National Newsletter - biweekly updates from National's 30 communities in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana.
National News

February 03, 2014

News from

National's Heritage

Schedule a Visit


Share this Newsletter

Social Connections

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook View our YouTube cannel


Business Management Graduate Has Success in Human Resources

Business Management Graduate Has Success in Human Resources

April Dillon graduated from the Roanoke Valley Campus in 2006 with a degree in business administration- management.  She chose ANU because she had researched colleges and was attracted by the smaller class sizes that ANU offered.  She knew that she was suited to a one-on-one academic environment in which she could ask questions if needed. 

Prior to attending, April owned and operated a house cleaning business.  She had more than 20 clients and knew that obtaining a college degree could only help her.  She said that she was very pleased with the education that she received.  Mathew George was her favorite instructor because he was always open to questions and because of his ability to make “material that was very boring, very interesting,” explained April. 

She feels that ANU augmented the experience that she already had as a business owner.  Regarding advice that she would give to other students, April said, “What you put into it, you are going to get back.  You have to be motivated.”

April recently returned to campus to participate in a job fair as she is now the human resources recruiter and volunteer coordinator for Richfield Retirement Community.

Graduate April Dillon recently returned to the Roanoke Valley Campus as a human resources recruiter.

Our Communities - Article Quick Links

Campus Support Services

Fort Wayne, IN
Indianapolis, IN
South Bend, IN

Danville, KY
Florence, KY
Lexington, KY
Louisville, KY
Pikeville, KY
Richmond, KY

Akron Area, OH
Cleveland, OH
Cincinnati, OH
Columbus, OH
Dayton Area, OH
Stark County, OH
Youngstown, OH

Bartlett, TN
Bristol, TN
Knoxville, TN
Madison, TN
Memphis, TN
Nashville, TN

Charlottesville, VA
Danville, VA
Harrisonburg, VA
Lynchburg, VA
Manassas, VA
Martinsville, VA
Roanoke Valley, VA

West Virginia
Parkersburg, WV
Princeton, WV

Father and Daughter Attend College Together

Father and Daughter Attend College Together

Eric Hendricks and Ebony Allison have a great relationship; not only with each other, but with American National University.  The father and daughter team are attending college at the Princeton Campus for different majors and objectives but seem to have similar views about our university. 

Eric speaks proudly about his children.  Ebony said, “He has always pointed out to us the importance of an education.”  Both father and daughter said that they enjoy the smaller class sizes and the individual attention a student receives.  Eric likes the term system, which will allow him to reach his goal to be a business manager more quickly.  Ebony agrees, but she is working towards becoming a medical assistant. 

Interestingly, when Eric decided to complete his education, after trying two other universities, he discovered ANU through a television commercial.  Ebony knew her father was attending ANU, but was also influenced to follow a friend who married into the family, thus increasing the family members who share this common bond of their education.

Father and daughter, Eric Hendricks and Ebony Allison, are attending the Princeton Campus together.

Student Finds the Means to Succeed

Student Finds the Means to Succeed

Cawania Price, a student at the Danville, Virginia Campus, will be able to continue her education in healthcare management thanks to the JT Minnie Maude Charitable Trust Scholarship.  This might not have been possible if she was not persistent in her pursuit of the scholarship.  Cawania has been awarded $1,000 to assist with her tuition and books.  When informed the scholarship had been awarded to Cawania, career center director Rhonda Pass said, “Nothing is impossible if one perseveres.  Working toward your goal even under trying circumstances has its rewards.”

The primary goal of the JT Minnie Maude Charitable Trust is to provide higher education opportunities to deserving students in the area.  Cawania had no prior knowledge of the scholarship until admissions director Jeff Moore informed her about it during her admissions interview and campus tour. 

After learning about the requirements as well as the benefits of the scholarship, Cawania made a choice that truly gave her the means to succeed.  Regarding this honor, Cawania said, “I was excited when I was told.  I didn’t think I would get it.”  To receive the scholarship, Cawania completed an application and wrote a 200 word essay that answered:  “Why a College Education is Important as It Relates to Your Career and Your Future Career Goals.” 

Student Cawania Price is a recipient of the JT Minnie Maude Charitable Trust Scholarship.

Graduate Returns to Campus to Discuss His New Position

Graduate Returns to Campus to Discuss His New Position

Associate of Information Systems Engineering (ISE) and Bachelor of Informatonal Technology (BIT) graduate Kevin Hopkins, now senior software engineer at General Assembly, recently returned to the Charlottesville Campus as a guest speaker.  Kevin discussed with the database management students about evolving technology, continuing his education, and post-graduate employment.  He began by discussing how evolving technology still uses primary systems, such as databases.  He explained that even televisions use basic databases and that this is why having a degree in technology is so rewarding because it can be used in a variety of areas.  “I learned lots of core and foundational knowledge while I was attending,” said Kevin.  He discussed the added benefits of his current job.  He now works at General Assembly whose headquarters are located in New York City.  He has 22 global contacts which include clients from Hong Kong, China and Sydney, Australia. Completing his education has propelled him into a rewarding position where he is able to utilize his skills and passion for technology.

Graduate Kevin Hopkins returned to the Charlottesville Campus to talk about his career.

Guest Speakers Provide Valuable Career Advice

Guest Speakers Provide Valuable Career Advice

Terri Davis-McCall, career center director of the Nashville Campus, invited Ericka Smith, resource development manager for Modis, an IT staffing company, and Rachel Campbell, human resource manager for NuScriptsRx, to speak to the students about preparing for an interview and making a great first impression.

Ms. Smith focused on dressing professionally and being prepared for interviewing by researching the company and job position before the interview.  Ms. Smith brought her expertise of working with local employers that are seeking to hire the best candidate when it comes to skills and professionalism.  Ms. Smith encouraged the students by saying, “Always present yourself in a professional manner, [ensure] your résumé is error free, and always, always consult the career center director about interviewing attire.  It’s okay to ask for positive feedback.”

Ms. Campbell stressed the importance of always having a professional attitude.  Rudeness is not acceptable because you never know who you are coming in contact with who will influence the person that makes the hiring decision.  Ms. Campbell said, “know [your] strengths and weaknesses when interviewing.  You want to convey your strengths to the interviewer and the flip side of that is knowing your weakness…admit you have faults and tell the interviewer what you’re doing to improve the weakness.”

The highlight of this workshop was that an ISE student, Philip Parker, walked away with an interview with Ms. Smith for an entry-level IT position.  Both Ericka and Rachel ended by encouraging the students to take their time and make sure they are prepared for an interview by researching the company and knowing what position they are seeking.  Also, they reiterated  to always be professional.

A-Management student, Malcolm Edmond, and Rachel Campbell, human resource manager for NuScriptsRx, at the Nashville Campus.

B-Erica Smith, resource development manager for Modis, one of the guest speakers at the Nashville Campus. 

Tavara Phillips – Student Services Representative – Fort Wayne

Tavara Phillips – Student Services Representative – Fort Wayne

Tavara Phillips—Difference Maker at the Fort Wayne Campus

Student Services Representative

American National University staff member since 2012

Holds a bachelor’s degree in human services from Indiana Tech

“I have a passion for helping people make positive changes in their lives.  I enjoy being able to relate to our students’ day-to-day lives and encourage them to keep pushing to pursue their dreams.

“I admire our students’ drive to succeed and better themselves and to be a positive asset to the community.

“The best thing about being a staff member at American National University is being a part of a team that truly cares and makes a difference.”

Tavara Phillips (r), Difference Maker at the Fort Wayne Campus, with student Gabrielle Reinhard (l).

Students Learn About the Importance of Soft Skills

Students Learn About the Importance of Soft Skills

John Tyus, career center director for the Columbus Campus, is dedicated to making sure the students have the professional skills necessary to succeed when they graduate.  Recently, he gave the students an opportunity to improve themselves by offering a workshop on soft skills.  Soft skills are defined as knowing how to communicate to and relate with other people.  Additionally, soft skills involve any personal attributes that enhance a person’s interactions with other people.  They are distinguished from hard skills, which involve the skills that directly relate to a person’s ability to perform his or her job—for example, a computer programmer’s knowledge of programming languages. 

Throughout the session, John challenged the students to think of situations that would require strong soft skills, and he also challenged them to think of ways to implement those skills.  One scenario discussed involved a customer service situation in which the customer was upset about a negative experience they encountered with a company.  A person dealing with this situation on the job would need to have soft skills in order to handle it in the most professional manner possible.

Campus Director Wes Smith helped out with the presentation, taking a few moments to talk about how little things like your tone of voice, body language, and words like “please” and “thank you” can greatly improve your soft skills and your interactions with other people, both professionally and in everyday life.  He talked a little bit about proper etiquette for a job interview, emphasizing how soft skills can be applied there.  For example, shaking the interviewer’s hand professionally and looking him or her in the eye can greatly influence how the interview goes for you.

Johnny Lahai, a student at the campus, found the session to be very informative.  “I learned a lot about the difference between soft skills and hard skills,” he said.  “This will help me very much when I look for a job.”

The picture shows John Tyus (back row, second from right) with some of the students after the soft skills workshop.

Job Skills Workshop Held on Campus

Job Skills Workshop Held on Campus

Kristy Leigh Tatum, English instructor at the Lynchburg Campus, requires that her students complete an application form and write a résumé and letter of recommendation for their final exam.  She asked Michelle Andrews, career center director, to speak to her class about the importance of their résumés and letters of recommendation. Michelle’s passion for helping the students really shined through and the students were very appreciative.  She showed and explained to the students the format of a résumé and explained the importance of the document being professional. 

Michelle also provided tips on how to obtain an interview, and answered the students’ questions pertaining to interviews.  “I really appreciate her dedication to the student populace here at American National University and believe that my students learned many valuable insights,” said Kristy.  “[Michelle] really cares about the students who attend American National University to the point she is willing to make the extra mile, if it means helping a student achieve their dreams.”

Michelle Andrews, career center director conducts a workshop on job searching.  Students pictured front to back are:  Neal Thomas, Tiwana Miller, and Ashley Surface.

Graduate Impresses Physician with Her Preparation and Care

Graduate Impresses Physician with Her Preparation and Care

Florence Campus graduate Christina Leffler is working as a registered medical assistant at St. Elizabeth Physicians Women’s Health, where she enjoys caring for Dr. Steven Hensley’s patients.   “I love what I do,” said Christina, who rooms patients, takes their vitals, and assists with procedures.  “My favorite part of my job is patient care—making the patient happy when they leave.”

After earning associate’s degrees in surgical technology and medical assisting, Christina was hired by Dr. Hensley following an interview with him.  “She was very sincere and seemed very interested in the job.  She was also enthusiastic about working for me,” he recalled.

Christina developed a passion for caring for others at a young age, and Dr. Hensley said she is one of the finest medical assistants that he’s worked with in his career.  “I have never had better,” he said.  “She is personable, reliable, conscientious, caring, and enthusiastic.  I can always count on her to think ahead and be prepared,” said Dr. Hensley.  “She knows what she is doing and answers patients’ questions well.”

Christina first came to American National University after becoming a certified nursing assistant through a vocational program in high school.  She decided to continue her education to advance in her career, and enrolled at National after discovering that it was one of the only schools in the area which offered a class schedule that would allow her to work while attending school.  At National, She enjoyed learning from instructors who were professionals from the medical field. 

Christina’s drive and determination to advance in the medical field are still strong today as she sets her sights on moving up in her career.  “It has been a joy to work with her, but also an incredible pleasure to watch her grow in her job,” said Dr. Hensley.

Graduate Christina Leffler is working at St. Elizabeth Physicians Women’s Health in Florence, Kentucky as a registered medical assistant.

Medical Students Learn About Being a Saver of Lives

Medical Students Learn About Being a Saver of Lives

Tim Jones, an EMT/paramedic/firefighter with the Lexington Fire Department, recently spoke to medical students at the Richmond Campus about the career of a paramedic and EMT; the drugs that they are allowed to dispense to patients; drug interactions and how common adverse drug reactions are in elderly patients.

When they are called to a scene they assess what is wrong using “ABC’s”—Airway, Breathing and Circulation. They check vital signs—pulse, blood pressure, respiratory, and blood glucose.  The drugs that a paramedic administers are stabilizing drugs to keep vital signs stable while the patient is transported to an emergency room.

The elderly are more likely to overdose because they are often unaware of what active ingredients are in what drugs.  For example:  Percocet and Nyquil both have acetaminophen in them and if you take both drugs, you will overdose on acetaminophen because the human body can only handle 4,000 milligrams a day. He also advised that when it comes to taking medication, make sure you follow directions that your doctor gives you to be safe.  Look at what you are taking, and when it is to be taken.

“Learning about medicines and the adverse effects they can have was amazing knowledge to take in because [they are] things [I] never really thought about before,” said medical assisting student, Melissa Crowe.  “His presentation makes me look forward to helping people the way he does.”

Tim Jones, an EMT/Paramedic/Firefighter with the Lexington Fire Department, spoke to medical students at the Richmond Campus about his career.

Student Chooses National to Provide Credential for Her Position

Student Chooses National to Provide Credential for Her Position

Mercy Thacker, a student in the medical assisting program at the Pikeville Campus, received encouragement from her employer, SelfRefind (a drug and alcohol addiction recovery clinic), to continue her education.  Mercy was already doing the work every day but really wanted the credentials to compliment her day to day skills.  She chose American National University because the class sizes were small and the instruction from the teachers was individualized.    Mercy noticed very early in her program that one of the advantages of small classes is the camaraderie that is formed in the classroom. “It is very hard working full time, going to school and having a family, but it’s worth it,” said Mercy.  “In a few more months, I will have my degree.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

Mercy Thacker is a medical assisting student at the Pikeville Campus.

Student Prepares for New Career Because of Externship

Student Prepares for New Career Because of Externship

Alana Gatliff, a student in the medical assisting program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, is more excited than ever to begin her career in health care after gaining experience working in the field during an externship with Central Kentucky Interventional Pain Center.

“I absolutely love it,” said Alana.  "I’m ready to be in the medical field.  I’ve learned so much in just a few weeks already here.” She is working side-by-side with several other American National University graduates who have been hired by the practice.

Her duties include both administrative and clinical work in the office.  She particularly enjoys helping to prep patients and watching as the physician performs a variety of epidurals and other pain-relieving injections.  “After getting over the nervousness part, I wanted to be in there every time,” said Alana.  “I’m learning a lot…about the whole back area.”

In addition to the externship, Alana is preparing to sit for her certification exam in her Medical Assisting Exam Success Class in which director of health care education Stephanie Slone leads a review for the test. “She’s absolutely amazing,” said Alana.  “She’s really helped.”

Once she completes her externship and becomes certified, Alana feels that she’ll be well prepared for her new career. “It will change my life tremendously, just getting a real career and starting in the medical field,” said Alana. “I’m almost there.”

Alana Gatliff is a medical assisting student preparing to sit for her certification exam.

Student Turned to National after Layoff

Student Turned to National after Layoff

Dallas DeArruda wasn’t sure where to turn when she lost her job after working as an apartment manager for more than four years. “I didn’t have a job, and didn’t have any college background, so I was left with ‘What should I do?’”  I felt really upset, and didn’t know where to go,” explained Dallas.

She saw a television commercial for American National University, researched the school online, then paid a visit to the Lexington Campus and enrolled, all on the same day.  “Everybody was really friendly.  [My admissions representative] was Sharon [Rodgers], and she was a godsend,” Dallas recalled.  “Math kind of gave me anxiety, and it was a big reason why I didn’t want to go to school.  She told me, ‘Don’t let one subject keep you from going to school.’”

After discussing the degree options with Sharon, Dallas enrolled in the office technology professional associate’s degree program.   She is happy to be able to say that she actually enjoys coming to school. “Everybody is so helpful,” said Dallas, as she described the staff and faculty at National. 

Dallas is on schedule to graduate with her degree in the fall, and she looks forward to working with the career center to land a promising position in her field.  “I just like everything about National,” said Dallas.  “It’s definitely helped me grow, and be more positive, and [feel more] strong about my future and what I can do.”

Dallas DeArruda will graduate in the fall with a degree in office technology professional. 

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.