Averett CoffeeBreak 8-5-2020

Posted on August 5th, 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, Aug. 7, for a Wednesday, Aug. 12, publication.

Opening of the Year Kick-Off for Faculty and Staff – Monday, August 10

We are thankful to soon be joining together again as we prepare to begin the new academic year. These challenging times in our world make these such occasions all the more meaningful as we reconnect, welcome our new faculty and staff, prepare for the new year, reflect upon our accomplishments and look to the dynamic and promising future ahead.

Our Opening Kick-off program will be held virtually since the overwhelming majority of feedback indicated this preference. The Zoom session will be held from 1:30-3 p.m. on August 10. Here is the link to the password protected session: Click Here To Join The Faculty and Staff Opening of the Year Kick Off 2020 Zoom Meeting.

If you would like to dial in by using your phone, please email averettcentral@Averett.edu from your Averett assigned email account and the password for access will be sent directly to your Averett email address within 24 hours.

New this year is a Family Drive-by Social in front of the President’s House, 500 Hawthorne Dr., from 4:30-6 p.m.! President Franks, Joe Franks and members of President’s Council will be excited to see you and have some special goodies to pass out during the caravan! Deck your vehicle in Averett gear to celebrate the accomplishments of the AU 2020 strategic plan and the start of a new academic year. Prizes given to best in show!

Cars should proceed from Mountain View Avenue onto Hawthorne Drive. Proceed past the President’s House at 500 Hawthorne Drive and into Hawthorne Circle. Continue around Hawthorne Circle and drive back to 500 Hawthorne Drive to be greeted by Dr. Franks and Joe Franks.

The Opening Kick-off begins a week of opening activities including two separate workshops on Tuesday, Aug. 11, for faculty and staff. The workshops “Caring for Ourselves and Others During Unsettled Times” and “Unconscious Bias Awareness & Training” will be offered during flexible times to keep each session manageable in regards to number of participants. The workshops will be in-person with a Zoom option. Details will be announced in the near future.

We look forward to being together again soon!

Upcoming Workshops

Faculty and staff workshops will be held Tuesday, Aug. 11. The session times are 9-10:15 a.m. and 10:30-11:45 a.m. Information on the sessions are listed below. Both sessions will be offered in each time slot.

Caring for Ourselves and Others During Unsettled Times

“We are living the myth of the Phoenix falling from its perch into the fires of transformation. Much of our familiar world will indeed be reduced to ashes. And yet, the promise of the Phoenix is that it will rise again – it always rises again. And so, will we.” – Caroline Myss (2020)

We are collectively sharing a significant experience of transformation and change – one that is forcing us to confront certain realities and inviting us to reflect on important questions. This session will offer an opportunity for us to gather and explore some key strategies for helping us understand how we can become more effective guardians of our own health and wellbeing, and what it means to also care for one another at this critical time.

Join the Zoom call by clicking here.

If you would like to dial in by using your phone please email averettcentral@Averett.edu from your Averett assigned email account and the password for access will be sent directly to your Averett email address within 24 hours.

Unconscious Bias Awareness & Training

In light of this summer’s murder of George Floyd and the resulting demonstrations calling for social justice and an end to systemic racism, it is imperative that all institutions address this issue through reflection and discussion. One such avenue is to offer training on unconscious bias. Implicit/unconscious bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner. Studies have shown diversity and inclusion in the workplace can be adversely affected by implicit/unconscious bias. By discussing such unconscious biases and bringing them to a conscious level, we can all be aware of how they can influence our decision-making in our personal and professional lives. Ms. Petrina Carter, president/CEO of Tri-County Community Action Agency and who has training in this topic, will facilitate this session for faculty and staff in a safe and comfortable environment.

All faculty and staff should complete the free Harvard Implicit Bias Test online before the workshop begins. Please click here and choose as many modules as you wish. However, we need you to complete the race and skin tone tests for the workshop. Results of the online testing are anonymous.

Join the Zoom session on Unconscious Bias Awareness & Training by clicking here. If you would like to dial in by using your phone please email averettcentral@Averett.edu from your Averett assigned email account and the password for access will be sent directly to your Averett email address within 24 hours.

Return to Campus Q&A via Zoom Every Thursday

Join Kathie Tune, director of HR, for a question and answer virtual meeting each Thursday from 10-11:30 a.m. if you need clarification on what to do before returning to work, what to do while at work and what to do if you need to leave work. The virtual meetings will continue indefinitely.

Email ktune@averett.edu if you need information outside of the Zoom meeting.

Click here to join the Campus Q&A Zoom Meeting

If you would like to dial in by using your phone please email averettcentral@Averett.edu from your Averett assigned email account and the password for access will be sent directly to your Averett email address within 24 hours.

Guiding Principles for Employees Regarding Health, Safety and Customer Service

  • Employees are expected to continue serving students, their families, guests, staff and faculty to answer questions, provide assistance, collect payments, etc.
  • Departments should stagger coverage during the University’s hours of operation, including staggered lunch breaks, so that work spaces and phones are always covered.
  • When possible, de-densify while preserving the strong level of customer service required and without limiting productivity.
  • Arrange your work space to ensure social distancing and limit the number of people in your workspace at one time.
  • Respect the workspace of others. Do not enter before asking if you may enter or if you should stand at the door or opening.
  • If in a colleague’s workspace, minimize what you touch. A pandemic is not a time to admire a picture or some other item by picking it up. Do not ask to use someone else’s supplies (phone, stapler, writing instrument, etc.) unless absolutely necessary, and sanitize the item if you must use something that belongs to someone else.
  • Wear your face covering and social distance when with others. Even if you both are comfortable taking your face coverings off, remember that anyone can be an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19. Also, we must be a model at all times for colleagues, students, families and guests, and treat all with the same consideration for safety.
  • Alternative meeting arrangements via zoom or telephone are supported and should be set up by the individual employee with the student, their families, staff and/or faculty.
  • Please be considerate of other employees who may have underlying needs of which you may not be aware.
  • Work with your supervisor or division chair regarding any request for reasonable accommodations, keeping in mind the balance necessary in the best interest of Averett.
  • Do not linger in the hallways and keep interactions to a minimum. Remember that everyone is anxious, but a brief kind or friendly word is always appreciated. Statements such as “hope you are doing well” are often better than open-ended questions about how one is doing.
  • Walk down the right side of hallways and be aware of others remembering that comfortable social space during the pandemic is now a minimum of six feet, even if you are wearing a mask. And remember just how far six feet really is–a yardstick is only three feet!

Staff Social Distancing Lunch Hour

A Staff Social Distancing lunch hour is set for Thursday, Aug. 6, from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom. Please join your colleagues for fellowship, catching up, trivia and taking a break from self-isolation. If you are still working from home, or transitioning back into the office and want some company on your lunch break, pop in and say hello. We hope you all will take a break from your busy day to join us!

Click here to join us via Zoom for the staff social distancing lunch hour. If you would like to dial in by using your phone, please email averettcentral@Averett.edu from your Averett assigned email account and the password for access will be sent directly to your Averett email address within 24 hours.

New Employee Introductions at the Averett Opening Program

We are finalizing plans for the New Employee Orientation set for Friday, Aug. 7, and for the University Opening on Monday, Aug. 10, and look forward to hosting all of our new and returning faculty and staff at these events. Since the introduction of new employees is a very important part of the opening, we will be introducing you virtually at our opening and request a photo and brief fun fact – no more than a sentence or two for a slide show presentation. We started the visual presentation last year and it was a big hit! So much so, we are doing it again this year. Feel free to ask us questions along the way.

And just a little reminder, please RSVP to the New Employee Orientation if you have not yet had a chance to do so. We are making final plans for chairs, gift bags and lunch boxes. We want to include you! Thank you. Kathie Tune ktune@averett.edu

Cougar Connection Returns Soon

Cougar Connection will return Monday, Aug. 10. This e-newsletter is published weekly for Averett students with news and updates about the upcoming week during the fall and spring semesters. We also share it with faculty and staff.

The deadline for each Cougar Connection is 4:30 p.m. each Wednesday, with the first deadline set for today, Aug. 5. To submit an article, use this form. 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, comments or suggestions, contact Matt Bell at mbell@averett.edu or 434-791-5681.

Check-In Dates and Times

Below you will find check-in dates and times for freshmen and returning students.

8:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 1 p.m. 3 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 8 Volleyball Women’s Soccer Men’s Soccer Aviation
Tuesday, Aug. 11 Returning Football Returning Football Returning Football Returning Football
Wednesday, Aug. 12 Freshman Football Freshman Football Freshman Football Freshman Football
Aug. 14
Sunday, Aug. 16 Second
Monday, Aug. 17 Residential Returners Residential Returners Residential Returners Residential Returners
Tuesday, Aug. 18 Commuter

New Staff Council Members

Staff Council is pleased to announce new Staff Council members and officers for the 2020-2021 year.

New Members:
Reghan Humphreys
Sara Hodges
Rodney Harper
Ian Talbott
Phillip Mitchell
Morgan Farmer

New Officers:
Chair – Liz Cervantes
Vice Chair – Chris Ellis
Secretary – Jason Ferrell
Events Committee Chair – Katie Johnston
Nominating Committee Chair – Emma Olsson Staff Meeting Committee Chair – Tony Mackin

Remember to send questions or concerns to staffcouncil@averett.edu. And as always, please send us Golden Bagel nominees!

Grounds, Housekeeping and Maintenance Requests Reminder

To submit a request for grounds, housekeeping or maintenance, you must submit a ticket from either the Averett website, under the Faculty/Staff tab, or from the Intranet. When you click the link, you’ll see a Google login appear. Then to log in, put in your username and then “@aumail.averett.edu” and submit. Next it will request your password. Next you should see the maintenance request form pop up. Follow the steps and be sure select a type of request, and provide a detailed description of your needs.

Remember, if you see something, say something. Do not assume someone else has reported it. We can all help keep our campuses and facilities presentable.

New Room Reservation Technology Now Available

A new, streamlined service is now available for reserving rooms at Averett through Microsoft Outlook. The technology is already integrated into the Outlook application for use. Users can select room options, view availability, request room reservations and communicate about room reservation and setup with Lynnette Lawson, special events coordinator. If you prefer to call Lynnette for room reservations and event planning, please feel free to do so. The enhanced Outlook calendar simply gives you another option to check room availability if you are so inclined.

The steps are as follows using Outlook on a PC (and can be viewed by clicking the photo at left):

  1. Click on “New meeting.”
  2. To the right of the location field click on the dialogue box “rooms.”
  3. Choose your preferred room (the numbers are non-socially distanced capacity).
  4. Once you have chosen your room, select “OK.”
  5. Then select “Send.” The request will come to Lynnette Lawson for approval, denial, or other room suggestion.

Rooms can also be seen/reserved by selecting “New Meeting” in Outlook. This will also give you the option to schedule a meeting and request a room for that meeting. For questions, contact Lynette Lawson at llawson@averett.edu, (434) 791-5625 or (434) 250-3769.

Averett GPS – Virtual Information Sessions

Do you know someone who may be interested in obtaining their online undergraduate or graduate degree from Averett University GPS? If so, please encourage them to sign up for our virtual information sessions held every Tuesday via Zoom at 11:30 a.m. to learn more!

Classes start Wednesday, Aug. 12, and Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Click here to register in advance. After registering, a confirmation email will be sent with information regarding how to join the session.

University Staff Meeting Minutes

Please use this link to access the minutes from the July 23 staff meeting on the intranet. If you have questions concerning the minutes, please contact staff council at staffcouncil@averett.edu.

All Things Zoom

Faculty and staff may request a Zoom license as part of Averett’s Education Zoom plan. To request an account, faculty members are encouraged to contact Marietta Sanford and staff members are encouraged to contact Carly Pearce. If you would like some additional one on one Zoom training please schedule a time with the Averett Online team by clicking on the appointment link provided, or refer to Averett’s Zoom resource website. Want to learn more about Zoom Meeting Etiquette? Click here and learn 15 tips and best practices for online video conference meetings. In addition, Zoom is now integrated into Canvas. The Canvas-Zoom integration allows instructors to schedule online meetings from within Canvas and is available in all Canvas sites. Instructions on how to integrate Zoom into your Canvas course can be found in the following link.

A recently launched Zoom support page is available for everyone at Averett by clicking here.

Here are some things to think about as you in using Zoom, as featured in USA Today.

Think strategically about your clothing. Wearing a really busy plaid or patterned outfit will make the viewers’ eyes go numb. A plain, solid color will help bring out the best you. However steer clear of shirts that are bright white or dark black because they look like a “blob” on camera.

Avoid a “Shady Face,” that is, half of your face is shaded or blocked in some way. Having a steady lamp, directly by your face, for even, steady lighting is very important. Avoid sidelight or backlight as this can cause shadows. Avoid sitting with your back to a window, as the camera will expose the light and make you into a silhouette. Instead, flip it, and face the window, which will give you soft, people-pleasing light.

You want people focusing on your face, not on what’s behind you. Many people like to be photographed in front of a bookshelf, but trinkets on the shelf can cause distractions. Plain and simple, like blank walls, or a wall with nothing but one piece of art hanging is boring and thus non-distracting.

Here’s the biggest no-no. Get rid of “wide-angle face.” The cameras on smartphones and webcams are wide-angle. So if you get too close to it, you will look distorted. In other words, step back from the camera. The closer you are to a wide-angle, the more distorted you are.

Eye Level
Don’t have the webcam looking up at you because that will showcase your nostrils. Eye-to-eye contact is the best connection. Make sure you look at that camera directly, straight ahead. This is hard to do when your camera is set below your eyes. Stack a bunch of books under your laptop until you see the webcam eye to eye.

While it is suggested that you step away and not be so close to the camera, don’t be so far away that the microphone won’t hear you. Also, don’t forget to mute your microphone when listening. For improved audio, you can purchase and use an accessory mic, which will make you sound way better. In Zoom, you can go into general settings and adjust the audio, to pick your accessory mic instead of the mic from the webcam or laptop.