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August 26, 2013

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IT Graduate Returns to Secure His Future in the Cybersecurity Program

IT Graduate Returns to Secure His Future in the Cybersecurity Program

Businesses and government agencies are frequently victims of malicious hackers who gain access to private data.  Wayne Kregiel, a graduate of the information systems engineering program at the Parkersburg Campus, wants to be prepared for the growing number of opportunities that are available to IT professionals who can keep companies’ computer systems secure, so he has returned to American National University (ANU) to continue his education in the new cybersecurity program.

“It’s an up-and-coming field.  This is where a lot of the growth is going to be in the next ten years, so I want to be sure that I am up-to-date on that,” said Wayne, who graduated from the ISE program in February of 2013 and was hired by the federal government.

Wayne is a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he last worked as an air traffic controller.  After leaving the military, he visited many colleges in his area, but he chose to use his G.I. Bill benefits at ANU because he found the school to be very veteran friendly. “The college has been great about being sure that we got the attention that we needed, and that we kept on track,” he explained.

He also liked the flexibility he found when scheduling his classes at ANU.  “They’ve been great working around my different work schedules throughout my time I’ve been here.”

Wayne will be able to continue to advance in his education and in his career, thanks to a partnership between ANU and the University of Fairfax, a leading educational institution, dedicated solely to graduate level courses in the field of cybersecurity.   He can continue to secure his future as his credits from his program at National seamlessly transfer into master’s and doctoral level programs at the University of Fairfax.  “With ANU [partnering with] University of Fairfax, there’s a lot of opportunity there to continue my education in that field, and there’s a lot of growth there, so that’s what I’m excited about,” he said.

Wayne Kregiel, a graduate of the information systems engineering program at the Parkersburg Campus. 

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Hospital Pharmacy Department Acknowledged for Equipment Donation

Hospital Pharmacy Department Acknowledged for Equipment Donation

On Wednesday, July 3rd, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Pharmacy Department was presented with the Distinguished Community Employer Award for their donation of a hood to the pharmacy technician program at the Cincinnati Campus. Melinda Chappell, career center director, and Michelle Shapiro, department chair of the pharmacy technician program, went to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to present the plaque to departmental staff. “There are many young people who don’t realize how rewarding a career as a pharmacy technician can be,” said Dr. Dave Mayhaus.

Some of the hospital employees offered to serve on the Pharmacy Technician Program Advisory Board and to serve as guest speakers for the students. Sherrie Schoo, pharmacy technician said, “It is an ever-evolving field and there is much that we can share.”

Employees of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Pharmacy Department accepting the Distinguished Community Employer Award

IT Student Makes Presentation on the Dangers of Internet Browsing

IT Student Makes Presentation on the Dangers of Internet Browsing

Eric Whitt, a student in the information systems engineering program at the Princeton Campus, has a love for computers and the hardware that drives them. He has been working for the past six years for three different employers in the world of computer technology.

Eric came to National College because he felt that without a college education he could not advance in his career. He says the knowledge that he gained while attending National is far beyond what he expected and he would not trade it for the world. He is confident that with his certifications -- which include CompTIA A+ Certified CE, Dell Certified Systems Expert (DCSE) , and IBM/Lenovo Certified Solutions Expert IT/Engineering -- he will have no problem going out and finding the job he always dreamed of. Eric took and passed his CompTIA A+ test early in his ISE program, the first student at the Princeton Campus to do so.

When asked to do a presentation for his Written Communication class, it is no surprise that Eric chose a topic that he loved and knew best. Drawing from his computer knowledge, he presented “To Click or Not to Click,” in which he discussed the dangers and consequences of internet browsing. He advised his audience, “when in doubt exit out,” and to be aware of the many dangers their hands are capable of clicking into while browsing the internet.

Eric is scheduled to complete his ISE program in September, and with his enthusiasm and capability he can look forward to a successful career.   He has already obtained a job in his field working at Smith Services as an IT Assistant.

ISE student Eric Whitt (pictured) speaks to fellow students about the dangers of internet browsing.

Local TV Anchor Shares Career Advice with Students

Local TV Anchor Shares Career Advice with Students

The Columbus Campus recently enjoyed a very gratifying community outreach event.  Jerry Revish, a well-known TV news anchor from Columbus’s CBS station, came to the campus to talk to students, staff, and faculty about how technology and overall business operations have evolved throughout his lengthy career in journalism.  Everyone present greatly enjoyed the chance to meet and talk with such an important figure within the community, and the students had the chance to learn a lot about the news business and how they could potentially use their education to work in the industry someday.  They also learned about internship opportunities at the station where Mr. Revish works.  He explained to the students that the station has several departments including sales and information technology, and that students earning a variety of different degrees are welcome to apply if interested in an internship.

During his presentation, Mr. Revish explained what a typical day is like for the reporters and staff.  He described the meetings that take place to determine how the news will be presented.  He also highlighted how the changes in technology affect the work that reporters and anchors do.  He explained that with the increased use of smartphones, laptop computers, and internet access, the public can now be almost as up-to-date on the news as the reporters are.  Mr. Revish also expressed that news anchors and reporters are busier now because of the new technologies available.  He said that while reporting the news, they are likely also posting updates on Facebook or Twitter.

Information systems engineering student Twan Clark really appreciated Mr. Revish’s visit to the campus, and he noted that his presentation revealed how the information technology field has advanced and branched out into many other fields and professions, thus giving him more opportunities in the work force.  “Technology has advanced so much that for me, in my field, I can go anywhere I want,” he said. 

Television news anchor Jerry Revish (center dressed in suit) with the students who listened to his presentation regarding the news industry.

Difference Maker - Nolyn Johnson - IT Director

Difference Maker - Nolyn Johnson - IT Director


Nolyn Johnson—Difference Maker at the Bartlett Campus



  • Director of Information Technology
  • Instructor of all information technology courses in information systems engineering, systems user support, and office technology professional programs



  • National College faculty member since 2011
  • Has worked in the IT industry for 15 years in roles such as chief technology officer, IT executive consultant, and IT professor for a variety of organizations, including state and local governments, non-profit agencies, and educational institutions
  • Recipient of certificate of excellence for expert advising this year from the Mayor of the City of Memphis



  • Holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in graphic design, a Master of Information Technology degree with a concentration in information security, and a Doctorate of Business Administration degree with a concentration in information systems management, as well as numerous Microsoft and CompTIA certifications
  • Founder of the advisory firm Analytical Business Concepts, which offers strategic planning in information technology initiatives, process improvement, and organizational development



“My career has always been a catalyst to help prepare students for more than just understanding technology, but how it applies in the business community. I teach soft skills along with information technology so the students can learn to build themselves as a quality brand that will translate into a promising career.”

“Some of my greatest teaching moments come when the student finally understands what has been taught for a period of time and they are able to communicate with me on a technical level as a professional. When a student works hard and passes an IT certification, it brings my heart joy to witness the accomplishment.

“I have been fortunate to take a student from a farming background that had never turned on a computer or sent an email, to a professional that offers technology solutions to clients. It is an amazing transformation. Being part of the National College faculty has allowed me to mold students into IT professionals who have a plan and path for their future.

Nolyn Johnson is a Difference Maker at the Bartlett Campus.

ESL Program Flourishing

ESL Program Flourishing

Program director for ESL at the Roanoke Valley Campus, Dr. Eric Rothgery, has many plans as the program reaches it’s second anniversary.  He views right now as a “time of growth and great potential.”

This fall, the campus will include the addition of more students from around the world.  New students will be coming from Vietnam, Venezuela, and Jordan, to name a few.   He adds that as ANU President Frank Longaker states, “students beget students,” so simply by word of mouth, more students are realizing that the ESL program is effective.  Eric shared that one student from Colombia who will be graduating soon told her friend back home about the program, which led to the friend enrolling for this fall.  Recently President Longaker signed memoranda of understanding with Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City—International University and Dong A University.  According to Eric, ESL students want to gain admission into an American university and they choose American National University because they help students with the whole admissions process.  Eric adds that a government program has begun in Vietnam and that by the year 2020, there will be a Vietnam grant that will provide significant secondary and post-secondary education to offer ESL programs at the two universities in Vietnam.

Eric has been working with Dr. John Muoi Van Nguyen, who is his counterpart at the Tysons Corner campus, to develop the curriculum for the TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) master’s degree.  Eric expects that the curriculum will be finished in six to eight months and that the first students will enter the program in about one year.  The graduate students will likely spend one year here and one year in their home country as part of their course work.

Some other smaller programs are also taking place.  Eric says that this fall the universities in Vietnam are planning to send members of their staff and administration here to shadow the staff and administration at the Roanoke Valley Campus. They will have the opportunity to work on their English skills and will gain insight into the ESL program.  Eric added that this will be a relationship builder for the programs currently being developed. 

Another program will take place next summer and will be a 10-day, two week course that will target business leaders in Central Vietnam.  This course will teach business-centered English for those who are career focused.  Business leaders from Vietnam will come here, take the short course, and then will go out and meet with National’s local business partners to exchange ideas.  Other cultural experiences are also being discussed such as visits from or to embassies in Washington, D.C.

The international students currently get together about once a week to visit different parts of the community.  These activities are not merely social but also cultural activities, and have included:  The Taubman Museum in downtown Roanoke; a local bowling alley, and a local donut shop.  A larger activity included a trip to nearby Smith Mountain Lake where the students rented a pontoon boat, played beach volleyball, ate barbeque chicken, hall hotdogs (hotdogs without pork for the benefit of Muslim students), and went fishing.  According to Eric, quite a few of the students even became sunburned but everyone had a great time.  Eric added that often the instructors who accompany the students integrate the experiences with assignments in the classroom.  The students research what they are going to do in advance and then afterwards write a report about their experience.  He added that the instructors enjoy the opportunities to go out and have these real-world experiences with the students. 

(A)-Dr. Eric Rothgery is the ESL program director at the Roanoke Valley Campus.

(B)-Some of the students in the ESL program.

Graduate Earns Her Degree and Accomplishes her Career Goal while Providing for her Family

Graduate Earns Her Degree and Accomplishes her Career Goal while Providing for her Family

Natasha Gipson has a message for the naysayers who didn’t believe that she could earn a college degree while working and raising two small children:  “Here I am.  I made it!” she declared proudly.  Natasha proved the doubters wrong when she graduated with her associate’s degree from the Richmond Campus and was hired as a registered medical assistant at Medical Laser Center in Berea, Kentucky.

“At one point, I worked two jobs and went to night classes, so the schedule was very flexible,” recalled Natasha.  “I feel like I learned so much, because the classes were four to five hours long.  That gives you more one-on-one time, versus squeezing everything in like [some] colleges do in an hour or an hour-and-a-half.”

Natasha became a registered medical assistant (RMA) after sitting for the certification exam that was included as part of her program at National.  She feels that obtaining the credential was very important to her career.  “I was really nervous, and there were a lot of questions, but almost every single thing that was on the test, I learned in my classes,” she explained.

During her job search, she worked closely with career center director Elizabeth Walker, who worked with her on her résumé, and scheduled her interview with Medical Laser Center.   “She improved [it] so much,” said Natasha. “I was very grateful for her.  She was a lot of help.”

Whether she is giving injections, assisting with a minor surgery, or working in the administrative side of Medical Laser Center, Natasha loves the variety that each day brings and the personal interaction with her patients.  “I love the one-on-one.  I always wanted to go into [the] medical [field] because I like to help people.”

Dr. Nawar Soda, owner of Medical Laser Center, said that he enjoys having Natasha as part of his team.   “We’re having a really good experience with her,” he said, adding that her skills were as strong as those of his more seasoned employees.

Natasha hopes to eventually continue her education in the field of medicine, but for now she’s enjoying the financial security that her new career brings.  “It used to be paycheck-to-paycheck and now I don’t have to live that way,” she explained. “I have money saved for rainy a day.”

Graduate Natasha Gipson (pictured), is a registered medical assistant.

Ethics Students Learn about Green Dot Program

Ethics Students Learn about Green Dot Program

The ethics students at the Florence Campus recently heard from Ann Brandon and Nate Staggs with the Women’s Crisis Center who discussed the Green Dot program.  The program is designed to reduce domestic violence and violence in social settings.  This is achieved by training popular opinion leaders in schools and colleges to educate those who follow and admire them about caring about others and using safe methods to intervene to help those in danger.  They explored reasons why people don’t intervene to come to the assistance of others with the ethics students.  Ms. Brandon mentioned the personal obstacles and peer pressure that contribute to the “bystander effect.”

As a powerful way to reinforce their message about how to prevent violence, they shared with the class Albert Einstein’s quote, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Students at the Florence Campus listen to a presentation made by Ann Brandon and Nate Staggs of the Women’s Crisis Center.

Graduate Returns to College

Graduate Returns to College

A recent American National University graduate returned to the Louisville Campus seeking the right candidates to fill jobs with her current employer. Kizzie Savage interviewed several National graduates for positions with Crowder Chiropractic & Rehab and Injury Care Associates. Kizzie works for several doctors and massage therapists, who work at various locations throughout Louisville. Among her duties are marketing, payroll, and financial functions.

Kizzie is able to understand the challenges and opportunities facing students. When asked for her advice to students seeking jobs, Kizzie responded, “You have to be humble in an entry level position. Learn all that you need to know about your craft.” She also said, “Find something that you love to do.”

Kizzie’s career path reflects that willingness to learn. In 2011 she received a medical billing and coding diploma, and in 2013 she earned her associate’s degree in business administration-management. She was originally hired by a previous employer as a receptionist, and her duties grew to include coding, as the employer needed a certified coder. Eventually she was promoted to office manager before securing the position she now holds. Starting in an entry level position and applying her knowledge and experience enabled Kizzie to grow in her career.  She is now recruiting others to reach their career goals.

Kizzie Savage, a American National University graduate, recently returned to the Louisville Campus to conduct on-site interviews for positions that her company needed to fill.


Students Serve Their Community at Health Fair

Students Serve Their Community at Health Fair

On Monday, August 19th, students from the medical assisting and pharmacy technician programs at the Danville Campus (Kentucky), participated in a health fair that was held at Tates Creek Public Library.

During the health fair, the students had an opportunity to serve their community and share the information and skills that they’ve gained in the classroom.  The pharmacy technician students created displays about medications which are used for diabetes and high blood pressure, and discussed the information with the health fair attendees.  The medical assisting students provided blood pressure and glucose screenings.

Nancy Van Hook, a student in the medical assisting program, enjoyed participating in her first health fair.  “I felt completely confident in my skills. I enjoyed interaction with my patients and the hands on experience,” she said.  “My experience in the MAA program with American National University has been life changing for me. The medical field has been my dream all of my life and now it is attainable.”

National staff members and students who participated in the health fair at Tates Creek Public Library.

Medical Assisting Graduate Hired to Work in Trauma Center

Medical Assisting Graduate Hired to Work in Trauma Center

Tiffanie Robinson, a graduate of the medical assisting program at the Pikeville Campus, has just been hired by Pikeville Medical Center as part of the medical team which will operate a new trauma clinic that they recently opened.

She was hired by Pikeville Medical Center after completing an externship there as part of her program at American National University.  Tiffanie said that she enjoyed her externship at the hospital where she assisted with paperwork, helped assess patients, and took their vitals.  She said that she felt well prepared for the duties that she was given during the externship.  “Everybody was really nice and helpful.  It seemed to come really natural and it wasn’t hard at all to catch on.” 

Tiffanie, who previously worked as a cosmetologist, came to American National University to train for a career in the medical field because she needed to find a job where she would have employee benefits, such as medical insurance, available to her.  She said that, as a single mom, she “can rest easy now” knowing that she has the benefits and the secure job that she needs to provide for her family.

Graduate Tiffanie Robinson is an employee at Pikeville Medical Center.


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.