Launch Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness

Meet the CCECC Team

Tia Yancey
Director of Volunteerism

Tia Yancey serves as Director of Volunteerism at Averett University’s Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness (CCECC). Along with several certifications, Tia received Associate degrees in Consumer Marketing Specialization and Business Management from Danville Community College, a Bachelor’s degree from Averett University with a Concentration in Leadership, and a Master’s degree from the University of Lynchburg in Nonprofit Leadership.

Tia’s philosophy is that her community engagement work at Averett University made her realize that instead of just being born and raised in Danville, she now LIVES in Danville. Her passion to serve permeates the entire Dan River Region. She connects students to community volunteer service events, voter awareness, domestic violence/sexual assault awareness, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

[email protected], 434.791.7214

April Love-Loveless
Director of the Bonner Leader Program

April Love-Loveless serves as the Director of the Bonner Leader Program at Averett University’s Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness (CCECC). She has worked at the CCECC with the Bonner Leader program since 2017 and prior to that worked at two nonprofits in Washington DC. She received her undergraduate degree in English from Lynchburg College in 2016, where she served as a Bonner Leader student,  and finished her Master’s Degree in Educational Studies in 2019 from the University of Lynchburg. April is passionate about working with the Bonner Leaders and the community. She loves watching students find their passion and bring it to life at their service site.

April can be contacted via email at [email protected] or by phone at 434.791.7228.

Dr. Jennifer (JP) Penland
Director of Career Development & Exploration with the CCECC

 Dr. Penland comes to Averett University as the new Director of Career Development and Exploration with the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness. She earned her post doc certificate in Women in Leadership Studies from Cornell University, NY, and her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lamar University, TX, with an Emphasis on Multicultural Studies. Penland is a tenured academic professional with extensive experience in Higher Education STEM and research advisory roles.

Most recently she served as a STEM and Higher Ed Research Advisor for an aerospace company in the tri-state regions of WV, PA, and OH. Penland is an enthusiastic academician with 10+ yrs. experience developing collaborative partnerships and innovative learning experiences such as the USGS, P & G, National Reconnaissance Program, Blue Origin, and UT’s MacDonald Observatory; supervising faculty, staff, and students with several institutions in the country; managing foundational and federal grants: accreditation reporting for CAEP/AAQEP/SACSCOC; and experience data tracking and research trends.

Penland was inducted into the Phi Bet Delta’s International Honors Scholars Society for her work with international state department representatives and students in 2020 and continues to present and publish both nationally and internationally.  Some of Penland’s recent publications are included in the The Qualitative Report, Journal of Mentoring & Tutoring, Fourth World Journal (CWIS), IGI’s Handbooks of Research on Educational Technology Integration and Active Learning, Pedagogical Models for Next Generation Teaching and Learners Innovative Pedagogies, Best Practices in Teacher Education and Literacy and Digital Technology Integration in Teacher Education and Facilitating Collaborative Learning through Digital Content and Learning Technologies. Her international invitations to serve as a Keynote speaker were the 5th Canadian International Edu Teach Conference (June 2020), the Ireland International Conference on Education (October 2020), the World Congress on Education– CICE/WCE –Infonomics Society (June 2021), the Global Conference on Research in Education and Learning (February 2022) and most recently at the College Board’s A Dream Deferred Symposium (March 2022). Thus, her interest in coming to Averett University, making connections and creating a quality career program, inclusive of internships, apprenticeships and mentorships.

Feel free to reach out to me either via phone (434.791.5629), email ([email protected]), or LinkedIn to discuss career development opportunities.