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July 15, 2013

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Columbus Graduation Ceremony

Columbus Graduation Ceremony

Major General Deborah Ashenhurst delivered the commencement address of the Columbus Campus.  Major General Ashenhurst is the Adjutant General of Ohio.  She is the first woman in Ohio to hold that position.  Additionally, she is the first woman in the Ohio Army National Guard to attain the rank of Major General.  Major General Ashenhurst’s career began in 1978 when she enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard.  She held a number of positions in the Ohio Army National Guard before being appointed to her current position by Ohio Governor John Kasich. 

In her address, General Ashenhurst spoke to the graduating class about the importance of higher education, and she mentioned other graduates from other campuses who had achieved successful professional lives because of the education they received at American National University.  

Additionally, medical assisting graduate Eric Stevens gave an address in which he expressed heartfelt gratitude for all the support he received from the staff and faculty of National during his time as a student.  “As we, the graduates, walk out of these halls of knowledge, know that we take a part of you with us into whatever we do from this point forward,” Eric stated in his speech.  Eric also recited the poem “Success” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The campus had the honor of granting several awards during the ceremony.  Medical Assisting graduate Kelly Privette earned both the Leadership Award and the E.M. Coulter Award.  Also earning the E.M. Coulter award was pharmacy technician graduate Jessica Hurst.  Markquel Cleveland, a business administration-management graduate, received the Joseph E. Hurn Award, while Takiesha Black, a health information management (HIM) graduate, was honored with the Achievement Award. 

The Alumni Hall of Achievement Award was bestowed upon Natasha Johnson, a student who graduated from the HIM program in 2012 and who currently works at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.  Natasha thanked the college for giving her the knowledge to achieve success. She added, “do something every day that will move you closer to a better future, something that will make your future self-glad [that] you were born. Remember you become what you believe, so believe in greatness.

Major General Deborah Ashenhurst, the adjutant general of Ohio, is pictured in the first photo.
Kelly Privette, pictured in the second photo, is a recipient of the Leadership Award and the E.M. Coulter Award with Campus director, Wesley Smith.

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The Orthopaedic Center of Central Virginia Recognized for Support of Students

The Orthopaedic Center of Central Virginia Recognized for Support of Students

The Lynchburg Campus selected the Orthopaedic Center of Central Virginia to receive the Distinguished Community Employer Award on Thursday, June 27th.  Campus director Bill Baker met with Caitlin King to present the award and express appreciation for their support to the students of National College .

The Orthopaedic Center was established in 2005 and is one of the premier orthopaedic centers in Virginia.  Their physicians and medical staff are focused on providing the best level of care.  They also value good employees and treat them with respect and provide them with opportunities for professional growth. That is why they are considered to be one of the top employment opportunities for entry into the medical field. 

Human resource specialist Caitlin King has generously given her time to appear as guest speaker to encourage National’s medical students.  Over the years, they have hired many of the medical assistants and have given them the opportunity to work in a professional medical setting and advance in their careers. 
“It has been a pleasure working with National College to place new graduates in positions at our office,” said Ms. King in accepting the plaque. “The teachers and administrators of National College take pride in their programs and preparing students for jobs in their respective fields.  It is great to have such a resource in our community!”

Caitlin King (pictured) receiving the Distinguished Community Employer Award from Campus director Bill Baker.

Environmental Science Students Perform Field Work

Environmental Science Students Perform Field Work

On Friday, June 7 students in Environmental Science 101 at the Youngstown Campus took a field trip to Mill Creek Metro Park. The purpose of the trip was to visit an area in the community, to appreciate the ecosystems and species found within the park, and to relate what they discovered to what they learned in Environmental Science.  The class identified 33 different plant and animal species; students were asked to research each organism’s family, genus, and species as well as to determine if the species was native or invasive. 

The students were enthusiastic about their trip. Student Tina Moore said, “It was like being a kid again on a school field trip. We had a great time and perfect weather.  Actually, the weather conditions that day allowed us to see the diversity in nature at its finest. This is a much better way to learn than looking at photos in a book.”

Dale Turner had this to say: “Our Environmental Science class field trip to Mill Creek Park was a blast.  Being involved in an ‘up close and personal’ encounter with certain species was very exciting and interesting. Everything about the trip was awesome.” Victoria Contreras was originally a little hesitant about participating in the field trip: “I really didn’t want to go to Mill Creek Park because I’m not the outdoor or nature girl type, but when I got there,  I was amazed at how much Mr. D. (Daemon Schmitzer) knew about the environment; he made it a lot of fun. Now I am happy that I went.”

The trip was a success. Along with many plant species, the students were able to observe salamanders, geese, and two types of Ohio turtles. The class had a wonderful time experiencing Environmental Science in a hands-on setting and prepared a poster about some of their findings.

Pictured in the first photo are field trip participants (l) to (r): Mabel Donnalley, Toni Hayes, Lisa Maiden, Dale Turner, Mr. Schmitzer,  Vikki Contreras, Malitsa Santiago, and Tina Moore.
The second photo includes some of the objects observed on the Environmental Science field trip.


National College Students Learn to Dress for Success

National College Students Learn to Dress for Success

What is professionalism?  Why is it important?  Lisa Cook, career center director of the Stark County Campus, discussed these and other issues recently in a Dress for Success Workshop.  Lisa discussed appropriate professional attire including interview attire, career fair attire and the difference between business casual dress and business formal; a suit being required only for the latter.  A fashion show featuring current employees of the college was one of the highlights of her presentation. 

Lisa stated that 41% of U.S. employers are more likely to promote employees who wear professional attire and discussed some specifics to be avoided: tight or sagging clothing, wrinkled clothing, clothing with stains or odors, extremely high heels, excessive jewelry, overly styled hair and colors, and visible tattoos and piercings.  Personal hygiene mistakes include strong perfume or cologne, bad breath, strong unpleasant body odor, and cigarette or alcohol smell. 

Greg Sanford, a business administration student found the workshop useful:  “The ‘do’s and don’t’s of what one should wear [on] an interview was fun.”

Career center director Lisa Cook (pictured) conducted a Dress for Success Workshop for students.

Health Information Management Student Employed in Field-Before She Graduates

Health Information Management Student Employed in Field-Before She Graduates

Jennifer Frey, a student in the health information management program (HIM), at the Fort Wayne Campus has a lot to smile about these days.  Jennifer will graduate this summer with her associate’s degree in HIM and she has already accepted a job in her field of study.  She will start working for Saint Joseph Hospital in July as a Chart Processing Technician.  Saint Joseph Hospital is affiliated with the Lutheran Health Network in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
When asked why she chose American National University, Jennifer replied, “I was looking for a school and had actually looked at other schools.  I liked the short terms, the fact that I could finish my degree in 2 years, and that National would work with my schedule.”
When Jennifer was asked how her classes prepared her for the position as a chart processing technician she said, “The classes provided me with everything I needed to know for the job.  National has supportive instructors.  If it wasn’t for the instructors, I would not have been qualified [and] would not have applied for the job.”  Jennifer also feels the college supported her and prepared her in other areas:  “I was helped with the interview process and follow-up.  I had assistance with updating my resume and was coached on handling a team interview.”
Jennifer added: “I am qualified to have a job in the field I went to school for.”

Jennifer Frey (pictured) has already accepted a job in her field of study.

ResCare Honored for Support of National College Students

ResCare Honored for Support of National College Students

Martinsville Campus Director John Scott presented a Distinguished Community Employer Award to ResCare Human Resource Manager Javetta Jones on Thursday, June 20.  ResCare was founded in 1974.  ResCare means “Respect and Care” and the organization’s mission is to assist people so that they may reach their highest level of independence.  ResCare provides services to individuals with developmental, intellectual and cognitive disabilities.  The ResCare organization views partnership with the community as the key to its success.  Although ResCare is new to the community, the Ridgeway jobsite has been in the area for several years.  Throughout that time, several students from National College have been employed and have become part of the mission of respect and care for others. 

“The students from National College have greatly helped to assist in the care of our patients at the ResCare facility,” said Ms. Jones.  ResCare has hired four students since January 2012 and one more as a result of the career fair held that was also held on Thursday, June 20.

Javetta Jones of ResCare (pictured) receiving the Distinguished Community Employer Award from campus director John Scott.

Flag Day Celebration includes a Ceremony

Flag Day Celebration includes a Ceremony

On Friday, June 14th in celebration of Flag Day, the Charlottesville Campus team conducted a ceremonial lowering and raising of the American flag. The existing flag had become tattered, so the campus took this simple replacement as an opportunity to honor our country and our veterans.  The new 20' x 30' campus flag stands on an 80 foot pole on top of a hill alongside the building that reflects traditional Jeffersonian architecture.  The entire student body, faculty, and staff on campus participated, many of whom are celebrated veterans of the armed forces, were dressed in red, white, and blue. The enormity of the flag required that every person present participate in the holding and proper folding of the flag. This ceremony proved to be an opportunity to reflect on the beauty and importance of our country and the freedom represented as well as a reminder that anyone can receive a higher education.   Once the ceremony concluded the weathered flag was given to the Stonewall Jackson Area Council of Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 111 for proper retiring.

Medical Assisting Graduates Hired by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Medical Assisting Graduates Hired by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Three medical assisting graduates, Syra Harvey, Takisha Mask, and Jonathan Vaughn, were recently hired by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital following on-site interviews at the Bartlett Campus. 
Deidre Richardson Neal, manager of employment for St. Jude, requested the on-site interviews after meeting with career center director Sammie Hawkins. “Ms. Neal and her 2 colleagues complimented us on how we arranged these interviews so quickly, as well as the quality of interviewing from our students,” Sammie said of the collaboration with St. Jude.

Syra, Takisha, and Jonathan are all excited to be using the medical training that they received at National College to make a difference in the lives of the children at St. Jude, an internationally recognized pediatric treatment and research facility. Syra said, “My experience at St. Jude has been wonderful.  St. Jude is a place that makes you want to continue your education because there is so much opportunity to grow within [the] hospital.” Takisha added, “You want to come to work and feel great about being at work because you know you’re lending a hand and helping [to] make a difference in a child’s life.” Jonathan shared his co-worker’s enthusiasm about his career at St. Jude:  “I’ve always wanted to work in pediatric oncology.  St. Jude has been an amazing and unforgettable experience so far.  “Every day I not only learn from the medical staff, but I most of all learn from the patients.”

Medical assisting graduates Takisha Mask (left), Jonathan Vaughn, and Syra Harvey (right) have been hired by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital following on-site interviews  held by the hospital at the Bartlett Campus.

Sycamore Springs Surgery Center Recognized for Support of Surgical Technology Program

Sycamore Springs Surgery Center Recognized for Support of Surgical Technology Program

In recognition of the Sycamore Springs Surgery Center’s ongoing support of American National University students and of career college education,Indianapolis Campus director James Abraham and director of surgical technology Saundra Sims recently presented the staff of Sycamore Springs with a plaque naming the clinic as a Distinguished Community Employer. “Sycamore Springs is a valued partner. The worth they bring to our students, college and community is invaluable,” said James.

Receiving an employment opportunity after graduation is the goal of every graduate. This could not be done without the support of employers who are committed to student success. Sycamore Springs Surgery Center is one of these supportive employers. Director of surgical technology Saundra Sims works closely with Sycamore Springs to improve upon the externship experience for the students as well as the employer. Through this relationship, Sycamore Springs has seen a steady improvement from the externs in the past to now. Sycamore Springs recently hired one of the surgical technology students, Jasmine Tinsley. Administrator Caryn Fink explained, “Jasmine does a great job.”  Surgical technician Allie Erny was impressed with one extern in particular from last term, Michael Choate.  Allie said, “He absorbed everything he was told and showed initiative.” 

Saundra Sims (pictured) and campus director James Abraham (pictured) present the staff of Sycamore Springs Surgery Center with the Distinguished Community Employer Award.


Rosetta Stone Chosen as Distinguished Community Employer

Rosetta Stone Chosen as Distinguished Community Employer

The Harrisonburg Campus selected Rosetta Stone as its Distinguished Community Employer for the spring term.  Rosetta Stone was founded in Harrisonburg and provides cutting-edge language learning materials to schools, businesses, government organizations, and millions of individuals around the world. Offered in more than 30 languages, Rosetta Stone provides opportunities for our business students as they intern and move into full time professional positions after graduation. 

Over the last several years Rosetta Stone has provided four internship opportunities to National students, preparing them for full time business opportunities in their chosen fields.  Additionally, multiple National graduates currently work for the company. Chris Balderson, the Harrisonburg Campus’ lead accounting instructor, has been employed by Rosetta Stone for 10 years and has been instrumental in arranging for externships as well as graduate placements with the company.  Chris said, “National’s accounting curriculum is ‘real world’ accounting.  Our graduates are prepared to perform actual accounting functions their first day on the job with minimal further training.”  

Pictured left to right: Chris Balderson, Deanna Golladay, Katie Burner, campus director David Zimmerman, Christy O'Born, Maïté Taylor, and Jennifer Rushing. 

Difference Maker - Elizabeth Edwards - Accounting Instructor

Difference Maker - Elizabeth Edwards - Accounting Instructor

Elizabeth Edwards—Difference Maker at the Memphis Campus    

Instructor of accounting courses and certified public accountant (CPA), member of the American Institute of CPA’s and the Arkansas Society of CPA’s

* National College of Business & Technology faculty member for five years
* Has 21 years of experience in accounting field

* Holds bachelor’s degrees in English and accounting from the University of Arkansas
* Has served in a variety of positions in financial accounting including: corporate secretary, controller, manager of financial reporting, manager of payroll tax and accounting, manager of payroll services, as well as the owner of her own accounting firm

I admire the fact that so many of the students are juggling work, children, and obstacles that could be getting in the way of their education goals. It is very difficult to wear so many hats and still succeed. I appreciate the hard work and dedication that I see in so many of our students. 

I had a student who literally would cry because she didn’t understand Accounting I in the beginning. However; by the end of that class she had decided to become an accounting major. She completed the required accounting courses with excellent grades and went on to a job in the private sector.

The best thing about being a part of the National College faculty is getting to work with the students. Since we generally have small classes, we are able to build strong faculty/student relationships and give students more individual time. The entire faculty has a genuine desire to provide a truly exceptional education to all of its students.

Elizabeth Edwards (pictured) teaches accounting courses.

Currently, academic credit earned at National College and American National University is creditable toward the education requirement for taking the CPA exam in Virginia and Ohio. Each state has its own requirements and students and prospective students are strongly advised to contact the Board of Accountancy in any state in which they may wish to become licensed as a CPA to determine whether that state will accept academic credit earned at a nationally accredited institution toward the education requirement for licensure in that state.

Graduate Serves Others with Business Skills Gained

Graduate Serves Others with Business Skills Gained

Robert Robbins, a U.S. Army veteran, and graduate of the Danville, Kentucky Campus, is working as a family support specialist with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services,  where he assists families in need as he administers the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) in Lincoln County, Kentucky.

“I never knew God was going to take me in the direction that he has, but everything fit like a glove [after] going to National,” said Robert, who graduated in 2012 with a double major in business administration-management and accounting.  “I feel like my degree at National was the last straw to get me in the job that I have now,” he explained, adding that the computer and accounting skills that he acquired at National are particularly important in his job.  Robert said, “I feel good about all of the hard work paying off.”

Robert has a passion for helping others.  While a student at National, he formed Operation NC Eagle Alliance, a military student group to help support his fellow veterans.  At his suggestion, a red, white, and blue cord has been added as part of the graduation regalia that is worn by American National University students who are veterans, to recognize them for their service.  Robert gets emotional when he recalls the pride that he feels seeing photos of his fellow veterans from campuses across the region, wearing their military cords. “It’s what I consider one of my greatest achievements,” he said.

Robert continues to serve veterans today as commander of the local AMVETS post.  His management and accounting skills are a big asset in his work with AMVETS, as he manages the post’s day-to-day operations and leads its growth.  He aspires to hold a national position with AMVETS in the future, and to “advocate on the forefront” for veterans.

Robert has also become an advocate for the college and for career college education, which he feels is unfairly targeted by some legislators.  “I have utilized my experience, what I’ve learned at National, and what I know of National, to negate the naysayers,” he said, adding that he felt that he was part of a tight-knit family at [the college]. “You [have] people there who [care] for you.”

Robert Robbins in shown in the first photo wearing the red, white, and blue military cords which he initiated as he accepts his diploma from campus director Lee Bowling during the 2012 Danville, Kentucky Campus graduation ceremony.

Robert Robbins is a family support specialist with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Richmond Campus Graduate Continues Her Education at the Lexington Campus

Richmond Campus Graduate Continues Her Education at the Lexington Campus

“There’s more to learn and I want to go far,” said Kayla Quinley, who enrolled in the business administration-accounting bachelor’s program at the Lexington Campus after earning her associate’s degree with a double major in business administration-accounting and management from the Richmond Campus.

Kayla graduated with honors in April and was the recipient of the Joseph E. Hurn Award, which is presented for high academic achievement to graduates of a business program at American National University.

Kayla is working at Little Caesars Pizza, where she has advanced to first assistant manager with the help of the business skills that she has gained in her program at National.  She is also completing a work study position in the career center of the campus. “I’ve never been behind a desk so it’s a different experience,” she said.

At both the Lexington and Richmond Campuses, Kayla has found instructors and staff who are always ready to assist her.   “If you need anybody to talk to, they’re there, and they help you out in any way they can,” she said.  “I definitely would recommend it to anybody.”

Kayla Quinley (pictured) has advanced to first assistant manager at Little Caesars Pizza because of her business skills.

Medical Terminology Class Field Trip

Medical Terminology Class Field Trip

The students taking the Medical Terminology class at the Florence Campus were given a site tour of the Vitamin Shoppe located in Florence.  Ben Dawson, store manager, detailed each section – cardiovascular support, digestive health, healthy eating, immune support, healthy aging & vitality – and explained the products’ impact on the various body systems.

This learning opportunity definitely enhanced the students’ understanding.  The students were especially interested in the vitamins for boosting energy (energy support).  Both Amanda Arthur and Courtney Good agreed that their children’s health was very important and that the products available to them would be beneficial.

Students attending site tour, pictured from left to right are: Kara Dunaway, Fatima Ouchaaib, Amanda Arthur (back), Alice Spencer (instructor), Courtney Good, and Ben Dawson (Vitamin Shoppe manager)

Students Receive Information about Organ Donation

Students Receive Information about Organ Donation

On Wednesday, June 19th Frances Click, circuit clerk liaison of the Kentucky Donor Affiliates (KODA), spoke with the students at the Richmond Campus about organ and tissue donation.  KODA is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation. It was formed to establish a statewide educational and procurement network.

Every year, an estimated 6,000 people die while waiting for an organ transplant. Eighteen people die each day due to the lack of a donated organ. There are nearly 1,000 people in Kentucky waiting for a life-saving transplant. Ms. Click showed pictures and shared stories of some of the individuals that have had one of those life-saving transplants.

Amber Smith, a medical assisting associate’s degree student, said, “I never gave it much thought, but now having listened to Ms. Click and the information she passed on to us it’s got me thinking I could save someone’s life. To me that would be the biggest honor and accomplishment I could ever make.” Several students signed up to be organ donors after the presentation.

You can become a donor when you renew your driver’s license or you may add your name to the registry by calling 1-866-945-5433.

Frances Click (pictured) spoke to students of the Richmond Campus about organ and tissue donation.

Bullitt County Family Practitioners Honored as a Distinguished Community Employer

Bullitt County Family Practitioners Honored as a Distinguished Community Employer

The Louisville Campus has named Bullitt County Family Practitioners as a Distinguished Community Employer due to the practice’s ongoing support of American National University graduates and career college education.  Dr. Mohana Arla of Bullitt County Family Practitioners who has partnered with the Louisville Campus since 2006, said, “You can be proud [because] your graduates come to my office and they are well trained for everything.”

Louisville Campus director of health care education Bonnie Kiefer was one of the first American National University students to extern in his office and she was hired by the practice during her externship.  Since that time, Dr. Arla has worked closely with more than 20 American National University medical assisting students and several medical billing and coding students have also completed externships in his office.

Dr. Arla has a passion for teaching and he feels that he has a responsibility to give students as much hands-on experience as possible while they are working in his office.  Regarding the externs’ experience working in his office, Dr. Arla said, “One thing is for sure [they] will work hard, but [they] will learn a lot.” I always tell them [that] my name is on the line because [they are] going to put my name on [their] resume.  That means I want to make sure [they] do the right things,” he explained.

Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra (left) and director of health care education Bonnie Kiefer (right) are pictured presenting Dr. Mohana Arla with a plaque recognizing Bullitt County Family Practitioners as a Distinguished Community Employer.

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.