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March 30, 2012

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Congressman Answers Student, Constituent Questions

Congressman Answers Student, Constituent Questions

On Friday, March 23, the Memphis Campus welcomed Congressman Steve Cohen, who represents Tennessee’s 9th District and about 75% of the campus’s student body.

Students and their instructors gathered in the campus’s library to meet with the congressman and learn about the current political climate in Tennessee. This also gave Rep. Cohen an opportunity to talk to the students and learn more about National College and its impact on the community.

During his visit, students took the opportunity to ask the congressman questions that affect them as Tennessee residents. Questions came up regarding the state’s self-defense laws, vehicle inspection requirements, and the economy. Rep. Cohen explained that Congress was passing a portion of President Obama’s Jobs Bill that would cut taxes for individuals and businesses and offer extended relief to unemployed Americans. He also assured the audience that the economy is improving as the state’s unemployment rate has fallen. He said he is working with the city’s mayor on bringing jobs and businesses to the area.

One of the last questions that Rep. Cohen addressed was about college credits transferring to all schools. He explained that transfer credits were managed by the state and accrediting organizations on higher education.

National College appreciates that Rep. Cohen took time from his schedule to visit the campus. Regular visits by elected officials are an important element in support of the College’s mission to produce educated citizens, and are frequently featured in the National News

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Campus Recognized for Supporting Guardsmen and Reservists

Campus Recognized for Supporting Guardsmen and Reservists

On Thursday, March 22nd, John L. Dyess and Bob Williams from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) visited the Knoxville Campus to recognize National College for its support of the Guard and Reserves. Campus Director Debbie Black was given a plaque that will be displayed in a prominent location on campus.

It is essential that Guard and Reserve servicemembers know that their employer is supportive of their military commitments. National College considers such support an important aspect of our mission.

The statement of support is displayed on the plaque as a reminder of this important partnership.
“We fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Our managers and supervisors will have the tools they need to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists, and Veterans. We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families in peace, in crisis, and in war.”

Campus Director Debbie Black is pictured with John Dyess (left) and Bob Williams (rigth).

Donating Old Computers is a Win-Win Solution

Donating Old Computers is a Win-Win Solution

After installing new computers at the Lynchburg Campus, students in the information systems engineering degree program needed to decide what to do with the retired computers. Should the old computers be deposited in the trash to be sent to the local landfill, a recycling center, or should they be refurbished and donated to a local non-profit organization? As part of a class project on handling e-waste, the students researched and discussed various methods for disposing of electronic equipment. The students decided to donate the computers.

Community Resource Coordinator Lloyd DeLoatch informed the students that the Boys and Girls Club of Lynchburg was in need of several computers. Students then got to work and prepared the old computers for donation. They cleaned out the existing data from the hard drives using a disk cleaning utility and restored them to their out-of-box factory operating system and settings. The students delivered the computers to the Boys and Girls Club where Herbert Smith III, Teen Outreach Director, will use the computers in the computer lab and Teen Room. The Boys and Girls Club of America provides a safe place for kids to go after school and a caring environment to help kids reach their full potential.

Pictured at the Boys and Girls Club are (l to r) Community Resource Coordinator Lloyd DeLoatch, Sepiribo Young-Harry, Herbert Smith III, and student Jamar Vincent. Student Lane Redman also participated but is not pictured.

Campus Volunteers Help Repurpose Medical Supplies

Campus Volunteers Help Repurpose Medical Supplies

Cleveland Area Campus students, staff, and faculty attended a Humanitarian Aid event on March 21st at Med Wish International - a nonprofit organization committed to repurposing medical supplies and equipment discarded by the healthcare industry for developing countries. A total of 19 student volunteers were present and assisted in packaging medical supplies.

During this exercise, the participating students were able to touch, learn, and identify various medical instruments. “This event was very fulfilling and at the same time very informative,” said medical assisting student Erial Joiner. Med Wish volunteer coordinator, Angie Germano was very appreciative of the work done by the American National University volunteers, “The group was really wonderful and a pleasure to work with…They actually helped us find some specific bandages that are going to help an orphanage in China so it was definitely a great project.”

MedWish works with a range of partners to recover medical surplus hospitals can no longer use. To date, MedWish has recovered over 2.2 million pounds of medical surplus from over 50 hospitals in the US alone. In 2010, MedWish saved 886,000 pounds of medical supplies from disposal, keeping this valuable lifesaving surplus out of our landfills and putting it in the hands of people in need across the globe.

Cleveland students, staff, and faculty are pictured at MedWish International packaging medical supplies.

Campus Holds Spring Career Fair

Campus Holds Spring Career Fair

On Tuesday, March 27th, the Princeton Campus held its spring career fair. Businesses such as Pyott Boone Electronics, Princeton Community Hospital, City of Princeton Police Department, State Farm, Game Stop, Dish Network, Saunders Staffing, Sears Holdings, Chick-fil-A, and East River Financial were among the vendors on display to offer employment opportunities.

Students, graduates, and area job seekers attended the event to make some new contacts for their job search. Some filled out applications and submitted résumés on the spot. Participating employers said they had met some potentially well qualified applicants.

Paige Morrison and the Chick-fil-A mascot are pictured talking with students Woodrow Cecil and Troy Harris.

Students Organize Food Drive to Help Rescue Mission

Students Organize Food Drive to Help Rescue Mission

Students at the Madison Campus decided to share their love with their neighbors in need. They organized a Valentine’s food drive to collect non-perishable food items for the Nashville Rescue Mission.

Since first opening its doors in 1954, the Nashville Rescue Mission has helped hundreds of thousands of homeless and hurting members in the community. The mission provides meals and beds for the less fortunate and operates almost entirely from donated foods, materials, and financial contributions to feed, clothe, and care for the homeless individuals in Middle Tennessee. It also offers a long-term treatment program for those struggling with homelessness, addictions, and other life-debilitating problems.

Students went shopping and collected 400 canned, boxed and dried food items helping the food drive to be a huge success. The campus also sold candy grams during Valentine’s week to raise money for the charity.

“Our students really responded to this food drive and donated lots of food to help those folks in the community who need it most,” said Student Activities Coordinator Melissa Spoonamore. “It was exciting to see the campus lobby filled up with all kinds of pastas, rice, lots of canned fruits and veggies and various other foods during Valentine’s week. Our students seem to truly enjoy giving back to the local community and we plan to continue doing many more fundraisers in the future.”

Students and staff are pictured at the Madison Campus that participated in the campus’s food drive.

New Career Helps Graduate Stay Young

New Career Helps Graduate Stay Young

Linda Combs, a graduate of the Richmond Campus, is enjoying a fulfilling career as office administrator and right-hand woman to the CEO of Greenhouse Technology, Inc. She began her career at an age when many are considering retirement.

Linda worked in a factory for 26 years when it unexpectedly closed and moved its operations to Brazil. “I planned on being right there until I retired. It was pretty rough,” she recalled. “I had no college in mind, whatsoever.”

Linda considered looking for employment in another factory but knew that she would have to start at the bottom and that the hard work would take a toll on her body. She discovered that she qualified for tuition assistance through Trade Adjustment Assistance, a federal program which pays for training for workers that have lost their jobs because their employers have relocated outside of the United States. She decided to take the plunge and take advantage of the opportunity.

The idea of returning to school was daunting for Linda: “I couldn’t even type,” she said. But her fears were soon gone as she received the personal attention that she needed at National. She ended up earning two diplomas – one in business administration and the other in computerized office applications.

Linda’s supervisor, Mr. Winterbottom, said that he found the perfect fit for his company in Linda and that he appreciates her strong work ethic. “She keeps all the paperwork flowing through the company correctly but her willingness to do whatever other jobs that are necessary for the company, beyond that, is what really makes it important for us,” explained Doug.

“He swears he’s not going to let me retire,” Linda said with a smile. She feels that her new career keeps her young. “It keeps your mind going all the time. Until I look in the mirror, I really don’t feel like I’m going to be 63,” she said.

Recent Graduate Receives Two Job Offers

Recent Graduate Receives Two Job Offers

Heather Holloway, a graduate from the Pikeville Campus, recently found her new skills to be in demand when she received not one, but two job offers soon after completing her medical assisting associate’s degree program in February.

The offers, which were made by a local pediatrics practice and a pain management clinic, put Heather in the enviable position of being able to accept the job that provided the best hours, benefits, and salary. She chose the pain management clinic. She credits Career Center Director Kelly Raupach with assisting her in identifying opportunities in her field with local employers. “Kelly helped me a lot,” she recalled, “She sent my résumés out everywhere.”

Heather is enjoying her new career where she assists patients with filing pre-certifications with their insurance companies. Fellow American National University graduate Kelly Keathley, who is also employed by the clinic, is assisting in familiarizing Heather with the day-to-day routine of her new job.

Heather said that she would recommend American National University to others. “They go the extra mile to help you and do anything they can to make sure that you learn the material.” But the biggest advantage of attending American National University, she explained, is what follows after your program is complete. “They will definitely help you get a job,” she said with a smile.

Danville Campus Students Step Up to Save Lives

Danville Campus Students Step Up to Save Lives

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. On Wednesday, March 21, the Kentucky Blood Center mobile unit visited the Danville, Kentucky Campus where students and staff stepped up to donate blood and help save a life. Fourteen pints of blood were donated during the event at American National University, seven by first time donors.

Jessica Jones, medical billing and coding student, was among the donors on campus that day. She previously worked in an unfulfilling job and decided to come to National so she could get an education and make a better life for herself. She is glad to participate in on-campus community service events like the blood drive.

The Kentucky Blood Center provides approximately 400 pints of blood a day to nearly 70 hospitals and clinics in Kentucky. The KBC mobile comes to the Danville campus four times a year. They have partnered with the campus since 2003.

Meet and Greet Focuses on Women Veterans

Meet and Greet Focuses on Women Veterans

Regional Director of Military Affairs Wes Smith recently represented the Louisville Campus at the Kentucky Women Veterans Meet and Greet which was sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs (KDVA).

According to Robin Jones, KDVA women veteran coordinator, the event was held to provide resources and networking opportunities for women veterans. Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky’s 3rd district, and representatives from the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training and the U.S. Small Business Administration were among those who attended the event to offer information and support to the attendees.

Wes said that his goal during the Meet and Greet was to provide veterans with information about educational benefits that are available to them through the Department of Veterans Affairs and through state and local organizations. “We just want to educate them and let them know that there’s opportunity out there for them to go to school if they want to continue their education,” Wes explained. In addition, he shared information regarding exclusive military grants available at American National University which can supplement veteran’s educational benefits.

American National University frequently partners with the KDVA to provide veteran students with information and resources regarding their military benefits. Robin said that she’s provided veteran outreach during many events held at the Louisville Campus and that she hopes to continue to work with American National University in the future. “American National University is a great organization and I will continue to support them in what they do,” she said.

Graduate Finds a Way out of Dead End Jobs

Graduate Finds a Way out of Dead End Jobs

Demetrius Dyer, a recent graduate of the Lexington Campus, learned skills from the business administration-management program that he puts to use every day in his new job. He is working in customer service at a busy call center. He said that in addition to learning business skills, National also helped him to build character.

Before coming to National, Demetrius had felt like he was going nowhere. “I actually got into a rut of dead end jobs,” Demetrius recalled. He decided to turn his life around and go back to school after his mother and grandmother passed away.

He visited the campus and found that it was a perfect fit for him. “A small college was what I needed. It understood my values. It understood my faults. I didn’t feel like an outsider,” he explained. “They understood that I wasn’t just trying to gain an education but there was something that I was trying to change in my character, too.”

Demetrius admitted that he had a bad attitude when he started in his program but his instructors brought an enthusiasm to class that excited him about school and about learning. He particularly enjoyed classes taught by Dr. David Powell and Instructor Jerry Ward, who explained how to apply the knowledge that he gained in class to his own life.

He excelled in his program and graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. He also became president of Phi Beta Lambda, a business fraternity on campus, which helped him develop his leadership skills. Demetrius said he appreciates Career Center Director Cheryl Howell who supported and assisted him during his job search and called his employer to put in a good word for him after he applied for his job.

He hopes to eventually move up the ladder and work in management at the call center. “I feel like I can make a career there,” he stated. He also plans to continue his education and complete his bachelor’s degree once he has settled into his new career. “It will be at National. I like this school,” Demetrius said.

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.