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October 28, 2013

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Graduate Excels In Retail Management

Graduate Excels In Retail Management

Roanoke Valley Campus graduate Amber Motley is the definition of a people-person. She thrives on working in a fast-paced environment, meeting new people, and helping them with their needs. Because Amber loves being around people so much, she chose to pursue a degree in tourism and hospitality. After checking out several other colleges and feeling like she was getting the run-around, Amber found that ANU made it really easy to get the information she needed and straightforward answers to her questions.

Amber also appreciated ANU’s flexible scheduling that allowed her to work full-time as a sales associate, while also attending classes full-time, and participating in an externship program with the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau. She graduated from the tourism and hospitality management associate’s degree program last year, and the education she received has already helped her advance in her career at Men’s Wearhouse, a suit and tuxedo rental retail store.

While still a student, Amber was promoted to assistant manager.  After completing her degree, she was offered the opportunity to move to the Lynchburg, Virginia store to become the store manager. Since taking this position at the beginning of this year, Amber’s store has seen sales totals far surpassing any previous sales figures the store has ever had.  By September, the store had even already exceeded its annual sales goal for the year.   

While managing a men’s clothing store isn’t the first thing that comes to mind for a graduate from a tourism and hospitality program, the business and customer service skills are readily transferable to many occupations.  When opportunity knocked, Amber had the education and skills needed to open that door, thanks to ANU.

She credits ANU’s tourism and hospitality program with helping her gain the experience she needed in order to be promoted to management, and in turn to help boost the store’s sales. “It’s not your typical degree,” she explains. “It’s a unique program. You learn about all aspects of the hospitality industry and how they work together—and how that impacts the economy.” Although she hesitates to take full credit, it is clear that Amber’s go-getter attitude and strong work ethic have greatly contributed to the store’s success.

Amber says the best part of receiving an education at ANU was the extremely helpful faculty who taught from their own real-world scenarios rather than just out of a textbook. “I enjoyed learning from teachers’ and other students’ experiences,” she says. “It helped me realize more about my own disposition and how I interact with other people.” She particularly appreciates the guidance she received from ANU instructors who went the extra mile, including Gail van Duursen, who she says was very honest and straightforward about what to expect while working in the hospitality industry, and Neal Engers, whose oral communications course gave her the skills necessary to conduct public speaking engagements at local high schools and colleges.

Amber recently attended such an event at the Lynchburg Campus where she helped present a “Dress for Success” demonstration, advising students on expectations for what to wear to a job interview. “I have a desire to continuously learn new things and share them with other people,” she says. Her advice to those pursuing higher education: “Go for it. You have to work for what you want.”

(A)-Graduate Amber Motley is the store manager of the Men’s Wearhouse in Lynchburg, Virginia.

(B)- Amber Motley, Men’s Wearhouse Lynchburg store manager, and Tabitha Serfass, Men’s Wearhouse Roanoke store manager, presented at a “Dress for Success” event at the ANU Lynchburg Campus.




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Campus Celebrates Constitution Day

Campus Celebrates Constitution Day

On Tuesday, September 17th, the Columbus Campus was full of national pride as the students, staff, and faculty celebrated Constitution Day.  The first festivity of the day was a trivia game centered on the history and facts of the U.S. Constitution.  Several students took part in this game, and they divided up into two teams (Nationals and Time Lords), and competed to see who knew the most about our nation’s most important document.  The competition was fierce (though fun), but in the end, the Time Lords triumphed over the Nationals.  Everyone present said they learned a little more about the U.S. Constitution, which was the important thing.

The second event was a visit from Mike Curtin, an Ohio State Representative who represents Ohio District 17 in the state’s House of Representatives.  He gave a speech about the Constitution, briefly describing how it was written in 1787.  Curtin also discussed how the language in the Constitution has caused debate and controversy over the years.  For example, what exactly do phrases like “keep and bear arms” and “general welfare” mean?  Curtin explained how the courts step in to settle such issues and attempt to shed light on the true meaning of the Constitution.  Curtin sparked lively discussion among the students, staff, and faculty who were present for his talk, and it was pleasing to see everyone showing such passion regarding their country.

Regarding Curtin’s presentation, student Robyn Hardin said, “I really learned a lot about government and the Constitution.”  

Front Row: Hurl-Lu Waugh, Robyn Hardin, Back Row:  Gary Spence (Director of Admissions), Kelvin Web (ISE Director), Patrick Hardin, Mike Curtin (speaker), and Abdella Ibrahim

Campus Holds Speed Networking Event

Campus Holds Speed Networking Event

The Fort Wayne Campus hosted a speed networking event on Thursday, October 10th.  Six area employers attended and discussed various aspects of job searching with students and graduates.  The employer participants included: Frontier Communications, 3 Rivers Federal Credit Union, Employment Plus, CareerStarter, and the Graduate Retention Program.  Topics of discussion covered the importance of soft skills, creating a budget for a new career, being creative about the job search, and how to use online resources such as Indiana INTERNnet and LinkedIn. 

All participants were assigned a starting point with one of the employers.  After 20 minutes, all participants rotated to the next employer’s station until the participants visited every employer.  Participants were encouraged to dress for success and bring résumés.  This event was particularly beneficial for students and graduates in that it was more informal than a job fair.  All participants had time to network with each of the employers, ask questions, and build relationships that had the potential to lead to career opportunities.

One of the participants, student Cyndi McClendon, stated, “Every student should participate in the networking event because it not only touched on the known job searching techniques, but it also introduced technology resources that weren’t previously available.” “It was a great opportunity to engage with the students about internships and resources to find internships,” said Graduate Retention Program representative Audra Castaneda.  “I enjoyed how I could get personal [by] talking with students about their specific career paths.  It was great to see the students connect with the material I presented.”

Pictured is of Audrea Casteneda of the Graduate Retention Program and student Cyndi McClendon. Audrea is showing Cyndi how to use Indiana INTERNnet. 


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.