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June 17, 2013

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Veteran Graduate Plans to Give Back

Veteran Graduate Plans to Give Back

Hundreds of friends and family members gathered at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio the evening of May 31st as the Dayton Area Campus presented degrees and diplomas to approximately 75 graduates. (See story inside.) For one graduate, the event marked an important milestone in the fulfillment of an inspiring goal.

Steven Himes, who received his pharmacy technician diploma, was one of those who walked across the stage. Steven decided to attend American National University while in his 60’s for a solemn, simple reason. “My wife died in 2011,” he said quietly after the ceremony. “I did this for her.”

Even as he celebrated his accomplishment, he looked forward to repeating the ceremony in another year as he continues on in the pharmacy technician associate’s degree program. “I could work at a Rite-Aid or a CVS right now, but I’ve got bigger fish to fry,” said Steven. “I want to go to the VA and work in their pharmacy. I want to help the vets…I’m a Vietnam veteran, and I want to give something to them.”

Steven – who is awaiting knee replacement surgery – processed with his classmates in a wheel chair, but when it came time to receive his diploma, he would have none of that. He gamely made his way up the steps to the platform, and walked across the stage to receive his diploma from Campus Director Art Wagner. While the crowd’s applause recognized this simple act, Steven’s inspiration and motives for his education are even more worthy of respect.

Steven Himes is pictured in the top photo receiving a congratulatory hug after accepting his pharmacy technician diploma. He is also pictured in the bottom photo with fellow members of the Class of 2013 during commencement exercises at the Dayton Area Campus.

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Dayton Area Campus Recognizes Graduates

Dayton Area Campus Recognizes Graduates

Approximately 75 graduates from the Dayton Area Campus received their degrees and diplomas at the 2013 commencement ceremony, held at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering on Friday evening, May 31st.

Federal magistrate judge Honorable Michael J. Newman delivered the commencement address, in which he commended the graduates for pursuing their career education goals and persevering in successfully completing their studies. Judge Newman offered these words of encouragement: “Look forward, don’t look back. Don’t let roadblocks stop you. Don’t let negativity control your life.”

Those receiving special recognition at the ceremony included Achievement Award recipients Stephanie Frater and Kirsten Rayer; Leadership Award recipient Amanda Hedger; E.M. Coulter Award recipient Stephanie Allen; Mary P. McGurn Award recipient Cathleen Frazier; M.A. smythe Award recipient James Tucker; and Joseph E. Hurn Award recipient Mary McClay. 2012 graduate Gina Crone, a business administration-management graduate and chef for Christopher’s Restaurant, was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Achievement.

Gina began her career with a business externship set up by one of her instructors, George Grabits. George—a semi-retired, highly successful business executive who currently indulges in his passion for cooking with Christopher’s Restaurant—brought Gina in to assist with the restaurant’s busy catering division, where she was able to get practical experience managing catering crews and planning events. She took to it naturally and discovered her own love for the culinary arts, and she has moved up to additional responsibilities for the restaurant.

Congratulations to all of our 2013 graduates!

Business department chair Bob Abadie is pictured on the right as he inducts graduate Gina Crone into the Alumni Hall of Achievement.

Cincinnati Campus Presents Degrees and Diplomas

Cincinnati Campus Presents Degrees and Diplomas

The Cincinnati Campus recognized its Class of 2013 during commencement exercises held on Saturday, June 1st at the Tri-County Assembly of God.

Approximately 65 graduates received associate’s degrees and diplomas in their fields of study while over 200 family members and friends looked on -- and cheered on. Judge Fanon Rucker of the Hamilton County Municipal Court delivered a lively, relevant message, urging them to become “game changers” in life. Opening his remarks by quoting rapper Lil’ Wayne, and citing examples of game changers both contemporary and historical, Judge Rucker gave the graduates many role models to emulate. He also showed how each of these game changers refused to let failure deter them from their ultimate goals.

“Every successful person has been denied numerous times before achieving their desired goal,” said Judge Rucker. “I know that was also true for me…every failure, every struggle, every defeat that I’ve ever had…each one of those ended up being a rung on the ladder that I’ve been climbing throughout my life.”

In addition to diplomas, a number of graduates were recognized with special awards. These included: Toya Washington, who received the Achievement Award; Anita Addo, who received the Leadership Award; Venus Anderson, Annette Roberts, and Stacey Ware, who received the E.M. Coulter Award; Darlene Edwards, who received the Mary P. McGurn Award; Charles Warner, who received the M.A. Smythe Award; and Stephanie Chichester and Kathy Goode, who received the Joseph E. Hurn Award.
After the ceremony, the graduates celebrated with family and friends, basking in the glow of their achievements and their new careers.

A happy graduate is pictured as she receives her diploma -- and heartfelt congratulations from their faculty -- at the Cincinnati Campus graduation ceremony.

Surgical Technology Students Observe Pediatric Surgeries at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Surgical Technology Students Observe Pediatric Surgeries at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Students in the surgical technology program at the Youngstown Campus recently took advantage of an opportunity to visit the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), which performs approximately 12,000 surgeries a year in eight different surgical areas. As part of their Surgical Procedures II class with instructor Lisa Stoutemire, students Robert Greco and Salina Morgan were given a tour of the facility, and were able to observe various pediatric surgeries.

The purpose of the hospital field trip was to help students compare and contrast the pediatric and non-pediatric operating room environments. They learned a lot from the visual experience, and they were impressed by the great care and compassion evident in the treatment of each patient. “It was a great learning experience and I hope that future [surgical technology] students get the opportunity to partake in the pediatric side of surgery,” said Robert.

Surgical technology students Robert Greco and Salina Morgan are pictured at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

OhioHealth Named Distinguished Community Employer

OhioHealth Named Distinguished Community Employer

The Columbus Campus recently awarded a Distinguished Community Employer plaque to OhioHealth, a system of non-profit, faith-based hospitals and healthcare organizations in Central Ohio. OhioHealth has agreed to be an externship site for students in the campus’s medical assisting program, so that they can get practical experience in a real health care setting.

Graduate Dominique Robinson was recently hired by OhioHealth as a registered medical assistant. She completed her externship at Riverside Family Practice, which is part of the OhioHealth system. Through her externship, Dominique was not only able to practice her new skills in a family practice, but she was also able to help arrange a meeting between the campus’s director of health care education Beth Laurenz and Riverside practice manager Tony Omlar that would create additional externship opportunities through OhioHealth.

Davene Yankle, educational specialist at OhioHealth, explained that they are seeking high caliber medical assistants who are trained in phlebotomy and have a good work ethic. Since American National University medical assisting students receive phlebotomy instruction in their courses and are taught a strong work ethic, they are a good match for OhioHealth. Davene said that the chances of American National University students finding jobs through OhioHealth are greater if they have had a positive experience at one of their medical offices as an intern.

American National University graduate and registered medical assistant Dominique Robinson is pictured with Davene Yankle and Tony Omlar of OhioHealth as they accepted the American National University Distinguished Community Employer Award.

STAT Imaging Solutions Has Found Qualified Employees from National’s Medical Billing and Coding Program

STAT Imaging Solutions Has Found Qualified Employees from National’s Medical Billing and Coding Program

The Nashville Campus has named STAT Imaging Solutions, LLC, as a distinguished community employer for its exceptional support of career education and National College graduates. STAT Imaging Solutions is an imaging services provider for health information management systems, and they have hired graduates from the college’s medical billing and coding program.

“STAT Imaging Solutions is expanding and plans to hire an additional 30 employees in the medical documents and verification departments,” stated operations manager Tony Gorham. Terri Davis McCall, the campus’s career center director, is working closely with Mr. Gorham to place National College graduates that are qualified for the open positions. Mr. Gorham is appreciative of the award and said, “We have it proudly displayed right inside the front door.”

Career center director Terri Davis McCall is pictured as she presented a Distinguished Community Employer award to Michael Salter and Tony Gorham with STAT Imaging Solutions in recognition of their support of career education.

Congressman Goodlatte Meets Students and Staff at the Lynchburg Campus

Congressman Goodlatte Meets Students and Staff at the Lynchburg Campus

United States Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who represents Virginia’s 6th district, recently visited the Lynchburg Campus to meet with students, faculty, and staff, and learn more about career training programs available at National College.

Campus director Bill Baker led Congressman Goodlatte on a tour of the campus, including the career center, where he stopped at the “Dress for Success” mirror and reviewed the checklist to make sure he fit the parameters for being dressed professionally. He also spoke to career center director Nancy Wilcox, who shared the campus’s job placement success for its graduates.

Congressman Goodlatte briefly visited with students in instructor Karen Jarrett’s Accounting II class, which impressed student Katie Reardon. “It’s nice to know that the congressman would take the time out of his busy schedule to come by and visit our campus,” said Katie.

Before leaving, Congressman Goodlatte added that he would be glad to speak at a future graduation ceremony. To which Bill responded, “We’ll get you on slate for 2014!”

United States Congressman Bob Goodlatte is pictured on the left with Lynchburg campus director Bill Baker.

Students Learn from Health Information Management Professional

Students Learn from Health Information Management Professional

Health information management professional Megan Beasley was a recent guest speaker in instructor Sharon Harding’s coding classes at the Princeton Campus. Ms. Beasley has experience working for a local hospital performing utilization reviews, and she has traveled extensively for an electronic health record software company. She now works for an accounting firm as a peer consultant for several hospitals. She spoke to students about the importance of accurate coding, coding compliance, and the relationship between accurate coding and revenue. She explained that her job entails discussing cost control with hospital administration and physicians. She strongly emphasized to students the importance of documentation in patients’ records and she encouraged them to gain as much knowledge as possible while in school, and the promising job market as a medical biller/coder. Students asked many questions regarding ICD-10 – a medical classification list by the World Health Organization – its implementation, workplace ethics, job market, and certifications.

Health information management professional Megan Beasley is pictured talking to students in instructor Sharon Harding’s coding class.

Cybersecurity Piques Interest - Student Has New Career Goal

Cybersecurity Piques Interest - Student Has New Career Goal

Felicia Payton is the first student to enroll in the new cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program at the Harrisonburg Campus. She previously studied for two years at a local vocational technical institute but when she heard about the college’s new cybersecurity program, she changed her mind on what she wanted for a career. “[I am] very excited about the career possibilities associated with this program,” Felicia said. Her new career goal is to work for the federal government, possibly with the Department of Homeland Security.

Felicia knew National College would help her find career success because of the experience her sister had as a student years ago.

New student Felicia Payton is pictured on the left with director of admissions Katherine Houston.

Army Veteran Builds Dual Careers and Advocates For National College

Army Veteran Builds Dual Careers and Advocates For National College

Antonia Wells, a U.S. Army veteran, who earned her associate’s degree at the Richmond Campus and her bachelor’s degree in business administration-management from the Lexington Campus, recently participated in “Hill Day” in Washington, D.C. as an advocate for American National University and for career college education. The event, which was hosted by the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Schools (APSCU), gave students, graduates, and staff from career colleges across the country the opportunity to share their career college experiences and their career success stories with legislators.

Antonia, who works at the Lexington VA Medical Center as secretary to the associate director of patient care services, said she thoroughly enjoyed letting legislators know that she wanted the right to attend the college of her choice. “It’s the small atmosphere in the class rooms, the individual attention, the personalization of the whole experience,” Antonia explained as she listed the advantages of attending American National University. She also felt that it was very beneficial that her instructors were professionals from their field and she liked the “real world knowledge” that they brought to the table. “I would most definitely recommend it over any of the state colleges,” she said.

In her job working at the Lexington VA Medical Center, Antonia’s computer skills and knowledge of organizational management, which she learned in her program at National, are utilized daily as she creates business plans for the care of over 800 patients and she assists with organizing the patient-centered care program for the hospital.

Antonia also puts her business acumen into practice as the owner of her own direct sales business, leading a team of Avon representatives. “I use marketing skills tremendously with this business,” she explained of her career with Avon. “It’s absolutely amazing. I’m [hoping to be a] senior executive making six figures.”

Antonia looks forward to advancing in both careers and to continuing to advocate for American National University and career college education. “It’s like a family,” said Antonia. A family that she says she will continue to be a part of for many years to come.

Antonia Wells (pictured) is a successful graduate that advocated for American National University at Hill Day in Washington, D.C.

Veteran Finds Many Exciting Career Opportunities with Education

Veteran Finds Many Exciting Career Opportunities with Education

When Norman Castaneda visited the Florence Campus for a job fair last year, he was so impressed with the campus that he came back to talk with the admissions department to learn more about the programs offered at the college. After discussing his interests and military experience in the Marines, he found that he qualified for funding through the VRAP program to cover his tuition.

After enrolling in the systems and user support program, Norman appreciated many things about the program including the small class sizes and his instructors that have experience working in the field they are teaching. One of his instructors, Yan Krayterman, has been especially motivating. “One question generates five additional ones, and the more you learn, the more you want to learn,” Norman said of his experience with Mr. Krayterman, who he said provides students not only knowledge, but his experience with technology, teamwork, and work with end users.

Little did Norman know that his decision to visit the Florence Campus for a job fair would lead him to a chance to turn his military service into a new career with so many exciting opportunities.

Student Norman Castaneda is pictured on the left with instructor Yan Krayterman.

Students Hear How They Can Use Their Education from Successful Graduate

Students Hear How They Can Use Their Education from Successful Graduate

On Thursday, June 6th, Nancy Masden, a medical assisting graduate, spoke to medical classes at the Louisville Campus about kidney disease, its prevention, and treatment. Nancy graduated from the campus in 2007 and now works as a certified medical assistant with Nephrology Associates of Kentuckiana.

Nancy offered students a snap shot of her career so they could see how they could potentially use their new degrees upon graduation. She explained how urinalysis, blood tests, and the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) are used to test for kidney disease. She also discussed kidney dialysis and explained that those receiving dialysis must endure the procedure 3-4 times a week, for 3-4 hours at a time. She mentioned that options for in-home dialysis are now available. She also explained that kidney transplants save many lives every year, and she encouraged the students to become organ donors.

Nancy’s passion for helping others and for her career was evident as she explained that she has become an advocate for kidney health. She encouraged students not to let anything deter them from completing their degree, and told them that they should be excited about their future careers in the medical field. “School is all about what you put into it,” she said. “There are endless opportunities in medical assisting.” You can read more about Nancy’s career in medical assisting in an upcoming issue of the National News.

Graduate Nancy Masden is pictured talking to students at the Louisville Campus.

Students Learn Valuable Tips in Résumé Writing Workshop

Students Learn Valuable Tips in Résumé Writing Workshop

On Tuesday, June 11th, Elizabeth Walker, career center director at the Richmond Campus, held a résumé writing workshop for students that are preparing for their job search. The 24 students that attended learned about 3 different types of résumés – chronological, functional, and targeted ­– and when it was appropriate to use each one.

Students were also given tips on things that should be avoided when writing your résumé. For example, Elizabeth explained that job seekers should not use colored fonts and fancy paper since most are now sent electronically. She warned that some fonts are hard to read and not to use a font size that is too small to read when printed.

In addition to résumé tips, the workshop covered the dos and don’ts of writing cover letters. Elizabeth encouraged students to research the company they are applying to and include information they learned in the cover letter. She also said to include the specific job title they are applying for and try to address by name the person in charge of hiring.

Student Jessica Wagner enjoyed the workshop and is looking forward to attending other workshops. “[The] résumé workshop was very helpful to me today,” she said. “I learned how to use power words to make my résumé stand out and how to highlight my accomplishments.”

Students are pictured in a Richmond Campus computer lab during the résumé writing workshop.

IT Students Learn from Local Expert

IT Students Learn from Local Expert

On June 4th, students in instructor Stacy Burkett’s Implementing and Troubleshooting OS Technology class at the Charlottesville Campus heard from guest speaker Chip Taylor, who is a respected senior systems engineer for PJ Networks Computer services.

This class is the first in a series of technical classes for students who intend to obtain careers in the information technology (IT) fields, along with students who want a technical edge in their chosen profession. This particular class is made up a of a group of highly motivated students including the campus’s first student to enroll in the new cybersecurity program; a couple who takes classes in tandem in order to develop skills on alternate sides of the technology spectrum, a future network engineer, and several aspiring business owners.

Mr. Taylor spoke about the natural evolution of IT. He discussed the requirements of a technician when doing an upgrade to the software systems and explained that these are usually done outside of business hours or during the weekend. He explained that a job like this requires interacting with people throughout an organization from subject matter experts to the end users. He stressed the importance of network and security issues in protecting personal data. He ended the talk with an emphasis of soft skills, the importance of customer support and being flexible and adaptable. He also offered his business card for students to contact him regarding possible internships.

Guest speaker Chip Taylor is pictured on the right shaking hands with student Matthew Whitford.

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.