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August 06, 2012

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Best-ever Healthy Fun Fair Is Informative and Enjoyable

Best-ever Healthy Fun Fair Is Informative and Enjoyable

The Pikeville Campus’s 5th Annual Healthy Fun Fair was by all accounts the best ever, with more than 1,000 in attendance at the event on Thursday, July 26. A wide variety of state and local government agencies and community groups partnered with the campus to provide free medical services and screenings, useful information and other services, as well as food, drinks, and a variety of games and fun activities for all ages.

“The Healthy Fun Fair is a special day about community and partnership,” said Campus Director Tammy Riley. “American National University students, alongside the professional medical community, partner to provide a fun environment that promotes health education and delivers free medical services.”

Beginning at 10 am, area residents arrived at the campus and could make their way through a variety of information booths and treatment rooms. Among others, the “D.O.’s on the Go” from the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine of the University of Pikeville conducted a variety of diagnostic services; American National University nursing students calculated BMI (body mass index) and took blood pressure readings; Highlands Regional Hospital provided blood laboratory screenings for lipids and blood sugar/A1C (with blood draws performed by American National University nursing, medical assisting, and phlebotomy students); Big Sandy Health Care offered a mobile dental clinic; and the YMCA conducted Zumba classes on site. Many more organizations provided information and services, all free of charge.

One of the highlights of the day was a simulated ATV accident – an all-too-common occurrence in rural Kentucky. Local first responders demonstrated first aid and patient transport techniques, while two medical evacuation helicopters, one each from Questcare and Transtar, landed at the campus in a display of their advanced capabilities for rushing patients to area trauma centers and hospitals in the event of dire need.

Medical assisting student Kristen Daniels was one of many student volunteers. "I had so much fun!" she exclaimed afterwards. "I know I helped every person who walked away from me that day...some were relieved, and others knew that they needed to make an appointment with their family doctor."

While many of the youngsters in attendance might not have understood the value of the various medical services, they definitely enjoyed the games, inflatables, water slide, and dunking booth. Even a youth-oriented class conducted by the U.S. Army was a big hit, with kids following along closely as Sergeant Landon Huffman, Army recruiter and American National University student, talked about the problem of bullying and what kids could do about it.

“This year our participation focused on educating both parents and children of the dangers and signs of bullying,” said the U.S. Army’s Sergeant First Class David Hotelling, one of several American National University alumni who returned to the campus to help with the event. “It was a great opportunity for us to reach out to the public and show the Army cares,” SFC Hotelling continued. “Hot button issues in our communities certainly affect our Army, and any opportunity we have to help with these issues, we certainly will.”

Months of hard work and preparation by our many sponsors and vendors, as well as American National University students, faculty, and staff, produced a memorable event that positively affected the lives of many members of our community. American National University nursing student Misty Gallion perhaps summed it up best: “I had great day -- what a wonderful way to educate the community on the importance of staying healthy!”

Campus Director Tammy Riley (right) and nursing students are pictured in the top photo as they get a close-up look at a medevac helicopter. Medical assisting student Kristen Daniels is pictured as she draws blood from a fair participant. Army recruiter and National student Landon Huffman talks with kids about bullying.

Complete Sponsor List

  • Big Sandy Health Care
  • Coca Cola Bottling
  • Highlands Regional Hospital
  • Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Pearson Learning Solutions
  • Pikeville Medical Center
  • Pleasant Valley Rebekah Lodge
  • Questcare
  • Signature Health Care
  • Thealka Fire Department
  • Transtar

Complete Vendor List

  • American General Life
  • Appalachian Pregnancy Care Center
  • Asthma and Allergy Center
  • Big Sandy Health Care
  • Coal Run Police
  • Highlands Regional Hospital
  • Kentucky Health Insurance Advocate
  • Kentucky Office for the Blind
  • Kentucky Highway Department
  • Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Light the Night
  • McDonald’s
  • Medtronic
  • National Guard
  • Pearson Education
  • Pike County Emergency Management
  • Pike County Health Department
  • Pikeville Medical Center
  • Premier Health Care
  • Saving Grace
  • Signature Health Care
  • Sunrise Children Services
  • The Wellness Center
  • UK Extension
  • US Army
  • Wal-Mart
  • Xocai Chocolate
  • YMCA

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Accounting Graduate Quickly Finds Her Dream Job

Accounting Graduate Quickly Finds Her Dream Job

Jamie Kazor recently graduated from the business administration-accounting degree program at the Akron Area Campus and has already begun her new career. She is a district operations administrator for the TBC Corporation which is the parent company of National Tire and Battery (NTB).

Jamie worked with Career Center Director Maxine O’Mara to update her résumé, and uploaded it to the website. Just a few hours later, she was called to set up an interview with a TBC Corporation district manager. Her business skills and knowledge in Microsoft Excel helped her get the job.

During the interview, Jamie was excited to learn that upon new employment with TBC, she would travel to Dallas, Texas for a weeklong training program. A week after she accepted the job offer, she was on a flight to Dallas and ready for her intense training.

Jamie’s new position requires her to gather, analyze, and report various types of data. She is working with data from over 177 NTB stores. She is now a divisional operations assistant and will soon be moving to a new office in North Canton, Ohio. She said she is now working in what she calls her dream job.

Student Begins Work as Trainee at Pharmacy

Student Begins Work as Trainee at Pharmacy

Jessica Hurst, a pharmacy technician student at the Columbus Campus, has been hired as a trainee at a Giant Eagle Pharmacy. With a little more than half of her program behind her, she is like many American National University students who find a job before graduation. Her responsibilities as a trainee include counting pills, putting away stock, and ringing out customers.

Jessica learned of this position at a career fair that American National University hosted. Pharmacy Technician Department Chair Nicole DiSabato introduced her to Jonathan Nguyen, a regional pharmacy recruiter for Giant Eagle. When he learned of the training that Jessica had already received, he was excited about bringing her into one of the store’s pharmacies. Jessica gave him her résumé, and before long she was putting on a white lab coat and heading off to work in this new endeavor.

Prior to enrolling at American National University, Jessica had spent her time working in various entry-level jobs, including cashier positions and other retail jobs. Jessica made the choice to come to school because she wanted the chance to provide a better life for herself, and she picked the pharmacy technician degree program because she was impressed with the pharmacies she dealt with when her mother was in a car accident. She really appreciated the things they did for her and her mother and hopes that someday she can do the same for someone else.

She credits the knowledge she has gained from her coursework at American National University for helping to give her the jumpstart she needed to make this step toward her new career, adding that the work she does provides a really good supplement to her book learning.

Not only is she acquiring valuable experience in her career field and putting her classroom instruction to work, Jessica is also gaining a new sense of fulfillment in life. “This is the happiest I’ve ever been at a job,” she commented with a bright smile.

This is certainly a significant achievement for her, but Jessica still intends to keep moving forward. Once she completes her associate’s degree, her plans are to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree. This plan takes her down the road toward becoming a pharmacist, and eventually, Jessica wants to get into research and development.

Two More Externs Hired by HMG after Graduation

Two More Externs Hired by HMG after Graduation

Jessica Rhodes had been working in fast food, when she decided that she wanted more in her life, and looked into furthering her education to open up those doors. She was interested in healthcare and was immediately attracted by National’s flexible class schedule and quick two-year medical assisting program. She enrolled at the Bristol Campus and found the teachers to be instructive and helpful, citing Sheri Jessee, the campus’s director of health care education, as one who had a significant impact on her time at school. Elizabeth Ruth Mooney, her fellow graduate, couldn’t agree more. Recently graduated from high school, Elizabeth was looking into continuing her education in pursuit of a career in healthcare – and found National’s medical assisting program to be a good fit.

Both girls found their start in the field through their externships with Holston Medical Group (HMG), one of the top medical care providers in northeast Tennessee. The experience helped get their foot in the door and their work caught the attention of Barsha Grant, LPN Nurse Manager of HMG, who hired the girls on shortly after they graduated with their degrees. “We really get to see them in action,” Barsha states about the benefits of hiring from students who complete their externs at HMG. “I take [the] input from the other providers and nurses to see how much initiative they show,” she shares, “It seems to me that a lot of National students... have that initiative and want to do well. They truly seem to appreciate the opportunity to come here and learn.”

That was certainly true for Jessica and Elizabeth, who are now enjoying their new careers with HMG. Elizabeth found her niche working in HMG’s Family Practice, and finds helping people the greatest reward in her new career. She enjoys her job, and aspires to pursue higher positions, having already risen to the position of a clinical leader at HMG. Jessica – currently working as a medical assistant/office nurse – shares that the most rewarding part of her day is working with patients face to face.

The Bristol Campus recently selected HMG as a National College “Distinguished Community Employer for the support it has given to National students in the medical programs. Director of Health Care Education Sheri Jessee is pictured presenting a plaque to HMG’s Barsha Grant.

Elizabeth Mooney is pictured in the top left photo. Jessica Rhodes is pictured in the top right photo. In the bottom photo, Director of Health Care Education Sheri Jessee is pictured as she presents a "Distinguished Community Employer" plaque to Barsha Grant at HMG.

Reservist Earns One Degree and Begins Another As She Expands her Career Options

Reservist Earns One Degree and Begins Another As She Expands her Career Options

Graduate Sabrina Price already has a list of accomplishments to be proud of. She has served in the Army Reserve for 21 years as a chemical operations specialist and was recently promoted to sergeant first class (E-7). In 2012, she graduated from the Memphis Campus with an associate’s degree from the business administration-management program and now she is employed with the Veteran’s Administration in Memphis as the vehicle fleet manager.

After completing her degree, she returned to National to earn a degree from the logistics/supply chain management program and will graduate this fall. “I came back to National because I am familiar with the staff and faculty and it felt right,” she said. She doesn’t plan to stop there, her next goal is to get a bachelor’s degree in contracting and acquisitions, which will further her career options and opportunities within the government service fields.

Externship and Volunteering Pay Off for Graduate

Externship and Volunteering Pay Off for Graduate

Neyshalda Stafford, a graduate from the Bartlett Campus’s health information technology (HIT) program, found a job through her externship and volunteer efforts. She was placed at Lakeside Behavioral Health where she impressed her supervisor and health information technology manager Marc Hoskins. “I was so impressed with her thirst for knowledge and eagerness to learn health information; it naturally made sense to add her to the health information team here,” he said. At the time, however, they didn’t have an available position for her to fill.

Neyshalda likewise wanted to work at Lakeside but realized their staff constraints so she continued to work there as a volunteer after her externship was complete. Her hope was that her dedication to Lakeside would ultimately get her hired and she was right. After just a few months, they were able to hire her on an as-needed basis as a medical records technician. Through this position, she did some work for Community Behavorial Health which is a sister company to Lakeside. “Neyshalda was hired to purge medical records, due to the expectancy of Medicare regulations and within thirty days, the medical records were easily accessible and manageable.”

It wasn’t too long after she helped Community organize and purge their medical records that she heard of a job opening for director of medical records. She said, “I applied to gain more knowledge of the interviewing process, I wasn’t expecting to get hired because I have not received RHIT certification and I just completed the program,” but she got the job!

“Neyshalda was a true asset and gem to our medical records department,” said Patricia Turner, her direct supervisor, “There were some applicants with more experience, but she had already proven her abilities to be organized and attentive to detail.”

Campus Motorcycle Rally Informs, Entertains, and Shows Appreciation for Veterans

Campus Motorcycle Rally Informs, Entertains, and Shows Appreciation for Veterans

On July 28th, the Fort Wayne Campus held a motorcycle rally for area veterans to educate local veterans about the Veterans Retraining and Assistance Program (VRAP) opportunity and to promote the Indiana Patriot Guard - a non-profit organization that creates flags for recently deceased veterans. The rally included music, BBQ, and visits from local legislators like Roy Buskirk, Allen County Councilman, and Sharon Tucker, County Council Candidate At-Large. Student Kevin Grant was instrumental in inviting and organizing the Indiana Patriot Guard’s participation. He worked to get signatures on a patriot flag from all attendees and presented it at the funeral of an Indiana Afghanistan veteran. Approximately 30 people from the veteran community attended. Veterans Sheryl Edwards and Matthew Murphy found the rally enjoyable and helpful at the same time. They both were pleased to learn that they qualified for the available VRAP benefits and enrolled in the campus’s supervisory management specialist program.

Current student and Indiana Patriot Guard organizer Kevin Grant is pictured (third from left) among veterans at the rally.

Extra Effort Means Promising Future for ISE Student

Extra Effort Means Promising Future for ISE Student

“It’s better late than never” is Jamar Vincent’s philosophy when it comes to his education. Jamar is enrolled in the information systems engineering (ISE) associate’s degree program at the Lynchburg Campus and dreams of owning his own business one day. He is on his way to making his dream a reality.

Jamar moved to Lynchburg with his family last year from Pennsylvania hoping to be able to raise his daughter in a better place. In Pennsylvania, Jamar led a crew of eight for an office building cleaning service contracted by a pharmaceutical company. Since moving to Lynchburg, he has been working through temp agencies doing labor jobs, such as flagging on the highway, but he quickly became too run down with this line of work. He decided it was time to go back to school to try to find a better way to support his family. “I thought now is the time to get it done so hopefully I can get my career started,” he said.

He lives close to the Lynchburg Campus and drove by it daily until he decided to stop in one day. Jamar has always liked working on computers and tinkering with them, so he set his sights on a career in computer networking, “But I wanted to make a career out of it, not just a job,” he explained. He is happy now that he is enrolled in the ISE program, citing the small classes, one-on-one availability of faculty, and instructors relating the material in a way that each student can understand as being the best features of the College.

Jamar’s wife is going to school too through an online program, and it has not always been easy for them to both be in school while raising their little girl. “My father back home keeps me motivated when I get down on myself,” Jamar says. “I was thinking about going back to work, but he said not to do anything to jeopardize my school work.”

Jamar hopes to complete an externship next year before he graduates, with a company that will help him get additional hands-on experience to bolster his résumé. He is already considering National’s online bachelor’s degree program. Director of the ISE program Pam Hooper knows Jamar will succeed at whatever he strives for. “Jamar is one of the first ISE students on the Lynchburg Campus to earn the CompTIA A+ certification,” says Pam. “He has a promising future in the IT field because he puts forth the effort needed to succeed.”

Campus Named Official TOEFL Testing Site

Campus Named Official TOEFL Testing Site

The Roanoke Valley Campus has recently been approved to be a hosting site for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. The TOEFL exam measures a student’s command of the English language. It is used by colleges to evaluate the ability of non-native English speaking students and their potential with success in an academic program. It has become one of the primary admission tools for non-native speaking students wishing to study at any American university.

Saturday, July 29thth was the inaugural test administration for Roanoke Valley Campus as an official test site, after meeting the rigorous standards required to offer this exam. Fourteen serious, determined students from nearly as many different countries were here to test their competency in English for up to 7 hours. Campus instructors Jayne Atkins, Bejai Powell, and Teresa Duschean were the trained proctors who assisted throughout the first test administration. Security is a priority at the TOEFL agency and testing standards are equivalent to the GRE or SAT.

For students in National College’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program, this new hosting capability will offer convenience as they will now be able to take the exam at the same place where they prepared for it. The campus currently has approximately 45 students from 4 different countries enrolled in the program who have come to the United States to be immersed in the American experience and to acquire sufficient skills in English. While here in the Roanoke Valley, ESL students at National College attend six 8-week terms at incrementally more challenging levels as they learn to communicate in English both orally and in writing.

Students Laura Garcia, Jee Hyun Ha, and Yoon Cho Kim prepare for the exam.

Accountant Finds Satisfaction in College and Career

Accountant Finds Satisfaction in College and Career

Renee Hunt took the road less traveled in finding her ideal career, and she credits American National University for that very opportunity. She had initially enrolled in one of the local community colleges but she felt “pushed” into their nursing program. “I was not going in a direction I wanted to go in,” she explained, “so I left school and began working in customer service and bookkeeping – but I still wanted more.”

Renee found the Lexington Campus across the parking lot from her current job with the Forcht Group. “American National University was an obvious choice for me. They offer evening classes and they are literally two blocks from my job. I was impressed with the professional atmosphere and the very helpful staff, so I enrolled.”

Since enrolling in the Spring of 2010, Renee finished her associate’s degree in business administration-accounting while working a full-time schedule with the Forcht Group. With her associate’s degree behind her, she is now pursuing her bachelor’s degree. “I owe all of this to my father. I’ve always enjoyed math and my dad always encouraged me to follow what I love. He helped me with my math homework and showed me the joy in solving those math problems!”

Renee said she really enjoyed her instructors at National, “They bring real-life examples to class and show us how they solve many issues that don’t exactly fit a text-book solution. [The] excellent instructors make [American National University] and make learning fun and easy.”

Renee credits her success in pursuing her degrees while working a full-time job to the support she receives from her family. She said she hopes her hard work and success will be an inspiration to her son and that it will encourage him to pursue his dreams.

“I’m finally where I wanted to be, thanks to American National University!”

Campus Advisory Board Meets to Discuss How Programs Can Best Prepare Grads for Careers

Campus Advisory Board Meets to Discuss How Programs Can Best Prepare Grads for Careers

On Monday, July 30th, the Louisville Campus held its semi-annual Campus Advisory Board Meeting. The meeting brings campus staff, faculty, students, and graduates together with professionals from area businesses to discuss the campus programs and how they can be enhanced and improved to best prepare American National University graduates for their careers ahead.

Campus Director Vincent Tinebra and Assistant Campus Director Dr. Vicki Strunk, and faculty department chairs outlined campus demographics, accreditation requirements, retention and job placement rates, and unique program attributes.

Board members shared ideas on ways to improve classroom attendance, resources for externship sites, and current area workforce trends.

“It was a great experience learning how education is being formed,” said Amanda Wyatt (pictured), human resource assistant at the Geek Squad, regarding her participation in the board meeting. Ms. Wyatt shared her concerns regarding the need for improvement of soft skills of the college graduates that she hires.

Campus Holds Operation Hire Patriots Job Fair

Campus Holds Operation Hire Patriots Job Fair

On Wednesday, July 25th, the Richmond Campus held Operation Hire Patriots Veterans Job Fair. According to Brad Marine, National’s state director of community outreach and development, the event was held to link veterans with employers. “It also gives unemployed veterans the opportunity to look at what education benefits might be out there to help them get that job--whether it’s utilizing Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) funds or their GI bill benefits.”

Donnie Black, a veteran student from the Richmond Campus, recently applied for the VRAP program which offers training funds to veterans ages 35-60 who are not currently receiving VA education benefits. He said that he had experienced several lay-offs at various companies and was taking advantage of the opportunity to talk with employers at the job fair.

Companies participating in the job fair included Patti A Clay Regional Medical Center, Marcum and Wallace Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph Health System, Hitachi, the Richmond Police Department, Xerox, Hearthside Food Solutions, and the Kentucky Army National Guard. Resource agencies were also on hand offering assistance. Those included the Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs, the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, and the Office of Employment and Training. The Kentucky Career Center’s Mobile Unit provided laptops which were available to participants to submit on-line applications to employers.

Joseph Robinson, corporate recruiter for Hitachi, said that his company was eager to talk with area veterans about the job openings that they hoped to fill. “We enjoy doing these events very much,” said Mr. Robinson. “Veterans that have returned typically have a lot of transferable skills that we look for—especially on the management front. They work out very well because of the natural leadership skills that they have from their time of service. They give us a lot of hard work, a lot of solid work ethic, leadership, discipline—those things that are very hard to find these days.”

Sheila Sears of Xerox is pictured at the Operation Hire Patriots Job Fair talking with a veteran.

Graduate Appreciates Faculty and Staff that Were Key to her Employment Success

Graduate Appreciates Faculty and Staff that Were Key to her Employment Success

Althea Lear, a graduate from the Danville, Kentucky Campus who earned her medical billing and coding diploma and an associate’s degree in medical assisting, has been hired by Dr. Thomas Coburn in Wilmore, Kentucky. “The opportunity is there. It’s just getting in that door,” said Althea, who found her training at American National University to be the key to her employment success.

Althea was laid off from her job as a document processor and knew that she needed career training to bring her more job security for the future. “Being a single parent I had to start making some money some way and I knew that this was the best time to do it,” she explained.

When Althea came to visit the school she was so impressed by the friendly and helpful staff that she enrolled and took her placement test that day. “From that day on—if I need anything they were there,” she said, adding that the staff and faculty go out of their way to help any student who is experiencing difficulty of any kind.

Althea said the flexible class schedule that she had at National worked with her busy life. “If you have a family or you’re a single parent this is the best place in the world.” She also liked setting a good example for her 10-year-old son. “We have this little competition of who has the best grades.”

Althea said that although she’s thrilled to have earned her degree she is going to miss the staff, faculty, and fellow students that she’s gotten to know at National. “I get emotional when I talk about leaving the school. I miss them they’re like my family.”

Althea is enjoying her wide variety of duties as a registered medical assistant in the small, family-oriented office. She works both in the front office where she performs administrative work and in the clinical side of the office where she’s taking vitals and giving injections. “The patients are wonderful. From the time I walk in the door until the time I’m done, it’s been a great day,” she said of her new career.

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.