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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 Has Local Politicians Speak To Observe Constitution Day

Campus Has Local Politicians Speak To Observe Constitution Day

Constitution Day was observed at the Danville, Virginia Campus with two activities:  a “Speakers Series” in which the speaker/visitor to the campus visited each class in session and provided a presentation for approximately 20 minutes.  The speakers attended both the day and evening classes. The contest consisted of answering questions about the Constitution and submitting the answers for a drawing of a gift card from a local business.

For the speakers series, the topic question was “Why is the Constitution important today”?  Each student was presented with a Constitution booklet and a copy of the schedule of general election information from the State Board of Elections. 

The speakers were local representatives who discussed the subject from a professional perspective and answered questions from the students about the upcoming local election; changes regarding the local, state and federal level that impact education funding; safety; and the overall importance of participating in the election process.

The guest speakers were: Dr. Gary P. Miller, Vice Mayor of Danville, Virginia and local cardiologist; Silas Crews, Candidate for City Sheriff; Ms. Elizabeth Jones, Candidate for House of Delegates; and Don Draper, a local entreprenuer (campaign manager for individuals running for political election).

Dr. Miller said, “It is critical that educational institutions work with employers to make sure that what they are teaching is relevant to employers.  It is good to see institutions like ANU communicating with local businesses to improve workforce readiness in Danville.”

Pictured ()l to( r):  Dr. Gary P. Miller, Vice Mayor of Danville, Virginia and local cardiologist, and Ms. Elizabeth Jones, retired educator and entrepreneur. Both are candidates for the House of Delegates.

Business and Medical Career Fair Held

Business and Medical Career Fair Held

On Wednesday, August 14th local companies, employers, students, and graduates of the Madison Campus all participated in a highly successful Business and Medical Career Fair.  Adella Harris, career center director, invited local businesses to attend.  “The Career Fair was very successful. I had students coming up to me all day, very excited about the connections they made,” said Adella.

All companies that were invited attended: Carmart, Regions Bank, Primerica, Office Team, FirstBank, PeopleLink Staffing, Bank of America, H&R Block, Warm Hearts Care, Xtend Healthcare, Aarons, and CSL Plasma.  There were seven interviews scheduled with students, one hired, and twenty applications completed at the event.  Vickie Harris of Xtend Healthcare said, “We will be returning to do one-on-one interviews with National’s excellent students.”

Some of the students that attended the job fair and spoke with Premerica are (front to back), Katherine Moore-El, Tuesday Battles, and Susan Foster. 

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. 


Age is Just a Number at National College

Age is Just a Number at National College

Students who attend the Bristol Campus range in age from traditional to non-traditional.  Two students who are on opposite ends of the age spectrum are Kendra Tibbs, 16, and David McMahon, 59.  Kendra was just 15 years old when she enrolled at National College last month and turned 16 on the first day of classes.  She was home schooled and has already completed her high school education.  Kendra is attending National College in order to become a pharmacy technician.  When asked why she decided to go to college, she answered, “My mom and dad never did (go to college) and everyone told me I couldn’t.”  Kendra is proving the skeptics wrong and she has big goals which National College will surely help her to achieve.  She chose National because it is close to home and “I always heard good things about it.”  After she gets her initial degree she plans to further her education And eventually become a pharmacist.

David McMahon is currently pursuing his first college degree and he has completed more than half of the needed credit hours to earn his associate’s degree in information systems engineering (ISE).  He has finished five terms.  “When I was in high school, there were virtually no computers being used,” said David. “Now they are everywhere—in cell phones, cars… I wanted to keep up with the modern world and I didn’t want to get left behind.” David also commented on why he feels you are never too old to further your education: “At 59 years old I feel that I am just middle aged.  I was born in the ‘50s and at that time, 59 years-old was considered to be an old man—retirement age.” David has a lot to look forward to.  After he completes his associate’s degree, he plans to continue his education by obtaining his bachelor’s degree in business administration.  He feels that an associate’s degree in ISE will provide him with a firm educational base for a degree in business.  David chose National because of the convenient location and because he sought to gain “one on one experience and not just be a number.”

(A)-Student Kendra Tibbs, just 16 years old, is studying to become a pharmacy technician.

(B)-Student David McMahon is pursuing his associate’s degree in information systems engineering.

Difference Maker - Administrative Assistant - Kymberlee Pearson

Difference Maker - Administrative Assistant - Kymberlee Pearson


Kymberlee Pearson—Difference Maker at the Nashville Campus


Administrative assistant to campus director Gary Adcox


  • National College staff member since 2010
  • Recipient of the Outstanding Employee of the Year award for the Nashville Campus in 2011


  • Gained prior experience in the education field at a learning center, working with students, tutors, school psychologists, and faculty
  • Previously served as executive director for a non-profit entertainment association with over 400 members, where she was responsible for every aspect of the organization


“I really admire the adult students who have returned to school, especially the single moms.  A lot of them are dealing with daily struggles, but they continue on to fulfill their dream for a better future for their family.

“I am very positive and genuinely care about our students, and I hope this has an impact on them.  I also treat everyone like I would want my family to be treated.  In this position, you have to care - you never know who you may be talking to that could have a major issue and just by taking the time to listen to them could make a huge difference in their life.

“I really feel that we all have a close connection [at the Nashville Campus], and I think this carries over to our students.  Hopefully, they feel like they are part of our college family.”

Kymberlee Pearson is a Difference Maker at the Nashville Campus.


Anesthesiologist Speaks About the Medical Profession

Anesthesiologist Speaks About the Medical Profession

On Tuesday, October 22nd Dr. Kathleen Hahn, wife of National College instructor Raymond Hahn, came to speak to students at the Princeton Campus.  Dr. Hahn worked at Bluefield Regional Medical Center for 21 years and is now an anesthesiologist at the Carillion New River Valley Medical Center in Radford, Virginia, and at Regional Surgical Services in Bluefield, Virginia.

Dr. Hahn talked to students about qualifications and job responsibilities of hospital employees and surgical teams.  She began with a discussion about personnel who patients come into contact with when admitted for a surgical procedure.  She described the responsibilities of each person on the surgical team and the training needed in order to achieve the level of expertise necessary to provide excellent patient care. Some of the team members she discussed were admitting clerks, nursing assistants, orderlies, registered nurses, surgical and radiology technicians, nurse anesthetists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. 

Dr. Hahn also talked about the central sterile unit where instruments are sterilized for use in the operating room and about the importance of math skills when calculating doses of medications.  She answered questions about specific surgeries and discussed the BIS brain functioning monitor system which keeps track of the patient’s level of sedation. It is used during surgery to maintain a desired level of sedation rather than just relying on calculating doses of medications by weight.  Dr. Hahn emphasized the importance of professional credentials stating that many positions formerly trained on-the-job now require formal education and certification or licensure to work in a hospital setting. Local hospitals often hire graduates from National who have obtained their credentials in medical assisting and pharmacy technology. Our graduates have worked as phlebotomists and admissions clerks and have been trained as monitor techs.

Instructor Raymond Hahn and wife, Dr. Kathleen Hahn.


Campus Recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Campus Recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In honor of Pinktober/October Breast Cancer Awareness month, Kara Lamb with the Alan B. Pearson Cancer Center and Centra Health visited the Lynchburg Campus as guest speaker.  Ms. Lamb spoke about the importance of having breast exams done, especially if there is a family history.  Regarding mammograms, the current guideline is 40 years of age.  If there is history, then talk to your doctor and get checked earlier.  Ms. Lamb educated the group on how this disease not only affects women, but that men are at risk too.  She also talked about the difference in emotions one may feel, and the way a person handles the news if diagnosed.   The Alan B. Pearson Cancer Center and Centra Health are fully equipped to handle the diversity in every diagnosis, no matter the circumstance.  

Ms. Lamb also explained that there are different financial programs available to help with the expense of the exams and treatments if someone does not have insurance.  She said that everyone should get checked.

“One of the best things that I encourage women to do is be your own best advocate,” said Ms. Lamb.  “If you feel something that is just not settling right, then listen to your gut instinct because usually it’s right.”  

Pictured are medical students of the Lynchburg Campus who listened to guest speaker Kara Lamb who spoke about the importance of breast exams.                                                                                        


Graduate Is Completely Satisfied With Medical Career

Graduate Is Completely Satisfied With Medical Career

As a recent graduate of the Richmond Campus, Brian Lowery is excited to use the knowledge and skills gained in his classes at American National University to treat the many illnesses and injuries that he encounters as a registered medical assistant at Berea Urgent Care.  “Everything that I’ve been taught…I’m seeing all of that,” said Brian. “It’s awesome.”

Brian was working as a server in a restaurant when he enrolled at American National University to help him find a more fulfilling career.   He received hands-on training in his clinical classes, and developed the soft skills necessary for his career, while working as a federal work study for the campus.  “When I first came into National, I had no set goals.  I was kind of immature,” said Brian.  “Then I became a federal work study student and I had to wear a tie every day, so that straightened me up, and got me in a routine.  I had to be on time, so that got me set for the professional field.  I matured a lot,” he recalled.

In addition to his clinical classes, an externship with Kentucky Back Center was one of Brian’s favorite aspects of his program.  It confirmed to him that he had chosen the right career as he worked in the office triaging patients, performing drug tests, and assisting with physical exams.

Near the end of his program, Brian worked closely with Cynthia Hansel in student services, who assisted him with his job search.    She set up an interview for him with Berea Urgent Care, which has hired a number of American National University graduates, and she helped him prepare for the interview.   “I wasn’t a good [interviewee]…so she gave me some coaching and helped me with my résumé and here I am!” he explained.

Brian loves the variety of duties that he performs as a registered medical assistant--from assisting with minor medical procedures, to working in the lab.   “I love every single thing about it.  I get to see something every day [that’s] different,” he said.  “It’s rewarding and satisfying to help people.”

Brian Lowery loves the variety of duties that he performs working as a registered medical assistant at Berea Urgent Care.

Medical Assisting Students Tour Physician’s Office

Medical Assisting Students Tour Physician’s Office

Kathreen Buckner, director of healthcare education, and career center director Karen Sheldon accompanied medical assisting students Ashley Rehg, Kristen Robertson, Anisa Hersi, and Bobbie Bitter at the Florence Campus to tour St. Elizabeth Physicians practice in Dry Ridge, Kentucky.  This was an opportunity to combine a field trip to a medical facility and the presentation of the Distinguished Community Employer Award. “Our facility has grown exponentially since opening over 20 years ago”, said office manager LeAnn Brown.  Ms. Brown would know, because she has been with the practice since the beginning. “American National University has sent us wonderful externs that we’ve hired,” said Ms. Brown. “They are courteous, knowledgeable, compassionate, and are eager to learn even after completing their externships. Those qualities are not necessarily innate in medical assisting candidates.”  Ms. Brown said that she is “always open to hosting American National University’s medical assisting externs.”

Pictured from (l) to (r) are students Ashley Rehg, Bobbie Bitter, Missy Edington, LeAnn Brown of St. Elizabeth Physicians, students Kristen Robertson, Nimo Hersi, and Brandi Woods. Both Missy and Brandi are American National University graduates that completed their medical assisting externships with the doctors’ office and were hired after completing their programs.

Veteran Completes Career Training Through the VRAP Program

Veteran Completes Career Training Through the VRAP Program

Michael Smith, who recently completed his business administration-management program at the Lexington Campus, is assisting visitors with filing unemployment claims, completing check requests, and more at the Kentucky Career Center.

Michael’s career training at American National University was funded through the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), a program previously offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Labor, which provided career training funding to unemployed veterans ages 35-60. 

Although Michael knew that the VRAP program was a great opportunity for him, he was concerned about entering college at the age of 57.  His fears were alleviated at National, where the small class size allowed him to receive the personal attention that he needed to succeed.  “It was unbelievable, because the teachers were ready to help you one-on-one.  The classes were small enough that you could get help if you needed it,” said Michael.  “I was surprised that I was able to catch back up, even after being out of school all of those years.  I was able to make the Dean’s List twice.”

Michael was placed in his job at the Kentucky Career Center through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a program funded by the Department of Labor and managed by the National Council on Aging, which places eligible older adults in jobs with community service organizations.

The computer skills that Michael developed in his program at National have been particularly beneficial to him on the job.  He especially enjoys assisting other older adults who lack computer skills when they need to apply for their benefits and jobs online.   “By coming here, it’s helped me help them, “he said of his program at National. 

Armed with his career training from National, Michael has newly found self-confidence and hope for the future.   “It’s a sense of accomplishment,” said Michael.  “It makes you feel much better when you set out to do something and you’re able to do it.”

Graduate Michael Smith is using his skills in technology assisting his clients at the Kentucky Career Center.


Medical Assisting Students Provide Screenings at Community Event

Medical Assisting Students Provide Screenings at Community Event

Medical assisting students from the Louisville Campus recently participated in “Remember to Remember,” a breast cancer awareness event that was held at Elliott Park Apartments. Under the supervision of director of health care education Bonnie Kiefer, the students conducted blood pressure, blood glucose, and pulse and respiration screenings for the women who attended the event.

Hannah Black, one of the medical assisting students who performed screenings, said that the event gave her hands-on experience which will help prepare her for her new career in health care.  “Because of this experience, I feel more comfortable and more like I know what I’m doing,” she said.

Crystal Rogers, an apartment resident who took advantage of the screenings, said that she enjoyed interacting with the students and she appreciated the opportunity to have her blood pressure and glucose checked.  “I think it’s wonderful,” she said of the students’ participation.  “I always feel so good when I see young girls learning and training for their future, doing positive things with their life.”

(A)-Medical assisting student Hannah Black takes the pulse rate of an attendee at "Remember to Remember," an event that was held at Elliott Park Apartments in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

(B)-Medical assisting students from the Louisville Campus gathered for a photo after providing health screenings at "Remember to Remember."

Students Receive Résumé Writing and Interviewing Tips

Students Receive Résumé Writing and Interviewing Tips

The Danville, Kentucky Campus Career Center recently held a workshop on résumé writing and interviewing skills.  During the workshop, career center director Felicia Luttrell and instructor Matt Adams performed two mock interviews—one portraying a good interview and one portraying a bad interview. “We touched on anything and everything involving the interview process,” Felicia explained.  “We spent a lot of time talking about mannerisms and how to answer an interviewer’s questions.”

Felicia also shared ten steps to a good résumé with the students.  Those steps included:  choosing a job target (also called a job objective); listing your skills and education that are relevant to the job target; and creating “action statements” for your résumé which demonstrate actions that you’ve taken to resolve a problem in a previous job and how those actions were beneficial to the employer.  An example of an action statement would be:  “I increased account base by 50% at two locations.”

Benjamin Pennington, a student in the business administration-management program, said that the workshop was very informative and that he now knows how to properly present himself during an interview and how to prepare a résumé.

Leslie Oller, a medical billing and coding student said, “I got some great tips for interview skills and wonderful suggestions for my resume.”

Career center director Felicia Luttrell shared tips for interviewing and résumé writing during a workshop at the Danville Campus (Kentucky).

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.