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April 22, 2013

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Pharmacy Technician Graduate Utilizes Bi-Lingual Skills to Help His Community

Pharmacy Technician Graduate Utilizes Bi-Lingual Skills to Help His Community

Anthony Guevara, who earned his pharmacy technician diploma at the Nashville Campus in August 2012, is helping others in his community as he works side-by-side with pharmacists, filling prescriptions for customers at Kroger Pharmacy. Anthony takes pride in making his customers’ day better. “You don’t know how their day has gone,” he explained. “[I] try and make them get out of there with a smile—happy with their medications.”

Anthony spent a large part of his childhood living in Mexico, and he feels that he is particularly an asset in his work in the pharmacy because he is bi-lingual. “It’s really helpful for the community because, they even ask for me now. Before, they were struggling,” said Anthony, who is able to assist the pharmacy’s Spanish-speaking customers with any concerns that they may have about their medications.

Anthony feels that he was able to find success in his new career because of the personal attention that he received from the staff and faculty at National College. He liked learning about medications and their benefits and side-effects; and he also enjoyed learning to compound prescriptions. When he doubted his ability to make it through a class, his instructors and his fellow classmates encouraged and supported him. “She believed in me…,” he said of one particular instructor, “so I started believing in myself.”

He first began working at Kroger Pharmacy as an extern when he was placed there as part of his pharmacy technician program. He was nervous at first. “The patients knew that I was new and they were really patient with me. You get to earn their confidence,” recalled Anthony, whose supervisor called him following the externship and offered him a permanent position.

Anthony is glad that he put his spare time to use to get an education. “I had too much time on my hands, and [National College] turned that time into education, and now money,” said Anthony.

Anthony Guevara (pictured) advises, “Time flies. Don’t wait too long. The quicker you get out of school, the better for you.”

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Campus Welcomes Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #979

Campus Welcomes Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #979

On April 10th, the Bristol Campus held a flag ceremony to respectfully retire its damaged American flag and dedicate the replacement. Representatives of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter #979 attended the ceremony and assisted in the flag lowering and raising during the ceremony. It is their custom to remove the stars from old American flags, put them on a patch, and give them to veterans in the community. The rest of the flag is then given to a local scout troop, to properly burn the flag and dispose of it respectfully.

VVA is the only national Vietnam veterans’ organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families. Chapter #979 is the 3rd largest VVA in the state of Tennessee and often takes part in flag ceremonies and parades in the eastern part of the state. The college appreciates the support of VVA members Sam Baldwin, R. B. Louthian, Jim Vaughn, James Vaughn, Steve Coates, Paul Strong, Roger Moore, John Ward, David Carter, Johnny Conkin, Jim Hagie, and John Pollak. The group was gracious enough to replace a worn National College flag at the same time.

National College takes pride in and appreciates all veterans - especially those that serve the college as a member of the staff, faculty, or student body.

Members of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter #979 are pictured raising a new American flag at the Bristol Campus.

Information Technology Open House Gives Back to Community

Information Technology Open House Gives Back to Community

On Monday, April 8th, from 5 to 7 pm, the IT Club at the Stark County Campus invited the community to an open house to experience modern computer technology first-hand. The IT Club includes a group of men and women dedicated to advancing the understanding of the information technology industry. The club’s mission is to provide a conduit between the community and technological advances relating to information technology within Stark County. Richard Miller and Timothy Thompson, students of the information systems engineering degree program at the campus, were instrumental in the club’s start up.

During the open house, the club met in a computer lab and offered access to Windows 8, Microsoft Office 2013, and Skydrive – the latest technology of Microsoft. According to William Wittman, director of IT programs at the campus, the focus of this open house was to discuss cloud computing. He explained that the advantages of cloud computing are mutli-faceted. “Placing your documents in cloud storage allows access to your data anywhere, anytime,” he said. “Accessing your data from any device any time will be soon be the norm.”

Pictured at the IT open house is Don Finley who visited the campus just for this meeting.

Student Uses Knowledge from HIT Program to Start New Committee for NAACP

Student Uses Knowledge from HIT Program to Start New Committee for NAACP

Many American National University students are excited to take their newly acquired skills and put them to good use in their communities, and student Takiesha Black is no exception. Takiesha will soon graduate from the health information technology (HIT) degree at the Columbus Campus and she has been working with the Licking County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to set up an HIT committee. She is working with President Ralph Franklin, and this committee will work to keep people aware of health care rights and responsibilities.

Although in the early stages of development, Takiesha said that the committee hopes to focus on issues such as senior living, low-income housing, wills, powers-of-attorney, and health insurance. Members of the committee will work with people in the community who need to know the legal and technological details in these areas. She said they will also work with people who are uninsured and help them find ways to get coverage. Anyone can join the committee regardless of ethnicity, and the group will help anyone who needs help.

“My core classes in HIT really helped me understand how healthcare can play a role in everyday living,” Takeisha said. “I have learned a lot of terminology and statistics.”

Soon-to-be graduate Takiesha Black (pictured) found a way to support the community with her new skills.

CustomRx Helps Graduate Learn and Offers Her a Job

CustomRx Helps Graduate Learn and Offers Her a Job

Latisha Benson, a graduate of the Fort Wayne Campus, used her strong people skills and her new knowledge from the pharmacy technician program to find success through her externship at CustomRx Pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy that mixes the prescriptions in their lab as prescribed by a doctor.

As an extern, she was able to get hands-on experience in mixing and compounding medications. She also learned about the preparation of sterile products which is given top priority to assure the safety and therapeutic efficacy of the extemporaneously prepared products. Latisha made such a good impression as an extern at CustomRx that they offered a job.

“There is never a day that goes by that I do not learn a new medication mixture made specifically for a patient,” Latisha explained of her new career. “There is never a dull moment, nor does the learning ever stop.”

Latisha completed her education at the top of her class in November 2012. She credits her success to the instructors and the college’s pharmacy technician program.

Latisha Benson (right) is pictured at her new job with pharmacist Gregg Russell at CustomRx.

Perfect Attendance and Excellent Grades Help Graduate Land a Job through an On-Campus Interview

Perfect Attendance and Excellent Grades Help Graduate Land a Job through an On-Campus Interview

When Danville, Kentucky Campus career center director Beth Beldon received a call from Sean Cook, owner of Appraisal Works, seeking an office assistant, she knew immediately which student fit his description perfectly.

Rebekah Greene, who has just completed the office technology professional associate’s degree program, had all of the qualities they were looking for - detail-oriented, an independent worker, good with computer technology, and a superior work ethic. In addition to the new skills she learned from the degree program, she also made the dean’s list every term and finished with perfect attendance.

In an interview organized by Beth at the campus, Mr. Cook was impressed with Rebekah, and he offered her the job.

“There’s a direct correlation between how you do in school and how you do on the job,” explained Beth, who said that good attendance and good grades are traits that every employer takes notice of.

Rebekah, who previously worked in retail, came to American National University because she wanted to work in an office setting. She got hands-on experience in the office technology professional program, and became proficient with Microsoft technologies, spreadsheet applications, operating systems, and web page design. She also learned the basic principles of accounting and business management.

Mr. Cook said that he contacted American National University because he had toured the campus several years ago, when he served on the board of directors of the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce. “I was very impressed with everything…so, when I needed someone, I called them and they immediately said, ‘We know exactly who you are looking for,’ and they were right,” said Mr. Cook, adding that Rebekah has become a great asset in his office.

Rebekah said that the one-on-one attention that she received at American National University and the services that the career center provides were a big factor in helping her land her new job that she loves. “They help you get in and out quick and they help you find a job,” she explained.

Rebekah wants to continue her education and she recently enrolled in the business administration-management bachelor’s degree online program with American National University.

Rebekah Greene is pictured with her new employer, Sean Cook of Appraisal Works, who she met though career center director Beth Beldon.

Graduates and Visitors Network with Employers at Campus Career Fair

Graduates and Visitors Network with Employers at Campus Career Fair

On March 28th, the Florence Campus was filled with employers and job seekers who came together to network and share information during a career fair that was organized by the Career Center. Representatives from more than 20 employers, including Omnicare, Best Buy, St. Elizabeth, and Hertz, participated in the career fair and were eager to talk with American National University graduates, students, and visitors about the job openings they had available.

Jason Stewart, a veteran who will complete his associate’s degree programs in office technology professional and business administration-management later this month, talked with veteran employment representatives from One Stop Northern Kentucky career center and with several employers during the job fair. Jason said that he is excited about his career prospects for the future. “Having multiple degrees from American National University opens doors for companies that otherwise wouldn’t be open,” said Jason, who was featured in the November 18, 2012 issue of the National News.

Daniel Moss, from Columbus, Ohio, heard about the career fair through a friend and decided to attend. He is considering relocating to the area and felt that the career fair was a good opportunity for him to find out about employment opportunities in the area. “I really appreciate that National put it on for us,” said Daniel, adding that he had found several good prospects for employment from the fair.

Daniel Moss, a visitor from Columbus, talks with human resource representatives Julie Townsley and Coree Sipp from St. Elizabeth Healthcare during the Florence Campus career fair.

Venezuelan Comes to ANU on a Referral from a Local Family Member

Venezuelan Comes to ANU on a Referral from a Local Family Member

Alexei Plaza has big plans for his future. He is currently in level 5 of the 6-level English as a Second Language (ESL) program at the Roanoke Valley Campus of American National University. After he completes the program, he will take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam, and upon passing, will be issued a certificate which will help him get into an American university. He is hoping to enroll in a journalism program at a university in Florida.

Alexei is from Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, and has been to America before, to visit family and also to play for Venezuela’s national soccer team at the Disney Cup in Orlando. Alexei’s aunt is a professor at a college near Roanoke and encouraged him to come to the U.S. and stay with her and enroll in ANU’s ESL program. “I have great teachers,” Alexei says of the ESL program. “They try to not make the class boring. They give tips on speaking and writing. They are really into helping you.” He is also particularly grateful for the help with the enrollment process and acquiring a visa, which can be lengthy and difficult when coming from another country. “I am really appreciative of [director of admissions] Ron Smith, because he helped me so much with my paperwork,” Alexei says. “He works so fast.”

Alexei’s dream is to one day be a professional soccer player, or possibly a coach. He is also interested in learning sports journalism.

Alexei Plaza (pictured) of Venezuela is glad to have discovered American National University through his aunt, who lives nearby.

H.O.M.E. Initiative is Highlighted at Campus’s Employment and Educational Benefit Fair

H.O.M.E. Initiative is Highlighted at Campus’s Employment and Educational Benefit Fair

Employment assistance and job openings were the focus of an Employment and Educational Benefit Fair that was recently held at the Pikeville Campus. During the fair, agencies such as the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program, the Regional Kentucky Works Program, Job Corps, and the Pike County Health Department shared information regarding programs that they offer to help area residents find jobs, medical services, and other assistance. Employers, including Pikeville Medical Center, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and Manpower, also participated, and provided information regarding job openings.

One of the programs that was highlighted during the fair was the Hiring Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.) initiative which was created by the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP). It provides funding for career training and other services to unemployed miners and their spouses. "The great benefit of a locally driven workforce system is its ability to work at once with a broad spectrum of partners in ways that lead to creative solutions that fit individual complexities,” said Jeff Whitehead, executive director of EKCEP. “People in tough spots need to take charge of their futures like the coal miners enrolled in our H.O.M.E. initiative are doing, and the very best EKCEP can do is work to create opportunities for them to do just that.”

"H.O.M.E. is a good example of this synergy in action,” explained Mr. Whitehead. “We're pulling together services, resources, and people in our region to provide job clubs, career advising, training options, employment opportunities, and connections to people with similar interests and needs. We're already creating customized solutions for more than 800 out-of-work miners and their spouses through H.O.M.E., and our grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will allow us to expand the initiative and hopefully enroll and serve many additional miners who need to get back in the workforce.”

For more information on enrolling in the H.O.M.E. initiative, visit

In the top photo, Pikeville Medical Center human resource representatives Brittany Honaker (seated left) and Tawyna Worley (seated right) shared information regarding employment opportunities with their company with a visitor during the Pikeville Campus Employment and Educational Benefit Fair. Jeff Whitehead, executive director of EKCEP, is pictured in the bottom photo.

Students Meet Potential Employers at On-Campus Career Fair

Students Meet Potential Employers at On-Campus Career Fair

On Tuesday, April 9th, the Richmond Campus held a Career Fair with several area employers including Chiro One, Kentucky Blood Center, and Arcadian Cove.

The fair showed medical students the many different ways in which they could use their medical training. In addition, Avon, Creative Memories, and Schwan’s showed business students the different types of businesses available to them if they wanted to own their own business.

In addition to discussing job opportunities, Avon representative Heather Arvin also talked to students about how to dress professionally, and offered make-up and hair styling tips for interviewing.

Medical assisting student Kayla Murphy said that she loved having the opportunity to meet with employers to see what was available in her chosen field.

Medical assisting student Kayla Murphy is pictured during the career fair submitting her résumé and application to Christian Wright from Arcadian Cove.

Classes Combine for a Discussion on Living Wills and Last Wills and Testaments

Classes Combine for a Discussion on Living Wills and Last Wills and Testaments

On Thursday, April 11th, attorney David Powell gave a presentation to students at the Lexington Campus about the Kentucky Living Will Packet and a Last Will and Testament. Dr. Powell is an instructor at the campus and retired from the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He spoke to students in several classes, including his own, about the advantages for all adults to prepare these documents.

In his presentation, Dr. Powell explained that a Living Will gives a person a voice in decisions about their medical care when they are unconscious or too ill to communicate. A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that dictates what happens to a person’s estate after death.

He described the advantages of a Living Will including the relief it can offer to family members when medical decisions are needed. Dr. Powell also pointed out that the Living Will does not require an attorney to complete the form; however, he said it is good practice to consult an attorney for a Last Will and Testament.

The presentation struck a chord with students, as reflected in the questions they had and the discussions generated. As an ordained minister, instructor Robert Hale was able to contribute to the discussion from a pastoral perspective. As a new father, instructor Joshua Collins was able to explain the significance of the Living Will to a young family. The three instructors were very impressed by the interest and participation of the students.

National College Participates in "College Hour" with Senator Rand Paul

National College Participates in

On Friday, April 12th, Jason Stewart, a veteran and student from the Florence Campus, and Donna Reed-Carson, career center director of the Louisville Campus, participated in a “Stand with Rand” College Hour that was held by United States Senator Rand Paul. The event gave college students from across the state the opportunity to talk with Senator Paul about issues that affect them.

During the meeting, Senator Paul said that many fellow legislators support career colleges: “We’re the ones trying to defend colleges that are helping a lot of people who are minority students; yet, we aren’t getting any credit for it.”

“The college students definitely had some good questions for him and he answered them, in my opinion, to the best of his ability,” said Jason of Senator Paul. “I pretty much agreed with what he had to say about all of it. Especially, what he had to say about career colleges. It’s refreshing knowing that there’s someone of his stature that’s on our side.”

Jason said that he found the information shared during the event very interesting and that he never expected to have the chance to talk with someone who could potentially be a candidate for president of the United States - referring to rumors of the senator’s possible candidacy in 2016.“That’s an experience that I won’t forget and I’m grateful for having the opportunity,” Jason said.

Senator Rand Paul is pictured above talking with college students who participated in the "Stand with Rand" College Hour. In the bottom photo, student Jason Stewart (right) is pictured with Senator Rand Paul (left) when he participated in the "Stand with Rand" College Hour.

Medical and Pharmacy Students Pay it Forward

Medical and Pharmacy Students Pay it Forward

Students in the medical assisting and pharmacy technician programs at the Lynchburg Campus recently joined forces and volunteered their time and service to Gleaning for the World (GFTW) - an organization that collects donated medical supplies and other essential resources for distribution in communities throughout the world.

The students arrived at the GFTW warehouse where they sorted and packed food items for various countries. Their job was to check the condition and expiration date of the packed items and sort them into specific boxes. “During their time spent at GFTW the students got their hands dirty, listened to some good music, met with staff and other volunteers, and walked away knowing they had made a difference,” said director of health care education Sue Coleman, who organized the trip and service to GFTW.

“I really enjoyed the field trip and helping someone,” said student Kanika Jones. “I want to go back and volunteer again.” JaJuan Thomas agreed with Kanika, and added, “It felt good knowing that we were doing something that was going somewhere, like Syria, where they really need help.”

Students are pictured at the Gleaning for the World warehouse as they volunteered their time sorting and packing donated items. Gleaning for the World is recognized by Forbes Magazine as a “Most Efficient Charity in America.”

Nancy Wilcox-Difference Maker at the Lynchburg Campus

Nancy Wilcox-Difference Maker at the Lynchburg Campus

Nancy Wilcox at the Lynchburg Campus

Career Center Director


  • National College staff member for 18 years
  • Worked as Director of Admissions for 16 years
  • Recipient of numerous National College awards including three in 2012: Career Center Director of the Year, Chairman’s Award, Outstanding College Member at the Lynchburg Campus


  • Previously worked as a supervisor in human resources for a manufacturing company
  • National College graduate in business administration-accounting

My experience in human resources gave me valuable experience in hiring, training, and understanding the value of the employee/employer relationship. I believe in what we do at National in providing the resources for our students and graduates to be successful. I really enjoy hosting the professional workshops that we offer to give them more confidence in the skills and qualities they have to offer to their career field. I encourage them to believe in themselves.

I appreciate our students’ determination and motivation to work hard and change their lives. We have such a diverse student population, and I have the opportunity to get to know each of them in a one-on-one professional relationship. They give me the determination and motivation to work hard for them and develop business relationships and know the employment environment for every field.


Campus Welcomes Local Author Dreama Denver

Campus Welcomes Local Author Dreama Denver

On Thursday, April 11th, the Princeton Campus welcomed Dreama Denver, wife of the late actor Bob Denver. Mrs. Denver recently wrote a book titled, Gilligan’s Dreams: The Other Side of the Island, about her life with her husband, who was the star of 60’s sitcom “Gilligan’s Island.” As a neighbor who lives just a few miles away from the campus, Mrs. Denver visited with faculty, staff, and students, and held a book signing.

Bob Denver also wrote a book titled, Gilligan, Maynard and Me. The campus will have both books available in the library to add to the collection of local author titles.

Admissions representative Christina Nunley is pictured at the Princeton Campus with special guest Dreama Denver.

Graduate Returns to Campus in Search of Candidates for Team Nurse Job Openings

Graduate Returns to Campus in Search of Candidates for Team Nurse Job Openings

On April 10th, the Martinsville Campus hosted a spring career fair with 22 employers available to speak with students and graduates about their companies and employment opportunities.

Cristen Anderson from The Results Companies participated in the fair in search of candidates to fill 20 job openings. At the conclusion of the career fair, she reported that she was pleased to meet between 15 and 20 National College graduates and students that inquired about the openings. “I think this was a better turnout than the last job fair - more vendors, more attendees, better applicants,” Cristen said. “I think we will find several good candidates that we will be able to hire.”

Bettina Hawks, assistant administrator with Team Nurse and National College graduate, said that she and a co-worker handed out 10 applications for personal care aide positions. “I was very pleased with the set-up,” Bettina said. “As a Martinsville Campus graduate, it was great to see everyone again.”

Jonathan Doss with Shine Systems and Technologies reported that his company is planning to follow up the fair with interviews for two “impressive” students who visited his table.

Matthew Poole and Carolyn Lee from the American National University Online program also attended the job fair to explain the available higher education options available to students and graduates online.

Student Casey Lawson is pictured talking to sales manager David Ellington about job openings at TransAmerica.

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.