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February 18, 2013

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National College-Roanoke Valley Campus to Become American National University

National College-Roanoke Valley Campus to Become American National University

National College, known since 1886 as a leader in career-focused education, announces that effective March 4, 2013, its flagship Roanoke Valley Campus, located in Salem with additional facilities in Vienna, Virginia, plans to become American National University.

“Since our founding in 1886, National College has continually been in a process of evolution,” said National College President Frank Longaker. “The transition of our Roanoke Valley Campus to university status recognizes not only the significant transformation of the college over the past 126 years, but our continued evolution through the 21st century. It is neither a beginning nor an end, but a waypoint.”

National College’s Roanoke Valley Campus, located in Salem, Virginia since the 1980s, is the home of the college’s administration. In late 2012, the college opened a higher education center in Tyson’s Corner, in the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia region, offering programs through the college’s School of Professional Development and English Language Institute. National College’s other 29 campus locations, located in six states, will continue to operate under the National College name.

“It is important to note what does not change—the individual attention and career-focused instruction that National graduates have known for over a century,” added Longaker. “Beyond this, American National University will offer students everywhere the opportunity of this experience in a growing number of fields, through multiple means of instruction, and at baccalaureate and graduate levels.”

The selection of the name American National University reflects the notion of continuous development. American, recognizing the institution’s role as a leading American provider of career-focused education for students from around the world; National, acknowledging the historical name and nationwide reputation; and University, representing a status as a graduate-level institution offering diverse academic, online, international, ESL, and corporate training programs.

More information on our institutional vision Evolution 2086 can be found on the National College web site at

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Cargill Employee will Graduate with Zero Debt

Cargill Employee will Graduate with Zero Debt

On Tuesday, February 12th, David P. Zimmerman, director of the Harrisonburg Campus, presented a Distinguished Community Employer plaque to Carlos Briones, human resources manager for Cargill Incorporated.

Cargill is a poultry processing company that employs over two thousand individuals in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham area – seven of whom are National College students. Cargill provides tuition assistance for its employees and is one of National College’s outstanding business partners.  

Cargill has been a principle driver of the local economy since 2001, when they acquired Rocco Poultry, and they are currently among the top five companies in terms of total employees and contribution to the local economy. Mr. Briones indicated that the relationship with National College is valuable to Cargill. “We don’t have to hire as many individuals from the outside as we might, since National College provides training for our own existing employees, who have a commitment to the company and are already familiar with our company’s operations.”  

Sandra Vandevander, an employee with Cargill for the past 12 years, is thankful that her employer supports her professional growth. “I will graduate with my bachelor’s degree in management with zero debt – 75% of my education was covered by my employer and the other 25% by National College with their Business Partnership Grant.”  

National College looks forward to continuing its partnership with Cargill.

National College director of student services Rebecca Wood (left), campus director David Zimmerman (2nd from right), and career center director Stephanie Bell (right) are pictured presenting a plaque of appreciation to Cargill human resources manager Carlos Briones (center) and employee Sandra Vandevander (2nd from left) who is a student in National’s business administration-management program.

Hospital Vice President Offers Students Real World Perspective in Management

Hospital Vice President Offers Students Real World Perspective in Management

The Princeton Campus recently welcomed guest Jeffrey E. Lilley to speak to students in instructor Bobby Redd’s Strategic Management class. Students in the Written Communications class were also invited to attend.

Mr. Lilley is vice president of operations for Princeton Community Hospital. He came to Princeton in 2009 with experience he had gained as chief executive officer of Grafton City Hospital in Grafton, West Virginia. He offered students a birds-eye-view of hospital management and operations. He spoke specifically on strategic management and planning, as these operations affect the hospital setting.

Students appreciated his valuable insight and gained a new perspective of business management in the real-world.

Jeffrey E. Lilley, vice president for Princeton Community Hospital, is pictured speaking to students about strategic management and planning.

Students Gain Experience and Give a Helping Hand

Students Gain Experience and Give a Helping Hand

Students in the information systems engineering degree program at the Parkersburg Campus recently had a unique opportunity to install a security system for a local museum recovering from two instances of theft.

Following the thefts, groups concerned with preserving the history of the Sumnerite African-American History Museum donated lights and surveillance equipment to the museum. Parkersburg students worked to install the equipment.

“The students worked together and utilized their skills to properly install the system and equipment,” said Mark Swann, the campus’s director of IT programs, “It is important to preserve the culture and legacy of this historic landmark.”

In addition to installing the new security system, students will provide ongoing upgrades and technical support for the museum’s computers.  This collaboration will ensure that local school children have useful access to computers during the museum’s after-school tutoring programs.  

“Not only does this ongoing collaboration provide our students and certified techs the opportunity to test their skills,” said Mark, “But it is a way for our students to give back to the community and encourage learning for local youth.”

Students Ian McDonald (front), Brittany Gruber (middle), and Caleb Pellegrin (back) are pictured working together to update the computers for the after school program at the Sumnerite African-American History Museum.

Students Benefit from Networking Opportunities On Campus

Students Benefit from Networking Opportunities On Campus

On Wednesday, January 30th, the offices of Team Nurse and Dr. Jeffrey Tanzar teamed up at the Lynchburg Campus to network and provide career information for students that are preparing for their new careers.  

Team Nurse representatives Mary Brown and Dawn Burton were overwhelmed with their reception when they arrived on campus. There were about 35 students who had been anticipating their arrival.  Students filled out applications and presented their résumés. They appreciated the opportunity to sit down face-to-face with an employer.

“I really enjoy working with National College and I attend every job fair,” Ms. Brown said. “The students are interested and enthusiastic.  We enjoy a great partnership.”  

Rose Pruitt, life coach for Tanzar Chiropractic, attended a recent job fair and has been a guest and motivational speaker on campus. On the 30th, she gave a presentation to students encouraging them to empower themselves with knowledge and use their education to be successful in their career path. Ms. Pruitt networked with the students and answered questions on careers in the healthcare field.   The networking event provided an opportunity for Team Nurse and Ms. Pruitt to partner on upcoming events.

Pictured at the Lynchburg Campus are Dawn Burton and Mary Brown from Team Nurse.

Students Benefit from Mock Interviewing Session

Students Benefit from Mock Interviewing Session

Students in instructor Luis Alicea-Batlle’s Human Resource Management class at the Louisville Campus recently participated in mock interviews. Luis wanted students to participate in the hands-on activity to develop an understanding of the interviewing process without the stress and pressure of the real thing.

During this assignment, the students were questioned by a panel of three fellow students acting as potential employers. They also had the opportunity to participate in a one-on-one interview. According to group leader Saria Moffitt, a student in the business administration-management program, the students in her group did a good job researching and preparing for interview questions.

Sonya Barlow, who portrayed an interviewee, thought the interview was realistic. “Some of the questions were overwhelming.” Sonya is also pursuing a business administration-management degree. Her motivation for continuing her education stems from a promise she made to her children that she would go back to school.

Also participating in the mock interviews was Tangela Tarpin, who is pursuing degrees from the business administration-management and accounting programs. Tangela participated in a one-on-one interview. She hopes to use her education and new interviewing skills to move up in the company she has been with for eleven years.

Business instructor Luis Alicea-Batlle (left) is pictured offering Sonya Barlow feedback following her mock interview. "She was a good study because she provided a lot of non-verbal communications and she was not aware it was taking place," said Luis.

Guest Speaker Shares Insights with Medical Classes

Guest Speaker Shares Insights with Medical Classes

Guest speaker Olivia Day, a lab technician at Ephraim McDowell Hospital, recently shared her experiences working in healthcare with students in the Invasive Clinical Procedures and Introduction to Medical Insurance Billing Practices classes at the Danville, Kentucky Campus.  

Ms. Day spoke about her day-to-day responsibilities in the hospital’s lab. Medical assisting student Traci Jones said that she learned there was more to being a phlebotomist than just performing venipunctures. “Ms. Day is very knowledgeable,” Traci said. “She was very informative.”

Amanda Mitchell, who is also a student in the medical assisting program, said that she and her fellow classmates were very appreciative that Ms. Day took the time to share her on-the-job experiences with them. “She told us what to expect, and gave us a great amount of useful information,” said Amanda.   “Our class learned a lot of useful tips about a phlebotomy position in a hospital setting. We were all looking for insider, real world knowledge of it, and she definitely helped put our minds at ease that the work we are doing will more than prepare us for our careers.”

Danville Campus guest Olivia Day is pictured talking to students in the medical programs about working as a lab technician for a local hospital.

Confidently Caring For Others with Knowledge Gained at National

Confidently Caring For Others with Knowledge Gained at National

Ginger Powell, a graduate from the medical assisting and pharmacy technician programs at the Richmond Campus, is working as a direct support professional for Cascades of the Bluegrass, where she assists intellectually and developmentally disabled clients in meeting life skills goals to help them become more independent.

“I like helping people.  It’s my nature to do that,” she said, explaining that the skills gained in her medical program give her confidence that she can competently care for her clients during any medical emergency that might arise.

When she came to American National University, she was nervous about returning to school but she found her degrees were within her reach because of the personal attention and tutoring that was available.  “[They] made it really easy,” she recalled. “For me, starting out in college at the age of 36 – I needed a little extra boost.”

Ginger encourages others who are in need of a fresh start to come to American National University. “If you are in a job situation where you’re not happy or you’re not making good money – go back to school,” she advised. “If you put forth the effort, someone will be right here to help you.”

Ginger Powell is pictured, happy in her new role as a direct support professional for Cascades of the Bluegrass.

Campus Honors Service and Sacrifice of Local Hero and National College Graduate

Campus Honors Service and Sacrifice of Local Hero and National College Graduate

On Friday, February 8th, the Florence Campus honored the service and sacrifice of their fallen hero, Daniel Wallace, with a dedication ceremony. Daniel was a American National University graduate and looked forward to returning to the campus after his tour of duty in Afghanistan. Sadly, he was caught in a deadly attack and died on October 31, 2008.

During the ceremony, the campus unveiled a plaque to honor his memory and service as a member of our nation’s Armed Forces.
The idea of erecting a memorial to Daniel was proposed by Ronnie Demorest, a student in the information systems engineering program, who served with Daniel in the Kentucky National Guard. In 2008, Ronnie was deployed with Daniel to Afghanistan. Students, faculty, staff, and the Yellow Ribbon Support Foundation generously donated their time and contributions to make Ronnie’s proposal a reality.
The unveiling ceremony was followed by a reception at the campus with Daniel’s family, local community members of the Armed Forces, and members of the American National University staff and faculty.

Ronnie Demorest is pictured as he unveils the Daniel Wallace memorial at the Florence Campus.

Raymond Brooks – Difference Maker at the Lexington Campus

Raymond Brooks – Difference Maker at the Lexington Campus

Raymond Brooks at the Lexington Campus


  • Director of Student Services
  • Recipient of several American National University awards: Alumni Hall of Achievement Award, Financial Planning Representative of the Year (Kentucky Division - 3 times), Financial Planning Representative of the Term (Lexington Campus - 7 times), Most Outstanding Staff Member of the Year (Lexington Campus - twice)

American National University staff member since 2006


  • Graduate of the computer applications technology and business administration-accounting programs at American National University
  • Previously worked as financial planning representative and director of financial planning for American National University’s Lexington Campus

Anyone who knows me or works with me knows my love for my job. Many people dread getting up for work every day, but I sincerely love my job.

When every single student walks into my office, I know this is someone’s child who has a dream for them to walk across a graduation stage. Then on graduation day, when I sit on that stage and look into the audience and see all those families with tears of pride in their eyes, to know that I somehow helped to make that dream come true, that’s the best part!

Photo:  Raymond Brooks is pictured talking to student Lindsey Hall.

A Decision to Make a Career Change Leads to New Opportunities

A Decision to Make a Career Change Leads to New Opportunities

After being laid off for a year and a half, Kimberly Costa decided it was time for a change. She enrolled in the pharmacy technician program at the Indianapolis Campus in 2011 with hopes of entering into a stable career where she can feel the satisfaction of helping people. “I chose American National University because I liked that they have small class sizes [that] will allow me to have a relationship with my instructors,” Kim explained.

Kim finished her program in November 2012 and maintained a grade point average of 4.0 throughout her time as a student. She worked with career center director Brooke Richardson on résumé writing and interviewing techniques. She received a call from a long-term care pharmacy which she had recently applied to. “Kim came to campus after her interview during the career fair I was hosting,” Brooke explained. “I was so proud of her. She looked very professional; I could tell that she had listened to my advice.”

Kim got the job offer she was hoping for from the long-term care pharmacy. “I was thrilled to receive the job offer and was excited to tell everybody,” Kim said.

As a pharmacy technician, she is using the skills she was taught in her program dispensing medication, entering patient data, and offering excellent customer service. Kim has plans to continue growing professionally and will take the pharmacy technician certification exam in the near future to broaden her  career options.

Graduate Kimberly Costa is pictured during a recent visit to the Indianapolis Campus.

Shareable Ink Hires Graduates from Madison

Shareable Ink Hires Graduates from Madison

Les Hatfield and Seprina Bassham, graduates from the health information technology degree program at the Madison Campus, have started their new career with Shareable Ink, an electronic health record company. The company brings a unique approach to electronic health care record keeping.

As a student, Les excelled in his classes. His classmates looked to him as a mentor and encourager. He now serves in a supervisory position at Shareable Ink, and reaches out to his fellow classmates when there are job openings by his company.

Seprina Bassham finished her program on February 9th and already has a job with Shareable Ink.
“I have really grown as a student and as a business professional through the HIT program,” she explained.

Seprina Bassham is pictured at Shareable Ink, where her new career begins.

With Two Degrees in Hand, Graduate Found Her Dream Job

With Two Degrees in Hand, Graduate Found Her Dream Job

Lauvenia Winningham, a graduate from the Nashville Campus, found her dream job at Vanderbilt University Medical Center working with a large network of doctors, nurses, and patients as a patient services representative.

When Lauvenia was a student, the father of her children was killed in a job-related accident. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue going to school as she mourned her loss but the support she received from the faculty and staff helped her get through the difficult time. “Their kind words and concern gave me strength to go on with my education.”

Despite this life-changing event she regained focus and pushed forward to complete her program studies. She graduated with a business administration-management degree and continued going to classes for a second degree from the office technology professional program.

With two degrees behind her, she started her job search with help from career center director Terri Davis McCall. She is grateful for the support she received from the campus in helping her achieve her career goals. “It was because of Mrs. McCall and Mr. Steven Huffman, they were huge supporters and kept me encouraged even when I wanted to give up.”

Lauvenia Winningham (pictured) is happy in her new job with Vanderbilt University Medical Center because she can provide a better life for children:  “I love National and I would encourage current students and graduates to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented by the career center; it will change your life.”

Newly Enrolled Students Begin Journey of Change at National College

Newly Enrolled Students Begin Journey of Change at National College

David Corron was facing big changes in his life, and raising his young son at the same time.  David was among 20 new students who attended the orientation program at the Akron Area Campus on February 1st. The class included new high school graduates, students looking to improve their skills, adults looking to make a career change after years of employment – all in need of a degree to better their chances of advancement.  

During a group discussion with campus director Star Mitchell about why the students chose to begin a college program, David stated, “I’m here to set an example for my son and prove that no matter what happens in a person’s life, everyone has an opportunity to make a change.”

Orientation, scheduled a week before new students begin their first term at American National University, gives students the opportunity to learn skills needed to be successful throughout their college experience.  Topics include study skills, communicating with instructors, time management, personality assessments, as well as discussion on how to balance and manage a college and family lifestyle.  Students also are provided with plenty of opportunity throughout the day to meet their classmates, talk with future instructors, and to discuss their concerns, questions, and hopes about their college experience.  

Paul Wellman (left) and David Corron (right) are pictured at the Akron Area Campus’s orientation. Paul said, “I have reached a crossroads in my life.  I am 40 years old and tired of dead-end jobs.  I need a degree to better my chances of gainful employment.”

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.