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October 14, 2013

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Surgical Technology Graduate Published

Surgical Technology Graduate Published

Just last month, less than one year after graduation and becoming a certified surgical technologist (CST), Harrisonburg Campus graduate Tim Hansberger had an article titled “Treating Glioblastoma Multiforme,” published in the medical journal The Surgical Technologist.  Tim was compelled to choose this topic for his capstone project for the surgical technologist program while still a student because the disease is what his mother died from several years ago.  The article explains what his mom’s medical team did to treat her disease.  He hopes that it leads to a foundation to help others who are victims of the same type of cancer. 

Tim was a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) in addition to owning a construction business.  His wife became ill in 2003 and while she was going through treatment, he decided that he wanted to pursue a position in the medical field. 

Coincidentally, the wife of one of his subcontractors was enrolled in the surgical technology program at the Harrisonburg Campus.  After exploring the school and program and talking with employees of the campus, he decided to “go for it.”  Tim was able to work his classes around his schedule by taking day and evening classes.   

At the same time that Tim enrolled, his wife, Charity enrolled in the paralegal program.  After her graduation, she relocated to Bradenton, Florida, while Tim still had two terms left.  Shortly after the move, the campus was able to gain special permission for Tim to finish the clinical portion of the program in his new city.  Manatee Hospital allowed him to do that and ultimately hired him as a surgical technologist where he works today. 

One of his favorite classes at ANU was Anatomy and Physiology, taught by instructors Mary Alice Tutwiler (addressed as “Mrs. T” by her students) and Karen Sherback, surgical technology program director.   “Karen was the one who really encouraged me to [write] the article the way it was,” said Tim.  “She gave me instructions on how to improve it.”  Karen said, “Tim was a wonderful student in our program. He was always very helpful and supportive of his fellow classmates and assisted us with the less experienced students in the lab.”    

As for advice for other students thinking about returning to school, he advises them to research the field that they are interested in as well as the area that they will be living in.  He said, “Find out how readily available the jobs are.”

It is likely that Tim’s education is not finished yet with the certifications of EMT and CST.  He is considering returning to school to become a registered nurse (RN). 

(A) Surgical technology graduate, Tim Hansburger, is employed by Manatee Hospital in Bradenton, Florida.

(B) Tim Hansburger, CST, pictured in the operating room of Manatee Hospital.

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Roanoke Valley Campus Sponsors CareerFest 2013

Roanoke Valley Campus Sponsors CareerFest 2013

The Roanoke Valley Campus sponsored CareerFest 2013 held at the Salem Civic Center on Tuesday, September 10th.  The event was organized by the Roanoke Times.  There were 44 exhibitors that included companies such as Dish Network, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Rowe Furniture, Kroger, and UnitedHealth Group.  More than 1,600 job seekers attended the event. 

The Roanoke Valley Campus and American National University Online had a strong presence at the event with signage and two booths represented by the college staff.  The staff included Elizabeth Campbell, admissions representative; Tonya Deborde, health information management department chair; Mathew George, business management department chair; and Keith Nordmann, executive director of online education. 

Elizabeth stated that some students and graduates had stopped by the booth.  She said, “Some were interested in returning to school to further their career or to find a new career.”  She added that she was able to redirect some of them back to the career center, reminding them of that advantage to being a student or graduate.  According to Mathew, the purpose of the presence of ANU was not just to promote the academic programs of the university but also to find instructors.  In order to teach, most instructors must have at least a master’s degree. 

As part of the sponsorship, ANU offered workshops for event attendees: career center director Kristal Bushong led presentations on work etiquette/professionalism and LinkedIn; Stephanie Tucker (a personal banker for SunTrust Bank), presented a financial workshop; and Kim Crawford (human resources director for Arkay Packaging Corporation) led a discussion on interviewing. 

Student Kim Wilson attended the event in the hopes of finding a position in the valley.  She has just relocated to Roanoke from Greensboro, NC, and has enrolled in the pharmacy technician program.  Her goal is to work in a drugstore such as Walgreens or CVS. 

“Every year it has been a pleasure to be the headlining co-sponsor with the Roanoke Times and this year was one of the best years,” commented Kristal Bushong, career center director.  “As ANU puts a high regard on education and development of the students, it is even more rewarding to be able to bring these seminars to the public. We hit a record this Career Fest with two of our seminars with more than 30 people in attendance. At ANU, we strive to continue to bridge the gap between education and employment within the Roanoke Valley and surrounding areas.”

Ron Bradbury, campus director, said, “The advantages of an ANU educational program came into clear focus as folks realize the competition they face in the job market as well as the specific job qualifications which employers establish.  More than two dozen people stopped by the ANU tables to explore our educational programs and see how an ANU education could advance their career.”

A)-The American National University booth at CareerFest 2013.  Standing behind the table are (l) to (r): Elizabeth Campbell (admissions representative), and Tonya Deborde (health information management chair).

(B)-New student Kim Wilson of the Roanoke Valley Campus attended CareerFest.

Externships Can Be a Two-Way Learning Experience

Externships Can Be a Two-Way Learning Experience

Bill Bailey, IT Director with Smith Services, has been a mentor and an employer advocate of National College’s ISE program since the program was introduced to the Princeton Campus. When asked why he was willing to become an externship site for our ISE students he simply said because the ISE program director at the Princeton campus asked him to be. He added that he has always heard if you want to know something, teach it; and that hosting externs has been as educational for him as it has for the students, a positive and enlightening experience. Graduate Jason Drennen, who was hired in 2011, said it is such a pleasure to work at Smith’s Service and he is happy to have employment in his field.

To show appreciation for his major contribution and support of Princeton’s graduates administrative assistant Brenda Stinson, along with career center director Elaine Owens, recently presented Mr. Bailey with the Distinguished Community Employer award.

Patrick Rollins, Bill Bailey, Brenda Stinson (administrative assistant), and Jason Drennen.

Campus Participates in Agricultural Fair

Campus Participates in Agricultural Fair

The Martinsville Campus recently participated in the 2013 Patrick County Agricultural Fair sponsored by the Stuart Rotary Club.  This annual event, held at the Rotary Field in Stuart, attracts more than 8,000 visitors.  Attendees come to view the prize winning exhibits in foods, crafts, and livestock, and to enjoy carnival rides.  Booth spaces were rented and the exhibitors included businesses and service organizations, schools and colleges, and some government entities.  The Martinsville Campus admissions representatives occupied a booth and greeted visitors, gave a brief history of American National University, and explained program offerings to the public.  The campus staff also learned more about area businesses and organizations by visiting other displays. 

Barbara Rakes, admissions director, said, “The fair was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people as well as renew acquaintances with former graduates.  Overall it was a very successful event.”

Barbara Rakes, admissions director (far right), greets visitors (l) to (r): Danielle Wright, Allison French, and Pam Wright. 

Pharmacy Technician Student Completes Externship at the University of Tennessee

Pharmacy Technician Student Completes Externship at the University of Tennessee

Hunter Price, a student at the Knoxville Campus, first began her externship with an independent pharmacy located near her residence and just wasn’t getting the experience that she was eager for.  Adjunct Instructor Kimberly Cardwell recommended that Hunter apply to transfer to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine Pharmacy (UTVMC), where Kimberly is employed as a certified pharmacy technician.  Hunter was accepted as an extern.  She has practiced dosage calculations and has also learned extemporaneous compounding, crushing tablets for suspension, making suspensions from capsules, and suspending antibiotic solutions.

“Completing my externship there was undoubtedly one of the best choices I’ve made in my life.  I learned about being responsible for medications.  I worked alongside some of the best pharmacy technicians and one of the best pharmacists,” said Hunter. “I met some amazing veterinarians and learned a lot from each one of them. With the information I have retained, I know that I can step into a new pharmacy and be confident that I will be able to jump right in and not have any problems. I am very confident in my skills now. The vet school was and still is one of my favorite places to be.”

Pictured (l) to (r), Pharmacy Instructor Kim Cardwell, CPHT and pharmacy technician student Hunter Price.


Students Benefit from Congressman Phil Roe's Visit to the Campus

Students Benefit from Congressman Phil Roe's Visit to the Campus

Congressman Phil Roe, M.D., visited the Bristol Campus (Tennessee) on Wednesday, September 4th.  Congressman Roe mentioned that his experience of being a practicing physician for 31 years impacts his role as representative of the 1st District of Tennessee.  He spoke to students about current events in Washington, D.C., including the chemical weapons conflict in Syria and the current state of the economy.  He asked for a show of hands on the question of whether or not students felt the United States should take military action against the Syrian government. 

Congressman Roe explained that as representative of the 1st District, it is important for him to know where the people that he represents, including National College students, stand on important issues.  After his presentation, he gave students the opportunity to ask him questions.  The Congressman responded to inquiries about his political plans for the future, his projection for the local economy, and the possible impact of new legislation on the healthcare industry.

Congressman Phil Roe is pictured in the Student Lounge at the Bristol Campus talking to students, faculty, and staff.

Guest Speakers Are Representatives from Indiana State Assembly of Surgical Technologists

Guest Speakers Are Representatives from Indiana State Assembly of Surgical Technologists

In recognition of National Surgical Technologist week, September 15th-22nd, representatives from the Indiana State Assembly visited the Surgical Technology II class at the Indianapolis Campus. Topics of discussion included the relevance of becoming certified as a surgical technologist and the various job opportunities such as a certified surgical technologist (CST) and a certified first assistant (CFA). Tobias Miller, CST/CFA, also emphasized the importance of students attending the state assembly, which is held in the spring and fall. He talked about the voting privileges and the opportunity for students to network with each other from different areas within the region. He also shared his experiences and the opportunities that he’s had as a practicing CST/CFA.

Heather Franklin, CST, discussed the different specialties that she has worked in, and how she truly enjoys the profession she has chosen. The students were excited and asked plenty of questions. Student Alisa Harris said, “I never realized that I would have so many opportunities as a surgical tech.  I am especially interested in becoming a first assistant, so that I can be up close and personal with the surgeon and be able to close an incision.”

Front row-(l) TO (r):  Samantha Kummer, Alisa Harris, Katrice Jenkins, Cathi Reinhold, and Heather Franklin, CST, Back row-(l)-(r): Tobias Miller, CST/CFA, Aimee Strom, Erica Eder, Joseph McPeak, Sabra Coulter

Team Nurse Conducts Job Interviews on Campus

Team Nurse Conducts Job Interviews on Campus

When Mary Martin with Team Nurse called the Lynchburg Campus with immediate job openings, Michelle Andrews, career center director, invited her to campus to conduct interviews and accept applications and résumés.  On Thursday, October 3rd, Team Nurse set up in the library to be available for students and friends who were interested in immediate employment and a job that would not interfere with their school schedule.

“It is always good to come to your campus,” said Ms. Martin, “and we had a good outcome.  I have three employment applications, several résumés, and three personal care assistant applications.  Several of your students took applications to complete or give to family members or friends.”

Shannon Bowling, Keisha Hawkins, and Tiffany Phillips interviewed with Team Nurse. Keisha and Tiffany both said it is very helpful to have employers visit and talk with students about job opportunities and what employers are looking for.

“It gives us a chance to sit down face to face to apply with the company and have a chance at getting a job right away,” commented Shannon.

Pictured (l) to (r) are: Tiffany Phillips, Mary Martin, Michelle Andrews (career center director), and Keisha Hawkins.

Difference Maker - Beth Laurenz - Director of Health Care Education

Difference Maker - Beth Laurenz - Director of Health Care Education


Beth Laurenz—Difference Maker at the Columbus Campus


Director of Health Care Education


  • American National University staff member since 2009
  • Has gained more than 20 years of nursing experience, more than 10 years as a medical assistant, and more than 10 years as an instructor


  • Holds both a Bachelor of Science degree in health care management and a Master of Business Administration degree from Franklin University and is a Certified Medical Assistant and Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Has nursing experience working in physicians’ offices, hospitals, clinics, home health care, and extended health care facilities


“I enjoyed helping people as a nurse but realized the need for cross-functional staff in the medical office and enjoy [teaching] this skill.

“I admire that many of our students enjoy getting right down to the core classes to get serious and out into the career of their choice. I challenge my students by providing real-life scenarios to test their practical thinking skills.

“I enjoy seeing the transformation when a student who has never been encouraged before finally finds confidence.”

Chance Encounter Leads to New Career for Graduate

Chance Encounter Leads to New Career for Graduate

Rachael Kulikowski had just moved to Kentucky as a result of downsizing at the bank where she worked, when a chance encounter with a American National University admissions representative changed the course of her career.  “She said ‘Rachael, why are you not in college?’ and I said ‘good question,’” recalled Rachael.  “She told me that you can’t really get too far without having your degree.”

A short time later, Rachael enrolled at the Richmond Campus where she earned a degree in business administration-management.  She’s now firmly planted in a career that she loves working as the community manager of Saddlebrook Apartments.  “I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else,” she said.

Building relationships with tenants is Rachael’s favorite part of her job.  “I help people get in a home.  I see so many people that struggle and I can help them get to where they need to be. I give them the security of having a place to stay and a place to call their own.  I love it,” she explained.

Numbers also play an important role in her day-to-day responsibilities as she manages the budget, purchasing, and accounts payable and receivable for the community.  “I loved accounting,” Rachael recalled of her time at National.  “I deal with numbers so frequently.  [My classes] really… gave me the mind for it.”

Rachael has high aspirations for her career. Her goal is to become a district manager for the property management company over the next few years, then to eventually work her way up to vice president.

“I have nothing to say but great things about American National University to anybody that asks me about it,” said Rachael.   “I learned so much. It gave me direction and it gave me focus.  It opened my eyes to the fact that I did want a career and I wanted a future.  They really put me in the right direction for it.  I’m constantly trying to do better, constantly trying to enrich everything that I can and I attribute it a lot to American National University.”

Rachael Kulikowski, a graduate of the business administration-management program at the Richmond Campus, is working as community manager of Saddlebrook Apartments.

Graduate Combines Style with Business Skills to Manage Salon

Graduate Combines Style with Business Skills to Manage Salon

Nicole McGuffey, a graduate of the Lexington Campus, is working as the manager of Exquisite Belvedere Salon.

Nicole worked as a stylist before she enrolled at American National University to gain the business skills that she needed to manage the salon, which is owned by her father.  She earned associate’s degrees in business administration-management and accounting, then continued on to earn her bachelor’s degree.

“With my business administration skills, I manage the books and taxes.  I know how to do a business plan now,” said Nicole who added that her customer service skills have also been enhanced.  “[Before coming to National] I had no clue how to do any of those.”

Nicole plans to build on her degrees and earn her Masters of Business Administration through the American National University online program.  “I want to open up my own salon and have more stylists under me,” she explained. Nicole feels that her education will allow her to manage her employees and maximize profits to ensure that her business is a success.

Graduate Nicole McGuffey is the manager of Exquisite Belvedere Salon.

Graduate Proves It Is Never Too Late to Pursue Career Goal

Graduate Proves It Is Never Too Late to Pursue Career Goal

When Gloria Crabtree decided to pursue a degree in medical assisting, she was totally committed to achieving her dream because of a very special person in her life: her grandson, Mason.  Gloria knew that by having a degree in medical assisting, she would have a career, not just a job, and the financial means to provide for her grandson.

Gloria chose the Florence Campus of American National University because of the small class size, and the flexibility of scheduling classes which helped her as a student and as a grandmother with a young grandchild to raise.

When graduation day arrived, Gloria could see how her hard work and commitment to her education had paid off. Gloria’s family, who had been very supportive in her quest of a degree, knew that she had achieved her goal. Gloria’s advice for current students is based on her own experience, “Don’t give up, no matter your age, because education is a lifelong pursuit.”

Her commitment to her education and her grandson provided her with a new career and a position in medical records with St. Elizabeth/American Nursing Care.

Gloria Crabtree (pictured) is a graduate of the Florence Campus who holds a position in medical records.

Students Come Prepared To Impress Employers at Campus Career Fair

Students Come Prepared To Impress Employers at Campus Career Fair

Students at the Danville Campus (Kentucky) had an opportunity to network with employers seeking qualified job candidates during a career fair that was recently held on campus.   Local employers who participated in the career fair included Danville Medical Specialists, Casey County Hospital, Nesco, PNC Bank, AFLAC and Transamerica.

Many of the students who participated worked closely with career center director Felicia Luttrell prior to the event to refine their résumés and practice their interviewing skills.  “I told students to come prepared--dress like they are going to an interview and bring their résumés,” said Felicia.  “I also told them not to be afraid to ask questions. I think finding out more information about different companies can be very beneficial in finding the right career path.”

Nate Fegan, a veteran who is funding his business administration-management program through the VA’s Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program, said that having a chance to talk with area employers was a great opportunity and a good learning experience.  “It was nice talking to a business manager and have them look at my résumé and have a ‘job interview-like condition’,” he said.

Nate Fegan, a business administration-management student at the Danville Campus, is shown talking with a representative from Transamerica during the Danville Campus career fair.

Phlebotomy Graduate Lands Exciting New Career

Phlebotomy Graduate Lands Exciting New Career

Brittane Lauffer, a stay-at-home mom, came to American National University for a new career.  She wanted a program where she could gain new skills while being able to keep up with her busy lifestyle.   She chose American National University because of the flexible schedule.  She also wanted a program where she could quickly enter the workforce and she chose phlebotomy at the Pikeville Campus.

Her studies included a ten week externship program and took less than six months to complete.  Brittane was ready to enter the workforce, but she required a position that would fit her family’s schedule.  She decided to attend a targeted medical career fair at American National University.   While in attendance, she was introduced to the human resource team at Pikeville Medical Center.  She received a job interview and was hired as a phlebotomist in the hospital lab. 

Brittane said that if it had not been for the invitation to the career fair, she would have never been hired.  “American National University prepared me by teaching me social skills along with the medical skills,” said Brittane.  “I am certain I couldn’t get the training I needed anywhere else!”  The training is more much more than a six week program and she believes that employers look for that.

Graduate Brittane Lauffer is a phlebotomist 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.