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April 15, 2013

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Office Manager Fulfills a Promise and Becomes More Efficient on the Job

Office Manager Fulfills a Promise and Becomes More Efficient on the Job

Carla Looney has a successful career working for Deskins Motors, where she started as a service department receptionist and worked her way up to office manager. But there was still one thing that she had yet to achieve. “I’ve always wanted that degree,” shared Carla, whose college education was put on hold when she and her husband started a family. “I gave up, to be honest. I just thought, ‘Well, that’s something I’ll never be able to do,’” she explained, adding that she didn’t think there were programs available in the area that would allow her to continue to work full-time while going to school.

A co-worker told her about the night classes available at American National University, which is located right across the street from her job at the dealership. She enrolled in the Pikeville Campus where she will complete her associate’s degree in the business administration-management program later this month. “I never thought it would be possible,” Carla said enthusiastically.

Although Carla wanted a degree for her own gratification, and to fulfill a promise that she made to her parents many years ago, she has found that her business classes at National have greatly increased her efficiency on the job in everything from being more adept with creating flow charts and graphs, to an increased understanding of taxation. Her employer also has more confidence in her abilities which has led to expanded duties and a pay raise.

“The owner loves [my education]. It’s really helped me out here,” she said of her job, in which she compiles financial statements, completes quarterly tax returns, administers payroll, and oversees accounts payable and receivable.

Carla plans to take the summer off with her children then begin working toward her bachelor’s degree through the online program with American National University. “As long as you get a degree, that’s something no one can take away from you,” said Carla with a smile. “I’ve reached a goal that I never thought I’d reach and it feels wonderful.”

Business administration-management student Carla Looney (pictured) will graduate from the Pikeville Campus later this month.

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Manassas, VA
Martinsville, VA
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West Virginia
Parkersburg, WV
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Surgical Technology Students Complete Clinical Readiness Exam

Surgical Technology Students Complete Clinical Readiness Exam

On Thursday, March 28th, two students of the surgical technology program at the Lexington Campus completed their clinical readiness exams, which is one of the major milestones toward completing the degree program. During the exam, Marissa Caledron and Audroanna Jones donned their scrubs and performed the surgical technology duties that they learned throughout their training at American National University in a simulated medical environment.

Director of the surgical technology program Regina Damron, along with instructor Jennifer Schnelle, evaluated Marissa and Audroanna on their ability to properly open a sterile field and set up for surgical operations.

Upon successful completion of the clinical readiness exam, surgical technology students will begin a clinical rotation in area surgical facilities to get hands-on experience in a real medical setting. Their coursework, combined with the clinical rotations, prepare students to begin their new careers in surgical technology immediately after graduation.

Regina emphasizes the importance of taking advantage of the campus’s operating room laboratory and practicing their techniques to prepare for the clinical readiness exam. Marissa said she is grateful for all of the time she has had to practice in the lab. “The extra time in the lab helps prepare us for real life situations that we might experience in the operating room,” she said. Students have also said that they like being able to come to the lab and discuss abnormal or interesting situations they witnessed during their clinical rotations and practice how they can handle them more effectively in the future.

Audroanna Jones (far right) and Marissa Caledron are pictured with instructors Regina Damron (left) and Jennifer Schnelle (2nd left) as they performed surgical technology skills during their clinical readiness exam.

Northgate Medical Group Honored for its Support of National College Students

Northgate Medical Group Honored for its Support of National College Students

The Danville, Kentucky Campus has named Northgate Medical Group as a Distinguished Community Employer for its exceptional support of American National University graduates and of career college education. Campus director Lee Bowling recently presented Dr. Richard Dartt with a plaque of appreciation to commemorate the honor.

Northgate Medical Group partners with American National University as an extern site where medical assisting students gain experience putting their skills gained in the classroom to work in a medical setting.

Northgate has also hired a number of American National University graduates, including Lori Everett-Evans who was recently hired as a registered medical assistant. Lori was working in retail when she decided to enroll at National to get career training in the medical field which she thought would offer a better income and hours.

After graduating from her medical assisting program two years later and landing a job with Northgate Medical Group, Lori likes “everything” about her job—particularly the wide variety of tasks that she performs each day working in the front office. She said that she also enjoys the camaraderie of working with her fellow National graduates and with all of the Northgate Medical Group staff.

Campus director Lee Bowling is pictured on the left in the above photo presenting a plaque of appreciation to Dr. Richard Dartt of Northgate Medical Group.

In the bottom photo, medical assistants (left to right) Holly Moore, Lori Everett-Evans, and Debbie Lynn are just a few of the American National University graduates that are employed by Northgate Medical Group.

Mock Exercise Provides Real-World Experience

Mock Exercise Provides Real-World Experience

At the Louisville Campus, students in medical programs took part in a unique activity to demonstrate what they have learned. The activity began with students researching the diagnosis and treatment for various illnesses and documenting possible scenarios that might take place in a medical office setting.

For the next part of the activity, a simulated office environment was created in the campus’s classrooms including a reception area, treatment rooms, and pharmacy stations. Student participants enacted the scenarios they had previously created, playing the roles of medical staff and patients. Students demonstrated skills in many areas including triage, exam, patient education, and billing and coding for the “services” performed. Several medical programs participated, and faculty, staff, and non-medical students took part by portraying patients.

LaMuria Franklin, a student in the pharmacy technician program who will graduate next year, was glad to have been able to participate. “With us being in our first term, it gives us really good hands-on experience,” she explained.

Kelly Brown, a medical assisting student, portrayed a patient and said it was a fun learning assignment. She explained that she learned the significance of the billing and coding procedure.

Bonnie Kiefer, the campus’s director of health care education, was pleased with how well the students appeared to be learning during the activity and explained that she plans to do it once per term for future students.

Pictured (l to r) are students April Harrison and LaMuria Franklin as they “work” in the mock pharmacy area.

Experienced Pharmacist Offers Advice to Pharmacy Technician Students

Experienced Pharmacist Offers Advice to Pharmacy Technician Students

Students in the Pharmacy Technician Exam Success class at the Florence Campus recently had the opportunity to hear from registered pharmacist John Ray, who has over 40 years of experience, including the last 25 years at Tri Health.

Mr. Ray informed the class about the history of pharmacy technicians. He explained that originally, the ancillary pharmacy staff did little more than paperwork and delivering, but today, technicians do everything from inventory control to preparing chemotherapy for infusion. With the desire to put pharmacists into more clinical environments (and out of the pharmacy), technicians have shouldered even more responsibilities; hence the need for well-educated and certified pharmacy technicians.

Mr. Ray also discussed the character traits that are important in a pharmacy technician. Dependability and trustworthiness are essential for success in the field. Once these traits have been proven, a hospital pharmacy technician can easily take on more responsibility and be given specialized tasks. The students found Mr. Ray’s experience and knowledge to be an invaluable source of information as they embark on their pharmacy careers.

Pictured are pharmacy technician students (l to r) Amber Gross and Mykle Cain, who enjoyed the guest presentation from John Ray. Mykle said, "I thought Mr. Ray was very interesting and spoke with enthusiasm. He reminded me a lot of myself."

After Earning Business Degree, Graduate Returns to American National University for ESL Program

After Earning Business Degree, Graduate Returns to American National University for ESL Program

Yoon Kim (pictured) came to the United States in hopes of improving her daughter’s educational opportunities and wound up advancing her own education as well. She worked for over 10 years as an accountant in her home country, South Korea, and came to the U.S. when her daughter was in middle school so she could have a better education.

Yoon found out about American National University from a friend and graduated from the Roanoke Valley Campus in 2011 with an associate degree in business management. She is now enrolled in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program and brushing up on her English grammar, reading, speaking, and vocabulary skills in hopes that it will help her get a new job. She wants to own her own small business one day.

Now that her daughter is a student at a nearby college, Yoon says they study together and her daughter helps with her English. She cites the good teachers and convenient location as the best things about being a student. “I like it,” Yoon said about the campus. “It’s very quiet and peaceful here. Everyone is very kind. In Korea, it’s very crowded. It’s busy, busy!”

CVS Recognized for its Support of Pharmacy Technician Program

CVS Recognized for its Support of Pharmacy Technician Program

The Martinsville Campus has named CVS Pharmacy as a Distinguished Community Employer for its willingness to support National College students in the pharmacy technician program through externships and employment opportunities.

As a national leader in pharmacy services and retail medical clinics, the mission of CVS is to help people on their path to better health. CVS pharmacist Mark Warner has visited the Martinsville Campus to discuss his staffing needs and to provide feedback on the pharmacy technician program. Upon receiving the Distinguished Community Employer Award, Mr. Warner said he was honored to receive the recognition. “My association with the College, and with the pharmacy technician program in particular, has been of great value to me as an employer.”

Martinsville Campus career center director Annette Lawson is pictured (left) presented the Distinguished Community Employer Award to CVS pharmacist Mark Warner.

Campus Organizes Career Fair, Educational Forum for Students, Graduates, and Area Job Seekers

Campus Organizes Career Fair, Educational Forum for Students, Graduates, and Area Job Seekers

The Princeton Campus held their Spring Career Fair on March 20th with approximately 20 employers and agencies in attendance, including Acme Wood Preserving Inc., First Community Bank, Glen Jean Family Assistance, Lowe’s, FCI McDowell, Pipestem State Park, Princeton Community Hospital, and WVVA TV. Representatives of these organizations were available to talk to participating students, graduates, and area job seekers about the employment opportunities and useful information they have available. During the fair, at least a dozen interviews were scheduled with students. Some even took place that day.

For this career fair, the campus also added an educational forum as an added value for the participants. Volunteers from area businesses, along with National College instructors, offered short presentations on obtaining a GED, credit counseling, Zumba exercise, and electronic devices. Blood pressure screenings were also provided by students in the medical assisting program.

Instructor Audrey Kirk is pictured during the Princeton Campus career fair giving a presentation on “Understanding Your Technical Device.”

Campus Forms New Partnership to Benefit Pharmacy Technician Students and Graduates

Campus Forms New Partnership to Benefit Pharmacy Technician Students and Graduates

On March 12th, the Lynchburg Campus welcomed Daniel Lineberry, the district manager for Kmart Pharmacy, to discuss the possibility of a partnership. Sue Coleman, director of health care education, and Jane Wright, chair of the pharmacy technician program, met with Mr. Lineberry and talked about future externship placements and employment opportunities. They gave Mr. Lineberry a tour of the campus and gave him a better understanding of the college’s pharmacy technician career-training program.

During the tour, Mr. Lineberry stopped in the Dosages and Calculations class and offered a pep talk to students as he explained the value of providing excellent customer service at every opportunity.

Student Lekeshia Morris said she enjoyed meeting Mr. Lineberry. “He had great information about the job interview process,” she explained. “He stated that ‘flexibility’ was very important in securing a job.”

“Having speakers on campus is very beneficial,” added Patricia Johnson. “It helps us network with future employment managers and helps us understand what is expected in interviews.”

Sue said she is excited to be forming a new partnership with Mr. Lineberry and Kmart. “We have opened the doors to placing a [pharmacy technician] extern at a Kmart pharmacy for the spring term,” she said. “He also met with our career center director, Nancy Wilcox, and extended an invitation to us to visit their pharmacy and meet with their store manager.”

Guest Daniel Lineberry is pictured talking to pharmacy technician students in instructor Jane Wright’s Dosage and Calculations class.

Graduate and Former Marine Is Quickly Promoted and Re-enrolls for More Professional Development

Graduate and Former Marine Is Quickly Promoted and Re-enrolls for More Professional Development

MayInn Dixon, a veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps for thirteen years, decided to get an education when she left active duty. She knew other veterans in the area that had attended the Roanoke Valley Campus at American National University and liked what she heard about the curriculum and knowledgeable instructors in the business department.

Near the end of her degree program, MayInn met with career center director Kristal Bushong to submit her resume for employment opportunities. With Kristal’s help, she applied for a job opening with Integrated Textile Solutions (ITS), a local textile manufacturer who was searching for an administrative assistant. She was hired as the administrative assistant but she made such an impression in that position that she was quickly promoted to executive assistant to chief executive officer Joanne Thornhill and chief operating officer Dan Pittman. “She does so much for us that I couldn’t even begin to tell you everything,” said Ms. Thornhill. “We couldn’t do it without her.”

MayInn said she liked that the small class sizes at American National allowed for more attention from the instructors. Her career training and interactions with fellow students in class helped her to feel comfortable in a professional business environment. She stated that one of her best rewards in attending American National was that the knowledge she gained from her courses gave her a firm foundation in what she could expect in the real civilian world after so many years serving our country.

A new partnership has since formed with ITS as they are considering externship opportunities for students in the business administration-management and accounting degree programs as they prepare to enter their new career fields.

MayInn has decided to continue her professional development by enrolling in the university’s bachelor’s degree program.

MayInn Dixon (left) is pictured with ITS chief operating officer Dan Pittman and chief executive officer Joanne Thornhill.

Mary Mathews-Difference Maker at the South Bend Campus

Mary Mathews-Difference Maker at the South Bend Campus

Mary Mathews at the South Bend Campus

Career Center Director


  • American National University staff member for two years
  • Has 10 years of experience in corporate recruiting; 5 years of experience as a career center director for an IT school

Holds a degree in management from Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business

I like to build strong relationships with students that will foster trust and motivation for obtaining the career results they came to American National University to achieve. I demonstrate to the students through the career workshops, employer days, career fairs, one-on-one counseling, day-to-day discussions, and hiring managers leads- all of which will encourage each of them to know they are prepared to seek a new career, that they can make a difference in the real world, and most of all, that they are on track to becoming successful individuals, both professionally and personally.

Sharing my experiences from the “hiring side of the desk” [in corporate recruiting] afforded me credibility with the students to assist them in preparing their resume and to teach much needed interview techniques.

One of my favorite moments is ringing my bell when a student or graduate has received a job offer in his or her field, and then having the privilege to announce it to everyone.

PHOTO: Mary Mathews is pictured on the left with South Bend graduate Emily Shine

Student Feels More Confident Thanks to Interviewing Workshop

Student Feels More Confident Thanks to Interviewing Workshop

The Indianapolis Campus recently held an Interviewing Skills and Techniques Workshop to help students prepare for their job search. Surgical technology student Andrea Duncan (pictured) is one of many students to participate in the workshop. She has interviewed for jobs with companies in the past, but she said she never felt confident in her interviewing skills. “One of my greatest weaknesses is my interviewing skills and I felt that the personal feedback I received from the career center director was most helpful,” she said.

Andrea left the workshop feeling more confident in how to answer interview questions and how she should dress. With plans to graduate in May 2014, she is excited to utilize her new found knowledge in interviewing for her next career opportunity.

Campus Celebrates HIT Professionals

Campus Celebrates HIT Professionals

Colonious Davis, the director of health information technology (HIT) program at the Bartlett Campus, recently organized a celebration of HIT professionals in honor of Health Information Professionals Week (March 17th – 23rd). The celebration focused on the significance of technology in the field of medicine.

Brittany Blackwell, a student in the HIT program, worked closely with Colonious to promote the week-long celebration. “I have always wanted to work in the medical field, but didn’t know where to start,” she said. “I love the HIT program at National College, because it provides students with the opportunity to participate in hands-on experiences.” In fact, she has enjoyed the program and her experience at National so much that she said she would recommend that anyone interested in continuing their education to consider the HIT program or one of the other programs on campus.

HIT student Brittany Blackwell is pictured on the left with HIT director Colonious Davis.

Business Students Learn Strategies to Start Businesses

Business Students Learn Strategies to Start Businesses

On March 21st, students in the business programs at the Columbus Campus enjoyed a guest visit from Will Bowdish, a lender relations specialist at the U.S. Small Business Administration. Business Chair Catherine McKinley invited him to come to speak to students about financing small businesses. He went into specific detail about acquiring loans and how the lenders and borrowers work with each other when a loan is sought.

Mr. Bowdish explained to the students how they need to approach the lender when they are taking the first steps toward financing a business. This includes establishing a business plan and presenting between three to five years’ of business financial statements.

The students found the presentation to be exceptionally informative, and they appreciated the opportunity to hear him speak. Lakisha Carruth, an accounting student, said that Mr. Bowdish’s visit brought realistic insights and a good business sense that made it seem possible for her to start her own business – which is a goal for her as she plans for her new career.

Guest speaker Will Bowdish (7th from right) is pictured with students in the business programs at the Columbus Campus.

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.