Faculty, Staff and Retirees Honored at Averett’s End of Year Luncheon

Posted on May 7th, 2018 by Cassie Jones

The 2018 Averett University Faculty, Staff, Retiree Appreciation Luncheon was held on Thursday, May 3, in the Student Center. The University honored and celebrated its retirees, the faculty and staff members of the year, faculty who have been awarded tenure and been promoted, and those who received degrees.

Averett University’s President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks welcomed everyone, thanking them for their hard work this year and what they do for the students.

“No matter what your role at Averett, no matter which department you are in, what your title is, what you do daily, we’re all here for the same reason and goal, and that’s to change the lives of our students for the better,” Franks said. “We all are here together creating an environment that makes it possible for our students to succeed, to grow, to get better, to do good things and live good and productive lives. We all do that — individually and collectively.”

This year, Averett is saying goodbye to seven long-time members of the Averett Family: Mavis Brantley-Lloyd, administrative assistant, Department of Athletics and Department of Physical Education, Wellness and Sport Science, 2004-2018; Nancy Clark, senior student financial services counselor, 1999-2018; Dr. James “Jim” Caldwell, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, 1995-2018; Dr. Barbara Clark, professor of Spanish, 1992-2017; Susan Newcomb, associate director of student accounts, 1978-2018; and Dr. David Hoffman, professor of communication studies/journalism and English, 1978-2018.

Brantley-Lloyd began at Averett as an admissions assistant in January of 2004. In June of that year, she accepted the administrative assistant position that supported the director and the department of Athletics, as well as the chair and faculty of the Department of Physical Education, and has been in that position for the last 14 years.

Nancy Clark was hired in the Averett Financial Aid Office in 1999. In her 19 years in the position, she has answered thousands of calls and prepared at least that many financial aid packages. She has verified countless students and assisted parents through the financial aid maze to finally see them enroll their sons and daughters at Averett.

Caldwell wasn’t able to be present at the luncheon but Franks spoke to his impact throughout the years.

“There is no doubt about the mark he has left in the life of this University, in the lives of his students and in my life. He will be sorely missed,” she said.

Also absent was Barbara Clark, who retired at the end of fall semester. She was recognized for her contributions that spanned 25 years.

Newcomb began her career in student accounting as a work-study student. Upon her graduation from Averett, she was offered a full-time job in the student accounts office and has been here ever since. At that time, Averett was just starting its very own computer center to upgrade the tuition billing processes, which became her job. She managed the Business Office processes as they were put into the computer, which included accounts receivable, accounts payable and cash receipts, as well as handled the National Direct Student Loan Program, now known as Perkins Loans.

Hoffman joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the English Department of then Averett College 40 years ago. Two years later, he earned his Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Teaching from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and was granted tenure in 1985 and promoted to professor in 1990.

In a somber moment, Franks honored a former employee with a special retirement – the late Elizabeth “Liz” Richardson, who worked at Averett from 1984-2017. Franks presented her niece with a photo of Averett.

During the luncheon, three faculty members were congratulated for being awarded tenure for the 2018-19 academic year: Dr. Marc Muneal, associate professor, English; Antoinette “Toni” Gazda, assistant professor, English; and Dr. Charles Wuest, assistant professor, English.

Additionally, one faculty member has been awarded a promotion and three faculty members have been promoted and awarded tenure: Dr. Melanie Lewis, promotion to associate professor, program director of Athletic Training & assistant professor Department of Physical Education, Wellness & Sports Science; Dr. Ralph Hawkins, promotion to associate professor and tenure, Religion; Dr. George Odongo, promotion to associate professor and tenure, Education; and Dr. Aimee Brenner, promotion to associate professor and tenure, Education.

The Faculty Member of the year award, presented by Faculty Council, went to Caldwell. The Staff Member of the year, presented by Staff Council, went to Travis Williams, chief flight instructor.