Sept. 1 has been postponed to a date to be determined. Please watch CoffeeBreak and Cougar Connection for any updates.

For Friday, Sept. 2, Health Services will be closed. Any staff or student with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test should call the triage phone at 434-203-3781 to speak with Health Services Director Tammi Devlin. There will also be COVID-19 home tests outside of the office.

It’s Wellness Wednesday!

It’s the first official week of competition for our stepping aficionados! I hope you all got to form a routine of getting some steps in daily during the warm up week. I wish you all the best during this week and try your best to get at least 10,000 steps a day! (As recommended by the American Heart Association)

Some extra motivation….

Walking daily can lower the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancer and strokes. It is also a great way to help strengthen your bones and muscles while improving cardiovascular fitness and mental clarity. Please feel free to contact me at by email or 434-791-6882

Good luck!


Monkeypox Information

Click the image at left for the latest information regarding the monkeypox outbreak. For questions, click here to email Director of Health Services Tammi Devlin.