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January 07, 2013

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Paramedic Student Delivers Baby During Training

Paramedic Student Delivers Baby During Training

Cary Strosnider, a student in the paramedic program at the Roanoke Valley Campus, recently had an opportunity to practice his emergency medical training in a real-life emergency situation. He was working for the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Station #9 for his Advanced Life Support Preceptorship class when his EMS crew was dispatched to a residence in response to a female complaining of abdominal pain.

Upon arrival, Cary examined the woman who explained that she was pregnant with her third child and her water had broken. He quickly determined that delivery was imminent and informed the mother-to-be that there was no time to get to the hospital. He had to put his emergency medical training to use and deliver her baby at her home. That baby was born in good health and weighed over seven pounds.

Cary, who was proud of his ability to handle this emergency situation, cared for both mother and baby en route to the hospital. Paramedic Ron Stone, Cary’s field training officer, said that Cary did an excellent job handling this unusual call and needed no assistance throughout the delivery.

The EMS crew was excited to be a part of bringing life to the world as they don’t often get calls to handle childbirth. Cary was also excited to be a part of such an occurrence as a student in training. He credits his National College instructors for preparing him for just such an unexpected situation.

Student Cary Strosnider is pictured on the right with his field training officer Ron Stone at the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Station #9.

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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

Business Owner Uses Knowledge from National to Take His Company to the Next Level

Business Owner Uses Knowledge from National to Take His Company to the Next Level

Chris Ahlers, owner of Ahlers Contracting, has been working in the construction field since he was 17 years old.  He opened his own contracting business 11 years ago, but he knew that he needed management and computer training to take his company to the next level of success.

“I was always good at the hands-on part,  but I felt like I needed to get in and get some education on how to actually run the business and update myself with computer skills,” recalled Chris who enrolled, at the Florence Campus and graduated with his business administration—management associate’s degree in November, 2011.

When he decided it was time to return to school, Chris visited several colleges that were located close to his home.  He chose American National University over the rest because of the small class sizes that he found there.  He also liked the friendly and knowledgeable instructors at National who kept him interested and engaged during his classes.

Chris found that he was immediately able to put the computer skills and knowledge that he gained in his classes to use in his business. He also found his contract law and real estate law classes to be extremely beneficial.

Chris is proud that his contracting business has weathered the storm of bad economic times, and it is now flourishing. “We stayed alive, and I’m fortunate that I’m probably one out of every 3 [contracting companies] that’s actually still in business,” he said.

He feels that his degree from American National University has helped fuel the growth of his company. “I can tell that it’s helped my income because I’m more efficient with everything that I’m doing,” he explained.  “I’m a lot more organized. I used to be strictly a pen and paper guy, and it was way too much--scheduling and estimating and costs and just keeping track of it all.  Now, it’s just turn on my computer and there’s everything that I need.”

Pictured above is single dad Chris Ahlers who was able to run his business, care for his three children, and attend college with the help of the flexible class schedules and small class sizes that he found at American National University.

Student Gets Job Offer from Externship Employer

Student Gets Job Offer from Externship Employer

Teelisha Wortham was devastated when she lost her job of 15 years working as an operator for a communications company. “It was a challenge but they always say when one door closes another one opens,” said Teelisha, who decided to use the layoff as an opportunity to get the college degree that she always wanted.

She enrolled in the medical assisting associate’s degree program at the Lexington Campus and utilized funding through the Workforce Investment Act program and the Kentucky CAP grant. The single mother of two said that she has always been interested in patient care and she likes to help others so the medical assisting program was a perfect fit for her.

At the end of her program, Teelisha worked as an extern at Colorectal Surgical and Gastroenterology Associates. She was determined to prove herself during her externship and she even volunteered to work extra hours when the practice was busy. “It’s more experience for me and it’s helping them out as well,” she explained. Her knowledge, skills, and hard work paid off when her supervisor offered her a permanent job as a medical assistant with the practice.

“My main goal was to get an education to better myself in order to take care of my children and I feel like that has been accomplished," said Teelisha.

Teelisha Wortham (pictured) was excited to receive a job offer from her externship supervisor.

PBL Santa Brightens Children’s Holidays

PBL Santa Brightens Children’s Holidays

On Friday, December 14, the 2nd Annual Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Santa and Christmas Party was held at the Lexington Campus to brighten the holidays for American National University students and their families. PBL is a student-run business organization created to help students prepare for careers in business and business-related fields.

Student and PBL Vice-President Larry Olinger said that PBL members sponsored the event because they wanted to give back to the campus’s students. The club purchased gifts for over 120 children who registered for the event and also provided dinner for all of the families who attended the party.

Throughout the year, PBL held a variety of fundraisers and raised over $2,000 for the event. Organizing the fundraisers gave the PBL members first-hand experience utilizing business skills such as determining cost and profit margins, marketing and entrepreneurship.

April Leak, secretary of the campus’s PBL chapter, said that she feels that her participation helped her develop better communications skills. She was glad for the opportunity to get experience and offer so much joy to children during this event. “It’s a wonderful experience just to see the smiles on the kids’ faces.”

PBL would like to thank sponsor Raising Cane Chicken, as well as Walmart and Kroger, for their generous donations for the event.

PBL members (left to right) Jessica Workman, April Leak, and Martha Thomas helped to plan and implement fundraisers for the PBL Santa and Christmas Party.

Medical Students Take Advantage of Service Learning Opportunities

Medical Students Take Advantage of Service Learning Opportunities

On October 19, the Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools (KACCS) held a Service Learning Workshop at the American National University Florence Campus. Service learning can be a very effective teaching tool, giving students an opportunity to put their skills from the classroom to work as they provide assistance to an organization in need in their community.

Pikeville Campus Director Tammy Riley attended the KACCS workshop which she says helped her to clarify the difference between community service versus service learning. “The connection between providing a service to your community and actually gaining insight specifically into your curriculum from a student perspective and bridging those two—that’s what service learning does,” explained Tammy.

Students from the Pikeville Campus were already participating in a service learning project with Westcare Emergency Shelter, a homeless shelter that is located in Pikeville. Nurse Administrator Shirley Goff implemented the project in her nursing class and student Leandra Johnson spearheaded a donation drive and led health and wellness workshops at the shelter.

The workshops covered topics such as HIV testing, hand washing, and vaccines and also provided the residents with information regarding agencies that provide free or reduced rate medical care. “I was skeptical, at first...about how they’d react to the workshops but they were awesome, they were full of questions. They were really, really thankful,” Leandra recalled of the residents’ response.

Leandra’s experience volunteering at Westcare has given her a new sense of gratitude for all that she has and it has increased her enthusiasm for her career ahead. “Seeing the difference that I made at the shelter--I’m so excited to do that at the hospital to help people,” she said as she embarks on her career as a registered nurse.

Tammy and the department chairs from the Pikeville Campus recently toured Westcare to learn more about the shelter’s needs. “The nursing students were getting so motivated and inspired and I wanted to spread that throughout the other programs,” Tammy recalled. She hopes to incorporate a service learning project into each program at the campus to utilize other student’s skills to help the shelter.

Leandra Johnson, pictured in the above photo, spearheaded the service learning project at Westcare Emergency Shelter.

Jason Maynard (left) and Elizabeth Carter (right) are pictured sorting toy donations at the Westcare Emergency Shelter.


Former Reporter Shares the Importance of Using Correct English

Former Reporter Shares the Importance of Using Correct English

Barry Peel (pictured), retired State Capitol Political Reporter for WKYT-TV, recently visited the Richmond Campus and spoke with the students in the Preparatory English class about the importance of the English language and using it correctly.

Campus Chooses a New Student Ambassador

Campus Chooses a New Student Ambassador

Kathy Kirkpatrick, a student in the pharmacy technician program at the Stark County Campus, was selected to be a student ambassador for the campus serving as a direct link between students and faculty and staff.

The campus chooses a student to be an ambassador based on his/her resourcefulness, integrity, and concern for others. Student Services Representatives Miranda Hall and Barb Mann agree that Kathy meets each one of these traits and adds that she is also very goal oriented. The student services team is glad to have this new ambassador program in place that will help to ensure that students’ needs are met. An additional goal of this program is to maintain a fun but educational environment at the campus.

Kathy’s personality and career goals make her a terrific choice as an ambassador. “I’ m really easy to talk to. I’m a people person,” she explained. Her goals as an ambassador are to build a bridge between students and staff and offer a fresh perspective to those that she encounters through this experience. She would like to bring new life and new ideas to the campus and hopes to positively impact the tutoring program.

New student ambassador Kathy Kirkpatrick is pictured in the campus’s library.

Local Recruiting Agency Recognized for Helping National Graduates Find Jobs

Local Recruiting Agency Recognized for Helping National Graduates Find Jobs

The Cincinnati Campus recently recognized local recruiting agency Aerotek as a Distinguished Community Employer. Aerotek works with the campus in finding jobs for American National University graduates.

Partnerships such as the one between American National University and Aerotek are invaluable for graduates as they begin their new careers. As partnerships like this evolve, Career Center Director Katie Simpson learns what the employer is looking for and can match their needs with the skills of American National University graduates.

“There has to be a great relationship with employers as well as students for career services to be a success,” Katie said.

Derek Felici, a recruiter for Aerotek, was honored to receive a plaque from American National University in appreciation of their support of career education. Aerotek has placed many students and graduates in the greater Cincinnati area - four since August 2012.

Aerotek Recruiter Derek Felici is pictured holding the “Distinguished Community Employer” plaque awarded from American National University in November 2012.

Externship Site of 12 Phlebotomy Students Recognized

Externship Site of 12 Phlebotomy Students Recognized

Since the phlebotomy certification program started at the Akron Area Campus, LabCare Plus has provided externship positions for 12 students. LabCare Plus is an outpatient diagnostic lab with several sites located throughout the Akron area. They offer careers for certified phlebotomists and have provided valuable experience for American National University students preparing for a career in this area.

On behalf of American National University, students Holly Curtis, Cathy Waddle, and Shannon Boak, along with Director of Health Care Education Debra Tymcio, recently presented a plaque of recognition to Carla Davenport, LabCare satellite operations supervisor honoring LabCare as a Distinguished Community Employer.

“This partnership is vital to the success of our phlebotomy program,” explained Debra. “They are instrumental to training and building confidence in our students. We greatly appreciate the support LabCare Plus has provided to the students and the program.”

Debra Tymico (left) is pictured with students Holly Curtis, Cathy Waddle, and Shannon Boak presenting a plaque of appreciation to Carla Davenport (center), LabCare satellite operations supervisor.

Mom Inspires Son to Transfer Credits and Attend National

Mom Inspires Son to Transfer Credits and Attend National

Grant Spivey has a goal of becoming an information systems engineer and he is currently attending the Bartlett Campus to make that happen. He is about half way through this program and has already passed the Microsoft Technical Associate Examination for Windows Server Administration. He hopes this certification will help him secure a network administration position or a server administration position.

Grant’s mother, Rebecca Spivey, played a big role in his decision to enroll in the Bartlett Campus’s information systems engineering degree program. “My mother was attending National College and I was attending Christian Brothers University,” he explained. “I was looking for a more affordable college with lower tuition.”

He enrolled in August 2011 and was glad to learn that he could transfer some of his credits from Christian Brothers University. He likes how National’s courses are organized and that they prepare students for the workforce. He also noted an appreciation for the flexibility of course scheduling which allows him to work at the same time.

In the next five years, Grant said he hopes to have secured a job in information technology and to continue his education.

Grant Spivey (pictured) recently passed the Microsoft Technical Associate Examination for Windows Server Administration.

Walgreens Pharmacies Named Distinguished Community Employer

Walgreens Pharmacies Named Distinguished Community Employer

The Nashville Campus recently presented a Distinguished Community Employer Award to Walgreens for their continued support of the campus’ pharmacy technician program.

Walgreens is Nashville’s largest pharmacy retail chain and has numerous locations throughout the Middle Tennessee area. They have provided many externship opportunities for pharmacy technician students within the last year. In addition, National College graduates have found permanent jobs at Walgreens as well.

Walgreens District Manager Elliott Webb accepted the award on behalf of Walgreens and noted that they are happy to work with National College and its pharmacy technician students. He said they look forward to working together more in the future and building the relationship.

Career Center Director Terri J. Davis McCall (left) and Director of Health Care Education Junior Basant (right) are pictured presenting a plaque of appreciation to Walgreens District Manager Elliott Webb.

Army Veteran Dreams of Opening Homeless Shelter

Army Veteran Dreams of Opening Homeless Shelter

After serving 20 years in the US Army, Gerald Whitaker decided to go to college and pursue a new career. “I wanted to do something for myself and be the first person in my family to receive a degree.” He had previously attended another college but was told he was not “college material.” This would be his motivation to successfully complete a college degree program at American National University.

Gerald chose to attend the business administration-management degree program at the Indianapolis Campus. He said he is glad he chose National because of the close relationship that students have with their instructors and the personal attention that they get in the classroom. “When I need help, I can always ask my instructors,” he explained.

He is currently working towards his associate’s degree and is on track to graduate in the fall of 2013, but he doesn’t plan to stop there. He will continue his education in hopes of one day earning a master’s degree in business administration. Gerald dreams of using his business skills to open a homeless shelter for battered women and children. He said that there are not enough resources to help women and children find shelter.

Gerald Whitaker (pictured) said that as soon as he graduates, he will take his diploma to the person that said he wasn’t college materials and say, “Yes, I am!”

Medical Assisting Graduate Gets Paid for Her Passion of Helping Others

Medical Assisting Graduate Gets Paid for Her Passion of Helping Others

When Michele Haberle enrolled in the medical assisting degree program at the Lynchburg Campus in 2009, her goal was to find a new career where she could fulfill her desire to help people. As a medical response volunteer for many years, the medical field always fascinated her and she enjoyed the opportunity to provide services and help to people in need.

As a daughter of a convenience store owner, Michele grew up working in the retail environment but she developed a passion for the healthcare field and became an emergency medical technician (EMT). She has volunteered for many medical services organizations including the American Red Cross.

She says she chose National College because of its convenient location and small class sizes that offered one-on-one attention from instructors. She said that her classes were challenging and that is why she felt really prepared to enter the workforce after graduation.

Michele worked with Career Center Director Nancy Wilcox after graduation to pursue job leads. She sent her resume to a large insurance company for a medical assisting position and after her interview, she knew that this was the job that would launch her career. She was hired; flown to Phoenix, Arizona for training; and now provides medical services for corporate employees and families from flu shots to special projects to promote a healthy lifestyle.

“There is always something different every day,” Michele explained of her new job. “You rarely see the same thing twice in the medical field.”

Michele Haberle, pictured in the above photo, is using her degree as a medical assistant for a large insurance company.

Pictured with Lynchburg Campus Director Bill Baker, Michele Haberle said, “I believe a lot of my success so far has to do with the training I got here at National and my volunteer work with the Red Cross.”

Valley Health System Helps Students Get Real-World Experience

Valley Health System Helps Students Get Real-World Experience

The Harrisonburg Campus recently recognized Valley Health System’s Shenandoah Memorial Hospital in Woodstock, Virginia for their continued support of career education.

Shenandoah Memorial is a 25-bed facility that offers around-the-clock emergency services, out-patient surgery, cardiopulmonary services, medical imaging, women's care, diabetes management, inpatient and outpatient rehab, behavioral health services, sleep lab, wellness programs and health screenings.

The facility has provided clinical experiences for 20 students in the surgical technology degree program at the Harrisonburg Campus in the past two years. They have hired four graduates during the same period. Support from area employers like Shenandoah Memorial is crucial in helping students achieve their career goals.

National’s Director of Surgical Technology Karen Sherback is pictured (center) presenting a plaque of appreciation to the hospital’s Director of Surgical Services, Bart Hoffmann (left), and Dr. Jonathan O’Neal (right), anesthesiologist and Medical Director of Surgical Services.

Campus-Wide Effort to Support Local Charity

Campus-Wide Effort to Support Local Charity

Like many National College campuses, the Martinsville Campus held a food collection drive during the holidays to help needy families in the community. Organized by Student Activities Coordinator Lisa Kendrick, collection bins were placed in the library and student lounge during a two-week time frame. Students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to participate in this worthy cause that would benefit the local chapter of the Salvation Army.

Student Jeannie Patterson (left) and Lisa Kendrick (right) are pictured arranging the donated food items in preparation for delivery to the Salvation Army.

Alan Brie - Difference Maker at the Roanoke Valley Campus

Alan Brie - Difference Maker at the Roanoke Valley Campus

Alan Brie at the Roanoke Valley Campus


  • Chair of the Emergency Medical Technology- Paramedic program
  • Recipient of EMS Provider of the Year award for five consecutive years


  • National College faculty member since 2006
  • Has been a paramedic for 25 years; has taught pre-hospital emergency care for over 30 years.

Graduate of the emergency medical training paramedic associate’s degree program and the business administration-management bachelor’s degree program at the Roanoke Valley Campus.

Lectured on acquiring and maintaining an advanced airway in an adult patient at the Virginia Department of Health Office of Emergency Medical Services annual symposium, one of the top symposiums in the U.S. for EMS providers, held in Norfolk, Virginia in November

My greatest reward as an instructor is watching the student walk across that stage that you know struggled all the way but knew that is what they wanted to do, and knowing you helped to make that dream come true.

I admire that if a student is truly interested in being successful in whatever career path they choose, the National College faculty and staff will go out of their way to help them get there. The instructors have a passion for teaching.

Alan is pictured above assisting a participant in the 2012 National College Blue Ridge Marathon.

Hands On Opportunity

Hands On Opportunity

Using her own insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs), Career Center Director Elaine Owens created a unique great training opportunity for students in the medical billing and coding programs at the Princeton Campus.

After receiving EOBs with denials to medical claims and what she suspected was many billing discrepancies, she talked to Instructor Sharon Harding about letting students analyze her paperwork for hands-on experience. Sharon agreed and worked it into her class plans.

The students began this assignment with a review of the paperwork and came up with questions for an insurance representative. They then contacted Chris Heath, a customer service representative with the insurance company who agreed to be their guest speaker by phone.

With her substantial knowledge about billing procedures, Sharon started the call with a review of the class’s analysis. Then Sharon and the students began to ask Chris specific questions so they could determine where the problems occurred. They found that there was a discrepancy with how the medical providers were billing the insurance.

Afterwards, the class discussion changed to how insurance companies who hire customer service representatives expect their representatives to be able to quickly track down and resolve billing issues. The students enjoyed the hands-on experience which gave them a good glimpse into what will be expected of them in the billing and coding settings.

Pictured during the EOB assignment are students (l to r) Rebecca Snider, Gloria Beasley, and Jennifer Walker with Instructor Sharon Harding.

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.