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May 20, 2013

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With Transfer Credits, Graduate Finished Two-Year Degree in Less Than a Year

With Transfer Credits, Graduate Finished Two-Year Degree in Less Than a Year

After attempting other college programs, Adrian Payne graduated from the National College business administration-management associate’s degree program in less than a year.

She started earning college credits while in high school by participating in a dual enrollment program that her high school had arranged with a local community college. After earning her high school diploma, she continued taking courses at the community college in an accounting program, but she found herself losing focus and eventually dropped out.

Several years had passed before Adrian considered going to college again. She re-enrolled in the local community college but this time, she realized she was taking a lot classes she didn’t think were necessary for her degree field. She also said that sometimes she would have to wait for the classes she wanted to take to meet minimum enrollment requirements.

“This was my breaking point,” Adrian said as she explained her frustration about her community college experience. “I started researching colleges and found that National College was a perfect fit.”

In June, 2012, Adrian met with an admissions representative at the Lynchburg Campus and learned that many of the classes she had already taken at the community college would transfer into her National College enrollment. She started taking classes on June 4, 2012 and finished on April 18, 2013.

“National College has been the best decision I have made in years,” Adrian said. “It’s a place where the instructors and staff know my name and my story; a place where no question is left unanswered; and a place where I am not a number – but an individual.”

Without taking any time off, Adrian has re-enrolled at the Lynchburg Campus to pursue a bachelor’s degree in health care management.

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Campus Hosts First-Ever "Beauty Bash"

Campus Hosts First-Ever

On Saturday, May 4th, the Career Center at the South Bend Campus hosted a “Beauty Bash.” The campus’s career center director, Mary Mathews, along with instructors Janine O’Keefe and Robyn Stachowiak, organized the event as part of a day-long career workshop to show students how they can dress professionally at a reasonable cost.

The event started with a fashion show that was emceed by Goodwill Industries of Michiana Vice-President Debbie Coble. Four volunteers from Goodwill modeled professional business attire where all of the outfits sold for $15 or less.

Chris Haller, a Mary Kay Cosmetics representative, took the event from a fashion show to a makeover. With student Sharon Schafer as the volunteer model, Chris offered professional make-up tips as she demonstrated her techniques on Sharon. Hair Crafter’s stylist Laura Dlugosz provided a new hair style for Sharon using a flat iron.

American National University graduates Emily Shine, Ralonda Hawkins, and Rina Young concluded the “Beauty Bash” with an expert panel discussion on their experiences in their job searches.

Over thirty students and guests were in attendance for the two hour bash. Participants enjoyed a donated lunch from Chick-Fil-A and fancy desserts made by Janine. Beauty prizes were won by seven happy attendees and everyone left with a small jewelry favor donated by Charming Charlie’s.

Student/model Sharon Schafer is pictured as Laura Dlugosz from Hair Crafters demonstrates some professional ways to style hair.

Role Play Exercise Helps Students Learn How to Quarantine

Role Play Exercise Helps Students Learn How to Quarantine

In an effort to teach students in the non-invasive clinical procedures class at the Indianapolis Campus how to properly set up a quarantine for airborne pathogens, director of health care education Patricia Ridge arranged for a hands-on exercise.

In a role playing exercise with staff and guests, students donned medical gowns and masks, and were taught how to effectively identify and separate people who show signs of infection from people who do not.

Guest May Moore participated as a person with signs of illness by coughing. Student Anquinitta Martin noticed the symptoms and taught her how to properly cough to prevent others from getting sick. “It was exciting to see how the students reacted to the different situations they were given,” Ms. Moore said.

Patricia’s goal for this exercise was to help prepare the students to overcome real life situations and excel in their careers as medical assistants.

Anquinitta Martin is pictured on the left showing guest May Moore how to properly cough into her arm to prevent others from getting sick.

Princeton Community Hospital is a Long-Time Supporter of Career Education

Princeton Community Hospital is a Long-Time Supporter of Career Education

Princeton Community Hospital has been a valuable supporter of career education and National College for more than a decade. In addition to hiring many graduates from the Princeton Campus in ten years, the hospital pharmacy has also accepted students from the pharmacy technician program as externs. These externs have benefited from the hands-on professional experience that a hospital pharmacy can offer.

Phyllis Mikels, human resources recruiter for the hospital, regularly attends National College career fairs and accepts résumés via e-mail from the career center. Angela Akers, a graduate from the information systems engineering degree program, was just hired last week. “I think we are fortunate to get her—she was professional and well prepared for her interview,” Ms. Mikels said of getting to know Angela.

To show appreciation for this partnership, campus director Denver Riffe and career center director Elaine Owens recently presented the hospital and its pharmacy with a Distinguished Community Employer award. Heather Poff, Laura Anderson, and Ms. Mikels from the human resources department accepted the award on behalf of the hospital and Susan Drady, director of pharmacy operations, accepted on behalf of the pharmacy. They agreed that they are happy the college is able to provide them with good employment candidates to select from. Ms. Drady said she looks forward to working with more National College students and graduates in the future.

Campus director Denver Riffe is pictured in the top photo presenting a plaque of appreciation to (l to r) Laura Anderson, Phyllis Mikels, and Heather Poff in the hospital human resources department. In the bottom photo, Campus director Denver Riffe also presented a plaque to director of pharmacy operations Susan Drady.

Campus Helps to Plan, Participates in Community Job Fair

Campus Helps to Plan, Participates in Community Job Fair

Students and staff from the Charlottesville Campus recently participated in the Charlottesville Community Job Fair - the area’s largest job fair held at the John Paul Jones Arena. Anne Brown, the campus’s career center director, serves on the planning team, and leads the coordination of workshops developed to support job seekers. With representatives from the City’s Department of Economic Development, as well as several other agencies, job seekers had many opportunities to network with over 70 employers in attendance.

The campus’s admissions team attended the event to make fair attendees aware of the many career training programs available at National College. Anne also used the fair as an opportunity to connect with area employers, a number of whom showed interest in hiring graduates from a National College program. She will continue to work to establish partnerships that will provide externship and hiring opportunities for students and graduates of the campus.

Admissions representatives Lindsey Kline and Walter Harris IV are pictured talking to attendees of the Charlottesville Community Job Fair.

Medical Assisting Students Learn from Mock Emergencies

Medical Assisting Students Learn from Mock Emergencies

Medical assisting students at the Columbus Campus recently had the opportunity to see how people in the medical profession respond to real-life medical emergencies. Thanks to the efforts of director of health care education Beth Laurenz, they attended a “casting call” with the Department of Homeland Security and EMS responders, where mock medical emergencies were created. The students volunteered to play the part of victims.

The first “emergency” they participated in was a simulated hazardous material spill. The students played the part of the people contaminated by the spill. They were made to wait outside while the site was put in lockdown. The second “emergency” was a school shooting, where the students were triaged through the emergency room to surgery. Finally, they were admitted to the floor.

Student Faithia Pugh felt that she really learned a lot from this field trip, and she plans on taking the first-hand knowledge she gained with her as she advances into her career. “If I’m in the healthcare field, and if something like this happens, I’ll know what to do,” she proudly stated.

Through this experience, Beth realized that many of her students didn’t know how much the police work together with other first responders in a medical emergency. She plans to take another group of medical assisting students to a similar casting call in June.

Pictured at the mock medical emergency casting call are students (l to r) Joan Martinez, Faithia Pugh, Veronica Flemister, and director of health care education Beth Laurenz.

BioInnovation of Akron Offers Students "Real-Life" Medical Simulation Experience

BioInnovation of Akron Offers Students

Medical assisting students from the Akron Area Campus recently had the opportunity to visit Austen BioInnovation Institute of Akron - a fully functional hospital that provides simulation-based education and training programs for medical engineers and healthcare professionals.

During the field trip, students observed a simulated natural childbirth; they viewed many of the biomedical, non-invasive surgery possibilities for the future; and witnessed a training program that takes “patients” through the process from the waiting room to the operating room.

With companies like BioInnovation, Akron is becoming a leader in the country for bio-medical technology. It was very promising for students, who will soon enter the medical field, to learn about and witness the up-coming careers that will be available in engineering and health care in the near future. “It was very educational; a great atmosphere to experience real-life situations from registration to recovery,” said student Tracie Endress.

Students and faculty from the medical assisting degree program at the Akron Area campus are pictured at the Austen BioInnovation Institute.

Workshop Prepares Students for Four Types of Interviews

Workshop Prepares Students for Four Types of Interviews

As part of a continuing series to prepare students for entering their career fields, Lisa Cook, career center director for the Stark County Campus, recently held a workshop on the interview process. Students learned the best way to present him/herself during an interview, including what to wear, how to discuss salary, and how to respond to questions such as, “Why did you leave your former job?” and “Why should we hire you?” Lisa emphasized the need for an interviewee to express how they can add value to the company they are interviewing with.

During the workshop, Lisa also outlined four distinct types of interviews - phone/screening interviews, on-the-job interviews (internships or externships), one-on-one interviews, and panel interviews. “In a phone interview, they are listening for communications skills…in a panel interview, make eye contact with the person posing the question,” she advised.

Lisa offered numerous helpful hints including driving by the interview location ahead of time; knowing who you are meeting; researching the company; bringing multiple copies of your resume; and arriving early (but no more than 15 minutes). She encouraged students to meet her for a mock interview to get practice.

“I learned about the dos and don’ts of interviewing and to stay positive,” said participant and student Greg Sanford, who gained a lot of useful information from the workshop.

Career center director Lisa Cook is pictured (middle) with workshop participants Greg Sanford (left) and Timothy Thompson (right).

Degrees Are Conferred During an Inspiring Commencement Ceremony

Degrees Are Conferred During an Inspiring Commencement Ceremony Explore National's Online Program

On Thursday, April 9, the family and friends of the Louisville Campus Class of 2013 gathered at Walnut Street Baptist Church for the much anticipated annual commencement ceremony. Tears and cheers were abundant as the degrees of 86 jubilant graduates were conferred.

Three graduates of the American National University online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, LaShanda Leach, Valerie Persinger, and DeTroyia McGruder, also participated in the service and received their ceremonial hoods from director of online education Matt Poole. The three graduates all earned associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration-management from the Louisville Campus, then continued to become members of the first graduating class of the ANU online MBA program.

During the ceremony, graduates from the business, medical, and computer technology programs received awards for leadership and high academic achievement. Darlene Eads was the recipient of the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award. She earned a medical record technician diploma from the campus in 1995 and returned to the campus to earn a bachelor’s degree in health care management in 2011. She has had a long and successful career working for Park DuValle Community Health Center -most recently working for the clinic in patient accounts and credentialing. “I’m very honored and surprised,” said Darlene following the ceremony. “I love National. This has been like a family for me. I try to always encourage those who go there,” she said, adding that she has frequently taken on externs to work with her at Park DuValle.

The guest speaker of the evening, WAVE 3 News anchor Dawne Gee, delivered an inspiring message to the graduates and their guests. She shared that she applied nine times for a job at WAVE 3 before she was finally hired by the station. She recalled that she was told by her supervisors that she would never work as an on-air talent. “But somebody didn’t show up for work one day,” explained Ms. Gee, who volunteered to take their place on-air, giving her the opportunity to prove herself. “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you are right,” she said. She applauded the graduates for successfully completing their programs. Ms. Gee concluded by saying, “Don’t ever let someone tell you what you can’t do. Get your dream job.”

In the top photo, Matt Poole, director of online education (left), and campus director Vincent Tinebra (right) are pictured with MBA graduates Valerie Persinger, DeTroyia McGruder, and LaShanda Leach at the Louisville Campus commencement ceremony. WAVE 3 news anchor and guest speaker Dawne Gee is pictured in the middle photo as she delivered an inspiring message to the Class of 2013. Alumni Hall of Achievement recipient Darlene Eads is pictured in the bottom photo during the ceremony accepting her award from campus director Vincent Tinebra.

Surgical Technology Student Witnesses Unique Vascular Procedure

Surgical Technology Student Witnesses Unique Vascular Procedure

Randi-Leray Childs, a student in the surgical technology program at the Florence Campus, recently had the opportunity of a lifetime when she was able to observe a vascular surgical procedure, which is not performed very often at the rural clinical site where she was working as an extern. During the procedure, doctors inserted a Greenfield inferior vena cava (IVC) filter to treat the patient’s deep vein thrombosis condition and prevent blood clots in the legs from traveling to the lungs.

Randi watched as the IVC filter was placed in the patient’s femoral vein. “Getting to see the IVC Greenfield during my general surgery observation was a great experience,” she said with excitement. “It was a fun procedure to watch and visualization of the anatomy was amazing.”

Guest Speaker Encourages Students to Help Save a Life by Joining Kentucky Organ Donor Registry

Guest Speaker Encourages Students to Help Save a Life by Joining Kentucky Organ Donor Registry

On Monday, April 1st, Charlotte Wong, a public education coordinator from Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), spoke to students in the medical classes at the Danville, Kentucky Campus about organ donations.

According to KODA, last year, more than 8,000 deceased organ donors contributed to 22,000 organ transplants. More than 6,000 transplants were also made from living donors. By donating organs at the time of death, a donor can potentially save and heal over 50 people. Organs that can be donated at the time of death include the heart, liver, kidney, lungs, and pancreas, as well as tissue, skin, and corneas.

Ms. Wong encouraged the students to help saves lives by joining the Kentucky Donor Registry when renewing their driver’s license at the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerk’s office or by visiting

Clarissa Hill, a student in the medical assisting program, said that she has already joined the Kentucky Donor Registry, and that she was happy to get more insight into the program. “Ms. Wong was very informative and helpful in explaining the new organ donation process. She opened my eyes to what all an organ donor can do to save lives,” she said.

Charlotte Wong, a public education coordinator from Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), is pictured addressing students in the medical assisting degree program.

Richmond Campus Graduate Continues Her Education through American National University Online

Richmond Campus Graduate Continues Her Education through American National University Online Explore National's Online Program

Rebecca Garrett, owner of Family Auto Sales in Berea, Kentucky, earned her associate’s degree at the Richmond Campus and is continuing her education to earn her bachelor’s degree in business administration-accounting through American National University Online.

Rebecca, who was working in a factory prior to coming to American National University, said that she decided to earn a degree so that she could find a more fulfilling job. She felt at home in the small classes on campus and she is now thriving in the online program. “I love it,” she said of her online classes, which she can complete on her own time schedule. “I believe you need to go to campus for your associate’s, but for the bachelor’s, I really enjoy doing it online.”

In addition to running her own business, Rebecca has been able to find a new job with the help of her education. She is now working in quality control for Xerox, where she is able to apply the skills gained in her business courses. “With my job, I have to communicate with other people, and tell them what they’re doing wrong, and how to correct it,” she explained. “Going through school with the business classes and management classes, I think it has helped me to be able to communicate better with them.”

Rebecca said that her education at National has also helped her grow her business and that she is opening a second location for the car dealership. “I have a better job. I have better pay. I have more time with my family. It’s helped a lot,” she said.

Nursing Students Participate in Hillybilly Days

Nursing Students Participate in Hillybilly Days

Offering simple health screenings like blood pressure checks, students in the nursing and medical assisting programs at the Pikeville Campus recently represented American National University at the HillBilly Days Festival. Pictured are students (l to r) Brandy McGuire, Melinda Hall, Christopher Yates, and Sabrina Akers, HillBilly Days’ Felix the Clown, admissions representative Leigh Ann Harris, instructor Phyllis Bowling, and students Megan Thornsbury and Jessica Scott.

Elizabeth Johnson - Difference Maker at the Roanoke Valley Campus

Elizabeth Johnson - Difference Maker at the Roanoke Valley Campus

Elizabeth Johnson at the American National University Roanoke Valley Campus was selected as a difference maker.

Instructor in the ESL program


  • American National University faculty member since 2011
  • Recipient of ANU’s Outstanding College Member of the Year award for the ESL department in 2011


  • Received bachelor’s degree in intercultural studies from Columbia International University
  • Holds TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification

I am very interested and passionate about relating to people of other cultures. Although there may be many factors and barriers in cross-cultural communication and understanding, language is one bridge that can be crossed. The need to know English is also a growing global need and I am excited that I can help meet that need.

When learning a new language, I believe that students need to get out into their community to listen and speak with native speakers. I often challenge my students to go to a place where, if nothing else, they can listen to native English. Their language skills will be much improved as they become involved in their host community.

My favorite teaching moments are the ones that have nothing to do with the lesson. For example, many times a student will have a question about vocabulary they heard or read while simply experiencing life in America. I love the chance to have a friendly natural conversation. It is also very rewarding to see a student take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to their personal lives in the community.

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.