Dr. Sergey Samoilenko
Associate Professor and Chair, Computer Science & Computer Information Systems

Phone: 434-791-5729
Office: Davenport Hall 104B

You don’t need to take a class from Dr. Sergey Samoilenko to remember him; all it takes is simply to walk past him once. Standing in the neighborhood of 6’3” and sporting around 200 pounds of pure muscle, he looks like a Russian competitive bobsledder.

And that’s exactly what he used to be. He also competed in decathlons in Russia. If athletics is not your interest, know that a decathlon comprises 10 different track and field events held over two consecutive days, so it’s not just a hobby.

Oh, he’s an extremely nice man – fascinating, no-nonsense but with a ready laugh – but there is no question that his life has involved some serious athletics.

Step into his office and you’ll see how his interests range all over the spectrum, and the world. He has, for instance, a poster of Lil’ Wayne facing a drawing of Woody Allen. Actually, the walls are filled with far-ranging pieces, all colorful in one way or another … and all meticulously ordered.

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Samoilenko (who still has a trace of an accent) joined the faculty at Averett in 2013 … and is quite pleased to be part of the Averett family: “There is a great deal of loyalty among the faculty members here,” he says, adding, “we are happy to be part of an institution that exudes fundamental well-being, that is focused on high quality.”

He certainly is pleased to be in Information Systems. He points out that if one does a benefit analysis, gauging/predicting how one’s course of study will lead to a job (or not), it’s quite clear that his is an area that is a winner. Computer systems are here to stay, obviously.

“We’re not Information Technology – that’s the hardware. We are the applications, what you use computing for. And that is ever changing. Good Information Systems people are always in high demand.”

Samoilenko points out that he is so impressed with the “very safe and comfortable environment” that Averett provides, that he hopes his daughter will enroll at Averett when it’s time. “There is a very welcoming quality here,” he says.

He would know; he’s a large part of it.


Doctor of Philosophy, Information Systems, Virginia Commonwealth University

Master of Science, Information Systems, Virginia Commonwealth University


Lemery_SteveSteve Lemery,
Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Phone: 434-791-5724
Office: Frith Hall 424

“I know I’m a geek,” says Professor Steve Lemery, but he can’t help it. It began with a pencil in the fifth grade. “When I was in elementary school, I won a pencil prize for reciting prime numbers up to 100. I’ve been a math geek ever since.”

He also realizes that people like him (yes, “geeks”) often prefer to be on their own, and he helps get his students past that. “I have my students work in small groups, specifically to avoid falling into the natural isolation tendency of the discipline. I have them go to the board often to explain things, basically making informal presentations. Eventually, some do honors presentations in Math.”

He mentions that he had a couple of foreign students — one from Asia and one from a country that used to be in the Soviet Union — who “began as shy and geeky, isolated, and by the time we finished with them they were speaking in class, involved in clubs, doing things like helping out at Homecoming events. Some really high-achieving high school students can go to almost any college or university and succeed. Many of our students come here and thrive, whereas they would not do as well at other schools.”

If you ask an Averett student who Lemery is, the likely answer will be, “The Skittles Prof.” See, he does this thing with Skittles or M&Ms …  “We use candy with letters on one side. Shake ’em up and pour them out, then eat [Yes!] the ones with a letter showing. Repeat the process with the ones remaining, and just keep doing it. Plot all the numbers, and the data form a curving diminishing pattern. With modern calculators, you can plug in the data points and get the equation that describes the phenomenon.”

He explains that the Skittles procedure has many applications. You can do a similar thing, for instance, with the numbers for people who have had this year’s cold. Plot all of it, and you have a mathematical analysis for use in epidemiology. Plus, you’ve had a good bit of candy.


Master of Science, Mathematics, University of Arizona

Bachelor of Arts, Mathematics, Southern Illinois University