Averett CoffeeBreak 9-30-2020

Posted on September 30th, 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, Oct. 2, for a Wednesday, Oct. 7, publication.

COVID-19 Campus Safety Reminder

Dear Colleagues,

As we are nearing the midpoint of the semester, we want to continue to reinforce the need for vigilance in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 on our campus and in our community.

The average number of positive cases at Averett has remained relatively consistent and we have been fortunate so far in comparison to many other schools, but we cannot let our guard down. Now, more than ever, we must remain committed to following the health and safety guidelines we have established: wearing appropriate face coverings, keeping a safe social distance, keeping hands and surfaces clean, avoiding large gatherings, completing the daily self-health checks and staying home when sick. This self-discipline – not panic or apathy – will provide the best assurance that the health of our community is protected.

I hope you will continue to follow the daily COVID-19 data dashboard on our Alert page. As a reminder, we work in coordination with the local Health Department to trace all contacts who could be at risk for exposure, and anyone who could be exposed has been notified and is in quarantine. We know that the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health define an “outbreak” as when two or more individuals with COVID-19 are discovered to be epidemiologically linked, which has occurred on our campus during this semester. This is why it’s critically important when we are together, we take personal responsibility and hold our friends and colleagues accountable. We must all make responsible choices, both on and off campus.

We continue to work very closely with officials at the local Health Department. Together, we are strategizing any additional measures we can take to mitigate the spread. We will keep you updated.

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to keep our campus safe and healthy.

President Tiffany Franks

New Chief Information Officer

For the past five years, I have had the honor of leading the IT Department at Averett University. As we move forward with the IT assessment and implementing changes to support the technology needs of our campus, I feel now is an appropriate time for me to step down as the University’s chief information officer. It has been a privilege to work with the campus community to identify ways where technology can positively impact the lives of our students, faculty and staff. For now, I will continue to work within the IT Department and work ‘behind the scenes’ on completing some open projects. Click here for more information.

Don Aungst and I are pleased to announce that effective immediately, Michael Boehm will serve as interim chief information officer, reporting directly to Don. Michael comes to us with over 30 years of IT experience and over 15 years in higher education as a CIO. Michael will be leading the IT team and working directly with campus community on the IT Assessment.

– Kevin Lipscomb

Publication of Scientific Report

Since 2016, Dr. Ralph Hawkins, director of Averett’s program in religion, has led the Jordan Valley Excavation Project (JVEP), which has been investigating the ancient history and archaeology of the southern Jordan Valley, with a particular focus on the Iron Age (1200-586 BC), sometimes referred to as the “Israelite period.”

In 2019, the project began excavating the site of Khirbet ʿAuja el-Foqa, a well-preserved, fortified city on a high hill isolated by steep slopes. During the Iron Age II (1000-586 BC), the time of the Israelite kingdoms, it was probably an eastern administrative “capital” and the military center of the southern Jordan Valley, and likely played a role in the Ammonite wars that had been ongoing since the time of the judges.

The site can probably be identified as biblical Naarah, mentioned in the Manasseh-Ephraim boundary description in Joshua 16:6-7. This is a pioneering excavation that is producing completely new information about the administration of the northern kingdom of Israel in the southern Jordan Valley, a region that has been virtually unknown archaeologically until now. A scientific report on the first season of excavation, co-written by Hawkins, was recently published in the Israeli journal, IN THE HIGHLANDS’ DEPTHS.

Mark Your Calendar: North Campus Renaming

Join us for a very special moment for the rescheduled announcement of the new name of our North Campus. This has been underway for some time, and now that the road construction on Mount Cross is complete, we are grateful and excited to honor one of our most generous donors with their namesake on North Campus, where their immense contributions have impacted Averett students, faculty, staff and visitors for many years.
We invite you to join us if you would like at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the entrance of North Campus, for a brief name unveiling ceremony. Someone will be directing traffic flow and parking. We will adhere to strict social distancing guidelines and ask all attendees to wear their face coverings.


Day to Engage, Rock the Vote Gets New Date

Due to inclement weather, Day to Engage and Rock the Vote has a new date. Please join us on Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the student patio for voter registration, activities and more! Click on the photo at left for more information.


Become Career Ready: Virtual Fall Workshop Series

Please encourage students to join us for our upcoming programs in the Become Career Ready virtual fall workshop series. Workshops are focused on getting students ready to compete in our virtual world as well as to help them explore a variety of career fields.

Any faculty or staff member who has an idea for a workshop, or who would like to present a workshop should contact Angie McAdams or Ryan Taube. Registration is required to attend the workshops and students should visit Handshake and click on events to register.

  • Making the Most of Networking Events – Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 8, at noon.
  • Zoom Etiquette – Tuesday, Oct. 13, at noon and Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m.
  • Career in Economics presented by Dr. Ernest Pegram Thursday, Oct. 15, at 4 p.m.
  • Preparing for Graduate School – Monday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 20, at noon.

White Fragility

Averett’s CCECC, as part of our focus on diversity and inclusion, has partnered with several community organizations to create a region-wide virtual book read of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, and we invite you to register for the virtual event. This project is an opportunity to help create meaningful shared dialogue in our work towards racial justice.

The community read began with a virtual “Kick-Off Celebration” on Thursday, Sept. 24. Starting Thursday, Oct. 1, optional facilitated weekly virtual chats will be open to all registered participants who would like to dive deeper into the content with experts in the field of race, anti-racism and intersectionality. The community read will conclude on Thursday, Oct. 29, with a virtual “Closeout Celebration.”

Registration is open by clicking here and using this password to get access: WhiteFragility2020

OR, you may register here at Eventbrite.

To choose which discussion session you would like to join, please click here.

Lastly, the CCECC and our partners will provide complimentary copies of the book for those who register for the community read. If you have questions, please email Dr. Billy Wooten at bwooten@averett.edu.

Annual Study Abroad Fair!

The annual Averett Study Abroad Fair will be held *virtually* Thursday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

After registering, students can log in at any time to enter raffles, ask questions, watch spotlight videos, and chat with faculty and alumni. Information about career development, internships, and financial aid will also be available.

Students on campus: Come by the MPR for a goody bag! Faculty and staff are also welcome to register and stop by. Register here.

Workshop: Careers in Economics – Applying for Economics Jobs with the United States Government

Thinking about a job after college? Consider a career in economics. Join Dr. Ernest E. Pegram, assistant professor in economics, on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 4 p.m. via Zoom for a conversation about applying for economics jobs with the United States Government.

Click here to register in advance for the Zoom call. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

United States Government Jobs by Agency

Air Force Department Of Education Department Of Transportation NASA
Army Department Of Energy Department of Treasury Navy
Department Of Agriculture Department Of Justice Health and Human Services State Department
Department Of Commerce Department Of Labor Homeland Security Veterans Affairs
Department Of Defense Department Of The Interior Housing and Urban Development Federal Reserve System

Haven’s Heels to Heal Challenge

The CCECC has taken the Heels to Heal Challenge to benefit Haven of the Dan River Region, our local domestic violence shelter. Please watch the video here and donate any amount to the challenge.

No donation is too small.

Join me and other male allies on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 1-4 p.m. at 2 Witches Winery and Brewing as we walk to save lives! Visit the CCECC Facebook page here to donate. I’ll even personally match what you donate!

Save the Date: Faculty and Staff Flu Clinic Coming Soon

A flu shot clinic is set for Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 7:30-11:30 a.m. in the MPR. A sign-up sheet will be sent to you from Averett University Health & Wellness.

Once again, SOVAH’s Mt. Hermon clinic will provide the nurses to manage the flu shot program on campus. Find out more by emailing wellness@averett.edu.

Virtual Networking Opportunities

Students have access to a wide variety of virtual networking events including several virtual job fairs, which are all posted in the events section of Handshake. Companies that are connecting with our students include Capital One, SAS, Proctor and Gamble, Heinz, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Whirlpool and the list goes on! Currently, we have 50 virtual events scheduled for the fall semester. New networking opportunities are added to the platform daily. Please encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with some of the largest employers in our country. Students should contact Angie or Ryan with any questions.

Testing Fee Assistance

Colleagues, if you know students who need help paying for grad school exams or career-related testing, please refer them to our new program. Click the photo at left for more information.