Averett Recognizes Retirees, Faculty & Staff for Years of Service

Posted on May 20th, 2016 by Emily Tomlinson

2015-16retireesEvery spring, at the end of its academic year, Averett University holds a special luncheon to recognize its faculty and staff for their accomplishments and their years of service. At the same time, the university honors those who are retiring. This year, the university said goodbye to two long-serving staff members. Marty Jackson ’98, assistant director of financial aid for the traditional program, retired after serving the university for 19 years. Karen Ward, executive assistant to the president, retired after 26 years of service to the university.

During her almost 10 million minutes at Averett, Jackson worked as an administrative assistant in the financial aid office, as a financial aid counselor, for one of Averett’s contractors as a financial aid counselor and then as a financial aid manager for the Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) Program. She also helped traditional returning students, IDEAL and Med students with their financial aid.

One of Jackson’s co-workers said “she could always be counted on to provide excellent assistance to my GPS or IDEAL advisees. Regardless of the program, I always knew my students were in good hands and that Marty, being the exceptional professional that she is, would help them through whatever challenge had presented itself.”

Jackson was always one to promote giving to Averett, and she strongly encouraged both faculty and staff to give to the university. She served on Staff Council for two years and during that time helped start the “HOPE PROJECT,” which assists students, faculty and staff who are in need. In 2015 she participated in the Out of the Darkness walk with family members raising more than $1,500 for the Suicide Prevention Awareness Program. She is also a regular blood donor at Danville Regional Medical Center.

The other retiree recognized during the luncheon was Ward. During her 26-year tenure at Averett, Ward attended approximately 312 staff meetings, experienced 26 openings of the academic year, worked with six chief academic officers, supported 54 member of the Board of Trustees and worked with 11 board chairs. To top it all off she trained three university presidents. In her position as executive assistant to the president Ward’s was the smile that greeted faculty, staff, students, visitors, trustees, parents, alumni and friends. In addition to serving the president’s office, Ward worked in the dean of students’ office.

Ward was described as calm, focused, loyal and devoted. “Her work ethic is steadfast, admirable and rare,” said Averett President Dr. Tiffany Franks. “Her knowledge of Averett is remarkable. She does whatever it takes to do a job well, and she will never do anything that compromises quality or integrity.”

In addition, the university recognized faculty and staff who reached years of service milestones including:

  • 35 Years ˗ Steve Lemery, associate profess of mathematics and computer science;
  • 30 years ˗ Rose Holley, student services coordinator;
  • 25 years ˗ Danny Miller ’91, ’95, assistant athletic director and head volleyball coach; Dr. Gary Tucker, professor of mathematics and computer science;
  • 20 years ˗ Richard Breen ’81, theatre professor; Charles “Ed” Fulton ’98, head baseball coach; Erma Neveu ’05 student support advisor for the GPS Program;
  • 15 years ˗ Diane Gosney ’03, ’15, coordinator of development services; Sherry McDowell ’12, administrative assistant to the director of alumni and friend development; Valerie Murphy-Point assistant director of GPS admissions for the Chesapeake region; Joel Nester ’00, ’12, director of admissions; Dr. Jeffrey Woo ’97, professor of business administration for GPS;
  • 10 years ˗ Sandy Bash, administrative assistant for residence life; Cheryl Dalton, administrative assistant to vice president for enrollment and communications liaison; Christy Davis, enrollment administrative assistant for GPS; Virginia “Ginger” Henderson ’91, associate professor of equestrian studies; Sandra “Sandy” Isom ’93, ’03, assistant controller; Sherry Phelps ’99, ’13, associate registrar; Connie Stewart, Aramark housekeeping staff at the Riverview Campus; Donna Brande, cashier for Bon Appétit; Barbara Styons, office administrator for Bon Appétit;
  • and for five years ˗ Faye Brandon ’03, ’07, assistant director of financial aid for the GPS Program; Antoinette “Toni” Gazda ’87, English instructor; Tony Harris ’11, network and security administrator; Liz Hickey, head coach of women’s basketball and senior women’s administrator; Bonnie Humphries ’10, IDEAL Program coordinator; Andrea Levengood, GPS admissions counselor for the Chesapeake region; Debbie Pike, administrative assistant for the School of Nursing; Lisa Stewart, controller; Thomas Underwood Jr. ’08, ’14, head athletic trainer; Tammy Wall ’03, ’08, senior account and benefits coordinator; Dr. Martha Wall-Whitfield, assistant professor of education for the GPS Program; Carlisle Atkins, transportation for the Cougar Express; Mike Fisher, assistant director of facilities for Aramark; Juanita Haley, assistant director of security; Paul Helwigg, Aramark housekeeping staff at the North Campus; Jeff Hubbard, custodial manager for Aramark; Keith Johnson, Aramark groundskeeper for the Main Campus; Chris Swain, Aramark maintenance for HVAC; Ricky Fallen, Aramark grounds and maintenance; Joseph Woods, transportation for the Cougar Express; Melissa Carwile, barista for Bon Appétit; Shannon Price, sales associate for Follett Higher Education; and Gena Watkins, sales associate for Follett Higher Education.

Finally, the university announced those faculty members who have received tenure. Tenure was awarded to Dr. Susan Huckstep ’89, assistant professor of communication studies/journalism and English; Dr. Catherine “Katy” Clark, assistant professor of English and French and director of international education success; and Jennifer Robinson, technical services librarian and assistant professor.