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November 18, 2013

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Graduate Earns Three Degrees and Is Promoted Three Times

Graduate Earns Three Degrees and Is Promoted Three Times

When she came to the United States, Behice Bailey knew she wanted an education but she had no idea that she would accomplish as much as she has in the short time that she has been here.

She came to America in 1997 from Istanbul, Turkey so she could attend college. A family friend recommended Virginia and an Istanbul agency led her to the Roanoke Valley Campus. Now she has three degrees, a child, and a very prominent position with a local non-profit organization.

Behice is one of many students at American National University to take advantage of the progressive degree programs. She started with an associate’s degree in business administration-accounting which helped her develop a passion for numbers. She then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“I like the fact that all the teachers have actual work experience that can apply to what they’re teaching in class,” Behice said as she looked back on her ANU experience. “That definitely makes a difference because their point of views – their experiences – sometimes means much more than what it says in the book.”

The bachelor’s degree helped Behice land a job in the corporate office of a large automobile dealership chain as a financial analyst. “I was able to jump right into this position because of my education,” she said as she described her first job in her new career field.

Behice continually looks for new career opportunities. When she worked as an accounting coordinator for a local payroll services company managing $40-$80 million in transactions a day, she decided it was time to continue her education. She wanted to expand her knowledge and become more marketable, and she knew could count on ANU for a third time. “Classes are tailored for students like me who have jobs and family,” she said. “They work with your schedule.”

She graduated summa cum laude from ANU’s Master of Business Administration program in May 2013 and she is now working as a finance manager for the Energy Conservation and House Rehab Division (ECHR) of Total Action for Progress (TAP) where she was promoted three times in four years. In her current position she manages the administration staff, budgets, accounting, and financials of 20 ECHR programs.

Always in search of opportunities where she can meet her fullest potential, Behice plans to continue learning as much as she can.

A-Behice Bailey graduated Summa Cum Laude from ANU’s Master of Business Administration program in May. She is pictured with Dr. Annette Chamberlin.

B-Graduate Behice Bailey is working as a finance manager for Total Action for Progress, a non-profit organization in Roanoke.

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Halloween Event Is A Learning Opportunity

Halloween Event Is A Learning Opportunity

Deb Tymchio, director of health care education of the Akron Area Campus, loves many of the holiday seasons but Halloween is her favorite. From the year-round Halloween decorations in her office to the medical profession themed candies she offers such as witch’s fingers and gummy intestines, her passion for the holiday is evident. She holds an annual Halloween themed contest for her Terminology of Body Systems.

The rules of the contest are simple: use food and creativity in a fun way to display knowledge gained so far in the Terminology of Body Systems course. All creations are displayed in a common area of the campus and the three best displays are chosen by voters and receive a ten dollar gift card. Entries included pumpkins giving birth, meatball spiders emerging from a bread man’s abdominal cavity, and a “bloody” human heart Jell-O mold, all chosen at the top three. Other contestant entries included a large vegetable tray in the form of a skeleton, “broken glass” cupcakes, and even a skull with chip-chopped ham for skin.

Holiday events like these that double as a learning experience is one example of what makes American National University a fun and unique experience for both students and staff.

A vegetable tray in the form of a skeleton was one of the entries of the annual Medical Terminology Class Halloween themed contest.



Medical Assistants and Pharmacy Technicians Weeks Are Observed

Medical Assistants and Pharmacy Technicians Weeks Are Observed

The South Bend Campus recently celebrated medical assistant and pharmacy technology week. The medical assisting students’ “American National University South Bend Clinic” included non-invasive procedures such as blood pressure, blood sugar, height and weight, and cholesterol level screenings. More than 25 students, facility, and staff who made served as volunteer patients.  Renee Neldon, director of health care education encouraged students to decorate the campus and engaged all the medical assistants in operating the clinic.   Prizes and awards were distributed throughout the week. 

Pharmacy technician week included prescribed candy prescriptions that were filled for anything from sadness to weight loss.   Proper healthcare background paperwork was completed and identification was required by the “customers” to pick up their prescriptions.  A mock pharmacy was set up and all of the pharmacy tech students participated in running the pharmacy. 

Pictured (l) to (r) are: Gerard Arthus, director of information technology; Paula Frison, information systems engineering; and Ralonda Hawkins, medical assisting associate.

Guest Speaker Educates Students Regarding Transmitted Diseases

Guest Speaker Educates Students Regarding Transmitted Diseases

Beth Laurenz, health care education director at the Columbus Campus, invited guest speaker Bill Arnold of the Ohio Aids Coalition to address students in the medical programs about hepatitis.  Mr. Arnold discussed the various types -- hepatitis A, B, and C -- and explained the differences.  He also elaborated on how the various types of hepatitis are transmitted, such as through contact with blood, breast milk, sharing needles, tattooing, and unprotected sex.  He emphasized the importance of proper sanitation and caution and discussed the ways in which the forms of hepatitis are treated. 

For example, it was noted that tattoo parlors must properly sanitize their instruments, as any instruments that have come into contact with infected blood can transmit some forms of hepatitis, and anyone getting a tattoo should take time to assure that the person administering the procedure has properly sanitized the equipment.   

The students found the presentation to be very helpful and informative.  Robyn Hardin, a medical assisting student, said, “I didn’t realize there were that many forms of hepatitis.”  She added that it “helps to know how to protect [you] against diseases,” and that she will take this knowledge with her as she progresses through her program here at American National University and then advances into her new career. 

Students of the Columbus Campus who listened to Bill Arnold of the Ohio Aids Coalition speak about various types of transmitted diseases.


Chamber of Commerce Provides Volunteer and Externship Opportunities

Chamber of Commerce Provides Volunteer and Externship Opportunities

Princeton Campus director, Denver Riffe, and Elaine Owens, career center director, were extremely pleased and excited to present the Distinguished Community Employer award to the local chamber of commerce recently. Mark Meachum, executive director, and Debbie Maynard, executive vice president, along with Karen DeHaan, director of membership development, actively work with the campus in various ways. They are effective in providing externships to office professionals allowing them to obtain the hands-on training they need to find employment; and they offer volunteer opportunities which allow staff and students opportunities to stay in contact and network with area employers. They also have employed graduates and keep university personnel informed of area events that are beneficial to the development of the university. According to both Mr. Meachum and Ms. Maynard, the relationship with ANU’s personnel is not a one-way street.   Both were very complimentary of the university and stated how much they appreciate the contribution ANU has made to the community throughout the years.

Pictured (l) to (r) are:  Debbie Maynard, Executive Vice-President of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce;  Denver Riffe,  Princeton Campus director; other chamber employees are: Mark Meachum, executive director; Karen DeHaan, director of membership development; and Nicole Ayoub-Receptionist/Secretary.

Medical Specialist Office Offers Externships and Employment

Medical Specialist Office Offers Externships and Employment

The Nashville Campus recently presented the Distinguished Community Employer award to The Pain Management Group, Tennessee Pain Surgery Group for their continued support of the campus’ medical billing and coding program.

The Pain Management Group is one of Nashville’s fasting growing pain care centers and has numerous locations throughout middle Tennessee. The company’s specialists utilize a combination of interventional procedures, medication management, and medical equipment selection to best individualize a care plan to suit the needs of the patient. They have provided externship opportunities for the medical billing and coding students within the last year. They have also employed a few graduates in the Antioch area in the billing office and on the clinical side.

Tejany Dill, billing manager, accepted the award on behalf of The Pain Management Group. Mrs. Dill said, “Pain Management is happy to work with National College and their medical billing and coding students and we look forward to bringing in more externs and [helping] them build their skills in billing so they can compete in the industry.” 

Pictured left to right: career center director, Terri J. Davis McCall; Tejany Dill of The Pain Management Group, and director of health care education, John Wallace

Difference Maker - Student Services Representative - Patricia Mitchem

Difference Maker - Student Services Representative - Patricia Mitchem


Patricia Mitchem—Difference Maker at the Princeton Campus


Student Services Representative


  • American National University staff member since 2005
  • Recipient of the Outstanding College Member of the Year award for the Princeton Campus in 2011


Holds a Bachelor of Science degree in management and accounting from Bluefield State College


“The thing that I admire the most about ANU students is their dedication and commitment to gaining education for employment in their chosen career fields.  A lot of our students work and have a family, and they are here to better themselves for their family.

“When I first meet with a prospective student, they are usually really nervous to find out whether they can afford a higher education.  Once I build some rapport with them and let them know I am here to answer any questions, they realize they can accomplish their goals.  I also let them know that I am here for them throughout their journey at ANU and that graduation is our goal.

“My favorite moment as an ANU staff member is watching students graduate and seeing the look of accomplishment that they have.” 

Patricia Mitchem, Difference Maker at the Princeton Campus (r), is pictured with student Stephanie France (l).


Campus Observes Veteran’s Day

Campus Observes Veteran’s Day

The Martinsville Campus scheduled Veterans’ Day observances for day and evening students on Tuesday, November 12th.  The day ceremony featured speaker Walter Sheppard of the PFC Edward W. Richardson Detachment 908 of the Marine Corps League.  Vice Commandant Sheppard stressed the importance of showing appreciation for those who have served in the military and about support offered to veterans by local military associations and the business community.  In the evening observation, Staff Sergeant Damian Wainwright spoke about the career aspect of military service and the recognition and hiring preferences given to veterans by employers. 

Pictured from the day recognition, left to right, front row, are Diane Potter, Christopher Potter, Frank Hairston, Vice Commandant Walter Sheppard, Campus Director John Scott; second row, Justin Mills, Jason Wimbish, Administrative Assistant Lisa Kendrick, and Gary Jenkins.

Florence Campus Gives Back At Northern Kentucky Stand Down

Florence Campus Gives Back At Northern Kentucky Stand Down

 Medical students and staff members from the Florence Campus recently participated in the annual Northern Kentucky Stand Down, which was held at the Bellevue Veterans Club in Bellevue, Kentucky.  The Stand Down provides food, clothing, medical care, and resources to homeless veterans.

During the event, the students conducted blood pressure, glucose, and other screenings for the veterans, and referred those who needed care to the doctor who was on-site conducting exams in the VA Hospital’s mobile unit.

Kristen Robertson, a student from the medical assisting program, said that participating in the event was an eye-opening experience.  “It is amazing to see how many people bond together to make a difference to help better the lives of others,” said Kristen.  “The efforts of these students showed in the faces of many appreciative veterans.  These are great men and women who served our country.  I am extremely grateful and proud to be a part of this event and hope to continue its mission to help veterans.”

Kathreen Buckner, director of health care education, said that she was glad she and her students were able to volunteer at the event to show their appreciation to the veterans.  “Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and to see the response from the veterans was a joyous moment,” said Kathreen.

Carolyn Nienaber, director of surgical technology, and medical assisting student Kristen Robertson are shown providing screenings to veterans during the Northern Kentucky Stand Down.

Kentucky Campuses Observe Veterans Day

Kentucky Campuses Observe Veterans Day

Veterans Day ceremonies were held at each of the Kentucky Campuses to recognize and show gratitude to National College students, faculty and staff who have served our country.

The Danville, Kentucky Campus welcomed Mayor Bernie Hunstad as their guest speaker.  Mayor Hunstad, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, discussed his experience serving in Germany as a military advisor to the U.S. Mission to NATO during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Mayor Hunstad said that he felt that Americans began to show more gratitude and support to veterans following the attacks and he is pleased that veterans are now receiving the respect that they deserve.

Mayor Hunstad also commended National College graduates on the cohort default rates report which was recently released by the U.S. Department of Education.  The report ranks National College as having one of the lowest student loan default rates in the state of Kentucky. 

At the Louisville Campus, panels of veteran students and faculty members shared both serious and humorous stories of their experiences serving in the military.  They also discussed their transition back into civilian life and their time at National College. 

Megan Troutman, a U.S. Army veteran who is a student in the surgical technology program at the campus, shared memories of her life as an MP and of her deployment to Afghanistan.  “We talked about veterans life experiences,” Megan explained. “It was cool that they actually stop and recognize that and care about it.”

At the Richmond Campus, the Madison Southern Air Force ROTC Color Guard opened the campus’s ceremony, while the Model Laboratory School chorus sang a beautiful rendition of the national anthem, and Dylan Hornsby, also from Model Laboratory School, performed Taps.

Guest speaker LTC Christopher Grice, Commander of the Bluegrass Chemical Activity, spoke about how Veterans Day is a day to remember our veterans, and the service and sacrifice that they, and their families, make every day. He also encouraged the students, staff, and faculty to take an active role in their communities.

At the Pikeville Campus, author Basil B. Clark, a Vietnam veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), discussed his book "War Wounded:  Let the Healing Begin" which focuses on the inner woundings which we all encounter in our lives and how to overcome them.

The Pike County Central JROTC also presented the moving Fallen Solider Memorial, which honors those who gave their lives while serving our country. 

At the Florence Campus, Gulf War veteran Christopher Laine, Chairman of the Board of the Yellow Ribbon Support Foundation, spoke to students, faculty, and staff about Armistice Day which was later renamed Veterans Day.  He discussed his organization’s mission to raise funds to recognize fallen soldiers and to support deployed troops.

The Yellow Ribbon Support Foundation administers the Let Us Never Forget Scholarship Fund which sponsors scholarships honoring over 50 fallen soldiers, including Daniel Wallace, a graduate of the Florence Campus, who lost his life while serving in Afghanistan with the Kentucky National Guard.  Over the last nine years, the fund has awarded over $450,000 in scholarships.  The Yellow Ribbon Support Foundation also operates the Yellow Ribbon Support Center which has sent over 25,000 care packages to deployed troops.

Mr. Laine said that he hoped that Veterans Day would be viewed as a day that unites all American citizens.  “Today should not be a day that would separate veterans from those who did not serve, but it should be a day to bring us closer together to show America’s strength.  America’s strength is its diversity,” he said.

Business administration-management student Brandin Smith and his fiancé Camelia Evans, who currently serve in the Kentucky Army National Guard, both enjoyed the recognition that they received during the ceremony.  Brandin said that he visited National College because Camelia recommended the school, and he decided to enroll because of the strong support that he received from student services representative Jason Stewart.  “He’s a veteran, so we clicked.  He knew what I needed to get [my paperwork] done,” he explained.

Dan Nylund, a medical assisting student who is a veteran of the U.S. Army, described the Veterans Day ceremony as “awesome.”  “My Dad was a Vietnam veteran and he never got recognized until later, when he had already passed away, so he never got to see it,” he said.

At the Lexington Campus, the Veterans Day Ceremony was held in conjunction with a Winter Bazaar, and both were thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Nearly 20 students, staff, and faculty members were recognized for their service to our great country, and they each received certificates honoring their contributions. One of the most evocative parts of the annual celebration involves recognizing veterans in attendance, who stood as a medley of armed forces theme songs are played.

“We are proud and honored to say to all our heroes ‘Thank you for your service,’” said Lexington campus director Kim Thomasson.

A-Danville, Kentucky Campus Mayor Mayor Hunstad (left), a retired U.S. Army Colonel, is pictured with campus director Lee Bowling (right), following the Danville Campus's Veterans Day celebration.

B-Pictured left to right are Florence Campus graduate Steve Sally, Christopher Laine, chairman of the board of the Yellow Ribbon Support Foundation, Florence campus director Amy Brown, student services representative Jason Stewart and librarian/instructor Cheryl Heer. 








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