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April 29, 2013

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Graduate Gives Back to Community

Graduate Gives Back to Community

As a student in the medical assisting program at the Akron Area Campus, Dana Silverman decided that she wanted to use her degree to help her community. She had received so much help and support in her life that she wanted to give back in return.

Before graduating in August of 2012, she had set her sights on obtaining a health literacy educator position through AmeriCorps with Asian Service in Action, Inc. in Cleveland. She was hired just before her program ended.

In her new role with AmeriCorps, Dana focuses on educating Asian refugees and immigrants located in Cleveland’s Asia Town area. In addition to attending health fairs to conduct screenings, her job requires her to travel around in the local area to visit clients. She provides health screenings such as HIV/AIDS testing, blood glucose monitoring, blood pressure, and assists clients during mammogram screenings and clinical breast exams. She helps her clients understand the importance of regular screenings and doctor visits. She also helps them to understand the proper use of their prescriptions and provides preventive education on a variety of topics such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and STDs.

Asian Service in Action is planning to open a new clinic and Dana has been tasked to train community health workers on patient navigation. The community health workers are representatives from the Asian community who act as liaisons and interpreters if necessary.

“The education I received from American National University has truly been a blessing to me - from the relationships made with fellow students, instructors, as well as the administration,” Dana said as she expressed appreciation for her new career.

Dana received tuition assistance from the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and National’s exclusive Workforce Development Grant which provides matching funds to many federal, state, and local workforce development and worker retraining programs. “[My education] probably wouldn’t have happened if it were not for the WIA grant that I received through Summit County and my case manager Bonnie Thomas. It’s exciting to see how God has arranged everything just for me. May I forever pay it forward, especially through service.”

Graduate Dana Silverman is pictured checking her client’s, John Wang, pulse.

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Students Visit TechColumbus and Learn How to be Entrepreneurs

Students Visit TechColumbus and Learn How to be Entrepreneurs

The students in the business programs at the Columbus Campus recently took a field trip to TechColumbus under the guidance of Catherine McKinley, chair of the business programs.

TechColumbus is where the entrepreneurs of start-up businesses can go for resources and support. During their visit, the students met with venture acceleration director Rick Coplin, who gave them a tour of the facility. He talked to students about how many businesses they have worked with and helped to develop. He explained how those businesses got off the ground, highlighting the experience and background these people had in addition to their innovative ideas.

“The trip inspired me to delve into my ideas and not be so closed-minded - so my ideas can form and become something,” said student Lakisha Carruth, who was inspired to follow her dream of owning several businesses someday.

Pictured during the TechColumbus field trip are (front, l to r) Sandra Collinsworth, Nantenin Traore, Lakisha Carruth, Renee Gratten, (back) Donald Murphy, Shenita Kimbrough, Latasha Battle, and Roger Coffey.

West Corporation Awarded for Support of National College ISE Program

West Corporation Awarded for Support of National College ISE Program

The Youngstown Campus had the great opportunity to acknowledge West Corporation & Business Solutions as a Distinguished Community Employer. The company has hired several students from the information systems engineering (ISE) degree program into entry level positions where they are able to apply the skills and education they learned in the classroom to an actual technology setting that offers opportunities for advancement.

American National University and West Corporation & Business Solutions started a partnership five years ago. The territory recruiter, Judy Russo, visits the campus on a monthly basis and sets up a table offering information and potential employment opportunities to the students. “Our students who work at the WEST rave that they learn so much and really enjoy their experience,” said Mike Boyle, the campus’s director.

Partnerships such as these are invaluable for graduates as they begin their new careers. “We appreciate the partnership that we have developed with American National University,” said Judy. “The students are knowledgeable, respectful, and eager to employ. The West Corporation will continue to strengthen its partnership with American National University in the years to come.”

Judy Russo from West Corporation is pictured holding a Distinguished Community Employer plaque given to her from campus director Mike Boyle (fifth from right). Also included in the photo are West Corporation employees.

Spring Career Fair Provides Student/Employer Networking Opportunities

Spring Career Fair Provides Student/Employer Networking Opportunities

On Tuesday, April 9th, the Cincinnati Campus held a career fair with representatives from ten area employers in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Kimberly Dunning, a student in the business administration-management program, was excited to have the opportunity to speak with employers one-on-one and submit her resume at the same time. She was one of many current students who are actively seeking employment and who had resumes ready to give to prospective employers that day. She has already interviewed with SkyZone, who recently opened a new location in the area.

Omnicare was on site seeking applications from graduating pharmacy technician students. The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati was also represented at the fair to let the students know of an upcoming 3-week job readiness program.

In addition, two students secured job interviews as a result of the connections they made at the career fair - one with Omnicare and another with Aerotek. The campus is already planning its next career fair to be held in September.

Students are pictured talking with a representative from Urban League at the Cincinnati Campus career fair.

Patrenna Singletary-Difference Maker at the Memphis Campus

Patrenna Singletary-Difference Maker at the Memphis Campus

Patrenna Singletary at the Memphis Campus


  • Chair of business department
  • Instructor of management courses
  • Founder of the Michael D. Singletary Foundation, which helps enhance the professional potential in college students
  • Host of weekly internet-based radio program Business Over Coffee Nashville Presents: Saturdays with Singletary



  • National College of Business & Technology faculty member since 2006
  • Has gained over 20 years of business experience working for various corporations
  • Recipient of numerous awards, including: 2012 Educator of Distinction (Tennessee Association of Independent Colleges and Schools); National College of Business & Technology Distinguished Teaching Award (Tennessee/Indiana Division, 2012) and Outstanding College Member Award (Memphis Campus, 2011)

Holds a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management and leadership from Crichton College

There is a mutual admiration and appreciation I have for my students. The dedication and the wealth of knowledge they bring to the table is uncanny. During our class discussions, we share very valuable advice, whether it is concerning a worldview, incident at work, or life skills. There is always a valuable contribution I receive from my students. I am truly grateful to them, and I so admire them for this.

I like to challenge my students by allowing them to become comfortable enough to come out of their comfort zones. Quite a few students fear public speaking and utilizing technology. I explain to them the relevance of having these skills and try to nurture them into trying new and different approaches. Most importantly, I remind them of how much of a competitive advantage they can add to their professional skill sets by mastering these skills.

Business Students Takes Fellow Students on an Entrepreneurial Journey

Business Students Takes Fellow Students on an Entrepreneurial Journey

Brian Monroe turned what was to be a basic field trip into an interesting learning experience for his fellow students in the Accounting I class, taught by Aaron Trent, at the Bristol Campus. To see the principles they were learning in class in a real business setting, Brian offered to host the class on a tour of his family-owned business, F&L Limo and Livery. But that is not all; he also drove them in one of his company’s limousines.

During the tour, the class learned about vehicle diversity, everyday business operations, and cost-saving measures the business had implemented. The class also learned the sales and marketing strategy used to promote the business.

Brian worked as an entrepreneur successfully for years but knew that, to take his business to the next level, he needed more. “Hard work got me to a certain level [but] to go beyond that, I needed an education,” he said of his decision to enroll in the business administration-management program. The class schedules worked with his schedule and were structured with courses that were useful to his business.

The field trip gave Mr. Trent’s Accounting I class a rare opportunity to see a thriving business first-hand. Brian and his father weathered the recession to become the most successful limousine service from Roanoke, Virginia to Nashville, Tennessee.

Brian Monroe is pictured in the top photo. In the bottom photo are students in the Accounting I class that participated in the F&L Limo and Livery field trip.

Students Are Challenged to Use their New Skills to Give Back

Students Are Challenged to Use their New Skills to Give Back

Michael Beach, department chair for the information systems engineering (ISE) degree program at the Knoxville Campus, recently organized a field trip for students to visit the East Tennessee Technology Access Center (ETTAC) office.

ETTAC is a regional nonprofit agency that helps people with disabilities gain knowledge about and access to assistive technology devices. The organization receives donations of desktop and laptop computers which a group of staff and volunteers repair. Additionally, the center provides training for users on the assistive technologies that may already be present on a computer, such as the Ease of Access options on many Windows-based computers.

During the visit, students were challenged to sharpen their skills and consider how they can use them to give back to their community. They were impressed with what they learned at ETTAC and the variety of device options that are available.

Because of the continuous demand for ETTAC’s services, ISE students will have a variety of volunteer opportunities available to them so they can get hands-on experience. “We always appreciate the opportunity to partner with schools and businesses with similar missions and objectives,” said Lois Symington, ETTAC Director.

Pictured during the ETTAC field trip are (l to r) students Durell Johnson, Roddrick Johnson, Tameshia Williams, and ISE director Michael Beach as they hear from ETTAC director Lois Symington about the available device options available through ETTAC.

Life-Change Takes Place in Only 16 Months

Life-Change Takes Place in Only 16 Months

For Nicole Craig, the decision to return to school not only turned into earning a diploma, but it created a career opportunity for her as well. Nicole, a single mother with four children, did not have a lot of time to spend in school. She enrolled in the medical billing and coding diploma program at the Fort Wayne Campus because of its convenient course scheduling and short-term program.

After 16 months of attending American National University, which included an externship, Nicole was offered a job to start her new career. She was hired at Dr. Wait’s office, which is where she completed her externship. Nicole’s education, positive attitude, and strong work ethic paid off for her. “The class sizes were great [and] the teachers were able to help me when I needed it,” Nicole said enthusiastically of her experience. “I loved the school.”

Dr. C. Bryan Wait, owner of CBW Internal Medicine, is glad to have Nicole on staff. “Nicole is an asset to my office and the most professional employee I have ever had,” he said.

Nicole Craig is pictured with her new boss Dr. C. Bryan Wait, owner of CBW Internal Medicine.

Local Pharmacy Hires Two New Graduates

Local Pharmacy Hires Two New Graduates

When Kaisha Booth enrolled at the Lynchburg Campus in 2011, she had two goals - to provide a better life for her child and to find a solid career in the medical field. Now that she has completed the pharmacy technician program, she has accomplished her goals and more. She graduated in April and already has a job with a local pharmacy as a pharmacy technician.

The pharmacist for whom Kaisha now works had contacted the campus’s career center in search of job candidates for two open pharmacy technician positions at his pharmacy. Kaisha was recommended by her instructors because of her quality of work in the classroom and the positive feedback from her externship site. She was hired before she finished her program and completed on-the-job training while she was going to class and finishing her externship.

“I had a lot of colleges that I could have gone to,” explains Kaisha. “I chose National College because the schedule worked best for me as a mom. The thing I like best about National was the education experience and the hands-on-training provided to me. This experience has forever changed my life for the better and now I feel more secure in my future with a career.”

The second person that the pharmacy hired on recommendation from National College was Kaisha’s classmate Vickie Boyer, who also needed a stable career to support her children. “I was basically starting my life over at the age of 45 and that's pretty scary,” she said.

Though she wasn’t sure what direction she wanted to take her career in, she knew she needed an education. “God knew where to lead me and who to put into my life at that difficult time. The staff, here at National, was supportive and encouraging all the way through the time I was here. I could not have asked for better people to help me through the whole course,” she said with appreciation. “I made the Dean's List for two different terms and to do that was a major ego boost for me. I felt like I could do anything after that.”

Vickie finished her program in February and started working at her new job in March: “I will always be grateful for the care and efforts of the staff at helping me succeed.”

When Vickie and Kaisha accept their diplomas at the Lynchburg Campus’s graduation ceremony in May, they will have already started working in their new careers and making a difference in their communities and in their own lives.

American National University ESL Student Passes IELTS Exam and is Accepted to Widener University

American National University ESL Student Passes IELTS Exam and is Accepted to Widener University

As a recent graduate of the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at American National University’s Roanoke Valley Campus, Saudi Arabian student Ibrahim Otudi has only just begun his higher education journey in the United States. He completed the ESL program in February, passed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, and will be transferring to Widener University in Pennsylvania on May 20th.

Ibrahim will major in computer science and hopes to get a master’s degree and pursue a career in engineering one day. But first he had to learn English, and ANU’s ESL program was able to help him reach that goal. “English is the first language in my country,” Ibrahim says. “You can’t get a job in my country without knowing it.” Ibrahim heard about ANU’s ESL program from a friend who was already enrolled. “It is the best institution I have seen,” Ibrahim says. “Nobody can get out of this program with bad English or not reading well. If you graduate from this program, you will be good.”

ANU’s ESL program fit what Ibrahim was looking for. “I like that the program gets us ready for college classes,” Ibrahim says. And he appreciates the instructors as well. “They are the best,” he says. “They give us advice. First they see our weakness, then they try to improve it.”

Ibrahim’s family back home in Saudi Arabia is happy for him too. “They are happy that I am learning English and going to a university,” he says. “They are very proud.” Ibrahim is able to communicate with his family every weekend through Skype. “My mother, she has to see me,” Ibrahim says of how he proves to her he is doing well in the U.S. and soon he will have a computer science degree to show her too.

Ibrahim Otudi is pictured on the right with Dr. Eric Rothgery, ANU ESL program director at the Roanoke Valley Campus.

Guest Speaker Offers Real-World Account of the Human Resources Field

Guest Speaker Offers Real-World Account of the Human Resources Field

On April 9th, students in instructor Bobby Redd’s Human Resources Class at the Princeton Campus welcomed guest speaker Heather Poff, human resources manager for Princeton Community Hospital. She talked to students about the daily procedures of working in human resources. She explained that in order to select the very best possible job candidates for each department, she devotes enormous amounts of time learning about the different positions in them. She also explained how she conducted exit interviews to find out why employees leave the company, which helps determine what changes they could make to improve the retention of good employees. During the presentation she noted the only downside to her job was terminating an employee.

Participating students appreciated Ms. Poff’s visit and her perspectives of the many areas in which the world of business and human resource education can be applied.

Heather Poff from Princeton Community Hospital is pictured talking to students in the Human Resources class at the Princeton Campus.

Congressman Andy Barr Urges Richmond Campus Graduates to Serve Their Communities

Congressman Andy Barr Urges Richmond Campus Graduates to Serve Their Communities

The Richmond Campus celebrated the hard work and dedication of its graduates with a commencement ceremony that was held on Friday, April 19th at the First Baptist Church of Richmond. The ceremony also conferred a bachelor’s degree in business administration-management for George Hawkins, a graduate of the American National University Online program. You can read more about George’s experience as a student in the online program inside this issue of the National News.

U.S. Representative Andy Barr, who serves Kentucky’s 6th congressional district, was the guest speaker for the ceremony. Congressman Barr told the graduates and their guests that the Declaration of Independence promises Americans the unalienable right to pursue happiness. “We actively choose the path we’re on,” said Congressman Barr. “You’re doing all that you can do to reach your God-given potential.”

Congressman Barr encouraged the graduates to utilize their knowledge and skills to serve their communities. “You may say, ‘With kids, a mortgage, debts to pay—how will I find time for anything else?’ Well, you have partially answered your own question by graduating from this exceptional institution,” he explained. “There is no doubt that your future employers will benefit from the skills you have worked so hard to acquire, but I am even more confident that our communities will profit from the power of your example. By applying your creativity, you might find concrete ways to improve the lives of other people around you.”

He cited Richmond Campus alumna Carolyn Jennings as an example of one American National University graduate who is helping her community. Carolyn, who serves as environmental awareness director for the Richmond/Madison Recycling Center, oversees a pull tab campaign which engages area students in cleaning up the environment while helping to build the Family Emergency Fund at the Ronald McDonald House.

“We need leadership from people like you who have already shown the courage to embrace the possibilities and fresh challenges to pursue your dreams, to reach for the stars, to pursue happiness. Working together, you and I and everyone in this room can make a difference. Let’s begin today,” charged Congressman Barr.

The Class of 2013 is pictured in top photo. In middle photo, U.S. Representative Andy Barr, from Kentucky's Congressional District 6, is pictured in the middle photo addressing American National University graduates at the Richmond Campus commencement ceremony. Medical assisting program graduate Melissa Durham is pictured in the bottom photo receiving the E.M. Coulter Award from Director of Healthcare Education Paula Beth Ciolek. The E.M. Coulter Award is presented for high academic achievement to a graduate of a medical program.

Richmond Campus Graduate Earns Bachelor’s Degree Through American National University Online Program

Richmond Campus Graduate Earns Bachelor’s Degree Through American National University Online Program Explore National's Online Program

George Hawkins, who completed his bachelor of business administration-management degree through the American National University online program, participated in the Richmond Campus commencement ceremony last week where he received his diploma from guest speaker Congressman Andy Barr.

George, who earned his associate’s degree with a double major in business administration-management and computer applications technology from the Richmond Campus in 2001, has been working in retail for over 14 years and had no plans to take his education further until a representative from National contacted him to let him know that the bachelor’s of business administration-management was available through the online program. After some research, George decided to enroll in the online program where his credits from his associate’s degree program transferred seamlessly.

“I’m glad I went back. It was different than being in class,” he recalled. “Basically, I had to do a lot more reading and studying on my own,” explained George, who enjoyed the independence he had with the online program. George is now prepared to take his career in retail management to the next level with the knowledge gained from the online bachelor’s degree program.

Congressman Andy Barr is pictured with graduate George Hawkins following the Richmond Campus commencement ceremony where George's bachelor's degree in business administration-management from American National University's online program was conferred.

Students Learn the Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing

Students Learn the Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing

Students in the Human Resource Management class at the Florence Campus recently had the opportunity to learn from Karen Sheldon, the campus’s career center director. Karen talked to students about interviewing strategies, techniques, and preparation. She explained the different types of interviews including structured interviews, situational interviews, behavioral interviews, and panel interviews. She also explained what to do and what to avoid before, during, and after an interview.

Teresa Woody, a student in the business administration-management program, stated that she learned so much from Karen’s presentation. She said that she did not even think about researching a company prior to an interview. She also didn’t know that she should send a thank you note after the interview. She said the information she learned was very valuable for her future interviews.

Student Teresa Woody is pictured on the left learning from career center director Karen Sheldon.

Graduate Is Prepared For the Workforce Thanks To Her Training at National

Graduate Is Prepared For the Workforce Thanks To Her Training at National

Brittney Garrett, who completed her business administration-management associate’s degree program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus this month, is putting the “real-world” knowledge from her business and computer technology courses to use in her job working as a payroll/data entry clerk for Gentiva Home Health.

Brittney said that while she learned a lot about computer technology in high school, she knew that she needed more than a high school diploma to succeed in today’s competitive job market. Once at National, she found that she still had a lot to learn about utilizing computers and communicating in an office environment. “Once I got to National,…[I learned] this is how the workforce is going to be. It’s not high school anymore,” she recalled.

Brittney said that her computer skills gained at National were a big factor in helping her land the job with Gentiva Home Health. She smiled as she explained that she is the go-to person in the office whenever a spreadsheet or flyer needs to be created because she is so proficient using computer software.

Now that she has earned her degree, Brittney looks forward to advancing in her career with Gentiva, which is a nationwide company. “They’re trying to help me move on up the ladder,” she said of her supervisors, who encouraged her to apply for more advanced positions at other locations around the country.

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.