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December 30, 2013

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Certified Nursing Assistant Succeeds in Reaching A Higher Goal

Certified Nursing Assistant Succeeds in Reaching A Higher Goal

Sandra Glover had worked for 19 years as a certified nursing assistant (CNA).  She wanted a career change and decided to go back to school to further her education in the healthcare field because she had known for many years that her gift to life is being able to help others.  Sandra said that the best feeling ever is when she knows that she has helped someone. 

When she decided to go back to school, it was a little overwhelming.  She has three kids, and one has cerebral palsy, so much of her attention was needed at home.  She was also working full-time.  Her family has been a great support system to her since returning to school at the Lynchburg Campus.  Sandra said that the classes offered at ANU have been great in preparing her for her associate’s degree in medical assisting.  Sandra added that the class sizes are wonderful, because the instructors are able to offer more one on one with the students.

“My instructors have been awesome with teaching me the tools that I needed to fulfill my accomplishments in medical assisting,” said Sandra.  “I will tell anyone that if you want a career change, do not be afraid to just do it. You have got to make some sacrifices but in the end it will all pay off for you.  I am glad that my drive for a change led me to ANU and I have successfully completed my studies here.” 

Sandra was offered a job by her externship site, even before taking and successfully passing her RMA [registered medical assistant] exam.  “I want to say to all the staff at ANU, 'Thanks for all that you have done to help me succeed,'" said Sandra. “To all new students, just don't give up.  There is help on the campus whenever you need it.  It may get tough at times, but as long as you keep pushing forward and know what you want, you will succeed.”

Graduate Sandra Glover (pictured) is a registered medical assistant.

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Soft Skills on Display at Mock Interviews

Soft Skills on Display at Mock Interviews

Students at the Danville, Virginia Campus recently had the unique opportunity to participate in mock interviews with various community business leaders. The mock interviews are used as a tool to help improve the students’ interviewing skills and this process is an essential component of the students’ job search. “The majority of students never practice their interview techniques before the actual job interview,” stated career center director Rhonda Pass. “Lack of practice can make interviewing stressful and challenging.”

The mock interviews were for upcoming graduates and any student needing to sharpen his or her interviewing skills. Students prepared cover letters, résumés, and JIST cards (which means “job information seeking and training” and is a combination of a résumé and a business card that contains enough information to interest potential employers in contacting applicants for a copy of your full résumé and an interview).  The students also dressed professionally to meet with community business leaders such as the Danville Regional Medical Center, the City of Danville, Karen’s Hallmark, Dan Valley Foods, Unique Industries, Wells Fargo, Mary Kay, and Dr. Boshra Zachary’s office.

Each interview ran smoothly with student evaluation forms being completed by the business leaders. The interviewers suggested improvements the students could make and most requested a second interview with the student for the purpose of measuring improvements.

Barry Hammock, a business administration management graduate, said he enjoyed the experience and wasn’t nervous at all.  Barry aced his mock interview and received positive comments on his résumé.

(A)-Mary Kay Consultants, Sharon Lee (l) and KeShonna Robertson (center) interview graduate Barry Hammock (right).

(B)-City of Danville HR consultant Felicia King (l) tells student Joseph Groom (r), “I would hire you!”

Family Matters at National College

Family Matters at National College

The Bristol Campus has numerous students enrolled whose family members also attend.  There are students enrolled with their spouses, siblings, cousins, and even with their parents. Tammy and Alicia Brady are a mother-daughter duo enrolled at National College.  Ocie McCarty and Christy Jones are first cousins who attend together.

Tammy and Alicia are pursuing associate’s degrees in medical assisting.  They started college together in July.  When asked why they chose to go to college and why they chose National College, the women’s answers varied.  Tammy wanted to pursue a career change after medical problems forced her to quit driving a truck.  Tammy said that the idea of starting college after a career in the trucking industry made her nervous.  She says it helps that her daughter, Alicia, is attending with her for moral support.  Alicia said, “I want to be able to have a good career that will support me and my two boys.”

Tammy and Alicia chose National College because of a smaller classroom setting where they can receive more individual attention.  Both students were quick to point out that even though they are in the same program, they rarely study together because they have different learning styles.  “Our ethics teacher noticed that we debated a lot in class and that we have very different opinions,” says Alicia.  After they graduate, Tammy and Alicia both plan to pursue additional degrees in the medical field in order to further their careers.

Ocie McCarty and Christy Jones are also pursuing their associate’s degrees in medical assisting.  They started classes together in September.  Ocie says the women decided to attend to together “to be accountable for each other and to support each other.  Together we want to make our families proud.”  Christy says, “My dad [passed away recently and] always wanted me to further my education.  Ocie always reminds me and says, ’that’s what Uncle Jerry (my dad) would want you to do!’”  The women chose National College because of its good reputation and its welcoming environment.  Christy was specifically seeking a college with a two-year program.  Both women are looking forward to their future careers as medical assistants. 

(A)-Alicia Brady (l) and Tammy Brady (r) are a mother and daughter duo at the Bristol Campus.

(B)-Ocie McCarty and Christy Jones are first cousins who are attending college together.

Non-Profit Organization Recognized for Serving the Community

Non-Profit Organization Recognized for Serving the Community

The Cincinnati Campus recently presented the Distinguished Community Employer Award to the Greater Cincinnati Urban League (GCUL). The presentation was made recently by Gerry Washington, department chair of the business administration program and Melinda Chappell, career center director. The GCUL plans to have the presentation featured in “The Herald,” a neighborhood newspaper; the “Cincinnati Enquirer”; and as a running tab story on its newly designed website.

Donald Stokes and Fernando McCloud are two graduates of the Cincinnati Campus who were present for the award presentation.  They were participants in the Solid Opportunities for Advancement and Retention (SOAR) Program as well as the Accelerated Call Center Education (ACE) Program. The Greater Cincinnati Urban League has been instrumental in assisting our students in finding employment through both programs.

Dorothy Smoot, chief program officer of the Greater Cincinnati Urban League said, "We are very honored to receive this award from the American National University Cincinnati Campus.  Our mission is to transform generations by promoting personal empowerment and economic self-sufficiency.  We are proud to have a strong partnership with American National University in helping men and women achieve employment and begin the road of achieving the goals of our mission."

Pictured (l) to (r) are: Melinda Chappell, career center director; Dorothy Smoot, chief program officer of the Greater Cincinnati Urban League; and Gerry Washington, department chair, business administration program.

MNS Recognized for HIM Support

MNS Recognized for HIM Support

The Columbus Campus recently presented the Distinguished Employer Award to Management and Network Services (MNS), Dublin, Ohio, who has provided numerous externship opportunities to HIM (health information management) students and also employed graduate Myeshia Singer. 

“In our history with American National University, we believe the graduates have outstanding skill sets,” said Maria Clemons, director of reimbursement and information technology. “ In our opinion, both the MA [medical assisting] and HIM [health information management] programs prove to be effective in the continual advances in medical technology.  These individuals have great attitudes and work well with our internal and external teams.   We look forward to continuing our relationship with American National University and employing their graduates into the future.   We will continue to share our open positions as they become available.”

MNS specializes in building skilled nursing networks throughout the continental United States.  Their customers are skilled nursing providers, insurance companies, and ultimately, the members.  The MNS vision is to contribute to the overall healthcare system by eliminating task redundancies regarding managed care for affiliated providers, while reducing the stress for patients and families attempting to locate a suitable bed.  With the complexities of managed care simplified, MNS providers can focus on quality patient care.

Wes Smith, Columbus Campus director, presents the Distinguished Community Employer award to Maria Clemons, director of reimbursement and information technology at Management and Network Services (MNS).

Difference Maker - M.J. Williams - Director of Health Care Education

Difference Maker - M.J. Williams - Director of Health Care Education


M.J. Williams—Difference Maker at the Roanoke Valley Campus


Director of Health Care Education


• National College faculty member since 2002
• Has been in the health care field for more than 35 years


• Received LPN from Community Hospital School of Practical Nursing and received RN from Wytheville Community College; is also a registered medical assistant
• Gained nursing experience in a variety of settings, including surgical, psychiatric, and geriatric areas
• Currently assisting with a clinical cardiac trial for a local health care facility


“I appreciate how ANU students inspire me to keep learning and growing. To keep students engaged, you have got to be unpredictable. The day I come in here predictable, that’s when I become stagnant.
“My greatest reward as an instructor is when students pass their certifications. They just exude gratitude. I’ve also been fortunate that we’ve been able to take students to the state American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) conferences. To sit back and watch them interact with other members across the state, that has actually helped our students learn more, and even get jobs in other locations through those interactions.
“I’ve had many fine groups of students. When you look at the economic, age-group differences, and the various backgrounds-- grandmas, single moms, etc., and to bring all those dynamics into one group, where they matriculate from all these isolated situations into their own family culture within themselves. That’s happened in many groups of students I’ve taught, and I enjoy seeing that transformation.
“The best thing about being part of the ANU faculty is changing the quality of health care one student at a time.”

Difference Maker M.J. Williams (l) with student Kolin Delany (r).

Campus Is a Longtime Supporter of the Local Chamber of Commerce

Campus Is a Longtime Supporter of the Local Chamber of Commerce

Many of our campuses are very involved in the local communities that surround our brick and mortar locations.  The Roanoke Valley Campus is one example.  The campus is situated in the City of Salem that adjoins Roanoke, Virginia.  The involvement of American National University with the local Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce is best explained by the organization’s executive director, Debbie Kavitz:

"ANU has been an active and engaged member of the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce since the early 1980’s.  Over the span of time as a chamber member, four people at the college have served as chamber presidents:  Frank Longaker [ANU President]; Mr. Roger Dalton [vice president of governmental affairs]; Lenora Downing [vice president-Virginia and West Virginia], and Lew Bishop [former campus director].  Numerous other people from the college have served on committees and chaired committees.  Ron Bradbury [campus director] has attended chamber events and joined the regional development committee.  Being new to the area, I knew that both Ron and his wife, Terri, would be excellent candidates to serve as judges for the Salem Christmas Parade on Friday, December 6th.  [They] are easy to talk with...[and because they are new to the area[, newcomers who do not have family members in the parade are just the best to assure fairness, good interest level, and a concerted effort to place awards where deserved.  That’s the hard part and the Bradburys were quick to offer up wonderful compliments of the entire parade and the City of Salem’s effort to make all the infrastructure of the event available to the community.   They were excellent judges for an excellent parade."

Ron said, “My wife and I so enjoyed the Salem Christmas parade.  Our hearts were especially warmed by the children who rode on various floats, so many of whom seemed eager to catch our eye and who appeared so thrilled when we returned their waves.”

Roanoke Valley Campus director Ron Bradbury and wife Terri served as judges for the annual Salem, Virginia Christmas Parade. 

Leaving a Legacy

Leaving a Legacy

Heather Gross was going from job to job working as a bartender when her friend, Stephanie Allen, a graduate of the Dayton Area Campus, encouraged her to visit American National University to get the training that she needed for a more stable career.

“She was telling me about the class sizes here, and about how the instructors care about their students and about their success, so it just sounded like the perfect school for me,” recalled Heather, who enrolled in the medical assisting program a short time later.

After attending class for several weeks, Heather is enjoying her program at National.  “Everybody is just so nice, not like other schools where you feel all tense and shy,” said Heather.  “All in all, it’s a perfect school—the whole package.  I just love it. I never thought that I’d say that I loved going to school again, but I do.”

Heather is looking forward to working in the field of health care, and she said that her friend Stephanie is glad that she took her advice and came to National. “She tells me every day, ‘I’m so proud of you,’” she said with a smile.

Student Heather Gross (pictured) was referred to the Dayton Area Campus by graduate Stephanie Allen.

Campus Director Recognized For Her Contributions in Helping County Attain Certification

Campus Director Recognized For Her Contributions in Helping County Attain Certification

Richmond Campus director Keeley Gadd was one of a group recently recognized by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce for her work in helping Madison County achieve certification as a Kentucky Work Ready Community. 

The Kentucky Work Ready Communities certification program from the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet assures employers that a local workforce has the skills necessary to staff existing jobs and to utilize the technologies that new jobs will require.  To achieve the Kentucky Work Ready Community designation, counties have to meet criteria in six areas, including high school graduation rate, National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) attainment, demonstrated community commitment, educational achievement, soft-skills development and digital literacy.

While presenting the award, Richmond Chamber executive director Mendi Goble said, “Madison County is the first community to go from Work Ready In Progress to Work Ready in the state of Kentucky, and this could not have been remotely possible without the hard work and dedication of four special ladies…these ladies have put their heart and soul into this project for the past one and a half years, and helped bring our business and education community together in a way that we have never experienced before.”
Keeley said that she was extremely proud of everyone that worked together to make Madison County a Work Ready Community, including the two school systems, the business community, and the Chamber.  “We couldn’t have achieved this without the dedication of all these groups, but particularly the time and hard work given by the Chamber’s executive director, Mendi Goble, as well as Monica, Tonita, and Vickie, who spearheaded this for our county and made it work!” she said.

(l to r) Tonita Goodwin, Vickie Moberly,  Mendi Goble, Richmond campus director Keeley Gadd, and Monica Kidwell were recognized by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce for their outstanding contributions of time and effort which helped Madison County become the first county in Kentucky to earn the Kentucky Work Ready Community certification.

Combat Lifesaver Continues His Medical Training at National

Combat Lifesaver Continues His Medical Training at National

Jason Bingham, a Pikeville Campus student, came to American National University to give back and help people by entering the medical field.  Jason served eight years in the U.S. military while gaining experience as a combat lifesaver.  He served in two different branches of service, the Army and the Air Force. 

After completing his duty to the country, Jason started working in strip coal mining, but was laid off due to the downturn in the coal industry.  Once he was laid off, he decided that returning to college to further his education would give him job security, so he enrolled in the medical assisting program.

While a student in the medical assisting program, Jason decided to seize the opportunity to take the Kaplan exam in hopes of entering the Pikeville Campus’s nursing program. He received one of the highest test scores in the group.   He stated that a career in the healthcare industry would be beneficial not only to him, but also to his family, as there is “job security and good insurance” in that field.  On December 10th, Jason received his interview for the program, and is hoping he can go from combat lifesaver to nurse.

Jason Bingham (left) is shown during his nursing program admissions interview with nursing administrator Denise Clements (far right) and nursing instructor Zuann Morris.

Students and Graduates Volunteer for Patients

Students and Graduates Volunteer for Patients

The surgical technology program at the Lexington Campus is involved in a worthwhile charity that provides invaluable training for the second-year students as well as graduates.  ‘Surgery on Sundays’ is a non-profit organization that was started in 2005 by Lexington surgeon, Dr. Andrew Moore.

Dr. Moore and his colleagues had long realized that there was a critical need for financially-strapped individuals to be able to receive what were frequently life-saving surgeries, so he set the wheels in motion.  The actual surgeon’s time notwithstanding, there are also the myriad of support services involved – anesthesia, surgical technologists, operating rooms, hospital fees – not to mention other support staff and services.  ‘Surgery on Sundays’ is now a thriving organization and has full support from St. Joseph Hospital, numerous surgeons from many disciplines, as well as free hotel accommodations from participating hotels in the area.  This wonderful organization is now beginning in the Louisville, KY area and will continue to grow in the future.

Jennifer Schnelle, surgical technology instructor, has been instrumental in providing student volunteers, as well as a number of graduates from our program – some of whom have been volunteering for more than a year and plan to continue their service. Not only are the students able to participate in patient prep, assist during surgeries, and help in post-operative duties; they are able to experience first-hand just how wonderful volunteerism can actually be. Jennifer said, “Compassion is just as important as any technical skill.”

Pictured (l) to (r): student Marissa Calderon-Figueroa, Tracy Hagar (volunteer), student Amy Evans, and Melissa Barron (volunteer).

Medical Billing and Coding Student Attend AAPC Meeting

Medical Billing and Coding Student Attend AAPC Meeting

Students of instructor Judy McDonogh’s medical billing and coding class at the Louisville Campus recently attended a meeting of the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC).  Judy explained that she takes students to the meetings so they can establish a habit of participating in the professional organization. 

Attending AAPC meetings is one way that certified coders can earn the continuing education units (CEUs) which are required to retain their certification. Although students are not yet certified, and not eligible to earn CEUs, they are welcome to attend the AAPC meetings which focus on topics of interest to coders.  The meetings also offer a great opportunity for students to network with professionals in the field. 

Kate Gavrilova, a 2007 graduate of the billing and coding program who is taking refresher classes, attended the meeting and remarked that even after years in the United States she is still learning about the culture. “It was very good to hear things that were said about communication,” said Kate.  Another student, Julaun Lewis, noted that examples of bad communication were also discussed.  In addition, the students learned the importance of professionalism at all times.

Instructor Judy McDonogh (far right) is shown with students from her medical billing and coding class who attended the American Association of Professional Coders meeting.


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.