Faculty, Staff and Retiree Appreciation Celebration Held

Posted on May 5th, 2022 by Matt Bell

Averett University’s annual Faculty, Staff and Retiree Appreciation Celebration was held Thursday, May 5, in the Student Center.

“I hope you have a great sense of reward in knowing that you are part of something very special that will have a lasting impact on lives and on this institution. I couldn’t be more grateful for all of you and the honor of serving you and this great institution,” Averett President Dr. Tiffany Franks said.

This year, two retirees were recognized for their achievements.

The first retiree recognized was Peggy Adkins, who served as the Blount Library Document Delivery Specialist from 2010-2022.

“Peggy says that she always particularly enjoyed seeing the students come in as freshmen, and then getting to mentor, teach and watch their growth — all the way to their graduations — and seeing them shape their hopes for the future,” Franks said.

The second retiree to be recognized was Susan Rowland, who served the University for 28 years.

“Susan Rowland is a living, breathing and successful example of a lifelong learner. That’s what we all want for all of our students, isn’t it? That’s how they become successful and happy for a lifetime: they never stop learning. And in Susan, we have a living example of how it can work,” Franks said.

Each year, one faculty member and one staff member are awarded for distinguished service to the University.

The Outstanding Faculty Member award, presented by Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Timothy Fulop, was awarded to Professor of English Dr. Marc Muneal.

The Outstanding Staff Member award, presented by Averett Staff Council President Ashley Bowman, was awarded to University Registrar Kristi Gilliam.

Instructor Meaghan Byrne, instructor for business administration, was recognized for being awarded tenure this academic year.

Faculty members who received a promotion for the 2021-22 academic year include:

  • Ginger Henderson, promoted from associate professor to full professor of equestrian studies.
  • Toni Gazda, promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of English.
  • Krisztina Spong, promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of chemistry.
  • Jake Kucek, promoted from instructor of communications to assistant professor of communications.

Other recognitions included acknowledgements of those who have earned a doctorate, master’s or bachelor’s degree in the past year. Those who taught an Averett 101 class were also recognized.

The following faculty and staff members were recognized for their milestone years of service to Averett:

45 years
Laura Meder, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

35 Years
Barbara Kushubar, Associate Professor, Health & Sports Science
Dr. Anne Lewis, Professor, Music
Janet Roberson, Assistant Professor, Business & English
Dr. Peggy Wright, Professor & Chair, Business Administration

30 years
Dr. Susan Huckstep, Associate Professor, Communication
Marietta Sanford, Director, Averett Online Academic Services
Brenda Williams, Operations Manager, George J. Falk Flight Operations Center

25 years
Marion Breen, Philanthropy Services Assistant

22 years
Daniel Jones, HES Custodial Services

20 years
Vickie Knowles, HES Custodial Services
Susan Rowland, Director of Curriculum Services for Distance Education
Brenda Stone, HES Custodial Services

15 years
Phillip Robinson, HES Maintenance Services
Felicia Saunders, Shift Supervisor, Bon Appetit
Celia Wilkerson, Records Specialist I

10 years
Meghan Byrne, Assistant Professor, Business Administration
Travis Dix, Webmaster/Graphic Designer
Patrick Henry, Head Football Coach
Toni Gazda, Associate Professor, English
Dr. Ralph Hawkins, Professor, Religion
Matthew Mann, Associate Director of Admissions
Michael Moroni, Regional Support Manager, Bon Appetit
Dr. Karen Oaks, Simulation Coordinator & Associate Professor
Pam Paynter, HR Operations Manager & Benefits Coordinator

5 years
Kelsey Blanks, Student Accounts Manager
Todd Blanton, Technical Director, Theatre/Audio/AV
Kristi Gilliam, University Registrar
Dr. James Hodgson, Professor & Program Director, Averett Online Sociology/Criminal Justice
Tammy Jackson, Director for International Student Services and Cultural Programs
Holly Kilby, Assistant Director for Academic Support
TyRhonda Roberts, Supervisor, Bon Appétit
Beth Robertson, Bookkeeper/Admin., Bon Appetit
Les Waller, Assistant Professor, Nursing

For additional photos, please click here.