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April 27, 2012

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National College Only Hires the Best!

National College Only Hires the Best!

Antoinette Bowen, a graduate from the Akron Area Campus, is now working at the new Stark County Campus. She was the recipient of the Mary P. McGurn Award for high academic achievement when she earned her administrative office professional associate degree.

Antoinette went back to school in early 2009 when she lost her job due to budget cuts. She applied for Akron Urban League’s A.S.S.E.T program - a 90-day class covering comprehensive business and computer skills – that would help her gain the skills to find a new job. Upon completion of that program, she gave herself an ultimatum when applying for a job. “[I told myself if I didn’t hear back from the job that I applied for, then I was going back to school to achieve my degree,” she says.

By the end of December 2009, Antoinette started working towards her associate’s degree. It was a challenge to raise three children and go to school, but she wanted to set a good example. “As parents, we do a lot of preaching. I would not only preach to [my kids] I would show them exactly what I meant by working hard for a greater outcome.” When she felt like giving up, Antoinette says that her business instructor, Charley Bowman, was there to put her back on the path of her goals. “I can honestly say, every instructor that I had made a difference in my life,” she said.

Antoinette began her job search before her last term. She would meet with Career Center Director Maxine O’Mara weekly with updates on her job searches. After graduation, Akron Area Campus Director Star Mitchell suggested that Antoinette contact Jill Morrow, the Stark County campus director who had a job opening in the new campus.

Today Antoinette is making a valuable difference on the Stark County Campus, using her experience and skills to keep the warm, friendly atmosphere the campus wants to impress on the community. She is also a great example for the students to see a American National University education put to use.

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Sense of Purpose

Sense of Purpose

Susan Slone (pictured) was a stay at home mom who, when her youngest child started school, decided that she would, too. She enrolled at the Pikeville Campus in the phlebotomy program because she wanted to work in the medical field and because the program only took about 6 months to complete.

“[National] gave me a different outlook on life,” said Susan. “It gave me a purpose other than being a mom.” She feels more fulfilled now as she travels to pain management clinics and other sites to provide drug testing as a field service representative for Calloway Labs.

Susan says that her instructors were her favorite part of her experience at American National University. “The teachers were great. It was hands-on. If you doubted yourself on sticking someone, your teacher was always there to make sure you were doing it the right way,” she recalled. “If you had any problems, they always went out of their way to help you.” Susan enjoys her career in health care and hopes to someday continue her education and go into nursing.

Mike Radar, Calloway Labs field service manager for Eastern Kentucky, says that he has been pleased with Susan’s knowledge and skills

Because of the great experience that he’s had with Susan, he continues to call upon American National University whenever he needs to add employees to his team, which services thirty-four sites in the area. “American National University has been a great resource for me,” Mike said. “They’ve made my job easier by giving me good, qualified, well-trained applicants. I have yet to have had a bad interview with a student from American National University.”

Catch Him If You Can;National Students Did!

Catch Him If You Can;National Students Did!

The Principles of Accounting students from the Florence Campus attended a lecture by con man-turned-government agent Frank W. Abagnale, Jr. at Xavier University in Cincinnati last week. The event, which was part of the university’s ‘Heroes of Ethics’ series, was attended by over 500 guests.

Abagnale, who spent his working career as an FBI agent, is the author of several books and is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on embezzlement and forgery. During his youth, he assumed several different aliases, impersonating a pilot, a physician, and even a college professor. He was known by the police in twenty-six different countries and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks, all before his twenty-first birthday! Today, Abagnale is a highly sought after loss prevention specialist. Although his prior life of crime is fascinating, his message is that ultimately crime doesn’t pay. As National student J.D. Wills commented, “Frank Abagnale captivatingly took us on an enlightened full circle journey into his deceitful past and reminded us how imperative morality is in the business world.”

Abagnale was played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Catch Me If You Can, which later became a Broadway production. The television show White Collar is also based on his career.

Instructor Debbie Smith is pictured with students Rachel Huffman, Jennifer Ambrose, and J.D. Wills.

Externship Excitement

Externship Excitement

Althea Lear and Stephan Newby, two students from the medical assisting associate’s degree program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, have been placed in externships with the Boyle County Health Department. Externships are an important program component for every medical assisting student at American National University. They provide students with valuable hands-on experience and often lead to job offers.

During her externship, Althea has performed a variety of duties, including rooming patients, taking vital signs, acting as a receptionist, and processing death and birth certificates. She says that her favorite duty there is the lab work where she assists with everything from packaging to processing.

Althea is proud that she is setting a good example for her son. “Attending college has encouraged my son, Tacoma, to strive to work harder at school and has taught him that good grades are important to be successful in life,” she says. Althea would like to work as a medical assistant in a small doctor’s office.

Stephan is a Marine veteran who is using Vocational Rehabilitation Chapter 31 benefits to obtain his degree at National. He is also gaining experience in many areas of the health department.

He said that he enjoys helping members of the Boyle County community, especially children, who he attempts to comfort and put at ease during immunizations and other procedures.

“It is a great stepping stone to exit out of the education arena and into the workforce,” said Stephan of his externship.

He plans to continue his education and earn his bachelor’s degree in health care management and he hopes to someday be employed by a Veterans Affairs medical facility. He encourages others to consider attending college to better themselves and to become more employable in today’s world.

Hands-On Experience at Health Fair

Hands-On Experience at Health Fair

On Thursday, April 19th, medical assisting students in the non-invasive clinical procedures class at the Richmond Campus received valuable hands on training at the Madison County Health Fair, sponsored by Patti A. Clay Hospital. Students were able to enhance their learning by taking blood pressure for over sixty fair participants during the day.

Medical assisting student Robert Thompson said that the event not only helped him gain the necessary hands on skills he needs in his career but that he also gained social skills and professionalism in being able to deal with a variety of people.

PHOTO: Medical assisting student Shawnda Phipps

Graduates New and Old Benefit from Career Fair

Graduates New and Old Benefit from Career Fair

The Lexington Campus held a career fair on Wednesday, April 18 that was well-attended by employers, students and graduates. The Central Kentucky Career Center also brought their Mobile Career Center to the campus for the event.

Deetra Dennis, vice president of career services for American National University, said that she encourages students to capitalize on these events which are held on most campuses several times a year.

She said that career fairs are viable avenues for students and graduates to find employment. “Some of our students are getting follow-up interviews with the employers and subsequently being offered jobs. So we are seeing that these events are effective ways for our students to get connected to these employers who are local and who are hiring in the community,” she said.

Sharon Burberry, a student from the medical assisting program, visited the Mobile Career Center where she created a résumé. She also visited the employers’ booths. “Everybody’s very friendly and has a lot of information. It’s good that they come here,” she said of the employers who attended the fair.

Rachel Conyers, a 2007 graduate from the Danville Campus, visited the Lexington Campus to take advantage of the opportunity that the career fair offered. “This is the first time that I’ve ever been to a job fair,” she said. “I was a little nervous about coming in and putting myself out there, but I met folks out there who are hiring.” Career center assistance is a lifetime benefit for American National University graduates, and available at any campus.

Rachel also visited the Mobile Career Center and talked extensively with Tony Horn, the Mobile Career Center coordinator. “He introduced me to opening up Twitter and following the career center because they tweet positions that don’t get posted on their website,” she said. “It’s been a big help,” Rachel said of her visit to the career fair. “Hopefully something positive comes from it,” she said.

Sharon Burberry (front left) and other students are pictured talking about job opportunities with the representatives from Xerox.

Putting Her Education to Work

Putting Her Education to Work

After working for thirty years for a furniture manufacturing plant, Terrell Hamlett was laid off when the plant shut down. She had been thinking of returning to school for several years, and had even completed her nursing application, when the lay-off happened. Now it was time to take action. With the assistance of the Trade Act, she decided to enroll in the medical office assistant program at the Lynchburg Campus, which would give her medical terminology, computer, and medical office skills. Terrell knew this would be a good start for her to find employment in her career field.

But she was challenged with her lack of working experience in the medical field. To overcome this challenge, Terrell volunteered at the local hospital in the Progressive Care Unit and the cancer unit, and she filled in at a local family practice. During this time, she faced other challenges as well and had to help take care of an ailing family member.

Recently, Terrell was offered a job at Centra Health, using her career training as a lab support assistant. Her computer skills and medical training gave her the qualifications to perform the requirements of her new job, but Terrell believes that her character traits and personality were also considered in being selected for the job. The interview included situations about conflict, problem solving, and compatibility in the workplace.

Her solid work ethics, qualifications, career training, and willingness to volunteer to gain valuable work experience paid off for Terrell. We wish her continued success in her career!

National Student Wins Statewide Competition

National Student Wins Statewide Competition

In March, members of the Virginia Society of Medical Assistants (VSMA) gathered together for the annual conference. Students, graduates, and faculty from all of the Virginia Campuses attended this professional development event and networked with colleagues from all over the state.

Tamika Lawson, a medical assisting student at the Roanoke Valley Campus, was selected from among her peers to attend the conference and compete in the Big Sister Competition. She said of her experience, “I was a little nervous about the competition, only because I wasn’t sure what I’d be asked or what I’d be doing.” There were four students, each from different schools in Virginia, who were paired with an [American Association of Medical Assistants] member. They were mentored through questions and physical challenges, which required them to recall what they learned in the medical assisting curriculum. “After the scores were tallied, to my surprise, my AAMA mentor and I had won the competition!” Tamika exclaims. The prize for being the winner is a one-year paid membership in the AAMA.

Tamika’s experience at the conference gave her confirmation that she chose the right career. “It was really an important trip for me, and hopefully for the other students that attended, not just because we were able to get away from studying for a few days, but because it was a great learning experience, an opportunity to meet active AAMA members, and understand what being a member of the association is about.” The conference also served as a chance for classmates and teachers to experience camaraderie outside of class. “It was interesting to meet students from other schools and to hear from them that they have the same feelings of excitement and the same concerns about being confident and competent upon leaving school and entering the workforce in our chosen professions,” Tamika says. This was truly a great and much-appreciated opportunity and one that proved to be of great value for me, and hopefully for the rest of the conference attendees, students, and association members alike.”

Medical assisting students, graduates, and instructors from the Virginia Campuses are pictured together at the Virginia Society of Medical Assistants Conference.

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.