Student Life Staff


Lesley Villarose

Dean of Students

Lesley Villarose,  Dean of Students at Averett University, grew up in Rockville, MD. She attended Lynchburg College and received a bachelor of arts in communications with an emphasis on journalism. After graduating from Lynchburg College in 2002 she moved to Philadelphia, PA where she attended Temple University and received her masters in educational administration.

During her time in Philadelphia she worked at three institutions and served in various positions in  student affairs that included student activities, recreation services, conference services and student union operations and conduct.

Lesley is currently in her sixth year at Averett University. Previously she served as the Director of Student Engagement. She, her husband Michael and their daughter Lexi reside in Eden, NC. Lesley serves on the alumni board for Lynchburg College as the chair of the student engagement committee.

sdanielSkyler Daniel

University Chaplain

Skyler Daniel is from Knoxville, TN, and he and his wife Ronella are blessed with a little girl, Charlize.  Skyler holds a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lee University, and a Master’s of Divinity from Wake Forest University.  Half his time is shared with West Main Baptist Church where he serves as Associate Pastor for Youth.  Before coming to Averett, Skyler ministered to marginalized students in Romania, and served various ministry roles before that.

dhoward2DeAndre Howard

Director of Housing & Residence Life

DeAndre hails from the historic city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. As an “only child”, he quickly learned the value associated with collaboration and creating interpersonal relationships.

DeAndre holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Spanish from Saint Augustine’s College (University). After college, he went on to pursue his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Juvenile Justice at Norfolk State University which instilled in him the desire to work with young people. 

He has held multiple roles in Housing & Residence Life from work study student to, most recently before arriving at Averett, the Associate Director of Residence Life and Coordinator of Student Conduct for Mars Hill College. He also served as adjunct faculty in both the Criminal Justice and General Studies departments.

He is currently in pursuit of a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. His immediate goals and aspirations are to work with developing college students into becoming leaders of tomorrow and to eventually become a chief student affairs officer.

kpattersonKyle Patterson

Associate Director of Residence Life; Coordinator of Student Conduct

Kyle has served in the Office of Housing and Residence Life at Averett University since 2012. He currently serves as the Associate Director of Residence Life & Coordinator of Student Conduct. Patterson received his Master of Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Kyle has served in Housing & Residence Life through multiple roles since 2006. Most recently prior to Averett, at Catawba College as an Area Coordinator. His mission is to provide equitable opportunities for all students, and foster a supportive living learning environment. His long-term professional aspiration is to become a Dean of Students.

Kyle was raised in the Tampa Bay area of Florida and is an avid fan of Tampa’s professional sports teams. He enjoys spending time with his family, exercising regularly, and occasionally binge watching TV shows.

dbenzDonna Benz

Assistant Director of Housing Operations

Donna Benz graduated from Kutztown University in 2002 earning a Bachelor of Science degree in General Studies with a concentration in Library Science.  While at Kutztown University, she was highly involved on-campus.  She worked in several offices including the Housing and Residence Life Office, Financial Aid, the Women’s Center, and the Disability Service Office. She is currently the Coordinator of Housing Operations, and the Area Director of Apartment Living at Averett University.  She enjoys traveling, crafts, and spending time with family and friends.

jwilliams2Jawoin Williams

Hall Director

Jawoin graduated from Averett University in Fall ’16 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Science and is currently a candidate in the MBA program. He works in the department of Housing and Residence Life as a Graduate Hall Director. Guided by his core belief of students come first, he strives to empower everyone around him. William’s energy motivates others to do great things. Through his work he has proven to be a catalyst for positive change.

jkahwajyJoan Kahwajy-Anderson

Director of Wellness Counseling and Peer Education

Joan Kahwajy-Anderson is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than twenty-five years of counseling experience. She assists students in finding resources to resolve typical, developmental issues experienced by many college students. Through the Office of Wellness and Peer Education, students usually meet one to one with Ms. Kahwajy-Anderson, with couple or group sessions offered as needed. Typical issues discussed include adjustment to university life, academic or personal stress, relationship issues and sadness or grief. Services of the center are intended to help students achieve their personal and academic goals in a confidential and respectful manner. Helping students develop emotionally healthy and successful lives is the primary mission of the Office for Wellness and Peer Education.

sbraxton-searsSierra Braxton-Sears

Coordinator of Student Engagement and Leadership

Sierra Braxton-Sears graduated from Averett in 2013 earning a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a concentration in Communication. While at Averett, she was highly involved in on-campus departments and activities such as admissions, working as an orientation leader for several years, as well as, being the head orientation leader for a year, serving as a Cougar Activities Board Member, and working as a building manager. She is currently the Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Development here at Averett University. She has a husband, Jamison, and a daughter, Sophia. She enjoys spending time with her family and working to develop young student leaders.

tmahaffeyTaylor Mahaffey

Assistant Coordinator of Student Engagement

Taylor Mahaffey graduated in May of 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management and a Minor in Coaching. She was recently hired as the Graduate Assistant for the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership Development as she continues to pursue her education to earn a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership. She is 22 years old and from Belmont, North Carolina. Taylor was a four-year softball player here at Averett, and a three-year captain on the team. She was also highly involved as a student as she served as an orientation leader, a peer instructor, a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and a sister in the Kappa Delta Alpha sorority. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of softball with younger girls, traveling, shopping, and spending time with her friends and family.

cwaltonChristopher Walton

Hall Director

Christopher graduated in December of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Management.  He was recently hired as a Graduate Assistant for the Office of Housing and Residence Life as he continues to pursue his education to earn a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership.  He is 22 years old and from Hampton, Virginia.  Christopher was highly involved as a student as he served as a Resident Assistant, Student Ambassador, and Writing Consultant. He is passionate about the aviation industry and his hobbies include physical fitness, traveling, investment strategies, and entrepreneurial opportunities.