National Newsletter - biweekly updates from National's 30 communities in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana.
National News

July 23, 2012

News from

National's Heritage

Schedule a Visit


Share this Newsletter

Social Connections

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook View our YouTube cannel


Local Employer Finds Valuable Skills in National Externs and Graduates

Local Employer Finds Valuable Skills in National Externs and Graduates

Mikelle Hall had spent many years as a housewife and mother before returning to school. Interested in the medical field, she looked into colleges in the area that were offering short-term medical degrees and came across the Danville, Virginia Campus. The campus instantly appealed to her because of the small class sizes, the focus on individual attention, and the hands-on nature of the courses.

Mikelle earned a diploma from the medical billing and coding program in only eight months and then decided to enroll in the medical assisting degree program. She worked as an extern with other National students at Internal Medicine Associates, Inc. Soon after graduation, Mikelle was hired as a permanent member of the team at the internal medicine office.

“Mikelle is a very good employee,” stated William Willis, office manager of Internal Medicine Associates and Mikelle’s supervisor. Internal Medicine Associates has a history of partnering with National College in the campus’s extern program and has hired several graduates from among the externs who have worked at their office. “It’s really been helpful for us,” Mr. Willis said of his office’s partnership with National. He said he has found that National College externs are well prepared to go into the clinical setting. Of the National students and graduates that he works with, William said they were quick learners, go-getters, enthusiastic, energetic. “That’s what we really look for [in employees],” he said.

Beyond having the clinical skills, Mr. Willis explained that the externs that he has worked with also have the needed computer skills to go hand-in-hand with the clinical skills. “It’s really important to have a balance between the two,” says Mr. Willis as he explained how more medical offices are switching to electronic record keeping and having computer skills has become essential in the medical field. “This is a great program,” Mr. Willis said of the National College medical assisting program, “[and] we would certainly entertain the idea of having more externs.”

For students like Mikelle, it’s an invaluable opportunity to put into practice the subjects they learned in class. “The first patient I saw – my hands were shaking,” Mikelle shares with a laugh, but over time in her externship she found that her education had more than adequately prepared her for her job and she gained in confidence. “Knowing how to word things – get things done the way they should be done,” those are priceless things Mikelle says she gained from her time at National that make it possible for her to do her job.

“The teachers are amazing – and if people take time to understand that – they get not only a great value but a great benefit from the instruction,” Mikelle shares, “I have yet to encounter a teacher [at National] that has not wanted me to succeed.”

Office Manager William Willis (left) says National graduate Mikelle Hall is an example of the well-prepared externs he sees from National.

Our Communities - Article Quick Links

Campus Support Services

Fort Wayne, IN
Indianapolis, IN
South Bend, IN

Danville, KY
Florence, KY
Lexington, KY
Louisville, KY
Pikeville, KY
Richmond, KY

Akron Area, OH
Cleveland, OH
Cincinnati, OH
Columbus, OH
Dayton Area, OH
Stark County, OH
Youngstown, OH

Bartlett, TN
Bristol, TN
Knoxville, TN
Madison, TN
Memphis, TN
Nashville, TN

Charlottesville, VA
Danville, VA
Harrisonburg, VA
Lynchburg, VA
Manassas, VA
Martinsville, VA
Roanoke Valley, VA

West Virginia
Parkersburg, WV
Princeton, WV

Students Take CPR Training To Earn Certification

Students Take CPR Training To Earn Certification

On June 29th, the students in the Clinical Medical Assisting class at the Columbus Campus acquired a new set of skills that will greatly strengthen their abilities to excel in their professional lives. They took part in CPR training, to earn their certification. Using CPR dummies, they learned how to perform life-saving techniques on adults and infants. Even though this training and certification is a requirement, the students realize that the information they gained is important not only for their professional lives but for life in general. “It’ll help me in an emergency situation if I ever have to perform CPR,” explained student Courtney Webb. She said that this training will make her more confident as she pursues a new career in health care.

Courtney Webb is pictured as she practices her CPR skills on a training dummy.

Students Turn Relay into Learning Experience

Students Turn Relay into Learning Experience

Staff, faculty, and students from the Dayton Area Campus recently participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life™ in Kettering, Ohio. The 23-hour walking marathon is held annually in Delco Park, which is located across the street from the campus.

American National University was one of the local relay’s sponsors, and medical assisting students Cahia Goklish, Stacey Amerson, and Teneisha Horton staffed a tent where relay participants signed up for a long-term cancer study. They guided prospective participants through the sign-up process and took vital statistics.

This year’s National Team was headed by Campus Director Rob Gast. Staff and faculty participants included Ginny Gauthier, Linda Clemons, Melissa Moore, Mandy Riley, Lindsay Hart, Ken Chandler, Jennifer Minge, Susan Meindl, Dawna Darling, and several of their family members and human and canine friends.

The weather was beautiful and participants were rewarded with the beautiful glow of luminaria spelling out the word “Hope” on the edge of the park’s pond at dusk. Campus director Rob Gast said, “The Relay for Life is a great way for the college to give back to the community.” He is already planning for next year’s event.

Instructor Susan Meindl (left) is pictured with Student Services Director Mandy Riley (2nd left) and her children Ian and Halie (far right), Student Services Representative Lindsay Hart (center), Jonathan Woodward (son of Campus Director Rob Gast), and student Stacey Amerson.

Focus On Faculty

Focus On Faculty

Missy Finan

General Education Department Chair; Instructor of English Composition, Oral Communications, Written Communications, Preparatory English, Spanish, and Preparatory Math courses; Holds an associate’s degree in humanities, a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s degree in education, and a master’s degree in English.

Faculty member since 2006

Cincinnati Campus

“I have always wanted to teach. When I was little, I used to line up my stuffed animals and ‘take attendance.’ I always admired teachers and encouraged my family, friends, and students to learn new concepts and ideas.

I respect my students’ various life experiences. Many of them have come from hard times, but they have all found their way back to improving their lives despite their past circumstances. I also admire that my students are multi-taskers. Most students have to balance their academic lives with their family and career responsibilities, which takes a lot of dedication.

I like to set goals for my students, use differentiated instruction and change my teaching styles to accommodate multiple learning styles. I like to build upon what they already know and use real life situations to explain points. I like to do a lot of peer tutoring where students can help each other and build lasting academic friendships.

One of my greatest rewards as an instructor is watching my students graduate and succeed. Or that moment when the light bulb goes off and they understand and get excited about what they are learning.”

Hard Work Pays Off as Graduate Begins To See Her Dreams Coming True

Hard Work Pays Off as Graduate Begins To See Her Dreams Coming True

Crystal Moretto marched across the graduation stage this May and earned her medical assisting degree from the Madison Campus. Like many National College graduates, she is confident that her degree was already worth the hard work and long hours of studying that had to be done to get to the commencement ceremony.

Crystal knew her associate’s degree in medical assisting was about to start paying off because directly after completing her externship she landed a job with Advanced Care Centers in Nashville. Even though she knew gaining a job at the place where she worked as an extern was a possibility because she saw it happen to other classmates, Crystal was still very excited and honored that it happened to her.

“It feels good that I did such a good job at my externship that they actually found a place for me on their payroll,” said Crystal. “I know I got the job based on my attitude and good work ethic ... From the very first day as an extern, I took initiative to any task assigned to me and wasn’t afraid of a new challenge.” She fondly remembers, “When I walked into my externship, I told them I wanted to learn everything from the front door to the back door.”

In her new job as a registered medical assistant, Crystal helps manage a family care health facility where she takes vital signs, assists with medical procedures and tests, schedules appointments, processes referral paperwork, verifies insurance, calls in prescriptions, answers patient questions explaining office procedures and treatments, and does anything that’s asked of her with a positive attitude.

“I enjoy working for Dr. Alicia Hall because she’s all about learning,” said Crystal. “She loves to hear someone is continuing their education to better their life. She’s a teaching doctor that makes you stretch your limits and helps you improve on your weaknesses.”

Crystal is already thoroughly enjoying her career in the medical field and said her favorite thing about being a medical assistant is talking to and listening to her patients. “I like working with patients and helping them with their medical problems, but sometimes what the patient needs most is just a smiling and caring face greeting them and making them comfortable enough to forget they are in a doctor’s office. I enjoy bonding with patients and am amazed by how they can teach me so much about life; I even swapped recipes with one lady and now have a delicious fruit salad recipe to make for my family.”

“National prepared me for real world experiences and all of the staff and instructors played a big role in my success,” said Crystal. “Their commitment, dedication and love for the students creates a great support system for the student body. Teachers sharing their stories and career experiences really helped me … everything I learned at National matches up with what I do now in my day to day medical career.”

Crystal was a wonderful and bright presence to have at the Madison campus and it’s no surprise she was chosen to win an achievement award at graduation for her accomplishments as an outstanding student. “Just earning my degree was a huge accomplishment for me, but getting and succeeding in a job in the career field I worked so hard to graduate from is the best feeling I’ve experienced so far in life. I know my degree is going to make me and my family have a much more successful life.”

Crystal is planning to one day return to the campus to pursue a second degree in business administration-management to help her achieve her other career goal of becoming a medical office manager.

Crystal Moretto is pictured as she accepts her achievement award at the Madison Campus graduation ceremony earlier this year.

Active-duty Reservist Determined to Earn Another Degree While Serving Her Country

Active-duty Reservist Determined to Earn Another Degree While Serving Her Country

Ebony Clark-Yancy (pictured) knows the importance of perseverance and dedication. She was one of the Bartlett Campus’s graduates to walk across the stage this past May. She earned her degree from the health information technology (HIT) program and has already started her new career with Regional Medical Center in Memphis while serving her country and balancing a family.

Prior to attending National College, Ebony has been a soldier in the Army Reserves since 2006. While on duty, she was part of the Family Readiness Program (FRP) where she was required to maintain communication with the families of other soldiers and work with them to make sure that their needs were being met. She has enjoyed serving her country and has decided to re-enlist for another term.

At the medical center, Ebony is working as in the HIT department which is where she was working as an extern. She is very proud of her accomplishments. In addition to her new position, she is hoping that her sister, English, who is also a recent National HIT graduate, can find a job working with her at the medical center. “The reason I work so hard is because of my family,” said Ebony.

Ebony has no plans of stopping her educational and career track. ”I want to be a manager in the health care field,” said Ebony. Both, Ebony and her sister English are currently pursuing degrees in business administration with a concentration in health care administration.

Mom’s New Career Helps Others, and Her Family Too

Mom’s New Career Helps Others, and Her Family Too

Stacey Sylvia (pictured) wanted a better life for her family and knew that a proper education was the key to achieving her goal. After becoming a proud wife and mother, she bounced back and forth between jobs in retail and fast food while struggling to raise her family. After a time, she realized that her dreams of “helping people to be healthy” would never happen unless she went back to school so she started to research her options.

Stacey decided to enroll in the pharmacy technician diploma program at the Bristol Campus. She liked that the program would get her trained and out into the workforce within a short amount of time. It didn’t take long after she started her program to realize National was a great fit. She especially liked that her instructors were well qualified in their field and had real work experience in what they were teaching. She also liked the class schedules that she could balance around work and family.

Very soon after graduation, Stacey was hired at CVS pharmacy in Kingsport, Tennessee. “I love my job and am doing exactly what I went to school to do…help people,” Stacey said. Not only is Stacey happy to be helping others, but she also takes pride in the hard work she puts into her studies at National. “I knew that if I didn’t give up and kept my eye on the prize, that I would accomplish my goals and help to create a better life for my family.”

Campus Adds Two Student-Veterans to Wall of Honor

Campus Adds Two Student-Veterans to Wall of Honor

As we have just honored our military servicemen and women this Independence Day, the Lynchburg Campus takes a moment to recognize student veterans by adding two new faces to the veterans Wall of Honor on campus. Alicia Atkins joined the U.S. Army right out of high school and served in Operation Desert Storm/Shield in Saudi Arabia and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, where her duties included uploading and downloading vehicles and equipment on and off of large cargo ships. She works now in an accounts payable position, but as her company began cutting her hours and she realized there was no room to advance in the company, she decided it was time to try something different. She enrolled in the medical billing and coding program and is hoping to find a new career in the health care industry that would build on her accounting experience. She is enjoying all of her classes at National and appreciates how the course material is prepared in an easy-to-learn environment. “I really like how National makes it easy for anyone of any age to learn,” she says. She said she also appreciates the flexible class scheduling at National that allows her to continue to work and raise her two daughters. “We’re all at the table doing our homework together,” she says. “They encourage me to keep going. They’re proud of me.”

June Sandidge, another female veteran enrolled at the Lynchburg Campus can relate to Alicia’s sentiment. She has three children and says, “We compare our report cards. I tell them there’s no excuse not to get good grades because I work, go to school, and take care of them and still get good grades.” June enrolled in the business administration-management degree program after completing the diploma program. She hopes to one day own her own salon and spa business. “I already have the hands-on experience,” June explains. “But the business aspect, a deeper insight, I’ve gained from [being in school].” Like Alicia, June joined the military right out of high school. She worked as an operations specialist in the U.S. Navy watching radar to track ships. Both of these ladies have much to be proud of, and the Lynchburg Campus is proud to count them among the student body. Thank you, Alicia and June, for your service to our country.

Campus Director Bill Baker is pictured in the above photo showing veteran and student Alicia Atkins her honor new plaque. Veteran June Sandidge is pictured in the below photo.

Class Sees Eye-opening Presentation on Nutrition

Class Sees Eye-opening Presentation on Nutrition

On July 10, Andi Bennett, a WVU families and health extension agent in Mercer County, came to speak to students in the medical assisting program at the Princeton Campus about nutrition. During her presentation, she talked about the difficulties of maintaining a healthy diet in today’s fast-paced world. “We live in a world of convenience,” she said, “and unfortunately, the fastest, easiest, cheapest food is also the unhealthiest.” To drive this point home, Ms. Bennett supplied visual indicators of fat and sugar content in popular foods and snacks. Boxes of test tubes were passed around the class, each labeled with the name of a food and filled with the amount of fat or sugar present in that food. For example, a milk chocolate Hershey bar has 5 teaspoons (or 24 grams) of sugar, filling the small test tube nearly to the brim; that’s over half of the daily recommended sugar intake for both men (45 g/day) and women (30 g/day). Students and staff alike were shocked.

But, she reminded the audience, that there is always a silver lining. “Remember, there are no bad foods,” Ms. Bennett said, “just bad portion sizes. We need all types of food. Just remember, all things in moderation.” Ms. Bennett went on to explain a few easy ways to ensure a healthy, varied diet. “Eat the rainbow,” she said, showing an example of a healthy dinner. “Make sure there are as many colors as possible present on your plate. Substitute apples for potato chips when you watch TV, reach for the sugar free snack, buy the skim milk and go for the whole grain bread.” Ms. Bennett certainly delivered an eye-opening presentation with information that students will carry with them both in their personal lives and in their careers in the medical field.

Guest speaker Andi Bennett is pictured showing the amount of sugar in a chocolate bar.

Graduate Creates New Opportunities For Himself

Graduate Creates New Opportunities For Himself

American National University is all in the family for DeWayne Stipe, a Danville, Kentucky Campus graduate who recently earned his associate’s degree from the business administration—management program. DeWayne, who began work in January as a Court Security Officer (CSO) for the Garrard County Sheriff Department, said he came to National at the recommendation of his sister-in-law, Patricia King who earned an associate’s degree in 2011 from the administrative office professional program and re-enrolled in the business administration-management associate’s degree program.

“I thought that I was too old but she told me there were people older than me here,” he said. “I was unemployed and not having any success finding a job. There [are] not a lot of opportunities out there, especially if you don’t have an education.”

DeWayne said that he uses the knowledge and skills gained in his communications, law, organizational management and computer courses daily in his job and the fact that he was earning a college degree gave him a leg up on the competition when he applied for the position.

DeWayne was nervous about returning to school but he said that instructors at National eased his fears. “I have test anxiety and phobia but I didn’t have any problems,” he said of the classes in which he received lots of one-on-one attention.

DeWayne felt so strongly about the training that he was receiving at National that when his wife, Brenda Stipe, lost her job, he encouraged her to visit the school. “I brought her over here and introduced her to everybody. I said ‘This is something you need to do,’” he recalled, adding that she’s now enrolled in the medical billing and coding program at the campus.

In his job as a CSO, DeWayne performs security checks and bailiff duties, serves papers, and writes reports. His favorite part of his job is working with the public and easing their anxieties during their visit to the courthouse.

DeWayne is proud of his new job but his proudest moment during his time at National came during the campus’s commencement ceremony in May. “I didn’t get to graduate from high school,” he explained. “It broke my mom’s heart not to see me walk across the stage and get that high school diploma so this was really special for her to see me walk across the stage and get my degree.”

DeWayne plans to continue his education. “I’m not finished. I’ve enrolled for the fall term at the Lexington Campus for the bachelor’s degree,” he said. “Stay positive and never think it’s too late or you’re too old to accomplish your goals.”

DeWayne Stipe works with the Honorable Judge Janet Booth (pictured on the left) in his new job as a court security officer.

Presentation Shows Students How to Fortify Their Job-search by Creating a ‘Personal Brand’

Presentation Shows Students How to Fortify Their Job-search by Creating a ‘Personal Brand’

Career Center Director Lezlie Garr discussed with students in the Written Communications class at the Florence Campus the “do’s” and “don’ts” of résumé preparation and interviewing techniques. She explained that developing a personal brand, showcasing your skills, and demonstrating how you can help an employer achieve its goals are important elements in the job search strategy. She encouraged students to create a personal brand by communicating the unique qualities that set them apart from other job seekers. She also discussed the importance of a positive online presence including personal profiles that can enhance the personal brand.

During the presentation, Lezlie provided a demonstration of how to project a positive personal appearance. Students in the class presented “how-to” and “how-not-to” dress as a reflection of their personal brand. Student Brittany Sullivan stated, “The presentation reinforced what we had discussed in our class, that establishing and communicating a personal brand can really boost your career opportunities.”

Brittany Sullivan (left) is a student in the Written Communications class that heard the presentation by Career Center Director Lezlie Garr (right).

Work-study Student Commended by State Legislature For Her Assistance to Veterans

Work-study Student Commended by State Legislature For Her Assistance to Veterans

Student Denise Jones (pictured) received a letter of commendation from Kentucky State Representative Rita Smart and the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for her work in the veterans work study program in the Office of Employment and Training (OET). She is a veteran of the Kentucky Army National Guard and she enrolled in the business administration-management program at the Richmond Campus to prepare for a new career.

Denise conducts interviews with veterans to determine their needs, helps them with their résumés, and coordinates monthly orientations. The certificate she received from Representative Smart praised her for reaching a “superior level of achievement” while also providing valuable assistance to veterans of the United States Military.

Denise said that she was excited and appreciative that she was recognized for her work with the veterans. “I’m not sure who submitted my name. They just said it was someone that knows that I work real hard,” she said.

Robert Dalton, local veterans employment representative for the OET, works closely with Denise and said that the honor was very deserved. “She does excellent work. She really tries to help the veterans that come through here. She goes above and beyond the call of duty. She’s been a great help to me,” he said.

Denise hopes to find employment with the federal and state government after graduation and she feels her experience in the veterans work study program will be a valuable addition to her résumé. She will begin an internship with OET in August where she will assist the general public with their unemployment benefits and their job search.

Graduate Takes Career to the Next Level as a Nurse

Graduate Takes Career to the Next Level as a Nurse

Andrea Stump (pictured) is continuing a tradition of nursing started by her mother as she begins her new career as a registered nurse at Pikeville Medical Center. “My mom worked up there for years and years. I always said I felt like I grew up in that hospital,” recalled Andrea, who graduated from the Pikeville Campus nursing program in May.

The single mother had been working as a certified medical assistant for seven years when she decided that she wanted to take her career to the next level. Her mother, who had graduated from nursing school with Shirley Goff, the campus’s nursing administrator, encouraged Andrea to check in to the nursing program at National because she knew that it took just two years to complete and that it offered night classes for those who continued to work while in school.

Andrea said that she feels well prepared for her new career. “My preceptor had to fill out an evaluation and she said that I did really great—that I was going to be an asset to the nursing community. That made me feel really good because I love this field,” she shared.

She’s proud to have completed her degree and to have gained employment with a hospital that offers great pay and benefits. “You can support your family; it’s just me and my daughter [and]we’re going to be fine,” she said. “There’s just so many opportunities—this is just the beginning. I’ve prepared for this for so long…I’m just ready to go as far as I can go.”

Pharmacy Technician Grad Gets Multiple Job-Offers

Pharmacy Technician Grad Gets Multiple Job-Offers

Mariah Moore (pictured), a pharmacy technician graduate from the Lexington Campus, is working for On-Site RX at a pharmacy for city employees. On-Site RX contacted Career Center Director Cheryl Howell who referred Mariah and several other pharmacy technician graduates to the company for interviews. “The career center was really helpful because I wasn’t going to settle,” said Mariah, who had multiple job offers and accepted the position with the best pay and hours.

Mariah came to American National University after several friends recommended the school to her. She had attended other colleges but never completed her program. She liked that the pharmacy technician program took just a year to complete and she also liked the smaller class size that National offers.
She feels she was well trained for her new career as a pharmacy technician. “(National) helped me be more prepared for what’s really out there. In my classes they teach real life experiences—other schools just go through the motions.”

She is happy to have completed the program and knows that it will mean a more secure future for herself and her son. “I’ve been in and out of school…not really finishing anything. Even though it was a short program, I finished something. I was extremely proud of myself for doing that,” she said.

Campus Holds Forum to Inform Area Veterans About VRAP Program

Campus Holds Forum to Inform Area Veterans About VRAP Program

On Monday, June 25 the Louisville Campus held a forum for area veterans on the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). VRAP is a new program which is part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. It offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed veterans ages 35-60 who are not currently receiving VA benefits. VRAP provides training towards an associate’s degree, diploma or certificate that leads to a high demand occupation.

Brad Marine, state director of community outreach and development for the Kentucky campuses, led the forum. He gave the veterans who attended details about qualifications and answered their questions about the program. “The VRAP program has addressed a very important need for our nation’s veteran population by providing them with an opportunity to receive training and re-enter the workforce with new skills and confidence,” said Brad. “This aligns nicely with the mission and programs at American National University where it’s always an honor to serve our nation’s veteran population.”

The Louisville Campus will hold another VRAP forum on Monday, August 13 at 1 p.m. For more information about the forum and about VRAP contact the Louisville Campus at (502) 447-7634 or visit

State Director of Community Outreach and Development Brad Marine is pictured leading the VRAP forum in Louisville.

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.