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

October 01, 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


Hands-On Approach Helps Student Achieve Perfect Score

Hands-On Approach Helps Student Achieve Perfect Score

Information systems engineering student Michael Davis, of the Princeton Campus, recently achieved a perfect score on his first CompTIA A+ certification test, an important career milestone for anyone looking to enter the information technology (IT) field.

“The certification is important because most employers look for the A+ certification first before they’ll consider you for a job,” says Michael. The exam tests fundamental knowledge of areas such as installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security, and troubleshooting. Two tests are required to achieve the certification, and Michael is now halfway there.

“I tell my students that there are three requirements to gaining employment in an information technology field: Education, Experience, and Certifications,” says Audrey Kirk, director of IT programs at the Princeton Campus. “Michael listened, and achieved these goals.”

Michael quickly recognized the importance of industry certifications in his chosen field, and found that the coursework at National definitely prepared him for the test. “From the very first class, we were working on computers, troubleshooting hardware and software,” he explains.

Michael had previously attended college years ago, studying broadcast journalism. As jobs in that career field began to dry up, he found some success in restaurant management. But he yearned for something that would give him more of an opportunity to grow. IT was the field; he found that National College was the right place.

Most attractive to him was National’s class scheduling. “Any other place I would be going to class an hour a day, 3-4 days a week, and really wouldn’t retain anything,” he says. “Classes here are 4-5 hours long, you get hands-on experience, and that’s the best part.”

A few terms from graduation, Michael is confident he will have the skills to excel in his new career, whether he goes to work for an organizational IT department or opens his own business. As he embarks on his third “new” career, he observes matter-of-factly, “It’s never too late to go back to school.”

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

Congressional Candidate Helps Students Celebrate Constitution Day

Congressional Candidate Helps Students Celebrate Constitution Day

Brendan Mullen, candidate for Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District , visited the South Bend Campus to tour the facility, meet students, and celebrate Constitution Day. During his visit, Mr. Mullen acknowledged the importance of Constitution Day and he of October 19, 2005 – when he witnessed people in Iraq voting for the first time under their new constitution and their enthusiasm in showing the red ink on their finger illustrating that they had voted. He stated how important it is for all of us to appreciate our freedom and our right to vote. He shared with students that it is a privilege to run for Congress and to address the problems our country faces.

As Mr. Mullen toured the campus, he was pleased to learn of the college’s focus on veterans and ensuring that they have future employment opportunities. He encouraged the students he met to continue their education in order to open up new career directions and to make a difference in the community. His desire to bring more jobs to the area depends on having the trained individuals to fill those jobs in the business, medical, and technical areas.

Congressional candidate Brendan Mullen is pictured talking to medical assisting student Joanna Taylor.

Students Participate in Hospitality Olympics

Students Participate in Hospitality Olympics

Students in the tourism and hospitality program at the Roanoke Valley Campus recently participated in the Roanoke Valley Hospitality Association’s (RVHA) “Hospitality Olympics.” RVHA sponsors this annual event to wind down the summer season and provide area hospitality venues a way to network and have a little fun.

Students had the opportunity to participate in many team-building activities including a blindfolded guide contest. Lee Small, who is halfway through his degree program, guided his blindfolded teammates as they wheeled him from one point to another. A cake decorating contest was a new activity for this event. Student Trisha Clark, who is also halfway through her program, led the National College cake decorating team.

The participating students enjoyed the Olympics and expressed appreciation to Department Chair Dorothy Herndon and Campus Director Lew Bishop for letting them be a part of this event. They agreed that this was another example of why the National Center for Tourism and Hospitality, a career division of National College, is the greatest career choice of them all!

Hospitality student Trisha Clark is pictured in the above photo during the cake decorating contest. She is the recipient of one of the RVHA scholarship awards.

Lee Small is also pictured instructing his blindfolded team during the Hospitality Olympics.

Campus Helps Collect 16 Units of Blood at Blood Drive

Campus Helps Collect 16 Units of Blood at Blood Drive

On Thursday, September 13th, the Harrisonburg Campus hosted the Virginia Blood Services for their quarterly blood drive. Director of Health Care Education Betty Hassler reported that 16 people donated one unit of blood apiece.

Thomas Barnette, Jr., a student in the business administration-accounting program, was glad to donate to this worthy cause. “I have been giving blood for five years and I was particularly pleased to donate this week since it fell on the anniversary of 9/11, a day that has been designated as a day of community volunteering,” he said.

The campus’s next scheduled blood drive will be in November.

Kyle Carter, a phlebotomist from Virginia Blood Services, is pictured taking blood from donor Thomas Barnette, Jr., a student in the business administration-accounting program.

Surgical Technology Students Hear from Association President

Surgical Technology Students Hear from Association President

On Thursday, September 20th, Sandra Luthie, the president of the Virginia Association of Surgical Technologists, visited the Danville, Virginia Campus in celebration of Surgical Technologist Week. She spoke to students in the surgical technology degree program about her 20 years of experience in the field. She encouraged the future surgical technologists by explaining that they have chosen a very exciting career field.

“You have a wonderful training facility here that looks just like a real operating room,” Sandra said about the Danville Campus. “Ask questions, touch things, be involved, and always be interested in learning.” She urged the students to study for and pass the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) Exam. Currently, a graduate with certification has more job opportunities, and in many cases will make more money than someone who is not certified.

The Danville Campus has developed some great relationships with area hospitals that will allow students to work as externs and get real-world experience. “You have great opportunities to learn with the teaching hospitals you are going to such as Wake Forest and UNC –Chapel Hill,” she explained. “National College is doing a good job preparing you but you have to do your part too. Learn everything you can. The more you know, the more money you can make, and the better your career will be.”

Sandra Luthie, the president of the Virginia Association of Surgical Technologists, is pictured speaking to surgical technology students.

Student Makes Positive Contributions to His Campus

Student Makes Positive Contributions to His Campus

Aaron Saunders is in his third term in the information systems engineering (ISE) degree program at the Lynchburg Campus. Shortly after he enrolled, he proved to be an asset to the campus with his positive attitude in the classroom and willingness to support campus activities.

Aaron tried to support himself right out of high school with a variety of jobs in customer service, production, dietary, retail, and food service. But he was drawn to electronics. “Working with computers has always come naturally to me,” he explained.

Even though he is working two jobs, including a work-study position at the campus, Aaron likes going to school. “I like the fact that I can sharpen current skills while learning new skills,” he said and explains that he values the support of his friends and family who encourage him to stay focused.

In pursuit of his long-term career goals in the IT field, Aaron said, “I just want to be able to live my life and be happy; to have a job that I love so I will not feel like all I do is work. I’m creating my own personal success story and having a career is one of my goals.”

Aaron Saunders (pictured on the left with Career Center Director Nancy Wilcox) said he will take away lifelong skills, friendships, and confidence from his National College training.

Students Get a Foot in the Door at Campus Job Fair

Students Get a Foot in the Door at Campus Job Fair

On Thursday, September 20th, the Akron Area Campus hosted a job fair to give American National University students and graduates an opportunity to make connections with local employers. Organized by Career Center Director Maxine O’Mara, the event included representatives from Hunter Temporary Services, Stanley Staffing, Hattie Larlham, USBank, Home Instead Senior Care, and Universal Screen Arts who attended in hopes of finding candidates to fill their job openings. They handed out informational brochures and packets to the job seekers. Many took advantage of the networking opportunity that the job fair offered and introduced themselves to the company representatives. The participating students and graduates were thankful for the opportunity to make connections and many registered with the companies for job openings. Pharmacy technician student Shawn Admire said he appreciates that the college holds job fairs and helps students and graduates find employment.

Student Danny Barnhart is pictured talking to Annette Balis from Home Instead Senior Care.

Campus Names Hometown Pharmacy as a Distinguished Community Employer

Campus Names Hometown Pharmacy as a Distinguished Community Employer

Youngstown based Hometown Pharmacy was awarded with a plaque of recognition as a Distinguished Community Employer from the Youngstown Campus of American National University for their commitment to the school’s pharmacy technician associate degree program.

“We are appreciative of the business partnership that we have with Hometown Pharmacy since 2009,” said Director of Career Services Jamie Jackson from the Youngstown Campus. “An estimated 25 students have completed their externships at one of the pharmacy locations, and 12 of our graduates were hired as full time employees.”

“Inside today’s busy retail pharmacies, it’s the technician that provides a vital service to our customers and liaison to our pharmacists. Hometown is honored to receive this award, but more importantly we are honored to work with American National University to provide area students with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience before receiving their degree,” said Ron McDermott. “American National University has been providing us quality interns, [many of whom] return after graduation as Hometown employees.”

Director of Career Services Jamie Jackson (left) and Campus Director Mike Boyle (2nd left) are pictured presenting the award to Ron McDermott (3rd left), the senior vice president of operations of Hometown, and staff at the Brine Hometown Pharmacy in Girard.

Campus Names Beavercreek Urgent Care as a Distinguished Community Employer

Campus Names Beavercreek Urgent Care as a Distinguished Community Employer

The Dayton Area Campus recently awarded a Distinguished Community Employer award to Beavercreek Urgent Care. In a presentation ceremony at Beavercreek Urgent Care’s location, Campus Director Robert Gast and Director of Health Care Education Derrick Parks presented the award to the staff for their outstanding contribution to student education and employment. The official presentation was made to Mark Floro, director of client services of Kettering Health Network, who said that American National University graduates are “go-getters and very well prepared.”

Beavercreek Urgent Care has not only hired seven graduates from the campus’s medical assisting program over the last two years; they also serve as an externship site and have mentored dozens of students over the same time period. Mr. Floro also expects to have more American National University graduates on staff in the future. “[American National University graduates] are hardworking and have great attitudes. We look forward to hiring more in the future.”

Campus Director Robert Gast (2nd from left) and Director of Health Care Education Derrick Parks (far left) are pictured presenting the Distinguished Community Employer award to Mark Floro (right), Director of Client Services for Kettering Medical Network – Beavercreek Urgent Care, and others from the Beavercreek Urgent Care staff.

Students Celebrate Constitution Day Jeopardy-Style

Students Celebrate Constitution Day Jeopardy-Style

In addition to educating students in the classroom, American National University also seeks to enrich their lives through special events like Constitution Day. The Columbus Campus celebrated the occasion throughout the week of September 17th. Copies of the U.S. Constitution were distributed to all students, and the hallways were decorated with posters about the important historical document. On the 19th of September, Librarian Quinton Kiser, along with Student Services Representatives Ammar Al-Sharafi, Portia Thomas, and Michelle Harper, put together a “Jeopardy” game based on information about the Constitution.

The game was open to students, staff, and faculty, and everyone who showed up to play was divided up into two teams. Players competed by answering the clues in the form of a question just like the tv show. The players on the winning team played an additional round with a set of bonus questions to determine a final individual winner. Ashley Black, a student in the medical office assistant program, won a gift card but all team players received American National University t-shirts for participating.

The game was fun and educational. “It was a great learning experience,” quipped Dominique Wynn, a student in the medical assisting degree program.

Pictured are Constitution Jeopardy contestants Keeva Moboti, Ashley Black, Dominque Wynn, Kathy Currie, and Charlene Daniels.

Bank Recruiter Gives Students Advice for their Job Search

Bank Recruiter Gives Students Advice for their Job Search

Michael Lyons, career center director at the Cleveland Area Campus, recently organized a workshop for students that covered the topics of professional dress and interviewing skills to prepare students for their job search.

The workshop was conducted by Janet Rosso, senior recruiter at Dollar Bank. She discussed what type of suit and tie men should wear; as well as the length of dresses and type of make-up for women. She explained that animal prints on ties or dresses are a “no-no” for first interviews because that particular style indicates a very casual demeanor and should not be projected at the interview. She said people should dress conservatively and neutrally while being interviewed.

Ms. Rosso explained that students should practice a technique called the “30-second commercial” to prepare for interviews. This “commercial” should include a quick explanation of a person’s background, accomplishments, and career-objective in 30 seconds or less. She demonstrated how it can be done and encouraged students to practice at job fairs. She concluded her presentation by stressing the importance of making contacts with people who may be able to help you get a position.

Student Mary Ann Spikes was quick to praise the workshop by saying, “I received valuable and timely information that [will] help me in the future.” Student Venessa Hunter agreed saying, “This will help me complete my résumé and prepare for my interview.”

Janet Rosso is pictured talking to students about how to prepare for a successful interview.

The Bartlett Campus Names Lakeside Behavioral Health as a Distinguished Community Employer

The Bartlett Campus Names Lakeside Behavioral Health as a Distinguished Community Employer

The Bartlett Campus recently awarded Lakeside Behavioral Health Systems at Memphis with a plaque naming them a Distinguished Community Employer.

Lakeside Behavioral Health Systems has served as an externship site for students in the health information technology (HIT) degree program at the Bartlett Campus, allowing them the opportunity to get real-word experience before entering the workforce. Lakeside Behavioral has also hired several National graduates.

Students in the HIT program have said they get a lot of valuable experience during their externships under the direction of Mark Hoskins, director of health information management at Lakeside Behavioral Health Systems.

Colonious Davis (left), director of the health information technology at the Bartlett Campus, is pictured presenting a plaque of appreciation to Mark Hoskins, director of health information management at Lakeside Behavioral Health Systems and adjunct instructor at the Bartlett Campus.

John Kell - Difference Maker at the Nashville Campus

John Kell - Difference Maker at the Nashville Campus


John Kell at the Nashville Campus


  • Director of IT Programs
  • Develops and manages the Information Systems Engineering program; instructs many ISE courses


National College faculty member since 2000.


  • Has worked in a variety of IT and other positions for large companies such as Monsanto and British Petroleum, as well as for several small businesses
  • Holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Lamar University and a Master of Science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Houston
  • Holds numerous industry certifications, including Microsoft Certified Trainer, Microsoft Certified Professional, and Microsoft Office Specialist

I’ve been in business for so long and been involved with so many different kinds of situations. I’ve always wanted to share my experiences with my students to help them not to re-invent the wheel. The kinds of experiences I’ve had in business have been very helpful to relate that to students.

I tell my students to take certifications seriously because that could be the very thing that puts you ahead of the other candidate and you get the job offer and the other candidate doesn’t. I keep a plaque in the lab that has all the students that have passed A+ as an incentive for some of the students to see what their classmates have been doing.

Graduate Advances in Her Accounting Career

Graduate Advances in Her Accounting Career

Allison Simpson always had an affinity for working with numbers and she knew that with the right training she could turn that skill into a thriving career. She came to the Florence Campus and earned her associate’s degree in business administration-accounting in just two years. After graduating, she worked in accounting for a communications company and a pharmaceutical company and she recently advanced in her career once again when she was hired by dunnhumbyUSA as a staff accountant.

“Everybody wants to work for this company so that’s why it’s so great to land the job and get hired on full time,” said Allison who was selected from a large number of applicants for the position which offered an extensive benefits package.

In her work for dunnhumby, Allison is responsible for accounts payable for all of the company’s North American operations. She also manages fixed assets and processes employee travel expense reports. “I’ve got a lot of work--which I love. It’s very fast paced,” she said of her job.

Allison said that her accounting program at National gave her the foundation that she needed to succeed in her career. She chose National because of the small class size which offered hands-on learning working one-on-one with her instructors. “The teachers…didn’t talk to us like children—they talked to us like working adults. They made it fun,” recalled Allison.

Allison is continuing her education at Thomas More College where she is working toward her bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance. She looks forward to a long career with dunnhumby and she’s appreciative that National put her on the path to success. “It’s prepared me…for what the future has to bring,” she said.

Students Gain Experience Volunteering at Health Fair

Students Gain Experience Volunteering at Health Fair

On Saturday, September 15th, medical assisting students from the Danville, Kentucky Campus volunteered with Director of Health Care Education Virginia Patterson and instructor Stephanie Slone to provide medical services during the Garrard County Free Medical Clinic that was held by Touched Twice United and Buena Vista Baptist Church.

The clinic provided medical, dental, chiropractic, and vision services as well as haircuts, a hot meal, a food pantry, a clothes closet, and more free of charge to those in need. During the event the medical assisting students worked side-by-side with doctors and performed triage including vitals, glucose checks, and urinalysis as they put to work the skills they’ve practiced in their clinical classes.

“Volunteering at the health fair has given me a chance to learn hands on and work directly with the doctors,” said medical assisting student Katie Bell. “It was a unique experience to see a community come together to help bring affordable, quality health care to those who live in the area.” Katie said that she felt that she’d benefited from the clinic as much as those that it served because of the hands-on learning that she received.

Student Candace Porter agreed with Katie. “The very last patient of the day gave me a big hug and thanked me for being there. I know that one of the greatest gifts in life is knowing that God is working through me. Giving my time at the health fair wasn’t work, it was a joy.”

Pictured at the Garrad County Free Medical Clinic are (back row, l to r) Emily Major, Lori Everett-Evans, Katie Bell, and Career Center Director Lacey Ebert, (middle) Candace Porter, Stefanie Padgett, Elizabeth Floyd, Julie Edwards, and Instructor Stephanie Slone Instructor and Director of Health Care Education Virginia Patterson.

Networking Event Connects Students with Professionals

Networking Event Connects Students with Professionals

On Tuesday, September 11th, the Louisville Campus hosted the monthly meeting of the Southwest Women’s Roundtable (SWWRT). The SWWRT is a non-profit organization for area women that promotes professional growth and offers networking opportunities.

Students from the Louisville Campus were encouraged to attend the meeting which included a moment of silence in memory of the victims of 9/11, an update on area developments by Metro Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch, and an inspirational message by WAVE 3 news anchor Dawne Gee.

Tami Charles, a veteran and student in the business administration-management program, recently started her own business as a distributor for Dudley Hair Care products. She attended the meeting because she said it was important to her, as a veteran, to observe 9/11. She also felt that the meeting was a great opportunity to connect with other professional women from the area. As a first-time visitor to a SWWRT meeting, she was given the opportunity to introduce herself and her business to the group. “People came flocking to me after I spoke to share information about their businesses and to get more information about mine. It was a wonderful event,” said Tami who plans to attend the SWWRT meetings on a regular basis in the future. You can read more about Tami and her business in her success story that ran in the February 17, 2012 issue of the National News.

WAVE 3 news anchor Dawne Gee shared an inspirational message with the professional women who attended the SWWRT meeting at the Louisville Campus.

Students Get Real-World Experience Through Mock Chemical Disaster

Students Get Real-World Experience Through Mock Chemical Disaster

Students in the Introduction to Pharmacology and Medical Assisting Success classes, along with Director of Healthcare Paula Beth Ciolek from the Richmond Campus, participated in the Madison County EMA/CSEPP chemical disaster exercise on September 19th. The students were “patients” for Baptist Health & St. Joseph hospitals and the field decontamination site. The exercise simulated what may occur if there were a chemical disaster at the Bluegrass Army Depot.

The students enjoyed their experience and the learning experience it gave them. They agreed that they are they are now better prepared if a real disaster occurred.

Elizabeth McIntosh said she learned that it was not only the chemicals that could hurt you during a chemical disaster. She played the part of a woman who panicked when she heard the sirens and ran into a glass door. Her simulated injuries included gashes on her face from the glass.

Jennifer Hitch, training officer for Madison County EMA/CSEPP, said she was impressed with the American National University students and they did an excellent job during the drill.

Pictured during the chemical disaster exercise are American National University students (l to r) Tabatha Merida, Jessica Inglis, Misty Hisle, “patient” Elizabeth McIntosh, Renee Pruitt, Charlene Isaacs, and Joshua Brockman. To see more photos from this event, click here.

Graduates Give Students Workplace Tour

Graduates Give Students Workplace Tour

On July 24th, students in the radio and television broadcasting program at the Lexington Campus went on a field trip to tour WTVQ Channel 36 studio. The tour was hosted by former American National University graduates Jeremiah Saunders and Kyle Miller who found jobs at WTVQ after completing externships there.

During the field trip, students got to experience behind-the-scenes live television production, as well as gain insight into how the program director runs the shows. In addition, students talked with Anchorman Tom Kenny and discovered how he began his career.

“It was a great experience to be able to work the camera and operate the audio board for a live broadcast,” said student Kimber Price. She also learned about how much pressure the crew is under to make television deadlines.

The Lexington Campus is proud of their partnership with channel 36 and commends Director of Radio and Television Broadcasting Bill Gray, and the job that is being done getting our students externships and gaining in-field employment.

Pictured at the WTVQ studio are students Brandon Young, Derek Stevenson, Nicholas Cobb, James Riley, and Kimber Price.

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.