Averett CoffeeBreak 8-4-21

Posted on August 4th, 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, Aug. 6, for a Wednesday, Aug. 11, publication.

Health and Safety Protocols for Fall 2021

Dear Students and Colleagues,

I hope you have had a relaxing and safe summer and are excited for a successful academic year ahead.

I am reaching out on behalf of the Campus COVID-19 Coordination Team with updates on our health and safety protocols for the Fall 2021 semester. Averett University was very successful in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 last year. We remain committed to providing a safe and healthy campus experience this semester, continuing some of the best practices from last year while providing a more robust in-person campus experience this fall.

We have prepared a comprehensive plan for this semester which will be available soon. Meanwhile, we wanted to share the key takeaways with you as we prepare to enter the busy month of August.

Averett strongly urges all students, faculty and staff (who are able) to get vaccinated. This is the best way for us to protect ourselves and keep one another safe.

A vaccination clinic in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will be held on campus on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, and will be open to all students and employees. We will track vaccination statuses for all students and employees to make informed decisions on future health and safety protocols.

All on-campus students and returning employees must undergo COVID-19 PCR testing at a pharmacy or health care provider’s office within three days of your return to campus, or at the on-campus testing event on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. All other employees must get a COVID-19 PCR test prior to August 20 or at the testing event.

The University will assess testing results at the end of August and will consider adjusting restrictions, depending on campus COVID-19 incident data as well as regional COVID-19 activity and health and safety recommendations by the CDC, local VDH officials and the Governor’s executive orders related to the pandemic. Additional future testing may be required at various intervals.

Click here to view some Frequently Asked Questions regarding the University’s testing strategy.

Face Coverings
Because of the increase in new variant COVID-19 incidents and since we are reuniting from many areas of the country and world, all students, employees and visitors must wear face coverings during the month of August 2021 when indoors with others and outdoors when social distancing is not feasible. Any adjustments regarding the use of face coverings will be communicated to campus prior to September 1. We are hopeful vaccinated students and employees will no longer need to wear face coverings from that point forward.

Daily Self-Monitoring
All students and employees must complete daily health self-checks via LiveSafe to assess for any COVID-19 symptoms. Once the assessment is completed, users will receive an email each time that indicates that they have completed their health self-check for the day. Students will need to share their check-mark results with professors for each in-class sessions and at times upon entering other employee areas.

If a student answers “yes” to any of the questions and receives the red ‘X’ at any point, you should call the Averett Health Triage Line at 434-203-3781 to reduce the risk of transmission of disease to other students and to seek support regarding next steps. Employees who receive the red ‘X’ at any point should continue to follow our protocol of contacting your department/division head or supervisor and the Director of Human Resources.

Classes and Campus Life
Classes in the Averett traditional program will return to predominant face-to-face instruction with some protocols from our previous semester staying in effect for the Fall semester. In addition, there will be some classes offered online or in a hybrid format, as well as accommodations for those who cannot attend in-person for pandemic-related reasons.

The Dining Hall will return to full-capacity seating, and all food stations will return to full pre-pandemic operation. Dining Services employees and patrons will follow the University’s protocols regarding face coverings when not eating or drinking.

Events, Visitors and Athletics
During major indoor University events or outdoor events where social distancing is not possible, everyone will be required to wear face coverings at least during the month of August.

Averett is open for all visitors including prospective students and their families. Health and safety protocols are in place for visits.

All Averett Athletics teams will be competing as scheduled, and all Athletics student-athletes and staff will also follow all NCAA and conference guidance. Currently spectators are allowed and will follow the University’s visitor protocols.

Continued Monitoring
We will continue to very closely monitor campus COVID-19 incident data as well as regional COVID-19 activity and health and safety recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), VDH and the Governor of Virginia, all of which will help inform future protocol for Averett’s campuses.

Thank you for the role you each have and will play in keeping our students, yourselves and each other safe.


Don Aungst
CFO/COO, COVID-19 Campus Coordinator

COVID-19 Discussion with Kathie Tune

The recurring COVID-19 discussion with Kathie Tune will be held at 4 p.m. today. Click here to join the discussion. For any immediate questions or concerns, contact Kathie Tune at 434-791-7106 or by email.

Welcome Head Women’s Basketball Coach Desiree Driver

Averett named Desiree Driver as its women’s basketball head coach on Tuesday. Driver is no stranger to Averett and the USA South Conference. For the past nine years, she has served as the women’s basketball assistant coach at fellow USA South member N.C. Wesleyan College.

In 2021, she helped guide the Bishops to the USA South East Division title following a 12-0 record in conference and a 15-1 mark overall, including a win over Division I UNC Greensboro.

A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Driver was a four-year starter for the N.C. Wesleyan women’s basketball program from 2007-11. A two-time team captain, Driver earned USA South Academic All-Conference honors all four years and earned the Scholar Athlete Award three times.

Welcome to the Averett family, Desiree!

Cassie Williams Jones Named to Leadership Southside Program

Cassie Williams Jones, executive director of marketing and communications, has been named to the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce’s 2021-22 Leadership Southside program and will represent Averett University as a member in this year’s class.

Leadership Southside develops participants’ leadership skills to strengthen their role as an individual, professional and community member. Sessions focus on topics such as transformational leadership, team building, communications skills, crisis leadership, strategic planning and more.

Congratulations, Cassie!


New Employee Orientation (NEO)

Fall NEO will be held on Friday, Aug. 6, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the Frith Fine Arts Center. A buffet lunch will be available. If you were hired since the spring 2021 NEO in March, or if you could not make the March event, look for the e-vite via Punchbowl from Chief Human Resources Officer Kathie Tune. This event is open to full-time faculty and staff, graduate assistants and part-time, non-student employees.

Call or email Kathie Tune with questions at ktune@averett.edu or 434-791-7106.

Annual August Opening Session for Faculty & Staff, Deadline for RSVP

Monday, Aug. 9
1:45 – 2:30 p.m. Informational Showcase and Refreshments
2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Opening of the Year Kick-Off
4:30 p.m. Family Picnic

Join your fellow faculty and staff as we celebrate the new school year on Monday, Aug. 9.

The afternoon begins at 1:45 p.m. in the Frith Fine Arts Center lobby with refreshments and fellowship, including an informational showcase highlighting updates and upcoming opportunities from various departments and committees. This is followed by our Opening of the Year Session in Pritchett Auditorium 2:30 p.m. President Franks and Joe will then host you and your loved ones for a family picnic in the Student Center.

The deadline to respond to the Punchbowl invite is today, Aug. 4, in which you will need to RSVP for yourself and the number of family guests you will be bringing (significant others, children) to the Family Picnic.

Please note, all attendees to the program and picnic must wear a face covering at all times except when eating or drinking. We will also observe social distancing.

Cougar Connection Returns Soon

Cougar Connection, a weekly e-publication on Mondays that is distributed students, returns Monday, Aug. 16. Submissions must be received by Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Use this form to make a submission.

Cougar Connection is a weekly newsletter for students to keep them updated and informed about what is going on that week around campus and in the community.

To avoid running the same article for multiple weeks, articles about upcoming events will be posted the week of the event, unless otherwise noted in the submission.

If you have any questions, please email Matt Bell or call 434-791-5681.

Football Season Tickets, Tailgating Spots to go on Sale

Season tickets and parking pass sales for home football games open to alumni, faculty/staff and the public have begun. Call 434-791-5677 to reserve yours! Click the image at left for more information.




Dining Services Updates

The dining hall is pleased to announce several updates and changes for the fall 2021 semester, including more options. Please share with your students and colleagues our exciting news:

  1. Omelets – Every Saturday and Sunday, the made-to-order omelet station will be featured during our brunch meal service. Look for them frequently throughout the semester.
  2. Power Up Your Breakfast – Get your day started with a made-to-order smoothie from our all new smoothie bar. Available during breakfast and brunch hours, pick from fresh fruits, berries, yogurt, greens and proteins.
  3. Block Meal Plans for Commuters – This package was designed with commuters in mind. Now available is a 50 block meal plan specifically for commuters. Reach out to the office of housing and residence life now for more details and enrollment.
  4. Continuous Dining Hours – Dining services for the fall in the dining hall and Juts Café will be operating on a continuous schedule from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Enjoy breakfast from 7:30-10 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 5-9:30 p.m. Between meal times, the salad and deli bar, cereal, toast, fruits, beverages and desserts will remain available. Look for special treats between meals as well! Jut’s Café is continuous service from open to close as well.

Averett’s CCECC Co-Sponsors Back-to-School Bash in Danville, BLAST Program in Caswell County

Averett’s CCECC helped sponsor back-to-school supplies for 500 local students in the Danville Public Schools system. Saturday’s bash on Worsham Street featured over 20 community partners coming together to provide food, entertainment, supplies and resources.

Additionally, as part of the partnership with Piedmont Community College (PCC), Averett’s CCECC is co-sponsoring an agro-business literacy program called BLAST — Breakthrough Learning in Agriculture, Science, and Literacy. The program will involve several service-learning courses working with four elementary schools to enhance child literacy rates in Caswell County, N.C. Dr. Billy Wooten will be training the PCC faculty on how to teach using service-learning pedagogy.




Cougar Business Fest

Mark your calendar! Cougar Business Fest is Tuesday, Aug. 17, from noon-3 p.m. on the Student Center Lawn. Click the flyer at left for more information.








Join Team Ave and Rett to Make a Heart Healthier

In support of the 2021 Danville-Pittsylvania Heart Walk Saturday, Sept. 25, join team Ave and Rett with a donation today. Find out more by clicking here!





Important Numbers for Facilities

Facilities Management Emergency Protocol

Here are some examples of facilities-related “emergencies” where you should depart from creating a work order using NetFacilities. In some cases you should first contact 911 and/or Campus Safety and Security, and in other cases you should follow this emergency protocol.

Life Safety: Fire alarm, Fire Suppression, Weather damage, Serious Health concerns – Call 911 if life-threatening, then Campus Safety and Security at 434-791-5888.

Imminent Damage to Physical Facilities or failure of critical equipment – Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Access system: Call Bruce Devlin at 609-947-6124 Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Otherwise call the facilities on-call number at 434-203-7342.

Facilities Management Team
126 Robertson Street
Director of Integrated Facility Management Services Cell Phone Email
Bruce Devlin 609-947-6124 bdevlin@wffservices.com
Operations Coordinator  
Kevin Hawke 434-203-3026 khawke@wffservices.com
Assistant Director of Maintenance
Mike Fisher 434-251-3280 mfisher@averett.edu
Assistant Director of Grounds
Jason Ferrell 434-572-0571 jferrell@wffservices.com
Assistant Director of Custodial  
Laneil Mercer 929-257-7754 lmercer@wffservices.com
After-Hours On-Call Number    434-203-7342 N/A

Take Advantage of Chamber Events

As a member of the Averett family, you have special access to the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce at no cost. Register today for an account, and take advantage of member-only events, workshops, gatherings and member directory. Throughout the year, Chamber 101 is held for new members to learn more about the chamber and their offerings. Monthly newsletters are emailed to members full of information about the area.

Don’t wait, join the Chamber today! Email Membership Manager Christy Harper your name, title, department, office number and email address with the subject line, “Chamber Membership.”


Averett’s CCECC Partners with Alumna

The CCECC recently partnered with Jennifer Hoge Williams, an Averett alumna, to help improve literacy rates in Danville and Pittsylvania County by providing books to elementary school kids who need additional resources at home. This is part of a much larger collaboration coming soon which will involve creating Makerspaces in local schools to help kids with classroom projects.

Read more about Williams’ work in collecting books for children in the region here.