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December 03, 2012

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A 30-Year Educational Journey

A 30-Year Educational Journey

Shelby Totten graduated with a degree in data processing from National College in Roanoke in 1982. This would be her first of many degrees from National.

After working in the field for several years, Shelby decided to work towards a second degree in business administration-management. She enrolled at the Danville, Virginia Campus this time and graduated in 2009, but she didn’t stop there. She rolled right into the business administration-management bachelor’s degree program while raising a family and working full time.

With her limited amount of free time, she appreciated how National’s programs were designed to get students in and out into their new careers quickly. “National College did not waste my time asking me to study classes that would not directly benefit my career,” she said. “They understand that adult learners have responsibilities outside of the classroom.”

Demonstrating the importance of an education, Shelby has worked hard to set a good example for her children by working hard at school during the day and then going to work at night. “It is hard to juggle all of the responsibilities of a mother, wife, employee, and a student but it’s important to continually learn and achieve your goals,” she said. She is proud that both of her children now have their college degrees.

Shelby graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 2011 and then transferred* to Liberty University for a Master of Business Administration degree. She would like to return to the campus one day as an instructor.

During a recent visit to the campus, Shelby Totten is pictured (sitting) in the library with Librarian Glenda Francis.

* It is important to remember that acceptance of academic credit is always a decision made by the receiving institution and is based on the individual circumstances of each student. The fact that one student’s credits transferred to an institution does not mean that credits will always transfer, even to the same institution. If you intend to transfer academic credits earned at National College to another institution you should check with that institution in advance of enrollment at National to determine what their policy will be concerning your ability to transfer credits. In some cases National College may have an articulation agreement in place which will specify what credits another institution may accept. Check with your campus director for more information concerning articulation agreements.

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Veteran and ‘Student of the Month’ Joins Campus in Celebrating Veterans Day

Veteran and ‘Student of the Month’ Joins Campus in Celebrating Veterans Day

On Monday, November 12th, the Stark County Campus honored former military personnel with a Veterans Day brunch. Jodie Nash, a veteran and the campus’s elected student of the month, was among those celebrated.

Jodie is a student in the campus’s systems and user support program. She previously worked as a dental hygienist for the US Army before ending her service of 10 years. She worked as a USDA food inspector before retiring. One of her goals is to become more proficient in technology so she can help others. “If I can learn it, maybe I can help somebody else understand it too,” she explains.

She feels that American National University is well equipped to help her achieve her goals: “I think they have excellent teachers,” she said, as she also talked about the benefits of the campus’s small classes. She also said her military experience has helped her to do well at National. “I think that the veterans that are enrolled in [academic] programs have the benefit of work experiences from all fields. We are more appreciative of the experience and the opportunity to go back to school and master a new career field.”

Pictured during the campus’s Veterans Day ceremony are (l to r) Jodie Nash, Sergeant William Bryan and 1st Sergeant Lance Tasker from the Canton Army Recruiting Office, Greg Sanford, and Tim Thompson.

National College Students Give Back to the Community

National College Students Give Back to the Community

On Saturday, November 17th, students at the Madison Campus joined together to give back to the community by helping to serve a meal at the Nashville Rescue Mission which offers a variety of services for those in need such as rehabilitation, parenting classes, and job readiness courses.

Latrice Howard Allen, Sherry Blakemore, Randall Bell, and Candice Carey represented National College in this community service project with other volunteers from Ranson Temple Church. Latrice is a student in the campus’s business administration-management degree program and an active member of Ranson. Sherry is a student in the health information technology degree program, Randall is a recent graduate of the business administration-management degree program, and Candice works for the college. All were eager to have the opportunity to help at the mission.

“This was such an uplifting experience for me,” Candice said, “This was my first time ever going to the mission and it was extremely eye opening. Initially going in, I had the thought of helping others and giving back. But, little did I know, how much they would help me.”

Students joined Madison Campus Receptionist Candice Carey at the Nashville Rescue Mission to give back to the community.

Graduate Finds New Career after 10 Years of Factory Work

Graduate Finds New Career after 10 Years of Factory Work

Amy Evans was not sure what she would do when she was laid off from her factory job of 10 years until she visited her local unemployment office. This is where she found out about American National University and that she could receive tuition assistance through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

When Amy visited the Richmond Campus, she learned that she qualified for additional tuition assistance through American National University’s exclusive Workforce Development Grant which supplements funding from programs such as WIA. She enrolled in the administrative office professional program and graduated in November 2011.

“When I first started at American National University, I had no confidence; [I was] always the last one to give a presentation [and the] last in line,” Amy said. “I matured and gained confidence from my time spent at National.” Not only was she coming out of her shell at National, but she was also doing so well academically that she started tutoring fellow students. She wanted to make a positive impact in another student’s life like people had done for her. She graduated with a 4.0 grade point average and was presented the Mary P. McGurn Award and the Leadership Award during her graduation ceremony.

Amy is using her degree while working for Park Federal Credit Union. She had previously worked for them as a temporary employee and when a permanent position opened up, they encouraged her to apply. She loves her job.

Amy Evans (pictured) said her experience at American National University gave her confidence to pursue a new career.

Cheryl Heer – Difference Maker at the Florence Campus

Cheryl Heer – Difference Maker at the Florence Campus

Cheryl Heer at the Florence Campus


  • General education department chair
  • Campus librarian
  • Instructor of ethics, oral communications, English composition, political science, written communications, and preparatory English courses


  • American National University librarian since 1997; faculty member since 2000
  • Has been in the education and librarianship fields for over 30 years


  • Received a bachelor’s degree in political science and French from Malone College and master’s degrees in both library science and political science from Case Western Reserve University
  • Taught for several years at the high-school level
  • Worked as a research librarian for the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, the Ohio Department of Health, and State Library of Ohio

I challenge my students by encouraging them to take the knowledge and skills they acquire beyond the walls of the classroom. We discuss how essential good written and oral communication skills are - not just in a classroom setting, but applying them in their personal lives and in the workplace. I challenge them to learn what is happening in the world and how it impacts them and their families. I also challenge them to develop an understanding of our country’s history and political processes. As students, voters, and parents, it is so very important to be informed and to realize that it is a continual learning process.

My greatest reward as an instructor is when a student shares with me how what we have discussed in class has aroused their curiosity to learn more about the subject and how they have taken what we have discussed in the classroom home to their families to enrich their lives.

Employer of 15 National College Graduates Recognized

Employer of 15 National College Graduates Recognized

In the last six months, Xerox Services has hired 15 American National University graduates from the Lexington Campus. Xerox is one the largest and most diverse medical groups in the Lexington region. They provide careers in various medical disciplines including medical assisting, pharmacy, billing and coding, and medical office assisting.

On Monday, November 12th, Career Center Director Cheryl Howell and Campus Director Kimberly Thomasson of the Lexington Campus presented a plaque of recognition to Mary Jane Collins, Senior Recruiter with Xerox Services, honoring them as a Distinguished Community Employer. This win-win partnership offers employment opportunities for American National University graduates to use their newly acquired skills.

Career Center Director Cheryl Howell (left) and Campus Director Kimberly Thomasson (right) are pictured presenting a plaque to Xerox Recruiter Mary Jane Collins and Assistant Recruiter Susann LeBona.

International Student Finds One-on-One Attention in Small Classes at National College

International Student Finds One-on-One Attention in Small Classes at National College

Tracy Grévin, an international student attending the Danville, Kentucky Campus, is happy to say that she has found instructors who care about her success at the Danville Campus. She moved to the United States from France to be with her mother who lives in Danville.

Tracy first enrolled in a community college but she didn’t find the one-on-one attention that she needed there and eventually left. She decided to check into American National University which was located near her home. “The classes are smaller and the teachers keep an eye on you and that’s really good,” said Tracy of her experience at National.

Tracy enrolled in the office technology professional associate’s degree program because she worked in that type of field when living in France. She knows that computer technology is an integral part of almost every business. Her future goals are to find employment with a law firm after she earns her degree.

Tracy Grévin (pictured) moved to the United States from France and turned to American National University to pursue her career goals.

VRAP Student Appears on Local TV Show

VRAP Student Appears on Local TV Show

Veteran Larry McPhail, who is a student in the systems and user support program at the Louisville Campus, and Campus Director Vincent Tinebra recently appeared on a special Veterans Day edition of the weekly TV show WAVE Country with Dawne Gee to discuss the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).

VRAP, which is jointly administered by the Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans Affairs, is available to unemployed veterans between the ages of 35-60 for career training in high-demand occupations. 99,000 applicants will be assisted through VRAP and over 60,000 veterans have already been approved for the funding.

During the show, Larry explained that VRAP is funding his tuition. “This is a blessing and I took advantage of it,” said Larry of the VRAP benefit. “I’m 51 now and I needed to find work that was less physical.”

Larry knew that American National University offered the personal attention that he needed to succeed in his computer technology program because his sister-in-law, Virgie Douglas, is director of admissions for the campus. Larry said that he feels at home at National. He enjoys his instructors and he’s getting back into the swing of being in school. After completing the program, he hopes to gain some experience in the field and then open his own business.

Campus Director Vincent Tinebra and student Larry McPhail are pictured talking to WAVE Country TV show host Dawne Gee.

Campus Partners with City and Various Other Agencies to Promote Career Enhancement

Campus Partners with City and Various Other Agencies to Promote Career Enhancement

Students at the Charlottesville Campus recently participated in the Charlottesville Community Career Conference held at the John Paul Jones Arena. Career Center Director Anne Brown serves on the planning team with other colleagues that also coordinate the Charlottesville Community Job Fair that is usually held in the spring.

This year’s inaugural conference was designed to create a networking environment for job seekers, employers, and educational institutions. The planners coordinated industry-specific panel discussions with employers and representatives of the area’s educational institutions. National College was represented on the healthcare and professional careers panels. The students in attendance were able to get their questions answered regarding employment opportunities directly from area human resources professionals and hiring managers.

Campus Director Kelly Chamberlain is pictured speaking to a prospective student at the Charlottesville Community Career Conference. During the conference, Kelly also recruited a new highly qualified instructor.

Campus Connects Job Seekers with Potential Employers at Fall Fest Job Fair

Campus Connects Job Seekers with Potential Employers at Fall Fest Job Fair

On Thursday, October 25th, the Lynchburg Campus hosted a Fall Fest Job Fair for students, graduates, veterans, and job seekers throughout the community. Fifteen companies and agencies attended to offer employment opportunities and provide career advice to over one hundred potential employees. Many participants filled out applications and presented their resumes to be considered for job positions during the event.

Manpower, Carilion Clinic, Central Virginia Chiropractic, Team Nurse, Sam’s Club, Tanzar Chiropractic, Wells Fargo, and Stellar One spent the afternoon interviewing, networking, and providing career information. Mary Kay representative, Stephanie Anastasio, gave advice on presenting a professional look for job interviews. Laura Coburn, with the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), offered job search information during the fair while her colleague, Charles Guerin, the VEC veterans representative, explained the resources available to assist veterans in training, education, and job search.

Jonathan Harris, owner of Protech Computers, spoke with several students in the information systems engineering program: “I met several of your students who may be able to work with me on some future projects.”

Katie Foster, a representative from Foster Fuels, attended the fair looking for potential candidates for an office administrative position. She also ended up collecting résumés for their information technology department. She was excited to connect with a veteran with a background in petroleum expertise.

Philip Day, volunteer coordinator with the Red Cross, commented, “I enjoyed it and recruited two volunteers, too!”

June Sandidge, a veteran enrolled in the business administration-management program, was glad to have the opportunity to participate in the campus’s career fair and said, “I made some good connections.”

“It is through events like this that our students can meet professionals from every field,” explained Career Center Director Nancy Wilcox. “We appreciate the support and team work of our business partners who make these events so successful.”

Kenneth Woolfrey, a student in the information systems engineering degree program, is pictured in the top photo filling out an application at the Lynchburg Campus’s Fall Fest Job Fair.

Dawn Burton, Administrator for Team Nurse, is pictured talking with Maegan Forbes El, who just graduated from the medical assisting degree program in November.

IT Students Get Practical Experience and Support Local Historical Museum

IT Students Get Practical Experience and Support Local Historical Museum

The Harrison Museum of African American Culture received a full computer-needs assessment and an upgrade of their computer system, courtesy of the Information Systems Engineering Department at the Roanoke Valley Campus. Students in the information technology classes worked with the campus’s department chair, Bejai Powell, to evaluate the museum’s current computer networking structure and their level of current technology.

Student Samuel Wyar was able to use the information discussed during the evaluation and install four upgraded computers and a printer on a network. The project, which turned into a 10-hour venture from start to finish, will benefit the Harrison Museum and their need to become up-to-date in technology. Charles Price, president of the museum, is appreciative of National College’s support: “The Harrison Museum’s extensive collection of oral histories that highlight the culture and significance of the black community in the Roanoke Valley will now be preserved.”

Samuel was happy to get the opportunity to get hands-on experience while doing something he enjoys. “This was a fun but challenging opportunity for me to get practical experience and a good bullet for my resume,” Samuel said as he expressed appreciation to his instructor for the chance to test his computer networking skills.

Samuel Wyar, a student in the information systems engineering degree program, is pictured at the Harrison Museum with the museum’s president Charles Price (sitting).

Graduate Moves From File Clerk to Manager in Less Than Two years

Graduate Moves From File Clerk to Manager in Less Than Two years

Kendell Stuart wanted a new career but she couldn’t afford to quit her day job to attend school and get the career training she needed. She chose to attend National College’s Princeton Campus because the college’s flexible scheduling would allow her to do both.

In December 2009, she enrolled in the medical office assistant diploma program because she liked that she could learn about the medical office environment in a short amount to time. Before completing her program, Kendell worked with Career Center Director Elaine Owens to start her job search. She applied to a job opening with Medi Home Care for a file clerk.

On November 1st, 2010, two weeks before she finished her program, Kendell began her new job with Medi Home Care. She says her education greatly assisted her in getting the position.

Roger Phillips, Kendell’s supervisor, was impressed by her knowledge, skills, and her ability to catch on quickly. When he decided to resign from his position at Medi Home Care, he recommended Kendell as his replacement. She was hired and is now a manager over the Bluefield and Beckley locations.

Graduate Kendell Stuart (pictured) is a manager for Medi Home Care.

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.