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December 09, 2013

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National Paved the Way to Furthering Graduate's Education and Career

National Paved the Way to Furthering Graduate's Education and Career

In her job working as the Entrepreneurial Training Academy (ETA) coordinator for the Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative (GCMI), Tracey Hayes helps others fulfill their dreams of owning their own business as she leads them through training and mentoring programs that will help them succeed.  But Tracey’s career and her own dream of earning a college degree might not have become a reality without the support she found at the Cincinnati Campus.

Earlier in her career, Tracey had just been promoted to executive director of another non-profit organization, the Cincinnati Business Incubator (CBI), when she realized that she needed to earn a degree to be most effective in her new job.  She previously attended a large university, but when she began to struggle in class, she was told that college might not be the right choice for her.  “It was just too much for me,” she recalled. “They weren’t…sensitive to students’ needs,” said Tracey.  “I was told that probably this wasn’t for me.  So, I left.”

Tracey enrolled at American National University, located just minutes from her home, and found everything that she needed to succeed. “The evening classes, the small classes, the attention that the professors gave me, the instructors with their real life experience that they brought to the classroom—it was awesome. I certainly enjoyed it,” said Tracey.  “I went to National and I’ve been an honor roll student ever since.”
After earning her associate’s degree in business administration-management at National, Tracey’s confidence soared, and she transferred to Tiffin University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in two years thanks to her National degree.  “Without National, I wouldn’t have been able to springboard to my bachelor’s degree program. National gave me the foundation that I needed to excel in the classroom,” she explained.  “It was my launch pad because my feet were on the ground, but I couldn’t go anywhere…National gave me the academic understanding that I needed to get further.   National paved the way.”
In her work at GCMI, Tracey is inspired by the  business leaders of tomorrow as she works with them to help them reach their goals, just as her education at National helped her reach her own. “American National University was a game changer in my life,” she said. “I always said that I’m going to be a business woman, so I’m living the dream.”

A-Tracey Hayes, a graduate of the Cincinnati Campus, said that her degree from American National University allowed her to continue her education and further her career.

B-Graduate Tracey Hayes is pictured with Willie Hill, executive director of GCMI.

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Columbus Campus Veterans Day Celebration

Columbus Campus Veterans Day Celebration

To commemorate Veterans Day, the Columbus Campus had a special event in which Cassandra Seward, who has served in both the United States Air Force and Air National Guard as a financial management technician and human resources officer, gave a presentation for students, staff, and faculty.  Cassandra is an adjunct faculty member at the campus.  She teaches courses in the business program.

When Cassandra was nineteen years old, she was working as a waitress, and she wanted to attend college, but she was unsure how she would pay for it.  After some contemplation and soul searching, she decided to enlist in the Air Force so she could take advantage of the education benefits.  She attended college while serving in the Air Force, earning an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree.  Cassandra was discharged from the Air Force after four years of service, but after the 9/11 terror attacks, she felt a call to return to military service, so she enlisted in the Air National Guard.  Two months after enlisting, she was working full-time.

Cassandra spoke about how her military service has helped her develop a much stronger love of the country than she had before entering the armed forces, and she illustrated this with a story about standing outside in the chilly rain for several hours in uniform while three service members who had paid the ultimate sacrifice were laid to rest.  She has a lot of reverence for the people who offer their time and effort into preserving the freedom we enjoy here in the United States.  This reverence transferred to many of the students who were present at Cassandra’s presentation as well.  “I thought it was very inspiring,” said MAA student Farnaz Yegeneh of the Veterans Day event.  Farnaz also expressed that she is thinking about entering into military service.

Adjunct instructor and Veteran, Cassandra Seward (back row-third from left), with those who listened to her personal story about her military service.

Clothing Giveaway Doubled as a Lesson of What to Wear

Clothing Giveaway Doubled as a Lesson of What to Wear

The Indianapolis Campus teamed up with the Church of the First Born Saints to host a women’s clothing giveaway on campus on Monday, November 11th and Tuesday, November 12th. The event provided the students and community an opportunity to peruse through hundreds of brand new business casual clothing items including coats, suit jackets, skirts, sweaters, tops, and pants. Career center director Brooke Richardson was contacted by missionary Tanya Odom with the Church of the First Born Saints (CFBS) due to a referral from a current student of American National University and member of the church. The church had the clothing donated to them and were looking for a way to distribute the clothing to the community and those in need. American National University was excited to help out with the event. “This was a great opportunity to provide for not only the community, but also our students in need,” said Brooke.  “Since the clothing was business casual, I was also able to show students how to properly dress for an interview using mannequins donated by local retail stores.”  In order to prepare for the event, Brooke, along with the help of the admissions staff, contacted local stores to see if they would be willing to donate items to aid with the distribution. The calls resulted in the collection of hangers from Kohl’s, Meijer, and Old Navy; mannequins from Macy’s and Wet Seal; and clothing racks from Indy Store Fixtures.

The event attracted more than 200 guests as well as media attention. “I am so very pleased with the response from the community during the clothing giveaway,” said Tanya.  “Partnering with American National University was a great experience. Volunteers from the school and church alike worked very hard helping to setup and distribute the clothing. CFBS is always looking to reach out to the community at large and make a difference in people’s lives. This was truly a labor of love.”  Student Janai Stewart said, “I really enjoyed the event and it seemed to put a lot of smiles on people’s faces. I was able to get quality clothing for job interviews, as well as clothing used every day.”

Due to its success, the event may become an annual one.

A-Some of the clothing along with a professionally dressed mannequin.

B- Guests perusing the clothing available.


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.