Mmmmm, Thanksgiving is here and we’re already dreaming of stuffing and pumpkin pie. But before we break for the holiday, we want to share what a few of our professors and staff said when we asked them why they’re thankful to be at Averett University. Read all the way to the end…their favorite AU memories are pretty special too.

 

rosemary-parsells

Name: Rosemary Parsells

Title: Adjunct Accounting Professor

Department: Graduate and Professional Studies

Why did you decide to pursue a career at AU?

I was a student in the MBA program first, with the goal of teaching at my local community college upon graduation. I chose Averett because of the school’s reputation, as well as because the format of the program fit with my work schedule. Shortly after I began my coursework, I was hired out of class to recruit students for Averett’s GPS program. After completing my degree in 2009, I was able to begin teaching for Averett on a part time basis.

Why are you thankful to be at AU?

Averett has given me the opportunity to help others in a way that not everyone’s job can do. As a recruiter, I was able to bring my own experience in the classroom to prospective students who, like me, were working full time while raising families. Now, as an instructor, I have the added opportunity to help them through some of the more difficult courses they take. I try to remember how hard Accounting was for me at first, and I do my best to help my students really understand what the subject is all about.

Tell us about your favorite AU memory or experience:

My favorite part of working for Averett was recruiting students, then having them in my accounting class, and finally seeing them graduate! Being a small part of their success makes me so happy! I still try to make it to graduation whenever I can!

 

dr-hodgson

Name:  Dr. James F. Hodgson

Title:  Graduate and Professional Studies Sociology/Criminal Justice Program Director and Professor of Sociology/Criminal Justice

Department:  Sociology/Criminal Justice

Why did you decide to pursue a career at AU?

I have been involved in program development for much of my professional and academic careers. Averett University offered the opportunity to further develop the Sociology/Criminal Justice Program to generate increased levels of educational access, options, and opportunities for Sociology/Criminal Justice Practitioners and individuals seeking careers in Public Safety and Human Services. The Averett University Mission of preparing students to serve and lead as catalysts for positive change is a commission that I wanted to apart of in empowering students to take leadership roles in community service.

Why are you thankful to be at AU?

I am very thankful to be part of the Averett University team as we work together to empower students to make great choices and participate in community development initiatives. I am thankful to be working in a service excellence environment, at Averett University, that provides opportunities for students to make positive differences in our communities.

 “I am very thankful to be part of the Averett University team as we work together to empower students to make great choices and participate in community development initiatives.”

Tell us about your favorite AU memory or experience:

My favorite memory or experience has been the supportive, kind, and compassionate relations demonstrated by Averett University employees since my June 2017 start date. The collaborative and facilitative team work approach, as demonstrated by Averett University employees, allow us to all to focus on the prize of empowering our students to become significant contributors in making our communities safe, healthy, and vibrant places to raise our children and grow old together. One Team. Go Cougars!

 

marietta-sanford

Name: Marietta Sanford

Title: Director of GPS Academic Services

Department: GPS

Why did you decide to pursue a career at AU?

I heard about an opening in the adult program and I thought it would be “prestigious” to work here!

Why are you thankful to be at AU? 

I am thankful because I have been able to obtain two degrees that I probably would not have completed otherwise. I am thankful to have those diplomas hanging on my wall and I’m thankful to have grown so much over these 25 years and to be teaching adult students.

Tell us about your favorite AU memory or experience:

I have many memories and experiences but they all revolve around our students. I have a shelf in my office with books and gifts that my students have given me and I display those proudly.

 

Name: Dr. Shelley Viola Murphy

Title: Adjunct Professor – Business Administration

Department: GPS

Why did you decide to pursue a career at AU?

I was invited to speak on team building and leadership for a class in Charlottesville. It sparked interest in my heart to teach. I first noticed the size of the class. The class had 12 students, I was amazed and realized the value of small classes. The interaction that happened between the instructor and the class was open discussion. Students talked and participated in the conversation and I knew I wanted to be associated with this school. There’s a lot of value in this environment.

Why are you thankful to be at AU?

It was an opportunity to be in the teaching environment that I longed for as a student. I felt it was important to be able to work in a small class environment that allowed the students to voice their view and have safe discussion about a topic.

Tell us about your favorite AU memory or experience:

One of my favorite experiences is that I am still close with a few of my students. I see them challenge themselves to grow. I see the impacts they are bringing to the community. I see how they serve. I believe AU with the GPS program allows them to accomplish their goals. Recently one of my Masters students from AU Charlottesville acquired her Doctorate. I am so happy for her and her accomplishments. Even better, she wants to teach, now how proud can I be that I played a small part of her education and her path to grow. Another couple of students who are now married have are opening a nonprofit and they have a successful catering business.

 

cathy-cutright

Name: Dr. Cathy A. Cutright

Title: Program Director of Graduate Education

Department: Education

Why did you decide to pursue a career at AU?

When I accepted this position, my goal was to significantly impact the lives of educators. As program director of GPS education, I have had the opportunity to mentor and coach students in Special Education, Administration/Supervision, and Curriculum and Instruction.

Why are you thankful to be at AU?

I am thankful for all of the students in the graduate program in Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, and Administration/Supervision. The majority of our students are working as administrators and teachers in their chosen fields. One-hundred percent of our Administration/Supervision students have passed the School Leadership Licensure Assessment (SLLA) test. During my tenure, Dr. Toney McNair, a graduate of Administration/Supervision, was named Virginia Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017. Ms. Wendy Motley, a graduate of Curriculum and Instruction, was named the best art teacher in the state of North Carolina in 2018.

When I accepted this position, my goal was to significantly impact the lives of educators.

Tell us about your favorite AU memory or experience:

Twice a year, I have the privilege of celebrating with all of the graduates and their families at commencement and the new journey that each educator will take to impact the field of education.

 

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