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March 16, 2012

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Degree Puts Career on the Fast Track

Degree Puts Career on the Fast Track

Shialon Minter came to the Cincinnati Campus looking for a new beginning, and found one along with a new career. Recently married and new to the Cincinnati area, she discovered American National University through a referral from her aunt, Virgie Douglas, who is the director of admission at the Richmond Campus. After graduating her associate’s degree in business administration-management, Shialon is looking forward to a promotion in her current position as a manager at McDonald’s.

As Shialon explains, being a manager at McDonald’s is much more than just ‘flipping burgers’ and selling fries. She said, “There’s a lot of things I learned [at National] in the business classes that I do every day.” For example, she manages money, schedules workers while keeping in compliance with labor laws, provides orientations for new hires, interviews for future hires, and handles inventory – all of this while serving customers and answering customer compliments and complaints. “I have a lot of customer compliments,” Shialon says with a smile.

Shialon began working for McDonald’s as a crew trainer and moved up quickly into leadership positions. She had worked as an extern for the McDonald’s franchise owner who took note of her hard work and natural leadership at the small corporate office. During her time working there, Shialon decided that she really enjoyed working for McDonald’s and wanted to continue her career there. “I’m going to have my own store in five years – I want to be the general manager,” she says with quiet confidence.

It’s a confidence that has grown as she’s accomplished much in her personal life and in her studies at school – keeping a high GPA and aiming high in her goals. She doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon, already looking into getting her bachelor’s and contemplating her MBA someday. Looking back on her experience at National she says with pride: “I’ve learned a lot; I’ve changed.”

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Campus Hosts Event to Celebrate Educators

Campus Hosts Event to Celebrate Educators

On Saturday, February 25th, the Cincinnati Campus was host to the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Epsilon Chapter XI in holding a celebration to promote the appreciation of educators throughout the community. The event opened with a brief introduction by the Sorority Basileus, Soror Rochelle Johnson.

Soror Marcia Allen introduced the first guest speaker, Ms. Sandra Curtis who opened with an informative lecture and discussion on the importance of hypertension as well as diabetes prevention and the healthcare measures needed to prevent further complications of disease.

To cap off the celebration, Soror Tammy Koontz played a video of the Civil Rights Movement and followed with a brief history about what the movement has done to the society of this country and the world today. Soror Maurine Allen then introduced Mr. James Clingman (pictured), the President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP, who also spoke about the Civil Rights Movement then and now. Mr. Clingman recited passages from various essays written on the entrepreneurship of African Americans in the Cincinnati community prior to the Civil War; these businesses were the most prosperous in the country.

Festivities closed with an informative discussion of African dance and its cultural history. The Asili Performing Arts Theatre performed African dance and acrobatic drum routines, and then invited members of the audience to learn and perform along with them. The Campus was glad to be host for this special event.

Class Project Offers Real-Life Scenario

Class Project Offers Real-Life Scenario

Students in the information systems engineering degree program at the Indianapolis Campus recently had the opportunity to put their skills to use for a local accounting firm. As part of their final class project, instructor Lacy Boyd assigned students in his Computer Hardware Technology class to perform troubleshooting procedures on remote access servers at the firm.

To prepare for their venture into the field, students first contacted the customer to try to gain understanding of the problem they would be troubleshooting. “We asked the client questions like what happened, when [it started],” student Lori Thompson described of the experience. “So we worked together to troubleshoot the problem and come up with solutions, and we got it fixed.”

“[The students] were well prepared because they contacted the customer before the visit to understand the problem,” said Lacy. “Their training modules taught them to be prepared, both technically and personally,” she explained.

This class exercise offered students an opportunity to gain real-world experience. They agreed that it was a great learning experience. “We got to apply what we learned in class to real life,” said student Kanishk Singh.

Lacy said the customer was satisfied with the service provided. “She mentioned how professional and prepared the students were in performing their task and invited us back to assist with any future problems.”

Pictured are (clockwise from left) Gabe Itegbe, Kanishk Singh, Shengtung Chien, Lori Thompson, and (sitting) Shaun-Tori Arnwine.

Real-World Experience at a Blood Drive

Real-World Experience at a Blood Drive

The medical instructors at the Danville Campus encourage students to seek volunteer opportunities that will help them prepare for their new careers. Volunteering offers students an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and commitment to the community.

Medical assisting students recently spent their Saturday morning with Instructor Robin Williams at a blood drive for the American Red Cross. The participating students came back to classes on Monday with the satisfaction of knowing they supported a great cause and got real-world experience. They shared stories where they were able to implement the skills they had learned in class.

Laura Dooley, Donor Recruitment Representative for American Red Cross Blood Services Division, told Director of Health Care Education Gail Orr, “Your students were great. They were professional and very helpful.”

The next field trip is already planned for students in the Clinical Medical Assisting class where they will be measuring weights and heights for the local Project Head Start. There will be eight students for 204 preschoolers.

Instructor Robin Williams is pictured donating blood to the American Red Cross.

Columbus Campus is "Business of the Year"

Columbus Campus is

The Columbus Campus recently received the Northland Area Business Association (NABA) ‘Business of the Year’ award at the most recent NABA luncheon. This award is given each year to a local NABA member that is not only successful in the Northland area, but goes above and beyond to be an active member of the Northland community. “American National University was selected as the 2011 NABA Business of the Year because of their outstanding commitment to the Northland Community,” said Roseann Hicks, NABA President. “They are not only a business tenant in the Northland corridor but their unwavering support and willingness to be active in the community is an example for other business to follow.”

NABA was formed in 1999 as a result of a survey commissioned by the City of Columbus to review the vitality of the Northland Area. Since its inception NABA has been a part of every major event and new business revitalization campaign in the area. Thanks in large part to the leadership of NABA; the Northland Area business district has more than 66,000 residents that provide a willing and educated workforce to area businesses.

The Columbus Campus is looking forward to continuing its relationship with NABA, as the newest Trustee on the 2012-2013 Board of Directors.

Campus Director Joe DeLuca is pictured accepting the 2011 NABA Business of the Year Award from Dave Cooper, Vice President of NABA.

Graduate Continues to Grow in Career Field

Graduate Continues to Grow in Career Field

Hope Whorley completed her studies at the Martinsville Campus in August 2010 with a diploma from the medical billing and coding program and a minor as a pharmacy technician. She completed her pharmacy technician externship with Cavalier Pharmacare in Martinsville. Her supervisors enjoyed her performance so much that she was offered a permanent position. Hope also completed her state pharmacy technician certification in September 2010.

Now Hope works as pharmacy technician for Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County. She said that National College greatly prepared her for the opportunities she has had in the pharmacy profession. She attributes much of her success to her instructors who helped her tremendously. Specifically, she gives special praise to Director of Health Care Education Gary Jenkins, and Instructors Glenda Jenkins, and Shelira Morrison, and Career Center Director Wayne Mitchell for all of their encouragement and support during her time at National College.

Scholarly Recognition

Scholarly Recognition

As recommended by the Academic Committee to American National University President Frank Longaker as part of an initiative to recognize students’ achievements in their general education courses, National’s Ohio campuses are instating an award-recognition program for those graduates who score highly on the ETS Proficiency Profile. The test, administered in the student’s last term, is designed to measure the student’s growth in critical thinking, reading, writing, and mathematics right before they graduate. These general education skills, in addition to the student’s knowledge in their specific field, have become increasingly important measures of success in the hiring process from employers’ perspectives.

“We want to measure and reward students for what they learned in their General Education classes, as well as their field of study,” Tim Philibin, Regional Director of Ohio, states. He presented a display board that showcases the awards to Michael Boyle, Campus Director of Youngstown, and explained the significance of the awards to a group of students, faculty, and staff gathered in Youngstown, Ohio.

As a part of the special recognition, students who score within top percentiles on the test will be awarded regalia to wear to graduation that signify their achievement. Those that score within the highest tier will be awarded a medallion to wear at graduation; those scoring in the next tier will be awarded a blue cord; and those in the third tier will be awarded a red cord. “This is something you will always have,” Tim shared with the students, encouraging them to do their best on the tests.

Display boards will be installed at each Ohio campus, alerting students to the opportunity of earning recognition for excellence in their general studies.

American National University President Frank Longaker is pictured in top photo receiving the recommendation of the award from the Academic Committee (represented by Jason Towers, Vice President of Campus Support Services) and supports the recognition of students’ achievements in all aspects of their studies.

Pictured (l to r) in the bottom photo are American National University Youngstown students Lynae Longo (medical assisting stduent) and Jelisa Acevedo (medical office assistant student), with Campus Director Mike Boyle and Regional Director of Operations Tim Philibin.

Madison Instructor Receives Mentor/Educator Award

Madison Instructor Receives Mentor/Educator Award

On Saturday, March 10th, Carmen Bellos, Director of Health Information Technology for the Madison Campus, received the 2011-2012 Mentor/Educator Award from the Tennessee Health Information Management Association.

Candidates are professionals in the health information management field who prepare the next generation of professionals for their careers. Nominations are accepted for these professionals who touch the lives of students and colleagues toward new horizons in the health information management field.

The award recognizes individuals who have long records of encouraging students or colleagues to reach their full potential in the field. They help their students find ways to achieve their best. Carmen has worked in the field since 1985. She is a registered health information administrator. We applaud her dedication and passion!

Practicing Medical Assisting Skills in Professional Setting

Practicing Medical Assisting Skills in Professional Setting

“With the knowledge and skills that I have acquired while attending American National University, I feel more prepared for the world than most young adults,” said medical assisting student Willie Durham.

Willie is a student at the Danville Campus and is currently working as an extern for Dr. Anil Harrison. All medical assisting students are required to take part in an externship prior to graduation and for Willie, this has been a great experience. He was able to put all of the skills he learned in the classroom to use in a real-life setting.

He said, “Working at Dr. Anil Harrison’s office I am allowed to take the initiative, and when it’s noticed that I’ve gotten the hang of something, I’m allowed to move forward to something more challenging instead of suppressing my skills.”

Willie gives praise to the staff at Dr. Harrison’s practice for encouraging him as a professional and said he couldn’t have picked a better place to extern. “I’m also certain that when leaving Dr. Harrison’s office, I will leave with more than experience and hours – I’ll also be leaving with new friends and nice memories.”

She Found a New Career after a Factory Shut Down

She Found a New Career after a Factory Shut Down

Rebecca Patton, who earned her associate’s degree in medical assisting at the Richmond Campus, is a phlebotomist at Patti A. Clay Regional Medical Center. Her days are busy as she draws blood and administers EKG’s for 25 to 30 patients a day.

“I enjoy meeting all of the different patients. I treat them just like they’re my family. Some of them need attention and I try and give it to them,” Rebecca said. She prides herself on the extra care that she gives the patients as she is called upon to work with some of the more challenging cases.

The hospital atmosphere is a big change for Rebecca from the factory where she was employed for 16 years. “I thought that I’d retire from that place,” she said.

When the factory shut down she went to work at a local mall but she wasn’t working enough hours to make the income that her family needed. “I said ‘Well, it’s time for me to do something,’” she recalled.

She took an admissions representative up on her offer to visit National and was attending classes soon thereafter. She enjoyed the small class size and the one-on-one attention that she received. “I would recommend American National University. I enjoyed it,” Rebecca said.

Rebecca said that her family is proud that she’s working in the medical field. “I just wish my Mom was here so I could tell her. She would be proud,” she said.

Choosing a Second New Career

Choosing a Second New Career

When Judy Robinson met with an admissions representative at the Lexington Campus two years ago, she chose to enroll in the business administration-accounting program. She had an interest in the medical field, but, as Judy said, “I took the safe route. I was good in math and was sure I would do well in accounting – but there was a little voice telling me my true calling was in the medical field!”

Judy recently graduated with her associate’s degree in accounting and met with Career Center Director Cheryl Howell to find a job to start her new career. During this meeting, Judy mentioned that she was interested in the medical field – but was going to pursue a job related to her new degree. Cheryl encouraged Judy to follow her dreams and to consider a medical assisting degree offered by the campus.

Judy is now enrolled in the campus’s medical assisting program and will also be working in accounting at the same time. She hopes to work as a medical volunteer for a local non-profit or homeless shelter. “I want to donate my time to helping others,” she explained. “Having the skills to volunteer in a clinic or care facility would be a life’s dream. It’s not about the money – it’s about serving those who need help.”

Judy said she would never have decided to go back to school to pursue her dreams in the medical field if Cheryl hadn’t encouraged her to do so. “Her enthusiasm and encouragement gave me the confidence to follow my dreams of also working in the medical field.”

Judy said she also benefited from her the one-on-one help from her instructors. “I’d been out of school a while, but they all convinced me that I could do this,” she recalled, “I … was motivated by the life-experiences of my instructors – giving us real-life instructions on what we would see after college – in the real world.”

(l to r) Judy Robinson, Career Center Director Cheryl Howell

Students Pass CompTIA A+ Certification Exam

Students Pass CompTIA A+ Certification Exam

Three students from the information systems engineering (ISE) degree program at the Florence Campus are one step closer to a successful career in information technology after receiving their CompTIA A+ certification, an important credential in the IT industry. Adam Brown, Kyle Bowman, and Jason Gabbard were the first ISE students from the campus to be required to take the A+ certification test as part of their curriculum and they are proud that their education at American National University has helped them obtain this valuable certification.

Director of IT Programs Valerie Bowman said that the A+ certification has become crucial when seeking employment in the IT field. “Sometimes you have to have it just to get in the door (of an employer) and sometimes A+ certification can take the place of employment experience,” she explained.

Jason, a US Army veteran who is working in the construction industry while he earns his degree in ISE, said that he was nervous about taking the exam but was pleased to find that his IT classes at National prepared him well for the test.

Adam, a Navy veteran, said that he feels that the small class size at National helped him attain the certification. “I like the small classrooms,” he said, “The instructors and teachers can focus more on us individually than they could in a big group.”

Kyle, who previously earned a supervisory management specialist diploma at National, returned to further his education in the ISE program. He hopes to find employment in computer repair and he feels that the A+ certification will help him reach that goal. While Jason and Adam are unsure which area of IT they’d like to work in, they are both sure that the A+ certification will be a great asset in their job search. “It’s a stepping stone,” said Jason.

PHOTO: (l to r) Adam Brown, Kyle Bowman, and Jason Gabbard. Standing in back is program director Valerie Bowman.

Medical Assisting Graduate Puts Skills to Use as a Volunteer

Medical Assisting Graduate Puts Skills to Use as a Volunteer

On Thursday, March 15, graduate Madelyn Ramirez volunteered at a Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) event that was sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation. March is National Kidney month and the event was held to provide free screenings for individuals at risk of developing kidney disease.

Madelyn graduated from the medical assisting degree program at the Louisville Campus last month. She chose to volunteer to help others and to gain valuable experience to include on her résumé. During the event, she performed blood scribes which record results from the blood tests that were provided to the participants. Sarah Caston, Community Outreach Manager for the Kentucky chapter of the National Kidney Foundation, said that she needs 20 to 30 volunteers to staff each event and that their partnership with local schools is a win-win situation for both the student volunteers and the agency.

Graduate Madelyn Ramirez is pictured on the far right assisting a staff member at a KEEP event.

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.