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January 21, 2013

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Mother Finds Success and Inspires Daughter

Mother Finds Success and Inspires Daughter

Amanda Howell Vires has a job that she loves, working as a staffing consultant for Manpower employment agency, but she knew that she wouldn’t be able to move up in the company without a degree. She enrolled in the business administration—management program at the Lexington Campus at the advice of her mother, Cheryl Howell, a American National University graduate who currently works as the campus’s career center director. Amanda was inspired by her mother’s success at American National University, and she continues to be inspired by the great success that other National graduates achieve every day, as her mother assists them in finding the job of their dreams.

Before coming to National, Amanda attended a large university for four years, but she wasn’t able to complete her program. “Life happened—I had to work,” recalled Amanda, who found that the university’s class schedule wouldn’t sync with her work schedule. National’s night classes and convenient location made it possible for her to work full-time while going to school. She was able to transfer many of her credits from the university to National, which helped her complete her program as quickly as possible.

Once she began attending classes, Amanda found instructors at National who shared examples of real-life situations from their own business experience, in class. “I would highly recommend National,” she said. “The teachers there are either currently working in the field or (they are) very recently from those fields. They’re extremely knowledgeable,” she said.

Amanda uses the knowledge from classes such as human resources, management, marketing, and accounting in her work every day as she interviews candidates, places them in jobs, assists with payroll, and builds relationships with clients.

“I hope to stay right here and hopefully progress within the company,” shared Amanda, who aspires to move up into an account management position at Manpower. She will complete her associate’s degree in February and plans to return to National soon thereafter to earn her bachelor’s degree.

Amanda Howell Vires (pictured in top photo) hopes to move up the career ladder at Manpower with her new business administration-management degree. Amanda is pictured in bottom photo with Lexington Campus Career Center Director Cheryl Howell who is also a National graduate and Amanda’s mother.

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Nursing Pinning Ceremony Held For Pikeville Campus Nursing Graduates

Nursing Pinning Ceremony Held For Pikeville Campus Nursing Graduates

Nineteen proud graduates of the Pikeville Campus nursing program participated in a Nursing Pinning Ceremony in November which marked the conclusion of their time at American National University and the beginning of their new careers in healthcare.

Kelly Cooper, one of the nineteen graduates, was a featured speaker during the ceremony. She shared reflections and memories of her time spent in the nursing program. She said that she felt the pinning ceremony was a rite of passage for the class. “It’s everything we’ve ever worked for coming together in one ceremony,” she said.

“The pinning ceremony is like passing a torch from the older generation of nurses to the newer generation that’s coming on. It symbolizes a change that they are ready to go into the nursing profession,” said the campus’s Nurse Administrator Shirley Goff, who led the students in reciting the Nightingale Pledge and lighting a candle. “It actually means more to them than graduation does because it’s just so personal to their career that they’re going into.”

“I feel that this ceremony represents what we worked so hard for,” said nursing student Melinda Shepherd. “I’m just glad I made it here and I’m glad my classmates made it with me.” Melinda has been hired by Pikeville Medical Center, pending her nursing board exam results. She plans to continue her education to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Awards were also presented during the ceremony: Academic Excellence went to Elizabeth Carter; Clinical Excellence went to Philip Andrew Hill; the Community Service Award went to Leandra Johnson; and, Highest Score on the Kaplan Exit Exam went to Melinda Shepherd, who scored in the top 10% of the nation on the exam.

Graduate Kelly Cooper is pictured in the top photo sharing memories of her time spent in the American National University nursing program during the Nursing Pinning Ceremony. In the bottom photo, Nurse Administrator Shirley Goff is pictured on the far right passing the torch to the new generation of nurses during the Pikeville Campus Nursing Pinning Ceremony.

Student Finally Pursues Career in the Medical Field, Thanks to Daughter

Student Finally Pursues Career in the Medical Field, Thanks to Daughter

Priscilla King has wanted a career in the medical field for as long as she can remember. It was her daughter, Shonda Prickett, that inspired her to take the leap to make her career dream comes true. Shonda was a student in the medical assisting program at the Richmond Campus and was so enthusiastic about her classes that Priscilla decided to enroll in the program. “She was so interested in what she was doing and she talked about how small the classes were. That really inspired me,” recalled Priscilla.

Priscilla was nervous at the thought of going to college after being out of school for so long. “I had prayed about it and asked God to show me if this was what I was intended to do,” she explained. Then, one day, her daughter asked her if she would ever consider going back to school.

Shonda was excited to learn that thought had crossed her mother’s mind. “To hear that she wanted to go to college to be in the medical field, I just felt that would be a dream come true for her,” said Shonda, who assisted her mother with taking the necessary steps to get enrolled in the medical assisting program.

“They are so patient and understanding, I really love it here,” Priscilla said of her instructors at National. Her dream is to someday work with new mothers to teach them how to care for their newborn babies.

Priscilla King, pictured with her daughter Shonda Prickett (left), offers encouragement to others: “Don’t ever think that you can’t do it. Don’t let your age or finances get in the way,” she advised.

Campus Holds Career Ready Workshop

Campus Holds Career Ready Workshop

Career Center Director Beth Beldon recently held a Career Ready Workshop for the students and graduates at the Danville, Kentucky Campus. The workshop focused on building the soft skills that students need to impress prospective employers to land their dream job. Topics covered during the workshop included résumé writing, interviewing skills, professionalism, and job search tips.

“I think one of the things that the students really took away from the workshop was how important it is to be professional, prior to your interview, through your résumé, and through social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn,” said Beth. “Many of the students didn’t realize that, prior to the interview, most employers search social media outlets before they even call them to come in.”

“The Career Ready Workshop helped to prepare my résumé,” said Jennifer Pendergraft, a student in the pharmacy technician program, who added that she now feels better equipped to enter the job market when she completes her program in February.

Career placement assistance is a valuable benefit that is available to every American National University student. Beth also meets individually with each student at the Danville Campus to personally assist them in their job search.

Career Center Director Beth Beldon is pictured showing an example of a professional résumé to Janice Gregory, a graduate of the business administration-management program.

IBSI Partnership Benefits Students and Graduates

IBSI Partnership Benefits Students and Graduates

American National University’s South Bend campus recently named Integrated Billing Solutions, Inc (IBSI) as a Distinguished Community Employer. IBSI is one of the top 5 billing services in Indiana and dedicated to providing comprehensive medical billing services to their clients.

In May 2012, IBSI’s CPC Billing Specialist Jackie Redding hired Barbara Proctor, a graduate of National’s medical billing and coding program. Barbara is currently working at the Elkhart General Hospital facility as an employee of IBSI. It was fitting that Ms. Redding received a plaque of appreciation from the College, as she has been involved with the campus externship program which Barbara was a part of as well.

“Students from American National University [are] well prepared for the workforce,” said Ms Redding. “Barbara Proctor stands out because of her willingness to learn new functions.” She went on to say that she is always open to accepting student externships and hiring additional graduates from National’s medical billing and coding program. Campus Director John Herman and Career Center Director Mary Matthews look forward to growing this partnership.

It was a pleasure to present the Employer of the Quarter award to IBSI. Ms. Redding was “honored to accept the plaque from American National University on behalf of the co-owners, Pat Migas, Jan and Dick Rhodes.”

IBSI CPC Billing Specialist Jackie Redding is pictured (center) with Career Center Director Mary Matthews (left) and Campus Director John Herman (right) accepting the Distinguished Community Employer plaque on behalf of the co-owners, Pat Migas, and Jan and Dick Rhodes.

Pharmacy Technician Graduate Passes Certification Exam and Gets Hired

Pharmacy Technician Graduate Passes Certification Exam and Gets Hired

In November 2012, Stacey O’Connell graduated from the pharmacy technician diploma program at the Cincinnati Campus. Less than three weeks later, she had passed her Pharmacy Technician Board Certification Test (PTCB) and was employed by CVS Pharmacy, one of the nation’s largest and most reputable pharmacies.

As a former petty officer in the United States Navy, Stacey has incorporated her military background, EMT training, and American National University education to pursue her dream of working in a pharmacy, where she is able to help patients receive the care they need.

Stacey is also a full-time mother, wife, and a continuing student at American National University, as she pursues an associate’s degree. “Now that I’m working in a pharmacy, [it is clear] the training I received at American National University [has] helped me in my career field,” Stacey says.

The campus’s staff and faculty are pleased to have Stacey back as a student as she is a great role model for other students.

Stacey O’Connell is pictured holding her PTCB certificate, which helped her start her new career as a pharmacy technician with CVS Pharmacy.

Eye Care Associates Honored for Work with Medical Programs

Eye Care Associates Honored for Work with Medical Programs

Eye Care Associates was awarded with a plaque of recognition from American National University for their commitment to the school’s surgical technology and medical assisting associate degree programs. Campus Director Mike Boyle and Director of Career Services Jamie Jackson recently visited the Eye Care Associates office to present the Distinguished Community Employer plaque Dr. Lyn Yakubov, Eye Care Associates partner and surgery specialist at their Boardman location.

Eye Care works with the Youngstown Campus to create externship opportunities for students in the healthcare programs. This offers a hands-on experience for students in a real medical setting.

“In the world of medicine and advanced technology, it’s important for all of us to work as a team,” said Dr. Yakubov. “Eye Care Associates 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”

Dr. Yakubov has great things to say about the American National University externs that he has worked with. “American National University has been exceeding our expectations with their quality interns, [of] whom several are offered positions as Eye Care Associate employees.” Yakubov added.

It is not uncommon for American National University students to get hired from their externship employer as has been the case with Eye Care Associates. “We are appreciative of the business partnership that we have with Eye Care Associates,” said Youngstown Campus Director Michael Boyle. “We could not ask for a better company for which our students are hired.”

Youngstown Campus Director Michael Boyle is pictured presenting a plaque of appreciation to Eye Care’s Mary Sierra (left), operating room manager, and Dr. Lyn Yakubov (right).

Busy Mother, Wife, Student Plans for More Degrees and Successful Career

Busy Mother, Wife, Student Plans for More Degrees and Successful Career

Michelle Wray-Sutton is a mother, wife, and student in the business administration-management program at the Bartlett Campus. She is busy as an active member in the campus’s Student Activities Committee (SAC), a work-study student, and tutor of several courses.

Michelle discovered National through a family member, Tameka Williams, who graduated from the Memphis Campus. Tameka had expressed how much she enjoyed her experience in the computer applications technology and supervisory management programs at National. Tameka is now continuing her education at the University of Memphis.

Michelle is currently using her business and organizing skills to plan a “Campus Back to Class Bash” that will celebrate students and their achievements. “I am a student first and I like to feel appreciated - have my accomplishments acknowledged. [Planning this event] is my way of showing students they are important and are meaningful. I want them to know we care about them.”

Michelle plans to graduate with an associate’s degree in the summer but this is only the beginning of her education. She plans to pursue more degrees in the future – eventually completing a doctorate. She said she sees herself as a practicing philanthropic entrepreneur. Even with her many responsibilities and campus involvement, Michelle has maintained 4.0 grade point average. She is well on her way to reaching her career goals!

Michelle Wray-Sutton is pictured decorating a bulletin board at the campus.

Campus Forms Valuable Partnership with Visionworks

Campus Forms Valuable Partnership with Visionworks

Aaron Story, a recent graduate of the Madison Campus, came to National with a vision of a greater education, better opportunities, and the tenacity to succeed. By doing so, he completed the health information technology associate’s degree program. Now he is working with one of the leading eye care providers in the nation, Visionworks - formerly known as Doctor’s ValuVision.

The Madison Campus recognized Visionworks as a Distinguished Community Employer for their support of career education. Partnerships with local employers like Visionworks, are invaluable for the Madison Campus as they help graduates begin their new careers.

Campus Director Mark Liverman recently visited the Madison location of Visionworks to see Aaron and meet General Manager Pamela Bristow. Mark presented Pamela with a Distinguished Community Employer plaque. She accepted the plaque and had good things to say about Aaron’s work. “He is a wonderful employee,” she explained.

Campus Director Mark Liverman is pictured presenting a plaque to Visionworks General Manager Pamela Bristow and employee Aaron Story, who is also a National College graduate.

"Mock" Exercise is Valuable Learning Experience

Students in the emergency medical technology (EMT) class at the Roanoke Valley Campus recently participated in an “active shooter” training exercise. “It took only twenty seven minutes from that first adrenalin rush to the end of the exam,” said Chief Alan Brie, director of the paramedic and EMT programs. “That is all it took for the class to respond, react, and reassess for the mock shooting. After a term of learning it from a book, it was an early taste of reality.”

The exercise began with the sounds of multiple gunshots from somewhere in the campus’s paramedic department. The EMT students had to assess the victims in this real-life scenario, putting their emotions behind them. Just as they were taught, they rushed to the scene of the tragedy and immediately put their skills to work. They practiced treating patients with gunshot wounds, broken bones, and cardiac arrest. They also had to test their skills in dealing with a perpetrator.

The students had been learning about mock emergency scenarios such as this from a book. The mock experience brought what they learned to life. “This is their first class as they prepare for Paramedic licensure,” explained Chief Brie.

Student John Maynard said that this experience was the fastest 27 minutes of his life. “[It was] so much more real - and harder - than learning it from a book. It really showed us what it might be like in real life.”

“It is mock exercises like this that make the Roanoke Valley Campus’s paramedic and EMT programs one of the top two training programs out of over 30 similar programs throughout Virginia,” said Campus Director Lew Bishop. He added that this is verified by the first-time pass rate scores of students on the required National Registry of Paramedics certification examination.

EMT student Josh Mitchell is pictured in the above photo assessing a “victim” with a gunshot wound in the chest in the campus’s mock shooting training exercise. EMT student John Maynard is pictured in the bottom photo assessing a “victim” with a broken leg.

Graduate Lands the Job She Wanted

Graduate Lands the Job She Wanted

As is custom for National College career center directors, Lynchburg Campus Career Center Director Nancy Wilcox recently contacted graduate Chiquita Hargrove to see how she likes her new job as a medical assistant.

Chiquita, who graduated last November, has interviewed with several potential employers but she really had her heart set on working for Central Virginia Family Physicians where she had completed her externship. She got the job as soon as a position became available.

Chiquita passed the Registered Medical Assistant certification exam which made her more marketable in her job search. She told Nancy, “I’m having a great time; I love what I'm doing. All the schooling was worth it!” With her positive attitude and drive for success, it is not a surprise that Chiquita found success.

As a student, Chiquita got additional experience volunteering for the bloodmobile and helping at job fairs held on campus. She said that her new job was challenging but she felt prepared for a challenging career because of her externship and volunteer experience.

Director of Healthcare Education Sue Coleman had noticed her professional job skills when she was working for the bloodmobile on campus. “She called and scheduled donor’s appointments and, on the day of the bloodmobile, she called and reminded donors of their appointment times while multi-tasking and assisting in the canteen.” Sue added that Chiquita was an excellent student and really excelled during her last term. “Chiquita has all the qualities of a great medical assistant - attention to detail, compassion for her patients, and a desire to do a great job and continue learning,” Sue said.

Chiquita is grateful for her National College education: “National College prepared me for my career by giving me the hands-on instruction, as well as the classroom instruction, that I needed.”

Lynchburg graduate Chiquita Hargrove, RMA (pictured) said that her experience at National College went beyond the classroom and prepared her to be a professional.

Phlebotomy Students Participate in Community Blood Screening

Phlebotomy Students Participate in Community Blood Screening

Phlebotomy students at the Parkersburg Campus gained valuable hands-on experience by participating in a community blood screening clinic. Under the supervision of Instructor Carrie McCoy, the students collected blood from more than 300 area residents.

“The clinic provided [the students] with an incredible opportunity to get experience in the field,” Carrie said. “This type of environment is common for phlebotomists, but not so widely known. It was a wonderful opportunity to expose [them] to a varied work environment.”

The clinic, in conjunction with Camden Clark Medical Center and a local community service organization, was open to all area residents and provided them with an opportunity for reduced cost blood screenings.

Phlebotomy Instructor Carrie McCoy is pictured on the right with her students (l to r) Heather Moore, Lindsay Fetty, Megan Posey and Janeen Hogue that participated in a community blood screening clinic.

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.