Averett CoffeeBreak 9-2-2020

Posted on September 2nd, 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, Sept. 4, for a Wednesday, Sept. 9, publication.

COVID-19 Data Dashboard is Live

In an effort to keep our campus informed, a COVID-19 dashboard has been created and can be found on our COVID-19 Alert webpage. The dashboard includes student and employee information, and will be updated every business day. For questions, contact Lesley Villarose at lvillarose@averett.edu or Kathie Tune at ktune@averett.edu.

Health and Safety Reminders

Help keep our campus community safe! Don’t forget to wear your face coverings and to complete a quick health self-check each day before reporting for in-person work. This process can now be completed using your LiveSafe app!

In order to start reporting this information via the app, you’ll need to make a few easy setting changes within your LiveSafe app on your mobile device:

  1. Open your app, login and click on the top left menu button with the three lines.
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Click “Manage Organizations.”
  4. Select “Add” and search for “Averett University.”
  5. Click “Averett University Employees.”
  6. Enter PIN “2020.”Once those steps are complete, you will now see a grey tab called “Health Questionnaire” at the top of your home screen every time you log in. Please note, if you do not have the app, you may still use the web link found here. If you need help getting the app, click here. As a reminder, if you receive a green check, you are cleared to work on campus. If you receive the red X, please notify Human Resources and your supervisor, department or division chair immediately and forward the email you receive from LiveSafe to your supervisor, department or division chair. You should not report for in-person work if you receive the red X.

Finally, for questions on any COVID-19 matters, join Kathie Tune for a question and answer virtual meeting each Thursday from 10-11:30 a.m. 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.

Welcome Rodney Countryman to Averett

The admissions office recently hired Rodney Countryman to serve as the Campus Guest Coordinator. Rodney has several years of higher education experience and recently served as the Campus Guest Coordinator at his alma mater, Chowan University. The admissions office is excited to have Rodney join the team, lead our student ambassador program and take our campus guest experience to new heights. Rodney’s first day was August 24.

Employee Promotions and Recognitions

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great joy and gratitude to share the following promotions among our colleagues throughout our Averett community.

I am pleased to announce the promotion of Ms. Meg Stevens to Vice President and Director of Athletics and Campus Operations. Meg has provided extraordinary leadership to intercollegiate athletics over the past seven years and has been an invaluable member of our team during this time. The athletics department through her leadership has excelled and she has taken on responsibilities for broader institutional activities which she has executed with determination, great competence, positive results and sheer passion.

I know without a doubt she will continue this record of success in her expanded role which includes leadership of campus operations including facilities and auxiliary services; and Don Aungst, our CFO/COO is thrilled to have her as part of his efforts to continue operational assessments that lead to clear roadmaps to success for our students, employees and campus visitors. Keeping students at the center, Meg has a keen understanding of how to drive improved service and results with our various campus services and operations. She effectively leads change, and this, combined with her hands on style and first-hand understanding of how students experience each of the various campus services, will only strengthen the depth and reach of her positive impact on all of Averett.

The “One Team” concept, and the talented bench including Coach Danny Miller, Brenda Taylor and Emma Olsson, have been integral to the success of the athletics department. As leaders and role models as well as their significant past service and contributions, I am pleased to share they will each take on additional roles and responsibilities in athletics so the department continues to perform at the level for which we have come accustomed.

Please join me in congratulating Meg as well as Danny, Brenda and Emma on their outstanding contributions to all of Averett.

I am also excited to announce that Ms. Stacy Gato, VP for Enrollment Management, will assume expanded responsibilities for the continued integration of all key enrollment service areas to achieve more seamless service for prospective and current students. Stacy has led each of her areas, including traditional admissions, Averett Online, Averett Central and the Registrar’s Office, to new levels of service delivery and positive results for students during her years at Averett. She excels by leading her teams to create and deliver positive experiences and improved service across the learner lifecycle. Stacy will have oversight of the student-facing aspects of financial aid, while oversight of the financial management components will remain with the CFO/COO.

Given the dynamic opportunities to build on our momentum in the areas of enrollment, we are realigning positions and structures to have more of a laser focus. We are pleased to share that Mr. Joel Nester will become Associate VP for Enrollment Services in early January and will lead the fulfillment of the envisioned model for Averett Central, our one-stop shop for students and parents, as they move through the enrollment process. Joel brings over two decades of enrollment leadership experience combined with admissions perspectives that will aid significantly in the continued improvement of the student enrollment experience. His responsibilities will include oversight of the centralization of processing and coordination between student-facing departments to ensure delivery of quality services to all constituents, including prospective, current and former students as well as faculty, staff and administrators. We will begin the search for director of admissions in the next few weeks in preparation for this transition.

We are also excited to announce the promotion of Dr. Carly Pearce to Assistant Vice President of Enrollment – Integrated Marketing Strategies. During the past five years, she has been instrumental in successfully leading wide-ranging responsibilities for creating stronger, more efficient operations in Graduate and Professional Studies, now Averett Online. She will take her strong skills and marketing knowledge to lead the Department of Integrated Marketing Strategies which integrates and innovates enrollment marketing based on strategy and supported by data.


Ms. Cheryl Dalton will join this department as the CRM Administrator and Communications Liaison, as will Ms. Katherine Bishop as Coordinator of Enrollment Communications and Innovative Partnerships.





We are very pleased to share Ms. Janet Roberson, with over 30 years at Averett and over 15 years of experience in the Registrar’s Office, is being promoted to the role of Dean of Academic Policies in preparation for the growth and necessary focus to accommodate the needs of students and the University.




We are also excited that Ms. Kristi Gilliam is being promoted to Associate Registrar. Kristi has increasingly taken on more responsibilities across the registrar’s team and has been a key component to the successes of this area in recent years. As Averett prepares for the launch of the new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in Norfolk that will begin serving prospective students this October, this expansion in academic program offerings places greater demands on our existing registrar team making it important to provide even more focused support and leadership.

Congratulations to Stacy, as well as Joel, Carly, Cheryl, Katherine, Janet and Kristi.

As we prepare to launch the University’s Averett Ascending Campaign, we are excited to share that Ms. Emma Lugar Sellers has been appointed as Director of the Campaign. The Campaign Director will work with management staff, campaign leaders and campaign counsel to coordinate and support all aspects of the capital campaign. Congratulations Emma and much appreciation.



As part of a restructuring of the organizational duties and responsibilities overseen by our CFO/COO, we are pleased to announce the promotion of Ms. Lisa Stewart to serve as Associate Vice President for Finance and Controller. Lisa has been the backbone of Averett’s business office services, accounting, financial systems administration, coordination and preparation of annual external audits, oversight of gift and grant restrictions and internal and external financial reporting for 10 years. She has spearheaded major improvements, achieved greater efficiencies and built new capacities making Averett stronger. Moving forward, she will have expanded divisional and University wide responsibilites for financial management, providing support for the CFO/COO for Board of Trustee-related meetings, resource allocation and scenario planning as well as budget development and forecasting.

Our congratulations to Lisa!

Please join me in congratulating each of our colleagues highlighted above for their outstanding contributions to Averett and wishing each of them the very best with their new responsibilities.

Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, President

Convocation 2020 Update

Opening Convocation will take place with social distancing and face coverings on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 9 a.m. on Daly Field at North Campus. Faculty and staff who have a graduate degree are welcome to participate in the procession. All those who plan on processing must email Mary Sullivan at msullivan@averettt.edu no later than Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Students are strongly encouraged to use their own cars to get to North Campus to ensure social distancing, and transportation with social distancing will also be available for those without their own means of transportation. Classes will begin at 10:30 a.m., following a compressed class schedule to get classes in for the day.

  • The 8 a.m. block will meet from 10:30–11:30 a.m.
  • The 9:40 a.m. block will meet from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • If you have a class during the 11:20 a.m. block, which is rare, faculty will work with students for an alternative, in person or remotely.
  • Classes that begin at 1 p.m. and forward for the rest of the afternoon will take place at their normal times.

Zoom Training for Hosting Large Virtual Meetings

Carly Pearce will be hosting two Zoom trainings on how to securely host large Zoom meetings of 25 people or more. During the training session, she will go over steps to secure your meetings, appropriate advertising to avoid Zoom bombing and tips to effectively run large group meetings.

These training sessions are in addition to any “Zoom Expert” individual training sessions being held in the next two weeks.

Click Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m. Via Zoom or Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. Via Zoom to register for a training session.

Become Career Ready Workshop Series

The CCECC is launching the “Become Career Ready” fall workshop series on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 11:15 a.m. The first in the series will cover basics of Handshake. Students will learn how to use the platform to find internships and jobs.

Students must pre-register for each workshop and can do so by visiting Handshake or by contacting Angie McAdams and Ryan Taube directly.

Hear Best-Selling Author Ron Rash at Averett

Averett University’s CCECC welcomes you to hear best-selling author Ron Rash discuss his book “Saints at the River” on Friday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. Mr. Rash has requested a virtual event because of COVID-19 concerns. Please reserve your spot by registering here.

Rash’s novel is the winner of the Weatherford Award for Best Novel.



Join the Chamber for WE Lead

The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce is offering the second in a two-part series about creating a workplace where both women and men thrive. Panelists include former Pittsylvania County Supervisor and retired Federal Aviation Administration employee Jessie Barksdale, Supply Resources owner Rick Barker, Paul Erwin from Chatham Animal Clinic, and retired Danville Regional Foundation Director Karl Stauber.

The event is set via Zoom at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17. Registration is now available by clicking here. The event is free to attend. Part one of the two-part series is available by clicking here. Everyone is encouraged to attend!

2020 Danville-Pittsylvania Heart Walk

Join us virtually for the Danville-Pittsylvania Heart Walk! Hike, bike or walk where you are and share your photos on Facebook Live.

Averett University is once again a proud sponsor of the Danville-Pittsylvania Heart Walk set for Saturday, Sept. 19. Festivities begin at 9:30 a.m., and the walk will begin at 10 a.m.

Know that you will be saving lives in the community and making a difference if you join one of the Averett University Heart Walk teams: Team Ave or Team Rett.

For more information, visit www.DanvilleHeartWalk.org.

Financial Advising Virtual Meetings

Financial advisors from Millennium Advisory Services are available to meet virtually with employees who are interested in:

  • Reviewing any questions pertaining to the Averett retirement plan and their retirement account.
  • Going through Millennium’s financial planning process offered to all employees.
  • Reviewing and updating a financial plan that has previously been created for you.
  • Retaining Millennium for professional fee-based asset management of their retirement plan account(s).

If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your TIAA retirement account or go through Millennium’s financial planning process, please click here to schedule an appointment. You will receive an email confirming your appointment time.

You may also contact the scheduling team to meet or speak with an advisor at 877-435-2489, option 1 or via email at schedule@mcmva.com.

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 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.

Averett Student Completes Remote Global Internship

Did you know students can still pursue career training through an international experience? Averett University student Katelyn Dewberry spent the summer as a remote global intern for credit with a business in Australia! Read her blog post here.

If you have a student interested in a global internship opportunity in their field, contact Dr. Catherine Clark at coclark@averett.edu.