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March 17, 2014

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Graduate Dishes Up a Great Experience for Country Club Guests

Graduate Dishes Up a Great Experience for Country Club Guests

For Ashley Derry, a 2007 graduate of the Danville, Kentucky Campus, being a “people person” is vital to her job working as the assistant food and beverage director of the Danville Country Club.  “I’m really great with people,” said Ashley.  “We have 297 members here, and I know everybody by name,” she said with a smile.

While her people skills are essential to her job managing the dining room, pool-side service, banquets and other social events at the club, the business skills that she gained in her business administration-management program at American National University enable her to seamlessly orchestrate her staff and inventory, ensuring that her members’ experience is perfect in every way.

“I feel like I have so much more confidence since I went there,” said Ashley regarding her time at American National University.  “I was able to just step into the job here.”

Ashley was working in an office with little chance for advancement when she realized that she needed a college degree to help her get ahead in her career.  She chose National over another local school after she visited the campus.  “Everybody was just so welcoming,” said Ashley.  “I felt like they were there to help me decide what I wanted to do with my major.  They were concerned.  They wanted me to be there, so they helped me pick the right [program].”

She felt that she could always count on her instructors for support in the classroom.  “If you needed help with anything, they would stay over if they needed to,” said Ashley.  “They always made you feel like you were important and [that] you could ask anything.”

After five years of working at the club, Ashley continues to use the business know-how that she gained at National on the job, including skills in accounting, building a clientele, and staff management.  “Going to definitely pays off,” she said. “Sometimes it’s about experience, but when you have both—it’s really helped me as far as where I’m at right now.”

Although she’s not sure what the next step in her career will be, she knows that she has the tools that she needs to accomplish her goals.  “I’m just trying to build my résumé, and see where it goes from here,” Ashley explained.  “It could be at a bigger country club, or another restaurant, or somewhere else.  I’ll just see where it takes me.”

A-Graduate Ashley Derry chose the business administration-management degree program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus. 

B-Ashley Derry is the Assistant Food and Beverage Director of the Danville Country Club.

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Campus Offers Professional and Interviewing Skills Workshop

Campus Offers Professional and Interviewing Skills Workshop

Students at the Parkersburg Campus had the opportunity to improve their professional and interviewing skills at workshops recently offered by Maryann Sims, career center director.  Maryann was able to use her experiences as both a former employer and an employee to help those attending the workshop to prepare for the working world.  Lively discussions and small group activities helped the students to get a new perspective on what employers in today’s marketplace are looking for from their employees.

In the professionalism workshop, much time was spent discussing the role of the internet and social media in the quest to find and retain employment.  Many of the students were unaware that employers can and will research a prospective employee’s Facebook and blog posts to see if those posts line up with the values and expectations of the employer.  “Before this workshop, I was only peripherally aware of the effect of social media and its effect on how employers view you and your professionalism,” said student Jennifer Young.  “It gave me second thoughts about what information to share and what not to share.”  The interviewing workshop gave the students an opportunity to evaluate how well they were prepared for one of the most important aspects of job hunting.  Maryann provided the attendees with helpful hints about appropriate dress and behavior in a job interview as well as an overview of what questions they could expect to be asked.  The students broke up into small groups and brainstormed responses to that and other difficult interview questions. “I think these students came out of this workshop with more confidence that they are able to handle the tough questions they might face in an interview,” said Maryann.  “Success in a job search does not just depend on the knowledge that has been gained in classes, but also in the ability to communicate that knowledge and the confidence it brings to a prospective employer.”

Maryann Sims, career center director at the Parkersburg Campus, discusses interviewing questions with students at a recent workshop.

Trade Show Participation Serves as Networking Opportunity

Trade Show Participation Serves as Networking Opportunity

The Martinsville Campus participated in the 2014 Fast Track Trade Show that was held Tuesday, March 4th and Wednesday, March 5th.  The trade show was sponsored by the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.  American National University was among 130 businesses, services and organizations that saw an estimated 5000 participants and visitors in attendance. 

Campus staff members greeted visitors and gave a brief history of ANU along with an explanation of programs offered.  Annette Lawson, career center director used the opportunity to network with businesses that were currently hiring or had plans to add employees in the near future.  Annette said, “There were several doors that were opened in regards to meeting new employers, internship opportunities, and job opportunities.”

On Wednesday evening, Larry Davis, an admissions representative from the Danville Campus worked with Barbara Rakes, admissions director, and Kim Myers, admissions representative, both from the Martinsville Campus to explain the bachelor’s degree program offered.  Larry  said, “At American National University, our goal is meeting the needs of the students first.  It is a winning arrangement for everyone involved if we all work together.  If the Danville Campus does not offer a program the student is looking for, we always refer them to Martinsville and visa-versa.”
Left to right: Kim Myers, admissions representative of the Martinsville Campus, visitor Tiffany Ashley of Patrick Springs, and Larry Davis, admissions representative of the Danville Campus. Ms. Ashley was impressed by the large number of job opportunities available in the medical field and expressed her thanks for the information provided to her.

Business Students Learn About Business Management

Business Students Learn About Business Management

The business students at the Charlottesville Campus recently explored the business world of Vinny's Grill and Pizzeria in Charlottesville.  The students met with Alex Diaz, partner and general operations manager. 

Mr. Diaz conducted a thorough tour that included the management style and organizational philosophy, along with the importance of Vinny’s mission statement and goals.  He explained the everyday business operations of planning, staffing, personnel, competition, customer service, purchasing, working with vendors, how to successfully operate/manage their business and how to handle the various obstacles he may face daily.  Mr. Diaz explained that the goal for Vinny's Pizza was to produce the best possible food they could at a value unmatched by other quality restaurants in the area. 

Through the overall experience, students learned firsthand about the effective and efficient management and leadership methods that have proven to be effective at Vinny’s.  This opportunity gave the students the chance to see how the theory they were learning in Bill Griffin’s Principles of Management class had professional application.

“The manager at Vinny’s took time to talk to us about how the pizza business works,” said student Julia John.   Julia recounted these duties that include recruiting, orienting, and training employees; preparing an annual budget; scheduling; maintaining quality service by enforcing quality and customer service standards; and maintaining professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops. 

Bill Griffin of the Charlottesville Campus took his Principles of Management class to Vinny’s Grill and Pizzeria to dine and to learn.

Student Plans to Enter the Field of Criminal Justice

Student Plans to Enter the Field of Criminal Justice

Chelsea “Mael” Quesenberry  of the Princeton Campus exhibits determination and confidence in her work habits.  She speaks out when giving support to others, and also serves as an example to those around her, who see that she is determined to succeed.   She has also been a “cheerleader” for others by sharing a good word or a pat on the back when someone needed it. 

When Mael was accepted at National, she says that she was the happiest she had been in a while because she had already heard so many good things about the school that made her bound and determined to do her best once she took her very first step into the building. 

Always an ambitious person who worked hard to be successful, Mael says that National has only reinforced that part of her personality.  “Coming and attending ANU helped me feel even more of that attitude,” said Mael.  “The staff is the best.  There can always be one on one time in each class, and tutors are provided if necessary, which can be very convenient.”

Mael added that not only has coming to ANU helped her strive for her best performance in school, but even more so in life itself.  She has always wanted to enter the field of law enforcement.  Using the experience that she learned while working for the penal system for a period of time, for which she was trained, helped her to realize that one of her next steps may be entering the local police academy and to train for a career in the criminal justice field and eventually becoming an administrator.

Mael has also thought about owning or operating a small business and hopes to be able to combine these interests and progress with further training.  “Criminal justice is definitely an interest, but the business side is important as well,” said Mael.  “The business management classes I have taken thus far have been phenomenal.  I would not [trade] my experiences at ANU for anything.  They are the best!”

Student Chelsea Quesenberry (“Mael”) of the Princeton Campus is hoping to enter the law enforcement field. 

International Student is Pursuing the American Dream

International Student is Pursuing the American Dream

Ren ShaoWen is one of the international students at the Lynchburg Campus.  Ren came to America from China.  Ren first enrolled at a larger college in Lynchburg.  Soon, he felt overwhelmed by the larger university and wanted a different experience for his studies.  Ren began his search for another school, and found ANU.  Since enrolling, he said his whole college life changed for the better.  He has been in the U.S. for about six years and at ANU for three.  Ren plans on to continue his studies at ANU until he has completed his Master’s Degree in Business Administration and then may possibly pursue higher education elsewhere. 

When asked what he likes best about ANU, Ren said that the support the instructors give, the class assignments, and the materials have all had a positive impact on his education. He feels he is getting the best education money can buy at ANU.  He also said that everything he has learned has influenced his future career in the business field for the better. 

Ren’s parents support his decision to obtain a meaningful education.  Both of them majored in business and are managers within their companies.   They are encouraging Ren to pursue studies in the business field in order to be just as or even more successful than they have been.  Ren speaks very highly of his parents and how much they support him studying here in the U.S.  Ren is very grateful to them because he knows he could not pursue his education without them. 

Ren hopes to become a successful entrepreneur and/or maybe even step into corporate America.  His personal dream is to become an American citizen, and someday have a family of his own with which to share his success.  Additionally, Ren has made many friends while here and he hopes they will be his lifelong friends as he now considers them his extended family.

Ren said, “I would recommend ANU to my friends, and my family to study and gain a wonderful education.  The experience has been great!”

RenShaoWen is an international student at the Lynchburg Campus who is studying business administration.

Medical Office Is Pleased with ANU Employees

Medical Office Is Pleased with ANU Employees

Marrow Family Eyecare was recently chosen by the Harrisonburg Campus to receive the Distinguished Community Employer award.   Drs.  Christi and Greg Marrow have been an integral part of the healthcare system in the Shenandoah Valley for the past thirteen years. 

In the past two years they have expanded their practice and hired two ANU graduates:  Brandi Chilafoux, 2013 medical assisting graduate, and Sharon Burrill, 2012 medical office assisting graduate.  Dr. Greg stated that their practice is a team and that Brandi and Sharon are key members of that team.  "We couldn't be more pleased with our ANU employees!" he said.

Marrow Family Eyecare received the Distinguished Community Employer award. Pictured (l) to (r)are:  Dr. Christi Marrow, graduate and employee Sharon Burrill, Dr. Greg Marrow, and Dr. David Zimmerman, campus director.

Certified Phlebotomist Shares Experiences with Students

Certified Phlebotomist Shares Experiences with Students

Shirley Smith, former student and certified phlebotomist, recently visited the Invasive Clinical Procedures class at the Knoxville Campus.  Shirley truly has extensive experience as her son is a hemophiliac.  Hemophilia is a disorder that impairs the body’s ability to control blood clotting which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken.  For more than 14 years, she has had to perform infusions on him.  “After taking care of my son and going through multiple surgeries with him, I figured I might as well get paid to do this,” said Shirley.  “So I completed a phlebotomy course and now work for a lab company drawing blood in a doctor’s office and I love it.”

There were several students practicing in the class and they were completely impressed with Shirley’s technique and engrossed in her valuable words of guidance.  “It was a very helpful experience,” said student Aimee Allen.  “They are so many different types of veins because everyone is different.  Having Shirley here talking about her different experiences was enlightening.  I feel much more confident and I’m even more excited about becoming a medical assistant.”

Pictured is certified phlebotomist, Shirley Smith (l) and medical assisting student Raquel Adams (r).   Shirley spoke to the Medical Assisting Invasive class at the Knoxville Campus. 

Susan Sircy-Administrative Assistant-Madison

Susan Sircy-Administrative Assistant-Madison

Susan Sircy—Difference Maker at the Madison Campus

Administrative Assistant to the campus director

• National College staff member for two years
• Has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years
• Recipient of Madison Campus Staff Award in 2013

Has previous experience as an administrative assistant and admissions specialist at a community college and as the director of a non-profit organization

“When I received my own college degree as an older student, I was overjoyed with an accomplishment that could never be taken away.  It took a lot of dedication and hard work, plus it opened so many doors.  I want everyone to have that experience.

“I feel that the little things are just as important as the big things in helping students succeed. For instance, greeting them warmly each and every day; asking them how they are and truly meaning this.  I will find ways to address concerns they express to me by following up expeditiously with a plausible solution or suggestion.

“There are many things I enjoy about being a member of the National College staff and each are intrinsic rewards – knowing that I can be a small part in the big picture of someone’s success is very gratifying.  Like a small pebble when thrown to the water, the resulting ripple effects are far-reaching from the initial act.  Each of us makes a difference by our everyday actions.  My goal is always to serve – not to be served.  I try to keep this in mind, even during the most challenging times.”

Susan Sircy has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years.

2014 Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools Symposium

2014 Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools Symposium

National College staff members recently participated in a symposium that was held in Lexington, Kentucky by the Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools (KACCS).  They enjoyed a variety of speakers and round table discussion groups in which career college professionals from across the state shared their best practices for maximizing student success.

A-Roger Dalton (r), National College vice president of government affairs, is pictured with Michael Dakduk (l), Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities vice president of military and veterans affairs, following Mr. Dakduk's briefing on veteran programs and policies which he presented during a symposium breakout session. 

B-Kentucky Campus Directors (l to r) Vincent Tinebra, Keeley Gadd, Kim Thomasson and Lee Bowling are pictured during the KACCS symposium.  Vincent and Keeley currently serve on the KACCS Board of Directors.

Campus Commemorates Black History Month

Campus Commemorates Black History Month

The Florence Campus observed Black History Month with a presentation by adjunct faculty member David White.  David spoke about the history and impact that major civil rights organizations have had on the struggle for racial equality and justice. He discussed how the NAACP started in 1909 and worked for African Americans to have a political voice.  He mentioned that this organization is still very active today in helping with the ongoing challenges of voting rights and discrimination.

Among the other organizations that he included were CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) which coordinated the Freedom Rides of the early 1960s, and the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) which was active in the sit-in movement and voter registration.  Before he concluded, David spoke about the shift in the civil rights movement in the mid to late 1960s with the Black Panther Party’s emphasis on black power and community involvement.  As business management student Fatou Thomas stated, “I loved how Mr. White showed how Martin Luther King Jr. used peaceful nonviolence in the fight for social justice and the Black Panthers rejected it.”

Adjunct faculty member David White, spoke about the history and impact that major civil rights organizations had on the struggle for racial equality and justice. 

Campus Commemorates Black History Month

Campus Commemorates Black History Month

The Lexington Campus recently held its annual Black History Month celebration in honor of the original efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875 – 1950) and many others who have worked tirelessly to insure civil rights for everyone in our nation.  The theme this year was “Civil Rights in America.”   

The keynote speaker this year was Reverend Bob Rodgers.  Reverend Rodgers is a longtime Lexington resident who has seen and experienced firsthand the many facets of civil rights changes in our country as well as in our region.  Rev. Rodgers’ speech addressed these changes and he was quick to focus on how he was personally able to overcome bias and prejudice.  He said he accomplished this by, “Working hard, being open and honest, and treating others kindly – in other words, following the Golden Rule.”

Student LaQuetta Black said, “I loved his speech.  It was very inspirational and hopeful.  It made me want to study harder and made me want to succeed.”

(l) to (r): Guest speaker Reverend Bob Rodgers, campus director Kimberly Thomasson, and student services representative Fred Smith are pictured following the Black History Month celebration at the Lexington Campus.

Ten Students Become Nurses and Recite Nightingale Pledge

Ten Students Become Nurses and Recite Nightingale Pledge

The Florence Nightingale Pledge was recited by the ten new nursing graduates from the Pikeville Campus on Saturday, March 1st.   The ten students took this pledge once they completed the rigorous coursework and final exam for their program. 

I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.  I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.  I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling.  With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care. 

Chasity Howard said, “Pinning was a long awaited ceremony that was very beautiful.”  Megan Thornsbury said the ceremony was so meaningful.  “I am so glad that I was able to share the experience with my class.”  Chasity delivered a speech during the ceremony and Bethel Robinette presented a slide show.  According to Megan, these two additions to the ceremony showed what a special bond the class had. 
Students chose who pinned them, and Megan said, “I chose my father because I would have never made it through the program without him.”  She added that giving up time with family and friends was the hardest but it was all worth it in the end.  “I have never felt so proud and accomplished in my life,” said Megan.

Left to Right-Hollie Gray, Bethel Robinette, Megan Thornsbury, Miranda Forsyth, Chasity Howard,  nursing administrator Denise Clements, Jamie Blair, Polly Hinkle, Michelle Caudill, Christopher Yates.  Not pictured-Jessica Scott.

Student Receives Funding through WIA and the Workforce Development Grant

Student Receives Funding through WIA and the Workforce Development Grant

After losing her job working for an auto auction, Cheryl Fruzzetti, a student at the Richmond Campus, came to American National University through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program which provides funding to unemployed workers for training for in-demand occupations. 

In addition, Cheryl also qualified for the Workforce Development Grant (WDG), available exclusively at American National University, which matches funding from agencies to help offset the cost of tuition for eligible students.

Cheryl said she feels very lucky to qualify for funding through the WIA program.  “I knew nothing about going back to school,” said Cheryl.  “It was kind of a jump-start,” adding that the additional funding through the WDG has kept her focused on her studies.  “It’s [helpful in] motivating you and keeping your grades up to par.  I haven’t missed a day since I’ve been here.”

Cheryl chose to enroll in the office technology professional program at National because she often felt frustrated in her former job due to her limited knowledge of the software that she used.  “[I am going] to get better computer skills to be able to run through Microsoft, Excel, and all those programs more efficiently,” she explained.

Cheryl looks forward to using her enhanced computer skills in her new career.  “Everything here is to make you aware of what you need to be more successful, and it does,” she said.

Cheryl Fruzzetti, a student in the office technology professional program, received tuition assistance through the Workforce Investment Act program which was matched by the Workforce Development Grant, available exclusively at American National University.

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.