Tracy Abdur-Rahim Carter

Tracy Abdur-Rahim Carter is pursuing her Master of Business Administration degree in human resources management through Averett’s Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) program. She is from Axton, Va., and aims to finish the program in August 2018.


What is an average day like for you in the GPS Program?

“The average day for me while being enrolled in the GPS program means I’m on a tight schedule. I currently work 12-hour shifts and the days I have off, I still go into work. My day begins at 4:45 a.m. and does not end until 9 or 10 p.m. After working, I pick up food for my kids, or at times I will cook when I get home. Once I get settled for the next working day and read a scripture, I go into my room, close the door and start on my assignments. This is an everyday process for me. I have learned how to manage my time and not procrastinate. Taking advantage of spring or holiday breaks to get caught up on my assignments has helped me to stay on schedule and turn work in on time.”

Why did you decide to continue your education at Averett?

“Deciding to continue my education at Averett was not a hard decision to make. I recently received my bachelor’s degree from Averett in 2016. Averett is a proud school that believes in students by providing them with excellent professors and services. The GPS program has helped me balance family and work, while obtaining a rewarding education.”

How do you believe Averett will help you with your degree?

“The human resources curriculum at Averett will prepare me to manage the development of human principal in a company. There are many responsibilities that human resources have, such as recruiting, labor relations and employee job training; preparing me for those legal as well as unethical situations that I might be faced with.”

What do you like best about the University?

“What I like best about Averett University is the staff and its GPS program. The staff is always available to answer any questions you might have. They are willing to help you, so you can understand the assignment. This program has aligned with my lifestyle and is convenient.”

Why did you choose your path of study?

“I chose HR because I am a person that likes to help and train individuals. Being in this role will allow me to work with people, giving them the essential tools to do their job well, as well carrying out the goals for the company.”

Chantel Christian

Chantel Christian is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business administration through Averett’s Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) program. She is from Danville, Va., and aims to finish the program in 2020.

What is an average day like for you in the GPS Program?

“I work full-time so after I get off, I spend approximately two to four hours studying and scheduling time to work on future assignments. Before I start a new class, I read over the syllabus to make sure I know what assignments are due on what days, so the amount of time I spend a day working on an assignment varies.”

Why did you decide to finish your education at Averett?

“I decided to finish my education at Averett because the program met all of my needs. The GPS program allows me the opportunity to receive a quality education all while working full-time and being a mom.”

How do you believe Averett will help you with your degree?

“I believe that Averett will equip me with the knowledge and tools to be able to apply what I have learned in my degree program to my future career.”

What do you like best about the University?

“What I like best about the University is the family atmosphere. Every staff member and professor that I have worked with has shown tremendous passion for student success at Averett. I loved that the Admissions staff went over and beyond to make sure that I was prepared and that all of my questions were answered before I started classes.”

Why did you choose your path of study?

“I chose my path of study because one day I plan to become a business owner and the business administration GPS program has the best courses for someone with that career goal in mind.”

Joey Cloud

Joey Cloud is a senior criminal justice major from Warrenton, Va.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in on campus?

“I participate in Greek life – Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. I am a student ambassador, former orientation leader, peer mentor for several Averett 101 classes and a member of the Men’s Lacrosse team.”

How do you believe Averett will help you with your degree?

“Averett will help me with my degree because of the connection with alumni and their drive to help fellow graduates.”

What do you like best about the University?

“I like the small class sizes and the family-like atmosphere at the school.”

Why did you choose your path of study?

“I chose my path of study to make a difference, as well as for the employment opportunities and great job security that I’ll have.”

Paul Dennis

Paul Dennis is a second semester freshman currently majoring in psychology. He plans to add physical education as a major and make psychology a minor. Dennis is from Prince George, Va.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in on campus?

“I am a member of the Black Student Union singers, and I am playing football next season. I also am a member of the Men’s Lacrosse team.”

How do you believe Averett will help you with your degree?

“I believe Averett is one of the few schools that can help me get my desired degree. Although many schools have physical education majors, not very many have concentrations in coaching, which is my desired field. I hope to coach football one day, and Averett looks like the prime place to start.”

What do you like best about the University?

“Due to Averett’s small size, I can get a chance to actually build a relationship with my professors and pay closer attention in class. I don’t feel intimidated by asking questions. I honestly feel as if the professors care and know about who I am, and what my strengths and weaknesses are.”

Why did you choose your path of study?

“I originally chose psychology because it has always interested me, and I really enjoy learning more about the human mind and how we react, think and feel. But I really love football and I have aspired to be a football coach since I was a child. That is why I plan on majoring in physical education with a concentration in coaching.”

Makenna Harris

Makenna Harris, a Danville native, is a second-semester freshman currently majoring in elementary education. Harris also aims to have minors in both English and special education.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in on campus?

“I love volunteering if it has anything to do with helping our community or our youth.”

How do you believe Averett will help you with your degree?

“Averett has an amazing education program. I’ve known many great teachers to graduate from Averett. Averett offers us many opportunities to go out and actually be in the classroom, even as a freshman.”

What do you like best about the University?

“My favorite thing about Averett University is the people. Through Averett, I have met so many people that truly care about me and want to help in any way they can. I have loved every professor I’ve had. They always work hard to help you answer any questions and meet with you as much as they can.”

Why did you choose your path of study?

“I chose education because of how teachers have impacted my life. Kids need to have someone that they can look up to. With teaching, you become more of a mentor that most children don’t experience outside of the classroom. I will always have a soft spot for children that come up with little to no guidance. It gives me a purpose in life. I want to teach them more than just academics, because I want to be that one person to make a difference in a child’s life.”

Taylor Hodges

Taylor Hodges is a junior biomedical sciences major from Winston-Salem, N.C.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in on campus?

“I am a part of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Kappa Delta Alpha sorority, the Love Danville Council, served as an orientation leader and used to be a work study with Residence Life. I am a captain on the Softball team and also helped with the Cross Country team.”

How do you believe Averett will help you with your degree?

“I believe Averett is helping to prepare me tremendously with my biomed degree which will help me reach my goal of going to physical therapy school.”

What do you like best about the University?

“The best part of Averett is definitely the family atmosphere. I love how everyone knows everyone, and even the professors know you by name.”

Why did you choose your path of study?

“I chose my path of study because the medical field has always intrigued me. I chose physical therapy after breaking my arm and having a great P.T. experience; I want to be able to provide that same experience to other young athletes in the future!”

Nathaniel Lake

Nathaniel Lake is a senior communication studies major with a minor in sociology. Lake is from Culpeper, Va.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in on campus?

“I played football at Averett for the last four years and just finished up my senior year playing this season – a career best season for me.”

How do you believe Averett will help you with your degree?

“Averett has and will continue to help me just through the connections I make with other individuals around campus. The University has shown me various viewpoints from around the world and shown me that it is okay to express yourself however you can. Also it has given me communications skills that I could have never received from a large university. Through Averett’s alumni network, I believe that there will always be someone out there who has my back and always looking out for me.”

What do you like best about the University?

“I would have to say the thing I appreciate the most about Averett is the connections you make, with not only the students, but with our professors. Dr. Susan Huckstep is by far my favorite professor and she has helped me ever since I switched my major to communications my sophomore year. I really owe it to her and my family for me being where I am today. Averett brings a family into your life and creates a lifetime of memories. I have made my best friends here, and I know I wouldn’t find anybody else like them. They are my brothers and I look forward to coming back years from now and looking back at Averett to remember the good times we had.”

Why did you choose your path of study?

“The reason I choose a communications path was because I never found it hard to write a paper or speak to someone. I am a very social person – when I want to be – and the communications field here has really helped bring that out of me even more. I am no journalist by any means, but I do enjoy talking to people about anything; you never know who you may meet and turn out having an amazing conversation with. Also there will always be some form of communication in the world; whether it is written, spoken or some form of technological communication. This is a field that will never cease to grow and get better in the upcoming years.”

Emily Shelton

Emily Shelton transferred to Averett University as a double major but added a third under the guidance and encouragement of Dr. David Hanbury. Her majors are clinical & counseling psychology, sociology and biological psychology. Shelton is a senior from Ringgold, Va.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in on campus?

“Because I work a part-time job and tutor at Danville Community College, my extracurricular activities are, unfortunately, few and far between at Averett. However, I did serve as a peer tutor for the University last semester, in addition to my other occupational obligations. I am also a member of several different honor societies (Phi Theta Kappa, Alpha Chi, Sigma Alpha Pi [non-inducted]), both at DCC and Averett!”

How do you believe Averett will help you with your degree?

“I chose Averett because I wanted to attend a small university, where I could make meaningful connections with other students as well as members of faculty and staff, and because the University encourages students to pursue academic excellence. I believe that the dedication, work ethic and ambition that Averett has encouraged in myself and other students will serve me well as I complete my undergraduate education, continue my education at a graduate level and pursue a career in law. The University pushes students to work hard and be successful, and that is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Additionally, I would like to relocate back to Danville once I am settled into my career, and Averett has instilled in me an appreciation for and motivation to foster change and growth in my hometown.”

What do you like best about the University?

“My favorite thing about Averett is the main reason that I chose the school: the small, friendly, hometown environment. I wanted to attend a school where I would be more than a student ID number or one face in a sea of faces, and the University has exceeded my expectations in that regard. I have met some of the best friends I’ve ever had at this school, and I have forged bonds with instructors who have challenged me, changed me and helped me become the student and person that I am today.”

Why did you choose your path of study?

“I chose to major in psychology and sociology after falling in love with the disciplines during the first two years of my undergraduate education, and also because my long-term goal is a career as a lawyer, specializing in family law and child advocacy. I believe that these programs of study will help me in my professional life as well as personally, as they would help me take a step outside of myself and see the world from the perspectives of other people.”

Brianna Williams

Brianna Williams is a sophomore English major from Manassas, Va.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in on campus?

“Volleyball is definitely a huge part of my life. My volleyball experience at Averett has been one for the books. Although every team and every season has its highs and lows, the experience has been overall a great one and has taught me a lot about myself. My two seasons at Averett have been pretty good and are where I have created the majority of my college memories so far. From when I first arrived as a freshman until now, our team has been evolving for the better. Seasons can be hard, exhausting and sometimes even frustrating, but being out of season for even just a couple days or a week, you start to miss the court, your teammates and that insane schedule that keeps you organized through the semester.”

How do you believe Averett will help you with your degree?

“Averett is helping me make my degree my own. A lot of people ask me what I want to do when I get out of school. When they hear that I am an English major, they just assume that I want to be a teacher but I don’t. I am not sure what I want to do specifically with my degree but I am excited to see the possibilities of where it might take me.”

What do you like best about the University?

“I really like the personal relationships with the staff, my advisor, professors, and coaches. It is something really special and something that I appreciate.”

Why did you choose your path of study?

“I was originally a criminal justice major when I came in as a freshman. I made a drastic change to an English major because of a movie that I watched, which I ended up writing a huge paper on in my English class. “Hidden Figures” has become one of my favorite movies of all time and also was the inspiration for the paper that I wrote. While I was writing drafts for my paper, I stayed after class with my professor and we discussed the topic, the world now based on my topic and also what I wanted to do with my life. After this discussion and putting my heart and soul into this paper, the day that I was heading home for the summer I went to the registrar’s office and changed my major and my professor became my adviser. I also plan to add African American Studies as a minor because of my African American Literature class I took with Instructor Antoinette Gazda.”