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National News

March 02, 2012

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Career Advancement

Career Advancement

Joy Soper (pictured), a graduate from the Lexington Campus, has a unique job with Central Kentucky Research Associates (CKRA), one of the top 5 clinical research companies in the country. As a data management associate with the company, she creates source documents which provide the protocol that CKRA employees follow to conduct studies on medications during their final phase of testing before going to the FDA for approval. Joy also helps in other areas of the clinic with everything from drawing blood to archiving records.

Joy was working two jobs when she decided it was time to return to school and get her degree. She came to American National University after doing research and talking with students and instructors. “It seemed like the best fit for me,” she said. “The class size and being able to take night classes allowed me to go back to school,” she explained.

After completing her medical assisting associate’s degree, Joy worked at Jessamine Medical and Diagnostics Center for several years but she was ready for a change when she saw an ad for a position with CKRA. Denisha Henry, a American National University graduate and long-time employee of CKRA, hired Joy for the job. “She likes to remind me that when she told me I got the job, I cried,” Joy said.

Debbie Dyer, owner of CKRA, said that Denisha and Joy are among several American National University graduates that she has employed. She said that she has found that they possess a “good foundation” for her to build upon as she teaches them the procedures unique to her business.

“I love my job,” Joy stated. “I think they (National) very much prepared me for medical assisting, regardless of where I went to work,” she said.

In the future, Joy would like to work for a drug company as a monitor and travel to different research sites. She is considering returning to National to earn her bachelor’s degree in health care management which she feels will help her achieve that goal. “Find a school that fits you, that fits your needs—whether it’s the small class size or the flexibility of the schedule,” Joy advised.

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Work Study Student Supports Local Career Center

Work Study Student Supports Local Career Center

The Richmond Campus provides a federal work-study student each term to the Central Kentucky Career Center in Richmond to assist its busy staff. Sherry “Sunny” Spencer (pictured), a student in the medical assisting program, is the current student working at the site.

Sunny can relate to the clients who visit the center because she said she lost everything after being laid off from her job working for a petroleum distributor. She was unsure where to turn until she found American National University and was able to receive help funding her education through the Workforce Investment Act administered by the center.

She enrolled in the administrative office professional associate’s degree program and was hired by a medical staffing and management company while she was still in school. She was eventually promoted into a supervisory position. “I absolutely loved it,” Sunny recalled.

In early 2011, Sunny experienced a great loss when her mother lost her battle with cancer. She was her mother’s primary caregiver during her illness and the experience inspired her to return to school to earn a degree in medical assisting. She hopes to give others the kind of care that was provided by an oncology nurse who brightened her mother’s days during her cancer treatments. “I just want to make a difference in somebody’s life. I think I can do that through my experience of what has happened to me,” she explained.

For now, Sunny enjoys her work at the Central Kentucky Career Center. “I was on unemployment and I know what it feels like,” she said. “They absolutely love that I’m there and they’re always patting me on my back telling me what a great job I’m doing.”

Sunny encourages those who want to return to school to make the most of their education. “It is what you make of it. They offer you everything that you need but you have a choice whether you want to excel or whether you want to be here to take up space,” she said.

Serving our Veterans

Serving our Veterans

Melissa Jones, local veterans employment representative (LVER) for the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training (OET), recently visited the Louisville campus. She met with Wesley Smith, regional director of military affairs; Angella Wilson, regional director of agency development; and Vincent Tinebra, campus director, to share resources and opportunities that are available to assist American National University veteran students seeking employment. Wesley and Angella also shared information with Melissa about the Blue Ribbon Grant and the Armed Services Recognition Grant that are available at American National University to supplement veteran’s educational benefits which makes returning to school for career training even more affordable.

Melissa’s office serves almost 10,000 unemployed veterans located in the greater Louisville area. She said that with the large number of military personnel returning from deployment, there are a number of initiatives to hire veterans under way by large employers such as GE and Humana.

In August, 2011, the OET partnered with the Louisville Campus to hold Operation Hire Patriots, a veterans job fair which featured over 40 employers and which attracted almost 300 veterans. Melissa said that she hopes to partner with National in 2012 to hold the event again.

“I like the working relationship that we have with each other,” Melissa said. “American National University is viewed as being very veteran friendly. It’s a good place for veterans to come because of the small class sizes and more family-type atmosphere. I think that’s very conducive to education and learning,” she explained.

Regional Director of Military Affairs Wesley Smith and Regional Director of Agency Development Angella Wilson are pictured discussing employment resources for student veterans with Melissa Jones, LVER for the Kentucky OET.

Mission: Impossible Math

Mission: Impossible Math

Business administration—management student Brandon Anderson (pictured) found his preparatory mathematics course very interesting and helpful. Specifically, he liked the project that required them to figure the entire U.S. Interstate System’s length in yards, feet and acres; how much concrete, steel and asphalt; and total weight and volume. The project was a ‘Mathematical Statistic of the Highway System’ and was a combination of every chapter in the book.

“At first it was extremely difficult, overwhelming but through [the instructor’s] guidance it was easy to finish the project,” said Brandon “After doing the project the final exam seemed easy.”

While many students approach math with trepidation, learning to solve seemingly impossible problems can go a long way to making students more comfortable with the subject. In this project, students could use a variety of mathematical techniques to solve a real problem, and unmask both the importance and power of mathematics. On that point, it definitely succeeded.

“The project expanded the mind and work on problem solving,” said Brandon.

Computer Clinic

Computer Clinic

Students in the information systems engineering (ISE) program at the Florence Campus held their first PC repair clinic on Saturday, February 18. The clinic was open to students, faculty, and staff to bring their broken or slow-running computers to be evaluated by ISE students.

Four ISE students, Adam Brown, Kyle Bowman, Bobby Cook, and Ronnie Demorest participated with ISE Director Valerie Bowman and ISE Instructors Jerry Padgett and Mamadou Sidibe evaluating computers brought in to the clinic. After the students diagnosed issues with each device, they optimized the computer through the use of disk-management and virus scanning software. Although the students could not add hardware, they did make recommendations to the computer owners on what hardware and/or software could be upgraded.

The clinic was a huge success and a win-win for all participates. The ISE students practiced the skills they have learned thus far in the ISE program and the computer owners, in most cases, gained a better working computer. The ISE students plan to have a workshop during each term as they continue throughout their program.

Information systems engineering student Bobby Cook is pictured diagnosing a computer at the Florence Campus’ computer clinic.

Just What the Doctor Ordered-A Job!

Just What the Doctor Ordered-A Job!

Trisha Ison (pictured), a student at American National University’s Pikeville Campus, recently went in to visit her doctor for a check-up and came out of the appointment with a job offer. A recent graduate of the medical assisting associate’s degree program, Trisha is now set to begin work as a registered medical assistant at the Pikeville Medical Center Heart Institute.

Trisha mentioned to her doctor during her visit that she was in a hurry because she was on her way to a graduation celebration at National. “He said ‘What are you graduating in?’ she recalled. “I told him medical assisting. He said ‘Do you need a job?’ I said ‘Yes!’ So, that’s how I got hired,” she explained.
Trisha sent a text announcing the exciting news to a classmate and the graduation celebration soon became an employment celebration, as well.

Trisha formerly worked as a teacher’s aide at an elementary school. As a single mom, she knew that she needed a career that offered a better income. She liked the short, two-year time frame in which she could complete the medical assisting program and the flexible class schedule that National offered allowed her to work full-time while going to school full-time during evening classes.

Trisha is proud that she has made the dean’s list every term and her daughter is excited about her mother’s graduation. “She just thinks it’s wonderful because we graduate together—she graduates preschool and I graduate college,” she said. “I’m just glad I had this experience. It’s been great,” said Trisha.

Blues History

Blues History

Throughout the month of February, the Columbus Campus has been celebrating Black History Month. One of the events held to honor this month was Dr. Lonnell Johnson’s presentation titled “Just What is ‘The Blues?’ A Transatlantic Connection.” Dr. Johnson is a faculty member at the campus who teaches humanities. Additionally, he is a published poet.

This presentation sought to educate people on the blues. It emphasized what the blues were, at one point defining them as “an intense overtone of mourning that is not human.” Dr. Johnson used original poetry set against a backdrop of blues history in the United States, and he pointed out that “blues is music; blues is poetry.” Set in a three-line stanza where the first line repeats and all three lines rhyme, the traditional blues lyric is “often tragic, laced with humor and irony.” He further elaborated that “it is often slow, marked by melancholy, like the loss of a home, a job, or loved ones. Like poetry, blues is a performance art.”

The transatlantic connection was made with Dr. Johnson using a number of PowerPoint slides from the trip he took to Goree Island off the coast of Senegal, where Portuguese slave traders once kept men and women bound for the Middle Passage and the New World.

After the presentation, medical assisting student LaTonya Johnson commented, “I am always impressed by Dr. Johnson’s presentations. His poise and intellect are outstanding. I learned some things about the blues that I didn’t know. I love his presentations and his [original] poetry.”

Dr. Lonnell Johnson is pictured on the day of his presentation with ]student LaTonya Johnson.

Department Chair Publishes Timely Book

Department Chair Publishes Timely Book

Emmanuel Udoh (pictured) – director of information technology programs at American National University’s Fort Wayne Campus – has published a book on cloud computing titled, Evolving Developments in Grid and Cloud Computing: Advancing Research. Cloud computing is the next stage in the IT evolution, providing the means through which everything from computing power to storage can be delivered through the Internet as a service to all users. In the world of the cloud, the user subscribes to cloud services and does not need to know anything about the underlying technology nor own the computing infrastructure, thus eliminating software and hardware maintenance. Currently, cloud computing is offered in different forms: public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds, which combine both public and private. Cloud computing will completely change the way schools and companies use technology to service students, customers, partners, and suppliers. It will eliminate many of the complex constraints from the traditional computing environment, including space, time, power, and cost. A good cloud example is the Microsoft Office 365 that allows global access to cloud-based email, web conferencing, file sharing and Office apps at a monthly cost. At National, our students are being prepared for this fundamental change in information technology, thanks to our highly qualified faculty.

Recognizing Excellence

Recognizing Excellence

On Tuesday, February 14th, the Princeton Campus celebrated student achievements at a dean’s list and pinning ceremony. Medical assisting and pharmacy technician graduates from the winter term received their pins and dean’s list students for 2011 were recognized for their achievements. Kaytlin Ludwig, Jewana Domond, and Lisa white received pharmacy tech pins for successful completion of their program while Eric Nunley and Ashley Umberger received their medical assisting pins. Both Eric and Ashley recently passed their registered medical assistant exams and finished coursework for medical assisting; however, they will be returning to National College to continue their education. Ashley works at Glenwood Park Retirement Village and will be taking medical coding classes. Eric has decided to broaden his computer knowledge by taking information systems engineering classes. Congratulations to all of the Dean’s list and pinning students for their success--hard work has paid off in their field of study!

Ashley Umberger is pictured at the top accepting her pin from Director of Health Care Education Pat Sell. Eric Nunley is pictured on the bottom.

Connecting with the Community

Connecting with the Community

The Charlottesville Campus served as a table sponsor for the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Quadruplicity Conference held at the Omni Hotel. The Annual Quadruplicity Conference is a transformative business event that gives women & men invaluable insight and applicable knowledge. This leading premier business women’s event with over 300 attendees centered on career, life, money, and health set the standard for women’s success in all quadrants of their lives. The Speed Networking session of the event allowed the staff to market the services of National College and our students expanded their professional network while connecting with prospective employers. The college’s representatives found the event to be an inspiring professional activity that provided: education, networking, personal growth, and leadership development. (Pictured below) Shanniki Green, a business administration—accounting associate degree graduate and current online student who is employed by Albemarle County Schools Department of Fiscal Services, was one of five scholarship recipients receiving conference registration at no cost and public recognition.

Pictured at the Quadruplicity Conference are (l to r) Toni Freeman, R.D.A.D-VA/WV; Anne Brown, CCD; Mandy Blaisdell, MCD student; Crystal Wood, MAA student; NyShaé Carter, BAA graduate; Shanniki Green, BAA Grad/BBACC (ONL); Madeline Jones, IDAH; Kelly Chamberlain, CD; and Diane Coombs, MCD student.

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.