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July 08, 2013

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Bartlett and Memphis Campuses Celebrate the Success of the Class of 2013

Bartlett and Memphis Campuses Celebrate the Success of the Class of 2013

On Wednesday, May 22nd, the Bartlett and Memphis Campuses came together to celebrate the success of the Class of 2013 during a commencement ceremony at The Agricenter.

Ernest Strickland, director of economic development for the Greater Memphis Chamber, was the commencement speaker.  Mr. Strickland shared with the graduates that there are really only four jobs in the world:  the Thinker, the Builder, the Improver, and the Producer.  “With this degree, you have been given new knowledge [and] new information.  You have been exposed to concepts and new ideas,” he said.  “Now, it’s up to you.  Which of the four jobs will you perform?  The choice is yours.”

Awards were presented during the graduation ceremony to graduates who excelled in their programs as family and friends cheered them on.  Michelle Wray-Sutton, a graduate of the business administration-management program, received the Bartlett Campus Leadership Award and the Joseph E. Hurn Award, which is presented to a graduate for high academic achievement.  Michelle, who sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem to open the ceremony, served as the student activities committee president at the Bartlett Campus.  She said that she was shocked and thankful to receive the awards. 

“I put a lot of hard work into not only into my studies, but also the campus,” she recalled.  “I would reach out to a student that was having a rough time or feeling a little troubled.   I tried to be positive as much as I could, and motivate as many as I could.”

Michelle is working as the office manager at Truelove’s In-Home Health Care, where she was hired two weeks before graduation. 

  1. Michelle Wray-Sutton is pictured on the left with Bartlett campus director Lottie Minor at the 2013 graduation ceremony.
  2. Director of economic development for the Greater Memphis Chamber Ernest Strickland is pictured speaking to graduates of the Memphis and Bartlett campuses.

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Students Prepare for Externships and Learn How to Save Lives

Students Prepare for Externships and Learn How to Save Lives

On Thursday, June 20th and Friday, June 21st, students in instructors Stephanie Slone and Peggy Skaggs’ Clinical Medical Assisting classes at the Danville, Kentucky Campus attended a First Aid and CPR training class.  JC Pendleton from Commonwealth Safety Institute provided the instruction and has taught CPR training for the last several years at the campus. Prior to working for the Commonwealth JC was a flight paramedic.

Medical assisting students are required to be trained in CPR before they begin their externship. Student Clarissa Hill stated, “The First Aid/CPR class was very informative and hands on.  It showed exactly what to do in an emergency and made me more confident if I was to be in that situation.”

Medical assisting students Lori Owens, Linda Findling, Clarissa Hill, Clarinda Hall, Jessica Harmon, Nancy VanHook, Mackenaie Shearer, Aubree Sparks, and Whitney Morehead are pictured practicing their technique during the CPR training provided by the campus.

Student Organizes Toy Drive for Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Student Organizes Toy Drive for Oklahoma Tornado Victims

While most of the country watched in horror at the aftermath of destruction that occurred in Moore, Oklahoma as it was struck by one of the strongest tornadoes ever recorded, Memphis Campus student Ashley Orr took action and held a toy drive for the children who lost their school and all of their belongings during the storm. 

As a student at the University of Alabama, Ashley had experienced the loss of a friend, who died during a tornado which struck Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011.  “When the Moore, Oklahoma tornado occurred, I have family that lives in Moore, and I just felt like it was pushed on my heart to go help,” recalled Ashley who felt particularly drawn to help.   “I was focusing mainly on toys, to get their minds off of everything as summer started.”

The campus organized an event that raised donations for the drive and Ashley contacted local businesses and asked them to serve as drop-off points for toy donations.  She was able to collect a truckload of items.

Memphis campus student Ashley Orr is pictured unloading the truck filled with the toys she collected to donate to children affected by the devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.



A Higher Calling Leads to a Career Change

A Higher Calling Leads to a Career Change

Larry Olinger, a graduate of the business administration-accounting program at the Lexington Campus, is using his accounting skills as he serves on the judicial council of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.   As an elder in the church, Larry oversees the finances of the churches that he serves as he assists them with setting annual budgets and pastors’ salaries. 

Larry had been a pastor in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church for more than 20 years when he felt called to serve on the judicial council.  He sought advice from his bishop, who suggested that he earn a college degree before becoming an elder.  He enrolled at American National University soon thereafter. 

Larry has always been fascinated by numbers and he had some experience with accounting, but he was out of touch with computer technology when he came to National.

He’s been amazed by the advances that computer software has brought to the accounting field, recalling that he solved accounting problems with a calculator when he worked as a supply sergeant in the U.S. Army. “I’ve learned so much,” he said of his program at National.  “I didn’t know that accounting had progressed so far.  Now, you just input numbers and it does a spread sheet for you.  It’s just phenomenal.”

Larry has become a fixture at the Lexington Campus as he can often be found tutoring a fellow student, lending an ear when a student has a personal problem, or giving a student a ride to work.

He has also been instrumental in the growth of the campus’s Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) business organization and was recently elected as parliamentarian of the state board of PBL.   He is particularly proud of the time and money that PBL contributes to local charities and to students in need at the campus.

Larry has decided to return to National to earn his bachelor’s degree. “I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learned and gained here at National for all of the Ivy League schools in the world,” he said.

Larry Olinger (pictured) was recently selected to receive the Leadership Award at the Lexington Campus commencement ceremony because of his work with PBL and his support of his fellow students.




Summer Job Fair a Success

Summer Job Fair a Success

On Thursday, June 20th, the Lynchburg Campus hosted a summer job fair with area businesses on site featuring workshops, interviews, and job opportunities.  Mary Brown with Team Nurse interviewed ten students for job openings that they have available starting right away.  One of the students, Charity Navarre, talked to all of the business representatives and decided that a position with Team Nurse would complement her medical office specialist diploma program that she will soon complete.  Charity said, “It was fun today.  It was a good opportunity to find out about jobs.” 

Wells Fargo talked to students interested in banking jobs and offered advice on dressing professionally and credit repair.  After interviewing with Wells Fargo and submitting her résumé, business administration-accounting student Katie Reardon will be following up with the representatives on job openings. “The job fair that was held today was a good success,” comments Katie.  “There may have been a lot of job offers today and a lot of recommendations.  I was recommended to apply for a customer service position by Lorenzo Watson of Wells Fargo.  I applied and can’t wait to hear back from [them].”

Following his résumé workshop, Steve Monetti with Region 2000 met with students individually to review their résumés and offer advice for updates and improvements.  Scott Claybrook with Chase Staffing offered valuable job search advice in his workshop on “Résumés, Interviewing, Mindset, and Purpose.”

The job fairs bring the hiring managers and job resources on campus to the students.  They also provide our students and graduates with the opportunity to grab the spotlight, dress professionally, present their résumés, and interview with potential employers.  For this job fair, special recognition was given to the top students who stood out from the others:

  • The business professionals recommended three students with high marks for overall “Best First Impressions,” which included having a business résumé, being dressed in business attire, and having a good interviewing style.  They were: Tabitha Meyers, Lisa Weeks, and Katie Reardon.
  • Students who received honorable mention were:  Charity Navarre, Kellie Martin, Tracey Cash, Bridney Tune, Jennifer Tyree, Karissa Blanchard, and Patricia Johnson.

Congratulations to all of our students who made the job fair a success and represented themselves and National College with enthusiasm and professionalism.

Mary Brown of Team Nurse is pictured as she interviews student Tracey Cash during the campus’s summer job fair.


Scholarship Awarded to Medical Assisting Student

Scholarship Awarded to Medical Assisting Student

The Tri County (Ohio) chapter of the American Association of Medical Assistants recently awarded
a scholarship to Malitsa Santiago, a student at the Youngstown Campus.  Malitsa decided to enroll at American National University to earn a degree in medical assisting after she lost her job.  “I want to make a better life for my children and me and to set a good example for them.” She chose medical assisting because she loves to help people and wants to be part of a health care team that provides excellent care to their patients and makes the patient their number one priority.  Veronica Zurcher, director of health care education, has these words of praise for Malitsa:  “Malitsa is a very dedicated student who will be a credit to the medical profession as a medical assistant. She is truly deserving of this scholarship.”


National Graduate Receives Honor as Woman of the Year

National Graduate Receives Honor as Woman of the Year

Roanoke Valley Campus MBA student Juliann Poff was recently recognized as the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Woman of the Year.  This was a big accomplishment that acknowledged Juliann’s professional accomplishments and community involvement.  Juliann received the award alongside Nikki Giovanni, who was honored as the non-member Woman of the Year by the ABWA. Giovanni is a distinguished writer and educator who is professor of English at Virginia Tech. For more information about Juliann and her success, check out her story in the March 25, 2013 issue of the National News:

Juliann Poff, MBA student at the Roanoke Valley Campus, is pictured on the left with Nikki Giovanni as they accepted the Woman of the Year award from the American Business Women’s Association.


One Student Receives Job Offer from Spring Career Expo

One Student Receives Job Offer from Spring Career Expo

The Knoxville Campus recently held their spring career expo. Fifteen companies participated including several new ones:  SAIC, Weigels, Comcast, and Community Health Alliance.  The participating employers accepted 19 résumés and scheduled 4 interviews on the spot, with one student already receiving a job offer.

The week prior to the fair, the career center addressed the students about an elevator speech and how to engage with the employers. They were very receptive to the concept and were observed putting it to use.  The medical students were challenged to converse with the business employers for practice. Kristi Bible, representative from Ajilon Professional Staffing, stated, “National has great students who are very professional, courteous, and respectful.”

Community Health Alliance (CHA) was extremely popular at the expo.  CHA is a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan, or CO-OP, created as part of the Affordable Care Act to encourage competition in the industry. Recently they partnered with Summit Medical Group to be part of the nonprofit’s provider network and they are in active talks with Covenant Health, Tennova Healthcare, and University Health Systems. The company is rapidly growing and will need a variety of positions filled and National hopes to be a strong force in that role.

Campus director Roger Jones is pictured speaking to representatives from Comcast at the campus’s spring career expo.


Management Student Meets State Senator

Management Student Meets State Senator

Business administration-management student Jeff Strazdins is amazed at the opportunities that have been provided to him since coming to the Columbus Campus.  Just recently, he went with campus director Wes Smith to an event with the Capitol Club, which was held at the Ohio Capitol building and the Ohio Senate building.  He and Wes met with Kris Jordan, a state senator who represents Ohio’s 19th district, to talk about the importance of private sector colleges and why they should be treated fairly among other types of institutions. Jeff was able to share with the senator the ways that American National University has given him the chance at attaining a better life for himself.  He emphasized the flexible class schedules and small classes available at American National University that have really made reaching his educational goal much easier.

His intent was also to explain that career colleges like National need to be taken as seriously as other institutions of higher learning. He also emphasized that the curriculum at National is challenging for him and helping him to grow.

“It’s an opportunity I never thought I would have,” Jeff said of the event.  “I never thought I’d be talking with senators.”    

Student Jeff Strazdins is pictured on the right with Senator Kris Jordan at the Ohio Senate building.

Campus Honors Student of the Term

Campus Honors Student of the Term

Rebecca Slisher was honored on Wednesday, May 29th at the South Bend Recognition Day ceremony as the Student of the Term for the 2013 Winter and Spring Terms.  In order to qualify for this recognition, Rebecca has earned above a 3.0 grade point average, has been a member of Club Zero for perfect attendance, and is involved in many additional student campus activities.  Rebecca is enrolled in the business administration - management associate degree program and is anticipating completion in February, 2014.  She has recently become a federal work study student which has made her more visible on campus and has allowed the staff and faculty the opportunity to get to know her better.  Rebecca, a quiet and committed student, said, “I was surprised to be chosen as Student of the Term.  It is wonderful to be recognized for my academic achievements.”

In addition to the recognition, one of the advantages to being Student of the Term is that the best parking place on campus is reserved in your name.  However, Rebecca does not have the need for the space because she rides her bike to campus when the weather is good and takes public transportation on inclement weather days.  With that in mind, Rebecca was awarded a bus pass for free fares for a month.

Rebecca has chosen the business administration-management associate’s degree program in preparation for her long term goal of owning a wedding planning business.  Following high school she began her education at Vincennes University as a radio broadcasting major, but after 2 years found her life moving forward in another direction.  Rebecca’s professional background incorporates her employment as a fast food service provider for the past 12 years with Popeye’s Chicken, Taco Bell and Burger King.  She has held all positions in this field:  customer service, trainer, food handler, and manager.   Following the completion of her degree at American National University, Rebecca wants to first hold a business administration position with an accounting focus to gain the experience required for her future entrepreneurial endeavors. 

According to campus director John Herman, “We are proud of Rebecca’s accomplishments both academically and personally at American National University.  She has shown exemplary perseverance, extensive dedication, enormous growth, and an extraordinarily high degree of integrity in all of her work.” 

Student Rebecca Slisher is pictured with campus director John Herman.


Students Meet with Several Potential Employers at Summer Career Fair

Students Meet with Several Potential Employers at Summer Career Fair

The Bristol Campus’s summer career fair was an exciting time for students to present themselves to potential employers.  The 15 companies attending represented fields of employment in business, health care, banking, the military, and information technology.  The students were able to meet with recruiters and human resource managers to ask questions and submit their résumés.  It enabled students to meet face-to-face with influential decision makers within a variety of fields.  Many of the exhibiting employers found it to be a valuable resource for them to find qualified candidates and asked to be included in the next career fair.

Representatives from Regions (pictured) are ready to greet students.

McClellan Chiropractic Recognized for Support of Richmond Campus

McClellan Chiropractic Recognized for Support of Richmond Campus

The Richmond Campus named McClellan Chiropractic as a Distinguished Community Employer. On Friday, June 14th campus director Keeley Gadd, student services representative Cynthia Hansel, and career center director Elizabeth Walker presented the award to Dr. McClellan, Dr. Price, and the staff.

Dr. McClellan and Dr. Price employ one graduate, Melissa Durham, but they also have managed six externships as well. Office manager Teresa Young said, “Melissa Durham was very well prepared and even helped me with my computer skills. The [students who have completed] externships that [we] have worked with are very dedicated, willing to learn, and have great attitudes.”

Both Dr. McClellan and Dr. Price said they would hire another graduate and even recommend our graduates to anyone looking for a dedicated, hard- working individual because the students are very well prepared and do an excellent job.  Both physicians said that they appreciate the opportunity to work with American National University in helping prepare students for their future careers in the medical field.

Pictured accepting the Distinguished Community Employer award are McClellan Chiropractic Center employees (l to r) Teresa Young, Dr. Price, Dr. McClellan, Alysia Graham, and American National University graduates Mary Parrett and Melissa Durham (back).

Stark County Campus Hosts Career Fair and Dress for Success Workshop

Stark County Campus Hosts Career Fair and Dress for Success Workshop

The Stark County Campus hosted a free career fair on Thursday, June 13th.  Nineteen employers from the medical, financial, and banking fields participated in two sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Participants included Mercy Medical Center, United Partners in Care, Interim Health Care, Lowes, GE Capital Retail Finance, and Charter One Bank.

Employers said they were impressed with the caliber and work ethic of American National University students. Stacy Hall of United Partners in Care said, “If you are looking for talent, go to National.”

American National University students Greg Sanford, Ashley Arnold, Krystal Neff, and Heather Beans were among those who attended.  Krystal Neff, a medical assisting student, was hired at the career fair to work for Siffrin, a non-profit service organization whose mission focuses on supporting people with disabilities to achieve full community access leading to a meaningful and productive life. 

The Dress for Success Workshop conducted the previous day by career center director Lisa Cook helped prepare students for what to expect from a career fair and how to dress.  Greg Sanford, a business major, spoke to several potential employers and was particularly impressed by Brahler’s Cleaning and Restoration. 

Student Krystal Neff (center) got a job offer from Siffrin at the career fair. She is pictured with director of health care education Mirjana Ilijevski (left) and career center director Lisa Cook (right).

Graduate Earns His Degree to Ensure a Bright Future for His Son

Graduate Earns His Degree to Ensure a Bright Future for His Son

Robert Barnes, a graduate of the business administration-management associate’s degree program at the Florence Campus, is working as a materials specialist at Emerson Power Transmission.

Robert was working at a quick oil change service center when he found out that he was going to become a father.  He decided to return to school to ensure a better future for his son.  After seeing an ad in the local newspaper for National, he visited the campus and decided to enroll because of the small class sizes which he knew would provide individual assistance from his instructors. 

“It helps with my leadership skills and communication skills,” he said of the knowledge that he gained at National, which he’s using on the job every day.  “I want to move up where I’m at and become either a manager or a supervisor.”

Bobby reflected back on his time at National prior to participating in the Florence Campus commencement ceremony which was held on Wednesday, May 22nd.  Regarding his degree, Bobby said, “It made me become a better role model for my son and helped me get where I am now.   It helped me succeed.”

Thanks to his education from American National University, Robert Barnes (pictured) is now a materials specialist at Emerson Power Transmission.

Meijer Distribution Receives Employer Recognition Award

Meijer Distribution Receives Employer Recognition Award

The Fort Wayne Campus presented Meijer Distribution with the Distinguished Community Employer Award.  Meijer Distribution is a state-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind facility that sorts, packs and ships prescription medications to all of the Meijer stores in a five state area.  Meijer Distribution has hired three American National University pharmacy technician graduates and supports the school’s pharmacy technician program through offering externships and employment upon graduation.  Kelli Craighead, operations manager for Meijer, said, “American National University graduates are professional and understand the concept of a ‘manu-fill’ operation.  They pay attention to detail.  Their training is evident.”  Kelli noted that all of her employees who graduated from American National University stand out as excellent employees and she would not hesitate hiring additional National graduates.  The Fort Wayne Campus appreciates the relationship it has with Meijer Distribution and is looking forward to continuing its positive association with this growing organization.

Fort Wayne campus director Dan Sattison is pictured presenting the Distinguished Community Employer award to Kelli Craighead, operations manager of Meijer Distribution.


Mock Clinic Gives Students an Opportunity to Practice Skills in Realistic Situations

Mock Clinic Gives Students an Opportunity to Practice Skills in Realistic Situations

On Wednesday, June 19th, medical classrooms at the Louisville Campus were transformed into the National Full Service Health Clinic, a mock clinic which was created to give students from the campus’s medical programs the opportunity to practice their skills in realistic health care situations.

During the mock clinic, students, staff, and faculty volunteered as patients and rotated through the reception area, triage area, lab, examination room, billing department, and pharmacy, which were staffed by the medical students.  Hypertension, diabetes, sprains, pregnancy, and ear infections were just a few of the medical conditions that were diagnosed and treated by the students.

Medical assisting student Terra Grimes worked in the triage section of the clinic where she documented patients’ medical histories and symptoms, then took their weight, temperature, and blood pressure.  “It’s very good experience.  You get to do everything that you’re supposed to do in a doctor’s office,” said Terra. 

Kevin White, a student in the business administration-accounting program, was one of the volunteers who allowed the medical students to take his vitals and perform venipuncture as he portrayed a patient suffering from atelectasis, or collapsed lung. Kevin said that he was glad to be of help to his fellow American National University students.   “They need the points and they need the experience,” he explained, adding that the medical students did a great job conducting the mock clinic and were very professional.

Student Kevin White is pictured having his temperature taken by medical assisting student Antonia Shulewitz.

Representative Courtney Rogers Helps Campus Celebrate Flag Day

Representative Courtney Rogers Helps Campus Celebrate Flag Day

Tennessee State Representative Courtney Rogers was the guest of honor at the Madison Campus for Flag Day.  She visited the campus during the dedication of the recently replaced American flag.

After the dedication of the flag was conducted by campus director Mark Liverman, Rep. Rogers addressed the Madison Campus students and staff.  She spoke about the meaning of the components of the American flag.  The stars represent all 50 states, while the color white stands for purity and innocence.  This quality was important to the early American people who stood for their faith in God and their belief in a new nation.  The color blue stands for vigilance, perseverance, and justice.  The color red stands for hardiness and valor - to be able to endure the hardships of life.  Red also stands for the courage of the American people.

She also mentioned the nickname of Tennessee:  the “Volunteer State.”  She spoke about Tennesseans who volunteered to fight in the war of 1812, with other Tennesseans such as Sam Houston and David Crockett.  They had asked for 2,800 volunteers; however, 30,000 answered the call.

Rep. Rogers thanked all in attendance that had fought for their country by dedicating the flag to those veterans attending and to those not present who fell in the defense of the flag. 

Tennessee State Representative Courtney Rogers is pictured addressing the crowd at the Madison Campus Flag Day celebration.

Brenda Stinson – Difference Maker at the Princeton Campus

Brenda Stinson – Difference Maker at the Princeton Campus


Brenda Stinson was selected as a National College difference maker.


Administrative Assistant


National College staff member for 22 years


  • Graduate of National College’s secretarial program
  • Recipient of National College’s Alumni Hall of Achievement award; Student Services and Administrative Assistant of the Year awards for the Virginia/West Virginia Division; Staff Member of the Year (twice) for the Princeton Campus


I had lost my husband at age 38 and had a son to support. I was so relieved to find that National had just what I needed as far as a wonderful career path and a small campus with small classes. I gained the confidence to do well and to excel in my classes. There are a lot of single parents at National now that need a career so they can support their children just like me. They juggle family, work, and school and do it successfully. I am extremely proud of those students who succeed in their endeavors.

I work with a team that has one goal in mind, students gaining the knowledge and effective education to succeed in careers that are in demand in today’s employment markets. I have seen students come to National College and have their lives changed. National is a wonderful institution with staff and faculty that really care about the education and personal growth of students.

Brenda Stinson is pictured with student Stephanie France.

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.