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August 13, 2012

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Graduate Jumpstarts Career in Medical Field

Graduate Jumpstarts Career in Medical Field

After graduating last fall with her associate’s degree in medical assisting, Roanoke Valley Campus graduate Traci Hall began working as a medical assistant at UVA Orthopedic Clinic and looks forward to an exciting career in the healthcare profession.

Prior to enrolling at National College, Traci had worked for a while as a waitress after graduating from high school, but she soon found she needed a career that would provide growth and stability for her and her family. She visited the Roanoke Valley Campus and was immediately drawn to the medical assisting program. Since graduating, Traci says the knowledge she gained in her courses has been invaluable to her on her job – and she praises classes such as her Invasive Clinical Procedures class, that helped her acquire the skills she needed to perform the many duties in the medical assisting profession.

By gaining in-depth knowledge of both the administrative and hands-on aspects of providing healthcare, medical assistants have the opportunity to work in several different branches of the medical field. At the UVA Orthopedic Clinic, Traci provides assistance to doctors who have specialized in musculoskeletal disorders, where her daily duties include administering medication, drawing blood, giving injections, and conducting tests for cholesterol and body-mass index.

Traci’s dedication and hard work which earned her position also made her stand out as a student at National. She was an active participant in volunteering for the Health Focus of Southwest Virginia’s Physicals Clinic and has participated in the Virginia Society of Medical Assistants Conference held in Norfolk, Virginia. It’s a path of high achievement that will serve Traci well in a career field with opportunity for growth. “I plan to continue my education and get my bachelor’s degree,” she says, “Health-care is something people will always need.” And just like the profession she’s chosen – Traci shows no signs of slowing down!

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Congressman Speaks on Importance of Voting

Congressman Speaks on Importance of Voting

Congressman Phil Roe, a Johnson City OB/GYN physician who has represented Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District since 2009, visited the Bristol Campus on Tuesday, August 7. Congressman Roe spoke to assembled students about the importance of voting, the highlight of the campus’s voter registration drive.

Congressman Roe related his personal experience as a U.S. Army doctor serving in the Republic of Korea in the 1970’s to highlight the value of democracy. When he was stationed in Korea, that country was essentially ruled by a military dictatorship. Thanks to the sacrifice of U.S. soldiers, who have helped to protect Korea for more than 60 years, the Korean people have been able to build one of the world’s strongest economies and a democracy that Congressman Roe was able to observe firsthand in a recent visit. Today, he noted, American and NATO soldiers are doing the same in Afghanistan, helping others to achieve the freedoms we have enjoyed for more than 200 years. Never take your right to vote for granted, he reminded the students.

Several students asked questions of the congressman at the conclusion of his talk. Business administration student and U.S. Navy veteran Catherine Caudle shared the frustrations of many voters over negative campaign advertisements that are blanketing the TV airwaves. Congressman Roe was frank in stating that negative campaigning was unfortunately effective in many cases; but voters could still reserve judgment and make up their own minds about which candidate shared their personal values.

Congressman Roe concluded with encouraging remarks for the students. “Smart people like you that are getting trained to take care of me…I’m going to be needing your help here one of these days,” he remarked, noting the large number of students wearing medical scrubs. “You will be caring for patients and some of you will be doing other things, but I commend you on doing that; and strongly encourage you to study hard and learn what they teach you here.”

Judging by the number of students who lingered afterward for individual discussions and photos with the congressman, it’s clear that our students take to heart their responsibilities as citizens, as National graduates have for more than 125 years.

Rep. Roe is pictured above talking with pharmacy tech student Allison Copas after his remarks.

Mom Joins Son in College

Mom Joins Son in College

After losing her job due to a company closing, Lorna Britt decided to pursue a new career instead of just finding another job. After visiting several area colleges, Lorna enrolled in the Danville, Virginia campus’s pharmacy technician program.

Lorna’s son, Richard Ennis, was also attending the Danville campus in the in the information systems engineering degree program. She liked going to school with her son. She also liked that the campus was close to home and offered a program in the pharmacy field. She felt like that was a good fit for her and offered her a good future.

As a student, Lorna likes the small classes which she said was ideal for maximum learning. “The teachers and staff are always willing to go the extra mile to help the students,” she explained.

Lorna will be graduating at the end of August and recently passed the Pharmacy Technician Certification (CPhT) exam . She feels proud of her accomplishments and is excited to start her new career and feels ready because of her education and new certification.

Director of Health Care Education Gail Orr is pictured with student Lorna Britt on passing the national Pharmacy Technician Exam.

Nurses Re-enact Office Scenarios for Students

Nurses Re-enact Office Scenarios for Students

On Friday, July 20th, students in the medical assisting degree program at the Columbus Campus learned from a mock doctor’s office scenario. Mulissa Childress and Abdul Mohammed are local nurses who visited the campus to present the real-life scenario of a doctor’s office.

Mulissa and Abdul created re-enactments of events that take place in a doctor’s office so National students would understand what happens when caring for patients during an examination. In each scenario, they had one person play the role of the patient and one student perform the procedures that are typically done by a medical assistant. They practiced reviewing the patient’s medical history, taking the patient’s vitals (e.g. blood pressure, respiration, heart rate, temperature), asking the patient what medicines he or she is taking, and finding out the patient’s reason for seeing the doctor. In each scenario, Mulissa or Abdul played the role of the doctor.

As they worked their way through each of these scenarios, Mulissa and Abdul gave the students practical advice about various situations that might arise. Examples of this include patients who come from cultures that forbid them from being examined by someone of the opposite sex and patients who show signs of abuse.

“Along with her showing me what I am required to do, I was able to see my classmates and myself perform the task,” student Skylar Webster said of the experience. She said that observing her fellow students take part in these scenarios helped her learn more about the procedures.

This event benefited Mulissa and Abdul as well as they were able to fulfill an assignment in one of their master’s-level nursing classes. They plan to return to the campus for other activities with the medical assisting students in the future.

Mulissa Childress is pictured on the left during a mock medical procedure with student Dominique Wynn.

Legislator Tours Campus and Meets Students

Legislator Tours Campus and Meets Students

The Stark County Campus recently welcomed Ohio State Representative Christina Hagan who represents the 50th district. She toured the campus and talked to campus staff and students to learn more about the many career-training programs available at American National University. During her tour she met pharmacy technician student Monique Anderson who is one of the campus’s star students. In addition to being one of the first students to be entered in the campus’s Club Zero for perfect attendance, she also has a cumulative grade point average of 3.67 earning her a spot on the Dean’s List.

Monique is one of the first students to attend in Stark County which opened in February 2012. She said she chose American National University for the flexible class scheduling and friendly atmosphere. “The staff is awesome and very supportive,” she explained. Her future plans are to begin working as a pharmacy technician while continuing her education. She said she feels lucky have a wonderful support system from her family, who are there to help her get through any problems she is tackling. “When I feel I can’t do anymore, I just tell myself that all my hard work will be my reward in the end. So it’s worth the push and effort I put in every day.”

Librarian Wendy Hoffman (left) and student Monique Anderson (center) are pictured with Representative Christina Hagan during her tour of the Stark County Campus.

Childhood Experience Inspired Soon-to-be Surgical Tech

Childhood Experience Inspired Soon-to-be Surgical Tech

When Chris Baumgardner was a child, he injured his finger and needed to have surgery. After an initial procedure revealed the need for additional surgery, Chris’s family found an angel in Dr. Riley of St. Thomas Hospital’s Crystal Clinic, who performed the additional surgery at no charge. Chris’s finger healed fully, and Chris was so inspired by the gift of Dr. Riley that he ultimately decided to pursue a career in health care.

Today, Chris is a model student in the surgical technology degree program at the Akron Area Campus. He is currently completing his clinical rotations at Akron City Hospital in the general surgery department. He has also completed rotations in orthopedic surgery for the Crystal Clinic, which performs 20 to 30 total joint replacements per week. What’s more, one of the doctors he worked with there was also named Riley – the son of the man who operated on his finger as a child!

With intense orthopedic surgery experience, he will be graduating at the end of this term and his clinical supervisors are impressed with his preparation and training through American National University. In fact, St. Thomas Hospital has already expressed interest in hiring him for their surgical department.

Prior to attending American National University, Chris worked in the restaurant field but felt like he had another calling for his future. With the program coming to an end, he feels he was meant for the surgical technology field. This calling was confirmed when Titus Greer, the campus’s director of surgical technology, reported that he scored the highest score on the Surgical Technology Post Test in the history of the campus.

‘Life Skills’ Become Valuable Part of Business Program

‘Life Skills’ Become Valuable Part of Business Program

The Business Administration Department at the Dayton Area Campus has a strong and diverse advisory board, consisting of business owners and managers from a wide variety of fields. Department Chair Bob Abadie explained that the ideas that are brought to the table during a meeting help the campus plan the curriculum for courses that will meet the needs of the area’s workforce. He said that as a result of the advisory board, the training that students receive is a step above other area colleges. “They receive the training that meets the needs of employers and their customers, and this makes our graduates highly marketable.”

Approximately three years ago the Business Advisory Board suggested incorporating important life skills in several business-related classes. Using suggestions from the board, the faculty developed short life skill modules and lesson plans designed to relate to a business course with one or more of the course learning objectives. The modules were created to also reinforce the course material in a practical manner. For example, in the economics course, students learn about managing their money and credit; in the Principles of Management course, students learn about decision making, planning, and time management.

In the other business courses, the life skills modules cover the fundamentals of professionalism, proper business attire, office manners and social skills, telephone and email etiquette, acting appropriately on the job, marketing yourself, résumé preparation, and conflict resolution.

Bob said that the results of these new life skills modules being taught in class the last three years have been nothing short of remarkable. Feedback from students indicate that the life skills modules are well received. Kim Welch said, “Balancing work, school, and life can be stressful. The life skills presentation on time management helped me to stay focused … and make sure the most important things are done, so I can relax and feel more confident about the way I handle my time.” Students that complete all of the life skills modules receive a completion certificate to add to their portfolio.

Business Chair Bob Abadie is pictured with students in his Principles of Management class as he presents the life skills module that covers decision making and time management.

Mother Inspires Daughter to Enroll at National

Mother Inspires Daughter to Enroll at National

Readers of the National News will know that it is not unusual for parents and their children to attend college together. Lisa Snyder, a student in the health information technology (HIT) program at the Madison Campus, enrolled in June 2011, looking to pursue a career change. With almost half of her program behind her, she recently recommended National College to her daughter, Amanda Sims, who just graduated from Maplewood High School.

Amanda had been touring the campus already over the last few months of her senior year. Lisa said that Amanda liked the small classes, hospitality, and location of the campus. She knew that it would be a good fit for her daughter just as it was for her. Amanda enrolled in the pharmacy technician degree program and will start in September. She was so excited and proud to be a college student that she encouraged her friend, Cyara Parker, to join her.

Cyara is also starting classes this fall in pursuit of a medical assisting degree. Amanda said, “I am glad that I am going to the same college that my mother attends.” Amanda has heard great things about the staff and instructors. The Madison Campus wishes all three of these students the best of luck as they pursue their career training.

Amanda Sims (right) will join her mother Lisa Snyder at the Madison Campus in the fall.

Difference Maker - Dennis Anthony - IT Director and Instructor

Difference Maker - Dennis Anthony - IT Director and Instructor

Dennis Anthony at the Bristol Campus


  • Director of IT Programs
  • Computer Department Chair
  • Chair of Campus Academic Committee
  • Chair of Campus Advisory Board
  • Instructor of ISE and business courses, Principles of Accounting, Algebra, and Understanding Mathematics


  • National College faculty member since 2006
  • Over 40 years of business experience


  • Received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialty in marketing from Indiana University - South Bend and an MBA from Bristol University
  • Served in a variety of business management positions, such as vice president of marketing and sales, director of international business development, director of domestic marketing and sales, and director of corporate training
  • Has traveled to and developed business in 38 countries

I retired from corporate business and wanted to get involved in teaching at the college level where I could use my business experience and technical knowledge. I have been involved in computers and technology for the past 43 years. Over the years, I have always tried to use computers and technology in business to improve efficiency and competitive advantage.

I admire National College students for taking advantage of the opportunity for a new career and advancing their knowledge for future growth. With today’s economy and job market, students have to think outside the box to find creative ways to solve problems and perhaps to develop their new career. My greatest reward as an instructor is when I have students come back to the campus or I see them in a work environment and they tell me they are actually using what they learned in the classroom.

CVS Named ‘Distinguished Community Employer’

CVS Named ‘Distinguished Community Employer’

David Binkley, district manager for 25 CVS locations in the South Bend area, was honored to accept a plaque from American National University as Distinguished Community Employer. Three graduates from the South Bend Campus’s pharmacy technician program, Erin Anson, Ralonda Hawkins, and Emily Shine were hired by CVS Caremark Pharmacies and Mr. Binkley was instrumental in making this happen. “All three are excellent employees,” he said.

CVS has special services that they provide to ongoing customers that focus on building and maintaining good relationships with each customer. The pharmacy technicians will make up to 60 calls a week to those customers who have not refilled their prescriptions or who may need a change of drugs prescribed by their doctor due to their medical history. CVS requires their techs to be comfortable with getting to know their customers well, staying in touch with them on a regular basis, and building that solid relationship which will serve as a resource to provide for all of their health care needs.

Mr. Binkley said he noticed that National students are well prepared to professionally service customers. “American National University graduates are ready to step into our training program because they are state licensed and have successfully completed a retail pharmacy externship which gives them the basic understanding of the position and the environment of the pharmacy.”

With many CVS locations in the South Bend area, Mr. Binkley proposed putting a local externship program in place in order to be more involved with National. He said he is always open to meeting National students and graduates and he will continue to hire more graduates in the near future as the business grows.

Campus Director John Herman (third from left) is pictured presenting a plaque to David Binkley at CVS, flanked by graduates Emily Shine (left) and Ralonda Hawkins.


Veteran on Track to New Career

Veteran on Track to New Career

Charles Wolverton spent four years in the US Army and 15 months of those years were completed in Iraq as an artillery scout. He found National while researching new career opportunities and decided to enroll in the pharmacy technician degree at the Cleveland Area Campus. Even though working in a pharmacy is quite different from his experience in the army, he liked its job security.

The discipline and desire to attain his new career goal, that he attributes to his military service, has served him well in his studies - well enough to carry an ‘A’ average. Charles will graduate in early 2013 and seek employment at one of Cleveland’s numerous medical institutions. The Cleveland Area Campus is proud of accomplishments at the campus so far and thankful for his service to the country.

Skills and Externship Ease Medical Assistant into Career

Skills and Externship Ease Medical Assistant into Career

Stacy Allgeier Batton, a graduate from the Florence Campus, used to be afraid of shots and she broke down in tears when she had to have her blood drawn. Now, she’s a confident registered medical assistant working for St. Elizabeth Physicians and she said that giving shots is one of her favorite parts of her job.

She credits her instructors from the medical assisting program at American National University for making her new career possible. “She said ‘I have faith in you. I know that you can do it,’” Stacy recalled of one instructor’s supportive words. “She gave me the encouragement that I could get past my fear of doing this so that I could help other people.”

Stacy was a stay-at-home mom when she saw American National University on TV and decided to stop by the campus which was just down the street from her home. “I knew that I needed to do something to further my education to make life better for myself and my family,” she shared regarding her decision to return to school.

She liked the “personal aspect” of National where everyone knew her by name and instructors cared about the grades that she was making in their classes. She could even talk with the campus director if she had a problem.

Stacy was placed as an extern at St. Elizabeth Physicians. She said that she was nervous going into the externship but that she quickly saw that her training had prepared her well. Now that she’s a full time employee with the practice she finds that’s not always the case with students from other schools who may not have the skills they need when they come there to extern.

As she settles in her new career, Stacy finds the one-on-one interaction with her patients rewarding. “National gave me an outlook on my future that I could be more than just a stay-at-home mom and a wife—that I could actually have my own career doing what I love and helping people,” she said.

She appreciates the structure and stability that her new career brings to her life, including benefits such as health insurance. “It’s made my life so much easier-- knowing that I have a job,” she said. “I thank God that I have a job and that I have somewhere that I can come work every day.”

Externship Leads to Full-time Job for Graduate

Externship Leads to Full-time Job for Graduate

Miranda Mallicoat, a graduate from the Louisville Campus, is proud to be working as a certified surgical technologist at Floyd Memorial Hospital which was recently named one of the “Best Regional Hospitals” in the Metro Louisville area by US News and World Report.

Miranda said she checked into several surgical technology programs in the area before deciding on American National University. “I met with [Campus Director Vincent] Tinebra and the staff and they were very friendly and very helpful and I was impressed with that, so that’s what made my decision,” she recalled about her first visit to the campus. As she started taking classes and got more involved in her program, she also found her instructors to be helpful and very knowledgeable.

American National University surgical technology students are placed in clinical rotations in area hospitals during their program. The clinical rotations and the externship that follows allow students an opportunity to observe and eventually assist with surgeries in area hospitals. Miranda said that each offered an opportunity for her to gain hands-on experience. “It helped me build some skills and knowledge base to get a job,” she explained.

Miranda said that fellow graduate Robert Coole, who also works at Floyd Memorial, helped her land her job at the hospital when he gave her an excellent recommendation. She urges students to use any connections they have when searching for a job and to also take advantage of externships as a stepping stone to employment.

Miranda enjoys the variety that her job brings as she prepares for and assists with different surgeries every day—from vascular to general to ear, nose, and throat. She finds orthopedic surgeries to be the most interesting. She feels well prepared for her new career in health care thanks to her training at American National University. “They’ve given me the skills and the knowledge to succeed in the field,” she said.

Campus Hosts Traveling Medical Training Center

Campus Hosts Traveling Medical Training Center

On Wednesday and Thursday, August 1st and 2nd, the Pikeville Campus hosted the Medtronic Satellite Training Center which held spinal surgery trainings for area neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons, physician assistants, surgical technologists, and other medical professionals. Medtronic also held classroom and in-lab trainings for the campus nursing and medical assisting students. This was the first time that students have been invited to participate in trainings in the satellite training lab.

According to Theresa McGrann, Eastern Kentucky territory representative for Medtronic, the satellite training center travels across the U.S. and holds trainings for over 2,000 surgeons each year. Experts in spinal therapies lead the cadaveric-trainings which give area surgeons hands-on practice using new techniques, implants, and instruments.

Ms. McGrann gave the nursing and medical assisting students an orientation to spine surgeries, approaches, techniques, and anatomy then brought them into the lab for them to actually see what they had just discussed.

“This is the first time that we’ve ever done this in the country,” said Chad Miller, district manager for Medtronic. “In the past, we’ve always done training for [registered nurses] but this is the first time that we’ve done this at the root of their training…it’s a lot easier to learn early in your career as opposed to late in your career.”

Melissa Howard, who has just 13 more weeks remaining in her nursing program at National, said that seeing the spinal surgeries first-hand brings a more in-depth prospective to the information she’s read in her text books. “If you can see it in person, it gives you a better idea of how everything will work,” she explained adding that she also learned a lot about how bodies are used when they are donated to science. “They’re very respectful,” she said. She feels she will be better prepared to speak with patients and their families about donations because of the experience.

Wilma Storey, the campus’s director of health care education, said that the visit to the Medtronic lab was an outstanding learning experience for the campus medical students. “This is the greatest opportunity they can have with actually getting to see (and with some hands-on) the human body,” said Wilma. “It will give them a leg up…especially with their anatomy and physiology classes. We’re very lucky to have it here on campus.”

In the top photo, Theresa McGrann, Eastern Kentucky Territory Representative for Medtronic, is pictured leading a training on spinal surgeries for the nursing students. In the bottom photo, nursing students are pictured with the Medtronic satellite training mobile.

Job Fair Lets Veterans Meet with Local Employers

Job Fair Lets Veterans Meet with Local Employers

On Tuesday, August 7, the Danville, Kentucky Campus held Operation Hire Patriots Veterans Job Fair – an event that gave American National University veteran students and other veterans from the community the opportunity to talk with area companies about employment opportunities. The event was also open to non-veteran students and the general public that afternoon.

Libby Mayes, human resource manager for Ephraim McDowell Hospital, said that they frequently hire American National University students for medical assisting, medical billing and coding, and pharmacy technician positions and she hoped to find job prospects at the event.

Jamie Powell, with NESCO Resource, said that they have temporary and temp-to-hire clerical and light industrial positions available in the area. She said these positions can be a good opportunity for an employee to see if they are a good fit for a company. “You can come in, try it out and if it’s not for you it’s nothing that’s going to hurt you in the long run,” she said, adding that the positions can also be good experience to include on your résumé.

Veteran and recent graduate Robert Robbins said that he attended the event to find out more about the jobs that are available in the area. He also talked with Sean Moore with the Lexington Small Business Development Center, who offered information about resources available to veterans to start and build their own businesses. Robert was particularly interested in the Patriot Express Loan, a low-interest loan that is available exclusively to veterans for business start-up and expansion through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Robert, who graduated with a double major in business administration—management and accounting, hopes to start his own photography business.

Libby Mayes is pictured talking with medical assisting student Harley Taylor.

Students Help Big Brothers/Big Sisters with Computers

Students Help Big Brothers/Big Sisters with Computers

The students in the information systems engineering (ISE) program at the Lexington Campus were excited to find out that they would be reconditioning several of the campus’s phased out computers in their Computer Hardware Technology class. Their excitement grew when they decided on a charitable foundation to donate those computers to - Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bluegrass. They felt it was keeping true to the college’s mission to understand and practice their responsibilities to their families, their fellow men, and their communities by becoming effective and contributing citizens.

When Ben Heinlein, program manager of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, was contacted, he was very excited to hear about the donation. He said that the computers were going to help children of their programs learn how to use computers.

In addition to the donation, the National ISE students also agreed to help with any installation or information regarding the setup of the computers which will give them an additional hands-on learning experience.

(l to r) ISE students William Howard, David Boulden, and Derek Blevins helped refurbish the computers donated to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Campus Names Patti A. Clay Medical Center a ‘Distinguished Community Employer’

Campus Names Patti A. Clay Medical Center a ‘Distinguished Community Employer’

The Richmond Campus has named Patti A. Clay Regional Medical Center as a Distinguished Community Employer. On Wednesday, July 25th Campus Director Keeley Gadd, Student Services Director Cynthia Hansel, and Career Center Director Lindsay Bramlage visited the hospital and presented the award to the medical center’s Vice President Chris McClurg, Director of Marketing Jill Williams, and Director of Patient/Guest Relations Jerian Shaw.

“We wanted you to be the first to receive this honor because Patti A. Clay has been such a huge partner for years with American National University. Whether it’s employing our graduates or providing externships—you have been invaluable to us,” Keeley said. Keeley added that the hospital also participates in campus career fairs and health fairs and students enjoy volunteering at special events at the hospital.

Mr. McClurg estimated that approximately 10-15% of the medical professionals that they employ at the hospital are American National University graduates. “They’re very well prepared and they’re wonderful,” said Mr. McClurg. “We appreciate [American National University] as a resource.”

American National University’s Cynthia Hansel (left), Lindsay Bramlage (third from left), and Keeley Gadd (center) are pictured presenting the “Distinguished Community Employer” plaque to Patti A. Clay representatives Jerian Shaw (second from left), Chris McClurg (second from right), and Jill Williams (right).

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.