Averett University CoffeeBreak 7-26-2023

Posted on July 26th, 2023 by Bill Dyer

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, July 28, for a Wednesday, Aug. 2, publication.


Welcome Jason Swanger to Averett

Jason Swanger is the new food service director at Averett University. He has worked in food service management as both chef and general manager at various institutions to include UNCG, UNC Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, Moses Cone Health System and Atrium Health System.

Jason comes from a family of food service professionals and started working in restaurants at the age of 10 at his grandparents’ drive-thru in his hometown of Greeneville, Tennessee. He continued to work as a cook through high school, then joined the U.S. Army as a food service operation specialist. Jason earned associate’s degrees in culinary arts and hotel restaurant management from Guilford Technical Community College.

New Director of Career Development and Exploration

Dr. Jennifer Penland has joined the Averett Family as the Director of Career Development and Exploration at the CCECC. For the past several years, she has served as a higher ed STEM and research advisor for Acoustic Research Systems based in West Virginia and California.

Penland also developed a new experiential learning program, inclusive of internships, externships, service-learning and cultural immersion experiences, while serving as director of experiential learning at Sul Ross State University in Texas. She received her Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Lamar University and obtained a Post-Doctoral Certificate in Women and Leadership from Cornell University.

Welcome Alicia Barriga to CCECC

In a joint partnership with the CCECC and Student Success, we are happy to announce that Alicia Barriga, already a tutor in Student Success, will also now serve as our part-time ESL Coordinator.

We believe having this position embedded in the international section of Averett 110 will help our new international students who might need a little extra support acclimating to college abroad. This position is also designated to work with any returning international students who might also need extra support and self-identify or are referred by faculty and staff.

Please join us in welcoming Alicia to her expanded role!

Wishing Fred Well

Fred Betts has left Averett for an exciting opportunity. His last day here was July 21.

Fred completed his master’s this summer and will be joining Danville Public Schools at George Washington High School in a dean of students role. Fred expressed appreciation for the professional growth and education he has received at Averett and plans to proudly display his Averett diplomas on his new office wall.

As assistant director of retention and persistence, Fred positively impacted the lives of many students accessing the Student Success Center of the past several years and we know he will have this same positive impact on Danville high school students in his new position.

Virgnia529 Plan Zoom Tomorrow

Thinking about saving for education? Join the Virginia529 representative and Kathie Tune, CHRO, for a special webinar on Thursday, July 27, at noon.

Saving for future education expenses for a child, a grandchild – or even yourself – can seem overwhelming. In this webinar, you’ll learn how a Virginia529 account can help you save for tuition and other costs, take advantage of tax-free earnings and meet your savings goals. The representative, Merrill Milani, will explain how VA529 funds can be combined with tuition remission and tuition exchange scholarships.

As a bonus, employees who attend this webinar will receive an exclusive offer – a $25 gift code to open a new Invest529 account and the chance to win one of the three $50 Target gift cards that will be given away at the end of the session.

Sign up to reserve your spot here: Webinar Registration – Zoom

RSVP by Monday for August Opening

Join your fellow faculty and staff as we celebrate the new academic year on Monday, Aug. 7, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Grant Center at Averett’s E. Stuart James Grant North Campus. We will conclude with this portion of our events no later than 12:30 p.m.

  • Our program will kick off with a hearty brunch and time for fellowship at 10 a.m. in the Grant Center. (We encourage you to sit with colleagues whom you may not have had the opportunity to get to know before.)
  • After brunch, we will meet and welcome those who are new to Averett and hear from our colleagues about many developments underway, in addition to a few other special and imaginative all Averett community highlights.
  • Then, starting at 4 p.m., President Tiffany Franks and Joe are excited to host you and your loved ones for an Averett Family Celebration with festive food and drinks at the President’s home, 500 Hawthorne Dr.

Please confirm your participation by responding to the form below by Monday, July 31. This will help us plan accordingly for both events including the number of family guests you will be bringing (significant others, children) to the Family Celebration from 4-6 p.m. (Click here for survey).

For questions, contact Morgan Farmer at [email protected] or 434-791-5826. We look forward to opening the 2023-2024 Academic Year with each of you!

Calling All Photos!

Don’t forget to send a photo of your summer vacation, home projects, family gatherings or relaxation time (with you in the picture) that may be used during our August Opening event by Monday, July 31, to Bill Dyer at [email protected].



NEO Coming Next Week

New Employee Orientation, that is. Fall NEO for all new, full-time faculty and staff and part-time staff, including graduate assistants, are invited to the event on Friday, Aug. 4, from 11 a.m.- 1:15 p.m. at the President’s Suite at the Frank R. Campbell Stadium on North Campus.

If you have not had a chance to RSVP to the event via Punchbowl, you still have time, a little time. We are getting ready to order lunches for the guests this week. Please RSVP soon or managers may send the name and email of any of their new staff members in case the email was not received. RSVP to [email protected].


AU at the Ballpark

Averett University alumni, faculty, staff and friends are invited to join “AU at the Ballpark” as the Danville Otterbots host the Pulaski River Turtles. The game is Friday, July 28 at 7 p.m. at Dan Daniel Park.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., Averett alumni and friends will gather at “The Wreck” located on the third base side. A buffet will be set up including hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, peanuts, chips and soda. Admission is $10 for one and $5 for each additional guest. To get tickets and register, click HERE. Brought to you by the Averett University Alumni Association.

Reminder: Employee Active Shooter Training

The Emergency Response Team has been working to secure emergency trainings for the campus community. On Wednesday, Aug. 9, in partnership with Danville Police Department, we will host an active shooter training session with all Averett employees from 9-11 a.m. in Pritchett Auditorium. Please plan to attend.


Averett University’s Cougar Business Fest 2023

Averett University’s Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness (CCECC) would like to invite you to register for our annual Cougar Business Festival on Tuesday, August 15, from noon to 3 p.m. on Main Campus in the Carrington Gym. Click the QR Code to register.

Don’t Forget: Submit your Averett ID Card Info

We are working on implementing a new card access system across several buildings on Main Campus. The hours the doors are currently unlocked by key will remain the same, but for employees wanting access to their offices after hours will need to use their ID to access their buildings. This system will help secure our campus, making it a safer environment for students, employees and visitors.

  • If you have an ID card that looks like this on the back, please click this LINK and follow the instructions to enter the correct number from the back of your Averett ID card (as shown below, circled in red). This is NOT the same as your Averett ID number, which may be three, four or five digits (typically five).
  • If you DO NOT yet have your Averett ID or you DO NOT have this version of the Averett ID card (one that DOES NOT have the above numbers on the back), use this LINK to upload a photo and request a new card.

Employees will be notified when new ID cards are ready for pick up.

Want to be a certified driver for Averett?

In order to be a certified driver for Averett University, please click Driver Certification Flyer 23-24 and follow the instructions on the flyer.


Averett’s Hispanic Outreach Mission

As part of the CCECC’s partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, Averett graduate Jennifer Montez Galdamez has been hired as a community healthcare worker (CHW) (funded by VDH but housed at Averett), charged with cultivating new partnerships in our Hispanic/Latinx communities. As a CHW, health is defined as broadly as possible, including mentoring, tutoring, translating, educating, etc.

Jenny has hit the ground running by helping organize several large-scale community health expos, literacy awareness events and other outreach efforts. As shown in the photo, we have recently formed a partnership with Iglesia Nueva Vida Church in Danville, aiding them in mentoring their youth, providing translation services and proving kids’ books written in Spanish. Jenny is a true Averett success story.

Updates From IT

Scanning / Printer Update

IT is aware of the issues with scanning documents to email. This issue had two components: replacing the legacy on-premise print server and updating the firmware in over 20+ multi-function devices (printer, copier, scanner). The print server has been replaced, which addressed the issue of being unable to print. The firmware upgrade is underway and handled by our vendor, Office Plus. As they work through the list of printers to be updated, the ability to scan to email will be restored to each printer.

This also ties into another project where we are working with Office Plus to review our current printing needs and our existing printer/copier fleet, with plans to upgrade, update, and adjust printer locations and equipment. Office Plus met with key areas and recommended stakeholders across campus within the last few months and prepared a formal report with printer locations and upgrade recommendations. This recommendation includes user needs to print in color and oversized documents on larger printers.

We will eliminate desktop printing and printers across campus and only support enterprise printing. Costs to print to an enterprise printer range between $.04  per sheet for black and white and approximately $.15 per sheet for color printing. Desktop printing costs are exponentially more expensive. Desktop printers attached to the network will be removed as we progress.

IT Helpdesk Software

Our internal IT Helpdesk system was taken offline a few weeks ago due to an on-premise server failure. We are working to replace that system with a new product, but until that occurs, please contact the IT Helpdesk via email at [email protected] with any issues or concerns. IT resources will receive these emails and follow up with you directly. Please follow this procedure rather than contacting someone directly within the IT Department. If the person you contact is out of the office or on vacation, your request could take longer to resolve. By sending an email to [email protected], several resources within IT will be notified at the same time.

2023 Averett Football Season Ticket Information

Averett football season tickets, tailgate spots and VIP parking passes are on sale. We have some BIG things in store for this season both on and off of the field. You will be able to purchase tickets online, via email or by phone for returning football, cheer and dance families. We can’t wait to see you at a home game.

Find details of our upcoming season schedule in the image.

A reminder that faculty and staff receive complimentary general admission to all home games and may bring a guest free of charge.



Have Questions about Retirement Accounts and Financial Planning?

Financial Advisors from Millennium are available to meet virtually to:
• Answer questions about your retirement account.
• Discuss if you should consider moving your old retirement accounts to the current retirement plan contract.
• Provide financial planning and be a resource to help you make decisions regarding your retirement accounts.

Every employee can go through holistic financial planning sessions and receive a customized financial plan based on your goals. If you have a spouse or significant other, they are encouraged and welcome to attend as well! These planning sessions are geared to help answer questions like:
• What changes should I consider making to my retirement plan based on my retirement and other goals?
• Am I saving enough to meet my goals in retirement?
• Is my current investment strategy appropriate given what I am trying to accomplish?

Schedule a time to meet with Tom Siebers of MAS for a review of your retirement plan options. Questions? Contact Kathie Tune, CHRO, [email protected] or 434.791.7106.

Millennium Announcement