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

February 17, 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


Graduate Gained Professional Skills and Empathy for Others at National

Graduate Gained Professional Skills and Empathy for Others at National

In her work as a financial coach and income support specialist at Cincinnati Works, a non-profit agency which provides support and job-readiness training to the unemployed, Shauntel Dobbins counsels the agency’s members on budgeting and money management, credit and asset building, and about how our behaviors about money lead to failure or success.  “[I am] building relationships and partnering with the members to help them on their road to self-sufficiency,” she explained. 

While she’s constantly using the accounting, computer technology, and management skills that she developed in her business administration-management degree program at the Cincinnati Campus, she also learned another important lesson from her instructors.  “I think it was very helpful that you have teachers and instructors who would meet you where you’re at,” said Shauntel, adding that she tries to mirror that attitude with her students today.

Shauntel recalled how accounting instructor Wenona Johnson helped her conquer her anxiety while meeting the demands of working, being a single mom, and going to school.  “Ms. Johnson really helped me a whole lot.  She came to me and encouraged me.  It wasn’t that I couldn’t do the work, I just got overwhelmed,” she recalled.  “She was patient with me.  She didn’t beat me up. That encouraged me to be patient, and encouraged me not to have a judgment zone with people.”

Shauntel first began working at Cincinnati Works part-time through the AmeriCorps program while she was still a student at National.  She quickly impressed her supervisors with her professional skills and caring nature.  “They loved me so much that they hired me on full-time,” she said with a smile.

Her supervisors were also impressed with her commitment to continue her education while working and Shauntel said that her only regret is that she didn’t earn her associate’s degree sooner.  “Fear of failure will stop you from your destiny, and it almost stopped me, because I said ‘I’ve got a job, what’s the point?’” Shauntel said.  “But at the end of the day, we should be forever learning, and I feel like the degree just opened doors for me.  I felt like I needed to accomplish this to say ‘I did it,’ and I wanted to show my children that it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”

Graduate Shauntel Dobbins is a financial coach and income support specialist at Cincinnati Works, a non-profit agency which provides support and job-readiness training to the unemployed.

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

Campus Holds Successful Job Fair

Campus Holds Successful Job Fair

The Winter Career Fair was held at the Princeton Campus on Tuesday, January 14th.  Princeton Community Hospital, WV Department of Health & Human Resources, WV Division of Personnel, Med Express, WORKFORCE WV, Apprisen, and Bluestone Health Associates were among the employers and agencies that attended.  The career fair even went past the planned end time due to the large number of attendees.

Steve Ellison, veteran representative with WORKFORCE WV and a regular participant in the Princeton career fairs, said, “They just keep improving.  This one was definitely tailored with jobs well suited toward student programs and also for veterans.” 

Student Lakan Newman said, “It was very beneficial, there were a lot diverse employers and I got a good idea of what employers are looking for.”

Medical assisting student Karen Edward discusses available job opportunities with Edwin Bennett, HR Recruiter for WV Department of Health and Human Resources.

Grads Attend Campus Recruiting Fair and Become Hired

Grads Attend Campus Recruiting Fair and Become Hired

Linda Key, staffing coordinator of the Abacus Corporation, visited the Nashville Campus on January 28th to recruit for specific positions in the information technology industry.  Several students and graduates interviewed with Ms. Key for available positions.  Information systems engineering graduates Chris Biles and Danny Shelton, who both graduated in 2011, attended to be prepared to interview and were both hired as a result.

Danny worked at a local medical company until he was laid off in 2013 and contacted the career center director, Terri Davis McCall, about employment opportunities in the IT industry.  Although Danny applied with several companies, he remained determined to begin working again.  Danny said, “Any opportunity I get to further my skills in IT is a learning opportunity.” Chris, on the other hand, had a few obstacles in his way that seemed to block his path, but he persevered through them. Chris explained, “I felt like I wasn’t able to work in IT because of my challenges, but I know I’m going to get there because [Terri] continues to push me to not settle for less.”

After interviewing with Ms. Key, both Chris and Danny were invited to attend the orientation the following day and are now working as computer technicians for Abacus Corporation.  Chris and Danny are greatly appreciative to the career center director and encourage students and graduates to take full advantage of the career placement opportunity afforded through the career center at National College. 

Graduate Danny Shelton of the Nashville Campus interviews with Linda Key, staffing coordinator of the Abacus Corporation.  Danny was hired as a computer technician.

Medical Office Has Supervised Five South Bend Campus Externs

Medical Office Has Supervised Five South Bend Campus Externs

Michiana Anesthesia Care, PC was named as a Distinguished Community Employer by the South Bend Campus.  This physicians’ group practice of 36 doctors in four medical facilities is the foremost provider of anesthesia care and is focused on providing patients with full access to the highest quality of care.

It was fitting that Chris Haller, billing manager, accepted the plaque for her involvement with the medical billing and coding program.  Chris has served on the campus advisory boards, has participated in our Spring Beauty Bash, and supervised five of the campus’ medical billing and coding externs: Mary Pierce, Tami Sigman, Amanda Dosmann, Brenda Large, and Brenda Smith.  Ms. Haller took one extern on board as a temporary employee and she now anticipates hiring in the near future.  Ms. Haller said, “Everyone who has completed our billing externships demonstrated outstanding leadership, strong knowledge of basic billing and coding skills, and in general, all have been fabulous.”   The externs came well organized, well equipped to perform the job, with a dedicated work ethic and a serious determination.

Brenda Smith, a recent graduate, wrote in her thank you letter to Ms. Haller, “I have enjoyed working in your office.  You treated me with respect and kindness, and you were extremely helpful in teaching me the job responsibilities.  Your willingness to support American National University’s education program should be recognized, as it has allowed me to gain real-time experience working in my field of study.”

“The level of academic preparation from American National University is exceptionally good,” said Ms. Haller.  “[The externs] are not just educated in their field of study, but also prepared for the real world. You can teach the technical skills, but it is very difficult to teach the soft skills and National students come with the professional personality to deal with the clients, the insurances, and the high demands in a fast paced practice group.” 

John Herman, Campus director and Chris Haller, billing manager of Michiana Anesthesia Care PC.

Seven Students Recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges

Seven Students Recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges

A total of seven students at National College in Bristol, Tennessee were honored with the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges award.  According to the award’s website,, “These are the students who enhance the positive image of the American students through their contributions to community and school.”  Two of the students honored are Tabetha Miller and Jim Bare. 

Tabetha is earning her associate’s degree in medical assisting and her bachelor’s degree in business administration-management.  She started classes in December 2011 and is expected to graduate in February 2015.  She chose to attend college “to further my education after I became a Certified Nursing Assistant.  I knew there was more I wanted to learn and I knew I wanted to help senior citizens.”  When asked why she chose National she says, “It was very close to my home.  National College also made me feel welcome and from the moment I started my initial paperwork I knew I was part of a great team.” 

Tabetha has very admirable future career goals. “My ultimate goal is to own an assisted living facility that works very closely with hospice.”  Tabetha also works at the Bristol Campus under the Federal Work Study program.  She is a treasured asset to both students and staff.

Jim is earning his associate’s degree in medical assisting.  He began classes in February of 2013 and is expected to graduate in July of this year.  Jim decided to go to college “to get a well-paid job and to further my education.”  He chose National College because “the courses are designed specific to my degree.  I do not have to take a ’fluff’ class.  I like the small class sizes and the one-on-one instruction.  Students also do not have to pay for a tutor.”  Jim’s future career goals are to work in a medical office.

Tabetha and Jim are both very positive and dedicated students.  The Bristol Campus is very proud of the seven students who have received this honor.

Tabetha Miller and Jim Bare are two of seven students recognized as Who’s Who Among Students at the Bristol Campus.

Medical Students Learn the Importance of Providing Outstanding Health Care

Medical Students Learn the Importance of Providing Outstanding Health Care

Peggy Jackson, the former patient access /emergency room supervisor of - Saint Francis Hospital in Bartlett, Tennessee, recently spoke to Aledria Ragland’s medical class.  Aledria is the director of health care education at the Bartlett Campus.

Ms. Jackson discussed professionalism in the workplace. She also talked to the class about insurance verification and benefit plans as well as the importance of providing outstanding and quality health care to patients.

Ms. Jackson encouraged students to work hard and to always treat patients with respect.  She also stressed the importance of arriving at work on time.  She encouraged the students to set a good example by working hard which will hopefully result in the students becoming supervisors after they obtain some work experience.

Student and vice president of the student activities council, DeSean Walton said, “Ms. Jackson told us some valuable things about how to act and carry ourselves in a professional manner.”

From (l) to (r): Student DeSean Walton, student Barbra Fisher, Peggy Jackson, the former patient access/emergency room supervisor of Saint Francis Hospital in Bartlett, student Sarah Braska, and student Angela Easley.

Paralegal Students Get Practical Experience in Real Court Setting

Paralegal Students Get Practical Experience in Real Court Setting

The Roanoke Valley Campus recently named the Roanoke City Juvenile & Domestic Relations (JDR) District Court as a Distinguished Community Employer for their support of ANU’s ABA-approved paralegal program. Several paralegal students have benefited from this strong partnership through the internnship program. In addition, graduate Ebony Hicks found permanent employment in the Clerk of Court office after completing an internship there.

“Hands-on instruction in a professional environment is a crucial part of the learning process,” said Linda Slough, department chair for the paralegal program. “Our students get that from working in the Clerk of Court office. It is a great learning experience in a supportive environment.”

On Thursday, January 30th, Linda, along with campus director Ron Bradbury, visited the JDR Clerk of Court office and presented a plaque of appreciation to David Wells, Kimberly Gaking, Leslie Langhorn, and Ebony Hicks for their partnership with the JDR District Court.

“Our work in the Juvenile District Court Clerk’s Office is not interpreting the law, but to understand how it applies to the cases that come before the court,” said Mr. Wells, Clerk of Court. “We look for employees who have a willingness to learn, who can learn quickly and apply that knowledge. By having interns from ANU work in our office we can see if that ability is demonstrated.”

Mr. Wells and the JDR District Court office staff will be working with another ANU paralegal student-intern at the start of the next term.

Campus Director Ron Bradbury (3rd from right) and paralegal department chair Linda Slough (2nd from right) are pictured presenting a plaque of appreciation to David Wells (3rd from left) and his staff at the Roanoke City JDR District Court. ANU graduate and JDR District Court employee Ebony Hicks is pictured 2nd from the left.

Student Chooses the Medical Field to Help People in their Time of Need

Student Chooses the Medical Field to Help People in their Time of Need

Determination, desire, and drive are three words that describe Dominique Hilliard of the Lynchburg Campus perfectly.  Since she was a little child, she has dreamed of getting a college degree.  She always knew she wanted to be in the medical field because she is passionate about helping people, and being there for them in their time of need.  Dominique researched different colleges and chose the medical assisting program at American National University for many reasons.  Some of those were the smaller class sizes and the individual attention she knew she would receive if needed.  She also liked the fact that she could extern in a doctor’s office setting and get actual hands on experience and skills to help her succeed in real life work situations.  Although those are all great qualities when choosing a school, the one thing that she was most excited about was how she felt when she talked to the staff at ANU during enrollment.  She said that they made her feel welcome, wanted, and that her success was a priority.  She felt right at home and was convinced this was the place that she needed to be to further her education. 

Dominique also loved the fact that all of her instructors have worked in the medical field.  They could relay real life stories about their experiences to help structure her future success.  In her opinion, Dominique said that ANU is the best school to attend.  Dominique has now officially completed her education and can focus on landing her dream job.  She knows that the sacrifice she has made will enhance the future and quality of life for her family, her friends, and her job in general.  Dominique is so proud of her degree and her upcoming graduation.  Her advice to others is to stay focused and finish what you start because you never get anywhere by quitting.  Dominique said, “ANU is a school that really makes a difference and leaves an impact that last a lifetime.”

Dominique Hilliard is a student at the Lynchburg Campus who will graduate soon with a degree in medical assisting.

Medical Assisting Graduate Has Success through Externship

Medical Assisting Graduate Has Success through Externship

Natasha Schoolfield graduated from the Danville, Virginia Campus last November with a degree in medical assisting.  As a student at American National University, Natasha was determined to use her education and skills learned before her graduation date.  She took advantage of the services offered through the career center and allowed them to work for her.

Eager to find employment, Natasha volunteered at local cardiologist Dr. Boshra Zakhary’s office for three weeks.  While there, she learned that her trainer, Jacqueline Rodgers, was a 2006 medical assisting graduate.  Jacqueline took Natasha under her wing and made sure she knew all there was to know about Dr. Zakhary, his practice, and his expectations from his staff. This volunteer experience was extended into an externship for Natasha.  She quickly learned that this environment was perfect for her skills and qualifications.

After successfully completing all of her externship hours, Natasha was offered a full-time position at as a medical assistant.  Natasha said, “I am thankful and blessed that Dr. Zakhary gave me the opportunity to be a part of his office team.  I learned so much and feel prepared for the workforce now.”  Natasha enjoys what she is doing and her passion for helping people has grown.

Dr. Boshra Zakhary with graduates Natasha Schoolfield and Jacqueline Rodgers.

Shay Riggs-Career Center Director-Knoxville

Shay Riggs-Career Center Director-Knoxville

Shay Riggs—Difference Maker at the Knoxville Campus

• Career Center Director
• Holds a master’s degree in exercise science and sport management

National College of Business & Technology staff member since 2012

Previously worked in career services for the Tennessee Department of Labor

“I enjoy my position as career center director. I have many roles that allow me to provide comprehensive care to our students. I meet them during the tours and orientation and give them their needed tools to learn and to use and to succeed.

“The students are conquerors. Many of our students in Knoxville are single parents and work full time as well. I thought I had it rough attending a university and living on campus. They definitely persevere. I admire them.”
Current student, Marie Blair, said this about Shay: “I graduated in September from the medical office assistant program. Shay worked with me to get a job so that I could continue on in the medical billing & coding program. Shay helped me get my résumé to a professional level. She is the best career center director; I would not have been as successful without her help.”

“Since 15 of our 16 upcoming graduates have opportunities for externships, we recently held a résumé writing workshop on campus. I thought it would be very beneficial to demonstrate to the students the different stages of a résumé,” said career center director Shay Riggs, pictured with student Marie Blair.

National College Students and Staff Attend Career College Day in Frankfort

National College Students and Staff Attend Career College Day in Frankfort

On Tuesday, February 11th, career college students from across the Commonwealth of Kentucky had an opportunity to share their educational experiences and demonstrate their skills to state legislators during Career College Day at the Capitol, an annual event sponsored by the Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools (KACCS).

During the event, the room buzzed with activity as students from culinary, medical, technology, and other programs demonstrated the skills and knowledge that they’re gaining in preparation for their new careers.  At the National College booth, Louisville Campus medical assisting students Julaun Lewis and Nicole Foree conducted glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure screenings under the supervision of director of health care education Bonnie Kiefer and campus director Vincent Tinebra.

In addition to the demonstrations, the event also gave the colleges an opportunity to share information with the legislators about issues that affect them.  The National College booth displayed information regarding our students’ excellent student loan cohort default rate, which is one of the lowest in the state. 

State Representative Joe Fischer, who represents District 68 in Campbell County, was one of many legislators who visited the booth and took advantage of the screenings.  Representative Fisher said that this was his first time visiting Career College Day. “It’s pretty exciting that all of the colleges have come in to show what programs they have,” said Representative Fisher. “I think health care is probably one of the most explosive growth areas for jobs in the Commonwealth, and it’s good that our colleges are catering to that.”

State Representative Dennis Horlander, who serves the Louisville Campus in District 40, also visited the booth and offered his encouragement and support to the students. “It is great to see the students at the Capitol,” Representative Horlander said. “As a legislator, it is so important that we continue to keep up with the latest trends in education and career training.  Seeing an actual demonstration of much needed medical services gave me great confidence that these students will find success upon completion of their programs.”

Julaun said that she felt honored to represent her school. “It’s fun and it’s great to meet new people,” she said.

Bonnie also feels that Career College Day offers a wonderful opportunity for the students to gain hands-on experience as they interact with the legislators and their aides. “When you work in a doctor’s office, you have to deal with a lot of different types of people and it gives them a chance to do that,” she said. “They are also doing something good for their school and that builds camaraderie.”

A-State Representative Dennis Horlander (center) is pictured with (l to r) Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra, medical assisting students Nicole Foree and Julaun Lewis and director of health care education Bonnie Kiefer during Career College Day at the Capitol.

B-(l to r) Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra, medical assisting students Julaun Lewis and Nicole Foree and director of health care education Bonnie Kiefer are pictured outside the capitol following Career College Day at the Capitol which was sponsored by the Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools.

Student Helps Others Get Started on the Path to a Brighter Future

Student Helps Others Get Started on the Path to a Brighter Future

Andy Goble enrolled at the Richmond Campus to find new direction for his life, and since that time he’s encouraged several friends and family members to enroll at as well.

His brother, Eddie Goble, was planning to attend a local community college when Andy invited him to visit National with him.  Eddie liked National’s convenient location and he also preferred the flexible class schedule that National offers.  “They are really good about working around my work schedule,” Eddie explained regarding his decision to attend National instead of the local community college.

Andy also recommended the college to a co-worker whose daughter, Andrea Hunt, was considering going back to school.  “Tell her to come to National,” he recalled telling his friend.  Andrea enrolled at the Lexington Campus in the medical assisting program a short time later.

Andy, Eddie and Andrea all feel that admissions representative Amanda True was instrumental in their decision to enroll.  “She was awesome.  She makes you feel really comfortable about it,” Andrea said.
Andy also feels that the application fee waiver that is currently being offered is a great opportunity for students who are interested in going back to school.  “I think that is a big help,” he said. 

He is proud that he’s helped others get started on the path to a brighter future.  “You can’t really move up unless you’ve got that degree,” Andy said.  “You can be the smartest person, and be able to do any task, but if you don’t have that degree, then you’re not going to get the job.”

Student Andy Goble (center) has recommended American National University to several friends and family members including Eddie Goble (left) and Andrea Hunt (right).

Students Gain Hands-On Experience during Externships

Students Gain Hands-On Experience during Externships

Kayla Thompson and Ida Phinney, two students from the pharmacy technician program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, have just completed externships in Walgreens Pharmacy.

Kayla, who was a stay-at-home mom before coming to American National University, said that she has enjoyed putting her skills from the classroom to use and gaining “hands-on” experience in the fast-paced pharmacy.

Ida came to National with funding through the Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) after losing her job when the brake factory where she worked moved out of the country.   She has learned more about “the whole process of reading the prescriptions and filling the prescriptions” from beginning to end.  “The people at Walgreens are really great people, willing to help me learn…they make everything flow so smoothly,” she said.

Both Kayla and Ida feel that the externship experience was very beneficial.  While Ida hopes to find employment in a retail pharmacy, Kayla has decided to continue her education and she has enrolled in the medical assisting program at National.

Ida Phinney (left) and Kayla Thompson (right) completed externships at Walgreens Pharmacy as part of their pharmacy technician program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus.

Student Goes From Serving Our Country to Serving Our Veterans

Student Goes From Serving Our Country to Serving Our Veterans

U.S. Navy veteran and student of the Lexington Campus, Anthony Baker, is finishing his surgical technology training.  Anthony has two terms left in his program and has his career goal clearly planned.  “I had always been interested in the medical field and originally had looked into pre-med…but I got impatient with it and ended up in the business field,” said Anthony.  “I was an investment broker for a few years but my heart’s desire was to work in the medical field.  While in the Navy, I took the 15-month medical assisting program, graduated with honors, and I knew it was ‘medical’ or nothing.”

He continued to pursue more training after finishing his Navy career. 

"I knew I needed a more intense and challenging field – so I began looking into surgical technology,” Anthony explained.  I explored several schools and just didn’t get a good ‘vibe’ during my visits.  I phoned American National University in Lexington and my admissions rep made me feel welcome and comfortable – I knew by the way the phone call went that I had found my college.  It has been wonderful here at National.  I’m utilizing my veteran benefits to pursue my dream career. I’ve been hired as a medical support associate with the VA Hospital and will transition to a surgical technologist position as soon as I graduate.  My career dreams are a reality – thanks to American National University."

U.S. Navy veteran and student Anthony Baker who was hired as a medical support associate with the local VA Hospital and will soon become a surgical technologist. 

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.