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September 02, 2013

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MBA Graduate and Business Owner is a Role Model for Others

MBA Graduate and Business Owner is a Role Model for Others Explore National's Online Program

LaShanda Leach, graduate of the Louisville Campus serves as a role model to families in the community that she serves as the owner of Precious Moments Preschool Academy.  After bringing her preschool to full capacity in just one year, and earning her Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree through the American National University Online program, she has demonstrated that high academic achievement and career success are within reach through hard work and dedication.

LaShanda was working in the office of a child care center when she first began her educational journey at American National University.  “I wanted to enhance my skills and my administrative capability a little bit more, so I decided to go to school,” she recalled.  She earned her associate’s degree, and then decided to continue on in the business administration-management bachelor’s program.   “I went back solely because I wanted to be where I am right now, which is owning my own business,” she said.

When the MBA program became available through ANU Online, LaShanda and two of her closest friends from the Louisville Campus decided to take advantage of the opportunity, and they enrolled in the program together. 

At the Louisville Campus and in the ANU Online program, LaShanda and her classmates found staff and instructors who were caring and attentive.  “As a single Mom, it was challenging, but…the teachers were phenomenal,” she said of the online instructors.   “They were hands on with any questions and any type of concerns.”  She enjoyed interacting with students from other states as she worked on group projects and participated in discussion boards.  “We all worked together.   It was almost like you were in the same classroom.  It was a great experience.”

As she progressed through the online courses, LaShanda’s confidence soared, and with the encouragement of her friends, she decided to open her own preschool.  The knowledge that she gained in her management classes helps to guide her as she makes important decisions about her business.  “I love and I give a lot, but the discipline of being a business owner is what I took away from going to college.  It taught me the fundamentals I needed to operate and to deal with decision-making and finances,” said LaShanda.  “You have to make some business decisions that go against [you] emotionally.  It has strengthened me in my ability of executing a wonderful program that has a strong leader.” 

LaShanda plans to earn her doctorate in business and she hopes that it will soon be available through American National University.   She also hopes to eventually teach at the college level to help encourage and mentor other single moms like her.  “I want to go and to tell everyone else who is  a single mother that they can do it, that they can complete it, that they can win the fight,” she said confidently with a smile.

(A)-LaShanda Leach earned her bachelor's degree at the Louisville Campus and her MBA in the American National University Online program.

(B)-Pictured (l) to (r): Matt Poole, director of the American National University Online program, with  LaShanda Leach, Valerie Persinger and DeTroyia McGruder, graduates of the ANU Online MBA program, who participated in a hooding ceremony during the Louisville Campus graduation.

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Guest Speaker Addresses Healthcare

Guest Speaker Addresses Healthcare

Luisa Hurtado, ACO (Accountable Care Organization) Operations Leader at Mercy Health Select presented information on ACOs and their transformation healthcare jobs to faculty and staff at the Cincinnati Campus.
Luisa stated that half of the U.S. population accounts for 97% of healthcare spending and that the top 15% of health spenders averages $51,951 per person annually. Luisa also shared that the Affordable Healthcare Act is the most substantive piece of legislation to affect the health care industry since the passage of Medicare in 1965.

 “ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to the patients they serve, explained Ms. Hurtado. An ACO is a patient-centered model.  The patient is cared for through a medical home with their Primary Care Physician.” 

The patient has access to an entire medical neighborhood of providers who are all connected through information technology and coordinate care in the best interest of the patient. The efforts of the ACO are led by the ACO physician leadership. The ACO works closely with payer partners such as insurers, employers, states and CMS.

The goals of an ACO are: improved outcome, lower costs, and better health for everyone.

Ms. Hurtado shared that the new direction of healthcare reform provides the opportunity for our medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, surgical technologists, and Health Information Management (HIM) students and graduates to find employment. Graduates in the information technology and business management programs will be sought after as well.

Luisa Hurtado, an ACO Operations Leader spoke to students at the Cincinnati Campus.



Student is Proud to be an American

Student is Proud to be an American

Marian Nurani, a medical assisting and honor student at the Columbus Campus, was born in Somalia in 1991 in the midst of the Somali conflict. Marian, with her parents, sister, and brother, fled Somalia in 1993.  She was only two years old.  It was a time of state collapse, poverty, war, and famine.

When Marian and her family arrived in New York City, they felt very grateful to be in the United States and began their immigration process and journey to U.S. citizenship.  Shortly after arrival in the country, the family moved to Seattle, Washington.  They stayed in Seattle for some time before eventually moving to Columbus, Ohio. 

When Marian was looking to go to college last year, she had checked out a number of schools. She said, “When I walked in to the Columbus Campus of American National University, I knew it was the right place for me…I felt a sense of community and everyone was pleasant and helpful.”  After she earns her degree in medical assisting, she hopes to continue her education and ultimately become a hospital administrator.

On Thursday, August 1st, Marian took another large step and became a United States citizen.  She said, “I was amazed to learn that 70% of those naturalized in Columbus, Ohio are from Somalia. I am honored and thrilled to finally be a citizen.  Having been here since I was young, I have felt a part of this country for a long time…now it is official.  I am very happy and proud!” 

Marian Nurani is a medical assisting and honor student at the Columbus Campus.

Campus Holds Dressing for Success Seminar

Campus Holds Dressing for Success Seminar

Cheryl Bingham, executive director of Dress for Success Memphis met with 45 students at the Bartlett Campus on Tuesday, August 13th, to discuss the importance of dressing appropriately for their careers and upcoming interviews. 

“Clothes make us feel good,” said Ms. Bingham, who shared how Dress for Success Memphis provides clothing and teaches business skills to women.  The organization assists women by providing them with a business suit and accessories for job interviews.  If successful in landing the job, women are also provided with a week’s worth of appropriate work clothing to get started in their new career.  Dress for Success takes donations of business clothing that is clean, whether gently used or brand new.

In addition to learning to dress appropriately, both men and women can attend an eight-week workshop called “Going Places Network”, at public libraries in Memphis.  The workshop series teaches interviewing skills, résumé writing, navigating through the internet for jobs, and building relationships with personal coaches. 

“You represent your company and your dress attire reflects on your company,” said Ms. Bingham.  She has taught college courses on professional image to many students in the Memphis area.  Regarding interviewing, she said, “Always look at the person when you are speaking. It is very important to keep your focus on that person.”   

Cheryl Bingham gives students at the Bartlett Campus advice on how to dress professionally.

Guest Speaker Addresses the Affordable Healthcare Act

Guest Speaker Addresses the Affordable Healthcare Act

On Wednesday, August 21st business administration students at the Charlottesville Campus welcomed Susan Leonhirth, senior district manager at ADP Payroll Services, to discuss the legislative changes brought about by The Affordable Healthcare Act. 

The students especially appreciated the information that Ms. Leonhirth provided to the students when she dove into great detail regarding how precisely how payroll will be affected when implementing this new  law. The students learned some of the diverse pieces that comprise the Affordable Healthcare Act, including how it pertains to companies with 50 or more employees working 30 or more hours a week.  This is an indicator of how the complex implementation process will be a challenge for all people entering the business industry.  Many students enrolled in the business administration program have career aspirations of entrepreneurship. Student Joseph Johnson said that the presentation was, “A good building block for a future business owner.”

Ms. Leonhirth’s visit to the campus provided an alternative to traditional lectures, by allowing an experienced professional to help bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world.

Susan Leonhirth speaks to business administration students at the Charlottesville Campus

Difference Maker - Hubert Doughty - Instructor

Difference Maker - Hubert Doughty - Instructor

Hubert Doughty—Difference Maker at the Harrisonburg Campus

Chair of administrative office specialist and office technology professional programs
Instructor of administrative office, keyboarding, and medical office procedures courses

National College instructor for five years
More than 40 years of experience in supervisory and administrative roles within government and private business

Holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration degree, both from James Madison University

I admire how National College students balance school with work and family.

I challenge my students to set goals and try to instill in them a work ethic and workplace realities.

My greatest rewards as an instructor are: seeing confidence increase in a student that might have been struggling with a course and seeing students graduate and find positions within their chosen career fields.

Dr. David Zimmerman, campus director said, “Hubert is authorized to teach over 20 courses within the National College curriculum and he consistently receives outstanding faculty evaluations from his students.  To say that Hubert is ‘indispensable’ is a gross understatement.

Hubert Doughty is a Difference Maker at the Harrisonburg Campus. 


Medical Assisting Students Completes Interesting Externship

Medical Assisting Students Completes Interesting Externship

Medical assisting student Danielle Waters of the Knoxville Campus experienced an unusual and very interesting externship.  She completed her hours at Methodist Wound Treatment Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This is an outpatient center providing a collaborative effort among several disciplines that focus on chronic and non-healing wounds. 

Danielle was the first student from the campus to complete her externship there.  She was previously employed as a certified nursing assistant and that’s how she discovered the wound care clinic.  Danielle said, “I have always been fascinated with wound care and how the body can destroy itself but on the same note, it can heal itself.”  She was able to work with the registered nurses and physicians there as they do not employ medical assistants.  She added, “The physicians were very eager to explain to me all the steps they take in the debriding process, (removal of dead or infected tissue to improve the healing process), how the tissue looks when it is good or necrotic and would even ask me questions as if they were giving me a test.”  She learned how to measure the wounds, observed the treatment and then assisted with dressing the wounds.  Danielle was also excited to learn about the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and how successful it is in the treatment plan and in decreasing major amputations in some patients.

 Medical assisting student, Danielle Waters with one of the three hyperbaric oxygen chambers that she learned how to use during her externship.

Canine Officer and Canine Partner visits Pharmacology Class

Canine Officer and Canine Partner visits Pharmacology Class

Recently, Joan Blankenship invited canine officer Jeremy Purvis and his canine partner Havoc to visit her pharmacology class at the Martinsville Campus.  Officer Purvis discussed the importance of using dogs in the war on drugs.  

Officer Purvis explained that the training period for drug dogs is from eight to ten weeks after reaching age three, depending on the dog.   Both the canine officer and the dog participate in the training that includes the use of toys and the scents of different controlled substances.  Officer Purvis said that a successfully trained dog associates sniffing out drugs with a game of finding toys, so that the challenge of discovering the drugs becomes similar to a skilled sport for the dogs.   He said that after the training is over, the officer and the dog must become certified in order for the dog to be used in drug work. 

The students enjoyed the visit, although some were wary of Havoc’s presence in the classroom.  Some students asked questions regarding how the officer cares for the dog while he is off-duty, and asked how caring for a police dog differs from owning a family dog.   At the conclusion of Officer Purvis’ presentation, Joan thanked the officer for providing information to the class on one law enforcement method related to the control of illegal drugs and substances in the community. 

Canine officer Jeremy Purvis and his canine partner Havoc spoke to the pharmacology class at the Martinsville Campus.

ISE Students Tour Paper Mill

ISE Students Tour Paper Mill

Cheryl Beilharz, informational systems engineering (ISE) instructor at the Bristol Campus, coordinated a tour of the Domtar Paper Mill in Kingsport, Tennessee on Wednesday, August 21st.

Domtar processes wood chips and pulp into rolls of paper weighing more than 7,000 pounds.  After the roll leaves the process line, it is taken to another facility in Kingsport or shipped to a facility in South Carolina or middle Tennessee where the roll of paper is reduced down to letter or legal size paper that is eventually sold and used in copier machines throughout the world.  During the tour of the facility, the ISE students viewed the server room that is the center of activity for the complete facility for all of the telephone services, business computers, and process and data collection. The students were then shown the paper making process that included learning how the computer terminals monitor the manufacturing processes, quality controlling, paper roll unloading, and labeling of the large rolls of paper.

The tour guide explained the complete process of manufacturing paper and how the IT department plays a critical role in the daily operation of the facility.  He told the class that he loves his job at Domtar because his group oversees all aspects of IT including terminating network drop cables, running fiber optic cabling, repairing PC’s, installing software, and setting up imaging from their headquarters in Montreal, Canada.

Information systems engineering students who toured the Domtar Facility in Kingsport, Tennessee.

CENTRA Medical Group Employs Four National Graduates

CENTRA Medical Group Employs Four National Graduates

On Friday, August 16, Dominion Primary Care-CENTRA Medical Group of Danville, Virginia was presented with a Distinguished Community Employer award. Dominion has offered the Danville Campus exceptional support over the years and currently employs four National College graduates; Tiffany Hudgins, medical assistant and a 2008 surgical tech graduate and a 2010 medical assisting graduate from the Martinsville Campus; Mora Fowler, medical assistant and a 2006 medical billing and coding graduate and a 2011 medical assisting graduate; Michelle Brandon, coding analyst and a 2009 medical billing and coding graduate; and JoeAnn Guinn, phlebotomist and a 1990 business and accounting graduate. Dr. Pradeep Pradhan, MD-Internal Medicine graciously accepted the award by saying, “Keep up the good work.”

Career center director Rhonda Pass (pictured) presents the Distinguished Community Employer award to Dr. Pradeep Pradhan and staff.

Graduate Paula Brock Makes a Profound Impact on Family Members

Graduate Paula Brock Makes a Profound Impact on Family Members

When Paula Brock graduated from the Florence Campus with her degree in Surgical Technology in 2011, she didn’t realize just how profoundly her choice in education would influence her family.  Recently, at a picnic, Paula’s niece asked her what kind of work she does and where she went to college. Paula explained that she works as a surgical technician for a cosmetic surgery clinic in Cincinnati, Ohio, and that she was trained at American National University. “It was a great experience, and I had fun with it,” she told her.  As a result of that conversation, Paula’s niece, Samantha McNamara, and her mother, Andrea Atkins (Paula’s sister) made an appointment to tour the Florence Campus and meet with an admissions representative.

It didn’t take Samantha long to decide that American National University was a good fit.  “Here, we will not be a number; everyone remembered our names and were so nice and helpful”, said Samantha.  Her mother, Andrea decided to enroll as well. She said, “I decided to take the available slot in surgical technology because I’ve always liked the medical field.  Here, everyone really cared, and that caught my attention.” Both ladies anticipate starting college this fall.  Thanks to a successful graduate and supportive team, Florence welcomes two more students for their growing surgical technology program.

Pictured from (l) to (r) are mother and daughter, Andrea Atkins and Samantha McNamara, with relative and surgical technology graduate, Paula Brock.

Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Supports Employee Education

Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Supports Employee Education

Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas was recently selected as a Distinguished Community Employer by the Danville Campus (Kentucky).  Brad Logan, senior administrator of human resources and administration at Hitachi recently visited the campus to accept the award.

The campus has worked closely with Hitachi for more than five years. Hitachi provides tuition assistance to its employees, which is matched by the American National University Business Partnership Grant, an exclusive grant which matches one dollar for every two dollars contributed by an employer.  In addition, Hitachi also employs American National University graduates from the management and accounting programs. 

Eva Cocanougher, a Hitachi employee for 23 years, used her tuition assistance benefit and the Business Partnership Grant to help fund her education at American National University.  “I think that it’s great,” she said of the Business Partnership Grant.  “I can’t think of any other school that does that.” 

She has almost completed her associate’s degree program in business administration-management, and she plans to return to earn a second associate’s degree in accounting.  She also hopes to continue her education and earn her bachelor’s degree at the Lexington Campus.    She hopes to use her degree to advance into a management position at Hitachi.

Brad Logan, with Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, is pictured with career center director Felicia Luttrell (left) and instructor Karen Gordon (right) as he accepted a plaque recognizing Hitachi as a Distinguished Community Employer.

Instructor Helps Two Students Become Certified Bookkeepers

Instructor Helps Two Students Become Certified Bookkeepers

Eric Vogler, accounting and management department chair at the Richmond Campus has worked with Keri Lancaster, business administration-management graduate and Courtney Burns, business administration-management student to help them become certified bookkeepers. Certification involves passing seven tests that are completed at the student’s own pace. Both students have completed two of the seven exams. By becoming certified, they are demonstrating not only a proven knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles, but the motivation to learn and the desire and ambition to be a professional.

Keri is returning to school to pursue an associate’s degree in accounting.  Her goal is to use the accounting degree as well as her certification to advance her bookkeeping career.

Courtney said, “the bookkeeping certification is an extension of my associate’s degree in accounting. 
It will open more doors of opportunity for me.”

In 1998, the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), the bookkeeping profession’s association, established the certified bookkeeper program. Certification demonstrates the ability to handle all the books for a firm of up to 100 employees. To become certified, a bookkeeper must have two years of experience working as a bookkeeper, sign a code of ethics and pass a national examination.

Accounting and management department chair Eric Vogler with Keri Lancaster and Courtney Burns, who are both studying to become certified bookkeepers.

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.