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June 15, 2012

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New Campus Welcomed By the Community It Will Serve

New Campus Welcomed By the Community It Will Serve

A perfect spring day greeted approximately 100 members of the community and American National University family who attended the grand opening ceremony for the Stark County Campus in Jackson Township, Ohio. After a smart presentation of the colors by the Army National Guard and stirring rendition of the national anthem by 16-year-old singing phenom Hannah Bea Fricker, Campus Director Jill Morrow welcomed the guests and expressed the gratitude of the College for the warm welcome it had received in the community.

Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce President Steven Meeks took the podium to introduce the guest speaker, Stark County Commissioner Janet Weir Creighton. A distinguished public servant, Commissioner Weir has previously served as the Mayor of Canton, and was director of intergovernmental affairs for President George W. Bush.

“I commend you, your staff, and your students for taking this important step, a step that is required in navigating through change…the word ‘change’ has a broad meaning, but I talk about embracing change,” said Commissioner Creighton. “I am talking about progress, it’s about moving forward to become better people, better workplaces, better schools, to provide better services, to make better products, and to advance science and technology.”

She also remarked on the college’s mission statement, and how it espouses preparation of our graduates for a “full life” that includes not only professional achievement and prosperity, but also embraces support for family and community.

The campus also presented a donation to the Family Readiness Group for B Company, 638th Support Battalion, a local National Guard unit. Family Readiness Groups are vital organizations that assist military families in coping with the demands placed on our service members and their loved ones.
After the ceremonial ribbon cutting, guests were invited to tour the campus and enjoy a catered lunch.

Pictured holding the ribbon is Administrative Assistant Suzanne Marcoguiseppe, Regional Director of Operations Tim Philibin, Stark County Commissioner Janet Weir Creighton, Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce President Steven Meeks, and Campus Director Jill Morrow. Campus Director Jill Morrow is pictured on the right with Administrative Assistant Suzanne Marcoguiseppe presenting a check to Robin Fraedrich of the B Co., 638th Support Bn FRG (left).

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Star Student Becomes Fast Mover in Her Career

Star Student Becomes Fast Mover in Her Career

When Adrina Simmons (pictured) graduated from high school, she knew she wanted a good job making good money. She also knew she wanted a career in which she could help people with her caring personality and cheerful spirit. These factors led Adrina to pursue an associate’s degree in medical assisting at the Madison Campus.

Adrina shined as a star student in all of her classes all the way through her externship at Centennial Heart Hospital. Shortly after she completed the requirements of her externship, they offered her a job as a full-time medical assistant for the hospital’s heart specialists.

“When I first started my externship, I was a little nervous as it was my first real experience working in a doctor’s office with real patients,” said Adrina. “All of the nurses, doctors and staff were so sweet, humble and willing to teach me anything I needed help with which made my externship an awesome experience.”

In addition to using this opportunity to get real-world experience, Adrina showed what a true asset she could be as an employee by her willingness to do whatever was needed around the office whether that meant coming in early or staying late. “I believe showing that level of responsibility and good attitude is what landed me the full-time job.”

Adrina has been in her new position for over nine months. She started out floating from office to office, lending a helping hand wherever she was needed. Now she is working as the lead medical assistant for Dr. John Riddick. She was promoted in less than a year. She said she enjoys being the first line of defense for Dr. Riddick, helping out with all of the office responsibilities, including scheduling patient appointments and procedures, answering phone calls, ordering prescriptions, taking vital signs, answering patient questions, educating patients on health care topics for a healthier life such as proper diet and smoking risks, and many other day to day tasks.

“It’s wonderful and exciting working with Centennial Heart,” said Adrina. “It’s a great hospital that’s constantly growing and expanding with new technologies and procedures not found at other health care offices. We seem to impress and gain new patients every day, which gives me a great feeling.”
Adrina marched across the graduation stage in cap and gown at the Madison Campus’s graduation ceremony on June 1. “I’m thrilled with my career success so far,” said Adrina. “I feel like this is just the first of many doors that will open up for me. … I love the job I have and the learning opportunities that come with it because one day I dream of moving on up and becoming a registered nurse or radiologist.”

Participants Raise Money for Lung Association

Participants Raise Money for Lung Association

In celebration of 125 years of service, students and faculty from the Nashville Campus joined with the nation’s oldest nonprofit health organization, the American Lung Association (ALA), for the annual Middle Tennessee Fight for Air Walk on May 19th. Participants collected $440 in donations and sponsorships for the three-mile walk around Nashville that promotes health and fitness. General Education Department Chair Clarence Tangney, who was the team’s captain, presented the symbolic “Big Check” to ALA regional director Gail Bost. Ms. Bost is a frequent community involvement partner with the Nashville Campus as a guest speaker in medical classes and as a networking facilitator for students in medical programs.

General Education Department Chair Clarence Tangney is pictured presenting the National College donation to ALA regional director Gail Bost

Success in College Leads to Success in Career

Success in College Leads to Success in Career

Beverly Riddle (pictured) graduated from the Martinsville Campus several years ago from the business administration program while working full time in textile manufacturing and raising 4 children as a single parent. Overcoming the challenges faced with multiple responsibilities, Beverly graduated and has found success working as a human resource manager for the Results Companies in Stuart, Virginia.

In her new career, she recruits for new employees, takes care of payroll, maintains employee relations, and many other human resource tasks. She said that a lot of her job duties involve subjects she learned from her courses at National including Human Resource Management, Payroll Accounting, and Business Management.

Beverly said she would not be where is today without National. She attributes her academic success to the small class sizes and individualized attention she received from her instructors as well as the overall staff at National. She also attributes her success to her determination to better herself not only for herself but for her children.

Student Blossoms at National, Lands her Dream Job

Student Blossoms at National, Lands her Dream Job

Bristol campus graduate April Waldrop (pictured) was a shy, introverted recent high school graduate when she came to the Bristol Campus. Feeling that she would get lost in the crowd of a large university, April chose National because of the small class sizes and one-on-one instruction. “I knew I really needed to open up more in order to do what I wanted in life,” says April. She had always been interested in the medical field and decided to enroll in the medical assisting degree program. The small class sizes made her feel more comfortable and gave her the confidence to express herself.

Prior to graduation, April sought out the assistance of Career Center Director Meredith Jones. She had never been on an interview and had no idea what to expect. “[Meredith] did several mock interviews with me and it really prepared me for the real thing.” It only took two interviews before April landed her dream job. She now works as a medical assistant for Pulmonary Associates of East Tennessee. Her duties include collecting patients’ medical histories and vitals signs as well as front office procedures. “I love my job and the people I work with, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for National College.”

Graduates Flourish in New Careers at Holston Medical Group

Graduates Flourish in New Careers at Holston Medical Group

For Yvette Stratton (pictured left), coming to the Bristol Campus was an opportunity “to have more experience,” she states. Having worked previously at a daycare, Yvette knew she enjoyed caring for people and wanted to expand her horizons into the medical field. She found National not only gave her the skills, training, and experience she needed to land her job as a medical assistant at HMG, but she also found the small class sizes and personal attention gave her a sense of community at school. “[The faculty and staff] are there for you anytime you need something,” she shares. Her experience at National has inspired her to go back to school and become a registered nurse — a goal she looks forward to pursuing in the near future.

Gregory Little (right) held a variety of interesting jobs (not least of which was pursuing a career as a standup comic for a while!) before coming to National College in search of training that would allow him to be around his family and support them with in a career with greater job stability. He chose National because the course schedules allowed him to work while going to school. Two years later he graduated with his medical assisting degree from the Bristol Campus and started work at the Holston Medical
Group (HMG). He enjoys his work so much that in over the next couple of years he looks forward to continuing on at HMG, “doing what I love,” he says. For Gregory, education is something that “people cannot do without” and he encourages students to continue on in their studies and keep going further in their educational Yvette Stratton pursuits.

Graduates Honored at Dual Commencement

Graduates Honored at Dual Commencement

The Bartlett and Memphis Campuses celebrated over 170 graduates in the Class of 2012 at a combined commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 24th at the Cannon Center in Memphis. The ceremony was attended by faculty, family, and friends that came to congratulate the students on their achievements. The keynote speaker for the evening, Paula Sedgwick, current Republican State Executive Committeewoman, delivered an inspiring speech to the graduating class.

The Bartlett Campus awarded James Brassell Jr. with the Leadership Award for being active on the campus’s student advisory council while completing his degree from the business administration – management program. “I was very excited when I won the award,” James said after the ceremony. “It has encouraged me.”

The Memphis Campus awarded Chrystal Neel with the Achievement Award. Chrystal is a mother to six children. She managed to juggle family life and the demanding requirements of completing the surgical technology degree program. Now she is working as a surgical technologist at Baptist Hospital in Germantown, Tennessee.

Graduates Challenged to Maximize Their Potential

Graduates Challenged to Maximize Their Potential

On Thursday May 24th, the Youngstown Campus celebrated student success with its 2012 graduation ceremony held at Stambaugh Auditorium. 168 graduates were presented diplomas and associate’s degrees from Campus Director Michael Boyle while being cheered on by a large crowd of family, friends, college staff and faculty.

James Gibbs, instructor and member of the management staff at GM Lordstown, gave a commencement address encouraging the graduates to raise their standards to maximize their potential; to step out of their comfort zones and be passionate about their goals. He spoke of how human potential is “unlimited in scope” and how the only limitation to a person’s potential is their belief in whether or not they can accomplish something.

After the ceremony graduates and their family were invited to a reception for cake and refreshments.

Speaker James Gibbs is pictured at the podium during the Youngstown Campus graduation ceremony.

Medical Assistant Begins Professional Career on the Same Day She Graduates

Medical Assistant Begins Professional Career on the Same Day She Graduates

On Thursday, May 24, Andrea Brewer (pictured) experienced two milestones in her life. “I actually started working the day of graduation,” explained Andrea who began working as a registered medical assistant for Means Adult Primary Care in Mount Sterling on the same day as the Lexington Campus commencement ceremony.

“I felt lucky—very lucky,” Andrea said of being hired by the practice where she was placed as an extern. Her work at the clinic is a big change from the job that she held at a logistics company for almost 11 years. There, she worked in a hot warehouse—sometimes 7 days a week.

“Now, I know I’m going to be working 8:30 to 5:00 and I like the regular hours,” shared Andrea who said that her sons, ages 13 and 5, are excited about her new career. “I know I’m going to have my weekends. My son is into sports and I get off work in time to pick him up from practices. It’s meant a lot to them.”

Andrea said that when she began researching schools she came in to check out American National University and enrolled the next week. Since she hadn’t been to school in such a long time, she wanted to attend a college where she felt comfortable and there were smaller class sizes.

As a student, Andrea found what she was looking for at National. “My favorite part was getting into the lab classes and actually getting the hands-on [experience]…learning the injections…you actually get to do it while you’re learning,” she explained.

“I had always wanted to go back to school so here I managed to do wasn’t something that I started and didn’t finish,” Andrea said with pride. She encourages those considering returning to school to do the same. “If you’re going to do it you’ve got to stick to it. It’s worth it in the end.”

Translator Uses Medical Know-How in Helping Others

Translator Uses Medical Know-How in Helping Others

Carmen “Alicia” Morlote (pictured), who graduated from the Danville, Kentucky Campus in May, is bridging the gap for two cultures in her work as a Spanish interpreter for Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center. The clinical knowledge that she gained in her medical assisting associate’s degree program enhances her ability to better interpret to clients.

Alicia began interpreting for the hospital over 3 years ago. She interpreted for over a year before she took the plunge into the operating room. “I didn’t faint during a patient C-section surgery. I was there interpreting to the husband,” she recalled. “I was at ease and comfortable in the environment so I decided to pursue a medical career.”

She considered attending a local community college but ultimately chose American National University because of its small class size. She said that the instructors at National went above and beyond her expectations.

The knowledge gained in her anatomy and medical terminology classes have been instrumental in her work as an interpreter. She gets a great feeling of accomplishment being able to accurately interpret what’s occurring from the medical professional to the client and from the client to the medical professional. “The job doesn’t allow for opinions or advice but I can help by easing any tension, fears and anxieties,” said Alicia who looks forward to utilizing her skills as an interpreter at a medical facility for many years to come.

Student Represents Campus on TV Show

Student Represents Campus on TV Show

The Louisville Campus will be spotlighted once again on “College Bound” a show sponsored by the Kentucky Association of Career Colleges which airs on WBKI-TV. On camera, graduate Diane White talked about the surgical technology degree program at American National University and about her new career as a surgical technologist at Ultimate Vein Care. The segment also featured students from other area career college medical programs.

Diane, whose success story was featured in the December 9, 2011 issue of the National News (, said that she was honored to have been chosen to represent National on the show. “I just hope I make you all proud,” she said of her appearance. During her interview with host Buddy Hoskinson, she cited her instructors as her favorite feature of her program at National. “If you’ve got a good instructor that motivates you to learn-- that makes a world of difference,” Diane stated.

Diane’s segment aired on Sunday, June 17 and will be shown again on Sunday, July 1 at 3 p.m.

Diane White is pictured during the “College Bound” taping next to interviewer Buddy Hoskinson on the right.

Graduate Lands Job with One of the ‘Top 100 Places to Work in Healthcare’

Graduate Lands Job with One of the ‘Top 100 Places to Work in Healthcare’

“It was like a dream come true,” said Jamee Blankenship (pictured), a Pikeville Campus graduate, of landing her new job as a registered medical assistant at the Pikeville Medical Women’s Care Center. “I never thought that I’d get hired on there.”

Pikeville Medical Center was recently voted one of the “Top 100 Places to Work in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare Magazine. As a single mother, the stability, great atmosphere and exceptional benefits that a job at Pikeville Medical Center offers means peace of mind for Jamee, who previously worked as a hair stylist.

“I went to beauty school and I said ‘I am not going back to school’ but I decided to give it a try and it has changed my life,” said Jamee who enrolled at National at the urging of her sister who also attended the college.

She felt that medical assisting would be a good fit for her because she liked hands-on work. She enjoyed her clinical classes and found her instructors to be very accessible. “Everybody’s so helpful—the teachers, especially,” Jamee said. “You don’t have to be afraid to ask a question sitting in class…or you can have one-on-one with the teacher.”

She was placed as an extern at Akers Family Chiropractic Center where she had an opportunity to put her skills to use in the field. “I really liked it there…they let me do a lot--like ultrasounds,” said Jamee.
She worked closely with Career Center Director Kelly Raupach during her job search. “She was basically talking to me every day about new jobs,” Jamee recalled. “She was great.”

Jamee, who is working primarily on the administrative side of the center, plans to become certified in phlebotomy and hopes to eventually move into more clinical work there. She looks forward to a long career with Pikeville Medical Center where she feels opportunities for growth are plentiful.

Campus Helps Community Become Certified By State Workforce Investment Board

Campus Helps Community Become Certified By State Workforce Investment Board

On Thursday, May 17, Richmond Campus Director Keeley Gadd joined representatives from the cities of Richmond and Berea in accepting Madison County’s certification as a Work Ready Community in Progress by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board.

Certification as a Work Ready Community or Work Ready Community in Progress provides verification that the local workforce has the skills necessary to support employers in the area and can help in attracting new businesses to the community.

The certifications are awarded based on a number of thresholds and criteria including high school graduation rates, number of National Career Readiness Certificate holders, community commitment, percentage of adults with at least a two-year degree attained, occupational credential attainment, internet availability and work ethic/soft skills development programs.

Keeley represents American National University on the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors where she serves as Vice President of Partnerships. She also serves on the Economic Development and the Madison County Business and Education Partnership (MCBEP) committees. “MCBEP was the leading force behind our community receiving the Work Ready In Progress certification,” said Mendi Goble, executive director of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. “Keeley played a key role in moving these efforts forward.”

In addition, the exclusive American National University Workforce Development Grant, which matches tuition assistance from agencies, was cited on the Work Ready application as a resource available to the community to help fund training. The degrees, diplomas, certifications, soft skills workshops and career placement assistance that the college offers are also assets available to the community which help in building the skilled workforce necessary for the designation.

Campus Director Keeley Gadd, pictured third from left, is working with members of the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board and representatives from the cities of Richmond and Berea in Madison County.

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.