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February 03, 2012

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A Legacy of Success

A Legacy of Success

Katrina Evans graduated from the Harrisonburg CAMPUS in the fall of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration-management, continuing a legacy started by her mother who graduated from National nearly forty years earlier. Now, as a successful graduate herself, Katrina works as a recruiter in the human resources department of Riddleberger Brothers, Inc., a mechanical contracting company which serves clients in Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland.

“What I love most about my job is meeting new people,” says Katrina with a smile, “And I love it that I have the ability to help people in this poor economy as far as helping them to get jobs [at Riddleberger Brothers].” Working at a company that employs over 400 employees and covers three states, Katrina gets a lot of opportunity to meet new people, place them in jobs that match with the company’s needs, and conduct their first training with the company. “I love working here,” she says enthusiastically.

Katrina credits her current job to the education she received at National: “I went out there and I let people know, ‘I’m a bachelor graduate. I went to National – it’s a business school,’ I really think that helped.” As a worker and a mother of a teenager who was also attending school at the same time, Katrina says the flexibility in the schedule at National was key to accomplishing her educational goals. “And I had great instructors,” she states. “They stuck to the subject; they taught me exactly what I needed to know to expand in the work field that I was going in.”

Her daughter learned an important lesson, watching her mom balance work, family, and school, says Katrina: “It doesn’t matter how old you are – education is important.” In fact, Katrina is planning on continuing her education up to the master’s level and advancing in the human resources field. She encourages other students who are in school, “No matter what obstacles that [you] face – stay in school and get everything that [you] can out of it – it really is a positive outcome.”

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Campus Hosts Red Cross Blood Drive

Campus Hosts Red Cross Blood Drive

Students and staff at the Madison Campus recently realized the big difference they could make by simply rolling up their sleeves and donating blood. The campus teamed up with the American Red Cross and hosted a winter blood drive.

The goal was to get at least 15 donors but they surpassed their goal with 18. Each donor and unit of blood can benefit three people, so the campus blood drive potentially saved 54 lives. Students, faculty, and staff learned that more blood is needed in the area than they realized and that all blood donations allow the organization to maintain a ready supply of blood for emergencies.

While this was not the campus’s first blood drive, it also won’t be the last. The Campus plans to host four more blood drives this year, one drive for each quarter.

Student Services Representative Sara Hensley is pictured donating blood at the Madison Campus blood drive.

Lt. Governor Shares the Importance of Voting with Students, Faculty, and Staff

Lt. Governor Shares the Importance of Voting with Students, Faculty, and Staff

From January 23rd to the 27th, the Bristol Campus held its second annual Voter Registration Drive. Given Bristol’s unique status as a Twin City, voter registration forms were available to students, faculty, and staff for both Virginia and Tennessee. The event included a visit from Tennessee’s Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey who spoke about the importance of voting and being an informed voter. He discussed the benefits of getting an education from National College and noted its placement assistance. His discussion also included information about health care, social security, unemployment benefits and other local issues. Afterwards, students were actively involved in a question and answer session. Student Misti Threlkeld said, “The event was eye-opening. I learned all about how things actually work in state government and the importance of voting.”

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey is pictured addressing students, faculty, and staff at the Bristol Campus about the importance of voting.

Student Retrains for Better Career in Growing Medical Field

Student Retrains for Better Career in Growing Medical Field

Robin Crislip had worked in sales and marketing at a phone company for five years before her company downsized. Robin was among 200 employees that were let go. As a result, representatives from the Portage Workforce Connection visited the phone company and talked about training options. Robin knew that she needed a more stable career and this visit gave her confidence to reach for her goals.

While researching colleges, Robin learned about the surgical technology degree program at the Akron Area Campus. “I didn’t just research colleges, but I also researched the industry,” she said. “I was tired of being downsized, so I chose a career that has great stability.” Robin took a tour of the campus, and she loved the personalized attention that she got through the enrollment process. “I was intimidated because I had not attended a class in a very long time. I didn’t know how to maneuver through the process of registering for classes, and everyone at the campus was so helpful and set my mind at ease.”

Robin said that the small size and the family-like environment of the campus led her to choose National. “I had researched other programs, but when I walked on campus, it just felt right.”

Since Robin’s company downsized, she qualified for the Workforce Investment Act, which provides tuition assistance for individuals who require training to reenter the workforce. Portage Workforce Connection helped Robin to submit the necessary paperwork to secure the training dollars. “I view this assistance as a true blessing. Without the funds, I would be unable to get my degree and secure a better job.”

Robin said that the best thing about her new career direction is that she feels that she has some control in her future. “I know I will work in this field as long as I want to and not be forced out because someone else decides my job isn’t there.”

Pictured with Clinical Coordinator Jim Shurtloff, student Robin Crislip is preparing for a new career in the medical field.

Students Learn about the Value of Immunizations

Students Learn about the Value of Immunizations

Students in the medical assisting and pharmacy technician programs at the Columbus Campus recently had a visit from Denice Abbot, a registered nurse from the Columbus Health Department. She spoke about immunizations, focusing on their importance and how to properly educate patients about obtaining vaccinations for their children. In addition, she also took time to talk about the misinformation about immunizations including the idea that they increase the risk of autism. Ms. Abbot used the eradication of polio and smallpox as examples of the triumphs of immunizations. The students also received instruction on how to draw up solutions in the syringe and techniques of practicing injections on oranges.

As a mother of small children, student Heather Sargent said she learned a lot from Ms. Abbott’s presentation and appreciated the information. Student Leanne Martinez said that even though she has heard about this information before, she always finds the subject interesting.

Guest speaker Denise Abbot (far left) is pictured talking to students (l to r) Tamara Hale, Leanne Martinez, Jessica Hurst, and Pharmacy Technician Chair Nicole DiSabato.

Graduate Accomplished Career Goals and Finds Dream Job

Graduate Accomplished Career Goals and Finds Dream Job

Bridget Morris has wanted to be a nurse for as long as she can remember but the realities of her family’s financial situation made it impossible for her to realize this dream, or so she thought. She couldn’t afford to quit her day job and most nursing schools only offered day classes.

Bridget had previously earned a diploma from the medical billing and coding program at the Pikeville Campus. She was able to accomplish this by taking classes at night so she could work during the day. When she heard that the campus started a new nursing degree program she said, “I knew I wanted in.”

Bridget was one of the first students to enroll in the new program and now she is a registered nurse fulfilling her dream. She said that getting her degree wouldn’t have been possible without the flexible class schedule at National. “There is no other program that would have worked [with my schedule],” she explained.

Now, Bridget is working for the pain management clinic at Pikeville Medical Center and her career is everything that she thought it would be. “I love where I’m [working]. I love my doctors. I love my patients. I love my job,” she said.

In her new job, Bridget rotates through four areas of the clinic — triage, the office, the procedure room, and recovery. She feels well prepared by her training at National to handle them all. “The class size was so small that we got a lot of one-on-one when we needed it,” she shared. “It was easy to grab one of the teachers and say ‘Hey, I’m having trouble with this, will you show me?’”

Bridget said she may someday continue her education and pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing but for now, she’s enjoying each day in her new career. “It’s a good feeling knowing that you’re doing something good for somebody,” she said.

She encourages others who dream of a career in nursing to consider attending American National University. “If not for American National University, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I would never have been able to move forward.”

Campus Forms Partnership to Help Students Find Jobs

Campus Forms Partnership to Help Students Find Jobs

The Central Kentucky Career Center partnered with the Danville Campus on Thursday, January 26th to bring their mobile unit to campus to assist students with their résumés and job searches.

According to Tony Horn, Mobile Career Center Coordinator, students who visit the mobile unit have the opportunity to post their résumés on the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training’s job search site. This offers the students to increase their visibility employers who may only use that site for their hiring needs.

Lisa Kirby, medical billing and coding student, waited patiently in line to visit the center so she could create her first résumé. Althea Lear, medical assisting student, will be graduating in May and visited the center so she could apply for job openings. During her visit, she learned that the job search site automatically sends your résumé to other qualifying jobs. She ended up applying to five jobs.

Mr. Horn said that the mobile unit covers the 17 county radius of the Bluegrass Area Development District. In addition to the Danville Campus, it also makes regular visits to the American National University campuses in Lexington and in Richmond.

Medical assisting student Althea Lear applied to five jobs through the Central Kentucky Career Center mobile unit that visited the Danville Campus in January.

Student is Determined to Meet Challenges

 Student is Determined to Meet Challenges

When Nannette Frederick decided to relocate to the Northern Kentucky area from Paris, Kentucky, she thought that with 23 years of office experience, it would be a relatively easy to find a new job in that area. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Nannette found that even with her many years of experience she had to overcome a major obstacle to professional success: a degree. Determined to meet this challenge, she enrolled in the medical office specialist program at the Florence Campus.

As a student, Nannette said she is gaining skills in the areas of word processing software, spreadsheet applications, and medical office procedures – all of which will prepare her for the challenges of the job market. In addition to the medical and Microsoft Office courses, Nannette feels that her oral communications class helped her to develop confidence, poise, and effective communication skills. She said that, in combination with her technical skills, will provide her with the means to accomplish her professional goals.

To help defray the costs of her education, Nannette worked at the campus as a work-study student. Working at the campus allowed her to apply what she learned in the classroom and develop other skills like being dependable, having a positive attitude, working well under pressure, understanding the importance of time management, and working well with others.

Campus Hosts Community Spotlight Series that Benefits Veterans

Campus Hosts Community Spotlight Series that Benefits Veterans

On February 1st, the Lexington Campus hosted its second Community Spotlight Series event with Matt Rogers from the Vet Center to highlight the many services offered to veterans. The Vet Center has a state-of-the-art Mobile Vet Center which also tours the Bluegrass and provides community outreach for our veterans as part of their services to our veterans.

Student Larry Olinger took advantage of this opportunity to talk to Matt about the various services available through the Vet Center. Larry is a veteran and acts as an on campus resource for other veterans. He is enrolled in the business administration- accounting program and is an active member of Phi Beta Lamda, the campus’s business fraternity.

Matt Rogers (left) is pictured talking to student Larry Olinger (right) about the available services through the Vet Center.

Career Center Open House Brings Together Employers and Potential New Employees

Career Center Open House Brings Together Employers and Potential New Employees

On Tuesday, January 31, the Louisville Campus held a Career Center Open House to showcase the campus’s newly updated career center. During the event, Career Center Director Donna Reed-Carson welcomed human resources representatives from area employers to meet with students and graduates hoping to start their new careers.

The open house offered students and graduates an opportunity to network with potential employers and learn about the many services that the career center provides. "The open house was a great kick-off event to bring students and employers together in the newly decorated Career Center and show them the services we offer,” Donna said.

Among the employers to participate was Dale Price from Rite Aid who held on site interviews to fill pharmacy technician positions. Graduate Lisa Owens returned to the campus for the open house and interviewed with Mr. Price.

Penny Gibbs, a student in the business administration-management program, attended the event where she learned the importance of completing her résumé early and about how the career center can help her in finding career opportunities. “I am going to be researching companies that I would like to work for and I will be getting back with Ms. Carson to help chart out my path to career success,” Penny said.

Dale Price with Rite Aid is pictured interviewing graduate Lisa Owens for a pharmacy technician position.

Career Day at the Capitol

Career Day at the Capitol

On Wednesday, February 1st, National College joined career colleges from across the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the second annual Career Day at the Capitol.

The event gave state legislators the opportunity to meet students from career colleges in Kentucky to learn more about their educational experiences and the training they’re getting in preparation for their new careers.

Many of the schools provided first-hand demonstrations of the skills that students are learning in class. At the National College booth, medical assisting students took blood to check glucose and cholesterol numbers. They also checked blood pressures and pulse rate screenings.

Student Madelyn Ramirez drew blood from Rep. David Watkins, a physician from Henderson, Kentucky and member of the Kentucky State House of Representatives. Dr. Watkins later complimented Madelyn on her performance.

In addition to Madelyn, medical assisting students Stacy Chambers, Angela Kildoo, and Keyotta Sarver also attended Career Day with Louisville Campus Director Vincent Tinebra and Director of Healthcare Education Bonnie Kiefer to thank legislators for their support for career education. Vincent said he was glad to have the opportunity to meet legislators and show them what National students can do.

Top photo: Student Madelyn Ramirez draws blood from Rep. David Watkins, a physician from Henderson, Kentucky and member of the Kentucky State House of Representatives. Fellow medical assisting students Stacy Chambers (far left) and Angela Kildoo (second from left) look on. Bottom photo:  National College students in Kentucky go to the Capitol and demonstrate their skills.

Graduate Shares Career Experiences with Danville Students

Graduate Shares Career Experiences with Danville Students

Susan Shelton has been invited as a guest speaker for several classes in the medical assisting degree program at the Danville Campus. In her presentation, she shared her experiences as a student.

Susan graduated from National in 1994 from the medical assisting degree program. She got a job soon after graduation working in a local endocrinology office – where she completed her externship. She has thrived in the field in different positions. She currently works as a clinical research coordinator for a local orthopedic office where she conducts clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies. Her job involves electrocardiography, drawing blood samples for testing, and conducting routine office visits to check vital signs to determine if a patient is eligible for certain trials for new medication.

Susan spoke enthusiastically in her message to students conveying the importance of persistence and aspiration. With over fifteen years of real-world experience after graduating from National College, she gave students a broad look at the opportunities they can open up for themselves through education.

Danville guest speaker and graduate Susan Shelton is pictured with student Teresa Moser (left) practicing CPR on a life-like baby.

Students Perform Network Survey at Local Church

Students Perform Network Survey at Local Church

Students in the Information systems engineering program at the Lynchburg Campus visited True Vine Baptist Church to evaluate the church’s network infrastructure. Instructor Linzie Johnson showed the students around the church’s computer lab, administrative offices, and server room. The students discussed ways to consolidate the existing network devices, made recommendations for upgrades to computer hardware and operating systems, and looked for possible security issues.

When the students returned to class, they worked on a proposal for consolidating and upgrading the network. This may become an extended project in order to give the students the opportunity to implement their plan. Student Steve Wilson said he was glad to get a first-hand look at what to expect in the real world and see how concepts taught in class are applied.

Instructor Linzie Johnson is pictured with students in the information systems engineering degree program discussing a local church’s network infrastructure.

Students Prepare for Clinical Training at Hospitals

Students Prepare for Clinical Training at Hospitals

The Harrisonburg Campus recently entered into clinical agreements with UVA Health System in Charlottesville and Fairfax INOVA Hospital Corporation in Northern Virginia. On Thursday, January 26th, three surgical technology students and three faculty and staff members from the campus traveled to UVA Health System to evaluate the site of future clinical rotations. Amber Ashley with UVA will be coordinating the clinical rotations with the campus and supervising students as they get the real-world experience that this opportunity provides.

Ashley met with Harrisonburg Campus Director David Zimmerman, Director of Health Care Education Karen Sherback, Instructor Deborah Meredith and students Katie Rhodes, Amanda Jones, and Jearl Smith who will soon be starting their rotation in March.

During the visit, the group was given sterile suits and a tour of the extensive surgical facilities, including 27 separate operating rooms. They learned that these facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through this experience, students learned more about what to expect during their clinicals in addition to various rules and regulations they will be expected to follow. They also got to witness heart surgeries, hip replacements, a nasal tumor removal, as well as various orthopedic procedures.

Students, faculty, and staff from the Harrisonburg are pictured visiting with Amber Ashley (2nd from right) at the UVA Health System to learn more about the clinical agreement that the College recently formed.

The National News is a biweekly publication designed to share the success and academic accomplishments of students and graduates from American National University and National College. For more information, contact the Communications Department.

In accordance with the regulations of the Tennessee Higher Education Council, all references to "American National University" refer to "National College" in the state of Tennessee.