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

March 24, 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


Curiosity About Computers Leads to a Career in Information Technology

Curiosity About Computers Leads to a Career in Information Technology

Alaa Hamdan of the Akron Area Campus knew that he was interested in anything dealing with computers - servers, software, and hardware.  He was curious about how they worked.  After spending a few semesters at another local university in an accounting program, he knew that he wanted to find an information systems engineering program instead to follow his passion.  The wife of one of his friends worked at the campus and encouraged him to visit.  He did and the decision changed his life.  

Alaa said that all of his classes were helpful.  Comparing the education that he received at National to his previous university, he said, “National had a lot of hands-on experience.”  Additionally, he said that he received a lot of individual attention; something that was also not found at his other institution. 

While a student, Alaa completed an internship at Simplex IT in Akron, Ohio.  The company employs certified network engineers and technicians that evaluate the IT needs of organizations.  He also became CompTIA A+ certified.  He then worked for two hospitals and found out about a full-time opportunity at Simplex IT.  He now enjoys being employed there because of the whole working environment; adding that his co-workers are so helpful.  Alaa said, “Every day is different.  There is always something to learn.”

Regarding advice that he would give to other students, he said, “You can read all of the books you can but you have to start working in the field and getting experience.”

Alaa is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in network information technology.  Ten years into the future, Alaa plans to still be employed by Simplex IT; hopefully in networking.  He said, “National gave me a good start to my education.  I liked it.”

Alaa Hamdan is a CompTIA A+ certified network engineer who is employed by Simplex IT in Akron, Ohio.

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

Company Hires Several Medical Billing and Coding Grads

Company Hires Several Medical Billing and Coding Grads

The Nashville Campus presented the Distinguished Community Employer Award to American HomePatient (AHP), on Thursday, January 30th.  American HomePatient is one of the nation’s top 5 largest diversified home healthcare providers, supplying home medical products and services to more than one million patients as they have over 250 locations across the United States.  Mark Liverman, campus director, and Terri Davis McCall, career center director, presented the award to American HomePatient representative Linda Thorne, human resource director, and Lisa Weathers, branch support supervisor.

Ms. Weathers said, “I am very pleased with the grads that we’ve hired to be a part of our medical team.” AHP currently employs several National College graduates and plans to hire more as the company expands.  Mark thanked Lisa and Linda for allowing graduates from the Nashville Campus to be a part of the AHP team.

Pictured (l) to (r): Terri Davis McCall, career center director; Lisa Weathers, branch support supervisor of American HomePatient, Linda Thorne, human resources director of AHP, and Mark Liverman, campus director. 


Medical Office Employs Registered Medical Assistants

Medical Office Employs Registered Medical Assistants

Central Virginia Family Physicians (CVFP), does so much for the Lynchburg Campus and the medical students that they received the Distinguished Community Employer award on Tuesday, March 11th.  They are one of the largest employers for registered medical assistants of the university and also provide externships for upcoming graduates.  CVFP is in the process of adding additional services so that will lead to even more job opportunities for our students as well as will enable them to better serve the communities.  CVFP has multiple locations in different localities and because of their various locations, they are able to help the campus provide learning opportunities for students in the communities in which they live.  Students get hands-on clinical experience, administrative skills, patient care skills, customer service, and team environment interaction within CVFP.  Students always feel welcomed by the staff at every location and they feel they learn a tremendous amount during this vital time in their studies. 

Many of the students want to continue to work for CVFP after their externship is complete.  Student Jessica Hilbish-Winston said, “I love working there as an extern and I hope I get hired full-time.  I have learned so much in my career field while there. “

(l) to (r): Shawn Crawford, CEO of Central Virginia Family Physicians; Sue Coleman- ANU Director of Health Care Education; Cindy Watson, Human Resource Manager of CVF; Carol Garrett-RN and Clinical Information Coordinator & Clinical Purchasing of CVFP; and Career Center Director of the Lynchburg Campus, Michelle Andrews.

Mirjana Ilijevski—Director of Health Care Education —Stark County Campus

Mirjana Ilijevski—Director of Health Care Education —Stark County Campus

Mirjana Ilijevski—Director of Health Care Education —Stark County Campus

• Director of Health Care Education
• Instructor of courses in medical assisting, medical office specialist, medical office assistant, health information management, and pharmacy technician programs
• Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA)

• American National University faculty member since 2013
• Has obtained more than 15 years of health care experience and 8 years of teaching experience

• Holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kent State University/Pre-med
• Gained medical assisting experience at Mercy and Autumn Hospitals, OMNI orthopedics, and various physicians’ offices

“My medical background helps very much when I teach, not only can I talk and lecture on a topic, but I’m able to offer personal experiences too, especially in the clinical courses.

“Teaching, for me, is a 24-hour job. You don’t stop when the class is over.  You stay up-to-date with the material you teach, you look for better ways to do it, and you help the students outside of class.

“I admire the dedication of my students.  They come in after a long day at work or they go to an 8-10 hour job after class, and they still want to learn.  I appreciate their excitement when they walk in the lab knowing that they will do hands-on work and learn new things.

“One of my favorite teaching moments is when we go on a field trip and the students recognize what’s on an x-ray or they can read and understand a report or what a doctor is describing. That’s how I know I did my job.”

Students Krystal Neff, Ellen Hattery, Cameron Autery, and Kala Jovingo stand with director of health care education Mirjana Ilijevski (far right).

Medical Assistant Gains Confidence During Externship

Medical Assistant Gains Confidence During Externship

Brittney Wainscott, a medical assisting student from the Danville, Kentucky Campus, is working as an extern at the Sleep Disorders Center where she stays busy each day triaging and rooming patients, as well as assisting with the administrative side of the practice.

Brittney had worked in a daycare for many years when she decided to return to school to train for a career in the medical field.  A friend recommended American National University to her, and she decided to enroll because of the small campus and class size that the school offered.

She feels that her externship, where she’s putting her skills from the classroom to use on the job in a medical office, will help her feel more confident as she prepares to enter her new career.  “My very first day, I was nervous, but now I’m comfortable,” she said of her work in the practice. 

At the end of her program, Brittney will sit for the registered medical assisting certification exam and work with the school career center to help her find employment in the medical field.  “In the future, I’d really like to work in a pediatric office,” she said.

Medical assisting student Brittney Wainscott is getting hands-on experience in a medical office during her externship at the Sleep Disorders Center.

Student Has a New Motivation to Attend College And Pursue Degree

Student Has a New Motivation to Attend College And Pursue Degree

Kayla Boyd and her new daughter moved to Lexington in 2011 to begin a new life and career. “The goal for earning my degree was to have a career instead of a’ j.o.b.’ – a career I would enjoy for the long haul.  I wanted to stop dreading going to work every day!  My main motivation for seeking my degree is my young daughter.  I simply want a better life for her, for myself,  and I want her to see how important college will be for her as well.  I want to be a good role model for [her],” said Kayla.

Kayla’s cousin had graduated from American National University and told her to visit and see what she thought – and that was a pivotal day for Kayla.  “Everyone here was so friendly and helpful.  I was lost at the other school – I could not get any help with anything.  It is certainly very different here at National. The instructors go out of their way to help you – they really care about your success.  Several of them are encouraging me to pursue my bachelor’s – and I have decided that is the best move for me.  Everyone is honestly interested in our success – it’s a great college.”

Kayla will graduate this May from the Lexington Campus with an associate’s degree in business administration – management – and will begin pursuing her bachelor’s in the same field.  Kayla is a testament to what can happen when a student has the determination and motivation to build their future.

Kayla Boyd, who will  complete her associate's degree program in business administration-management in May, said that she has found everyone at American National University to be friendly and helpful and interested in her success.

Student Has Unique Idea for Completing Class Assignment

Student Has Unique Idea for Completing Class Assignment

Riley Hatfield, of the Danville, Kentucky Campus, a medical assisting student in instructor Stephanie Slone’s Systems of Transport and Support class, recently created a unique project as part of a class assignment.

“I was asked to create a model of the heart for my anatomy class,” said Riley.  “ I came up with the idea to make my model out of cake,” explained Riley. “I bought the cake, then bought icing to draw and color in the heart.  I also had to label this.  I got the idea to use toothpicks and tape the words to the toothpicks, then stick [them] where the correct parts needed to go.  It didn’t take me that long to come up with this idea. I was very happy with the results and so were others.”

Student Riley Hatfield used a cake to create a model of a heart. 

Career Center Director Addresses Résumé Preparation and Interviewing Skills

Career Center Director Addresses Résumé Preparation and Interviewing Skills

As the career center director at the Florence Campus, Jeff Elmlinger has been very active in his new position by visiting classes to discuss his new role, and how he can assist students with résumé preparation and interviewing techniques.  Using the experience that he gained many years ago as a customer service trainer with Columbia House Music and Video Clubs, Jeff has been able to refine his presentation skills by working with faculty members and students to share his knowledge of the job search process.

For students who are nervous about participating in a professional interview, Jeff reminds them that preparation is the key for a good presentation and a good interview.  Jeff said, “You become more confident and relaxed with each presentation and interview.”

After hearing Jeff’s discussion on résumé preparation in her English composition class, student Felicia Davis said, “I learned the importance of including power keywords on your résumé and researching the company prior to your interview.”

Jeff Elmlinger, the new career center director at the Florence Campus, spoke to students about preparing their résumé and tips for interviewing. 

Business Professional Developed Leadership Skills at National

Business Professional Developed Leadership Skills at National

When Nyata Spence enters her office at Overhead Door of Louisville each morning, she often pauses to reflect with pride on the professional woman that she’s become and the journey that brought her to this point in her life.  “I didn’t think 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago that this is where I’d be,” she recalled.  “By the grace of God, I’m here.”

Nyata was searching for direction in her career when she first came to the Louisville Campus.  “I have big dreams,” she said. “I was always determined not to be that statistic. I didn’t want to go backwards.  I always want to keep being better than I was last year."

While touring the campus again during her student orientation, she realized that she’d found a second home. “I really wanted to go to school, but I didn’t want to go somewhere where I’d just get lost,” Nyata said. “It felt comforting knowing it’s a small group of people going and doing the same thing that I’m trying to do.”

Nyata immersed herself in her studies and became a familiar face to everyone at the campus, serving as a federal work study and as president of the student activities committee.  She also represented National on a local TV show, and had a letter to the editor published in the Courier-Journal which she wrote in support of career college education.

She feels that these experiences enriched her life and helped her prepare for her career as she developed professional communication skills, and learned valuable lessons while organizing events at the campus. “Everything is not going to be peaches and roses,” Nyata said.  “You’re going to have that glitch,” she said. “That got me prepared for when things don’t work out here.  I always have a plan ‘B’ now.”

Louisville campus director Vincent Tinebra said that he enjoyed taking Nyata under his wing and mentoring her during her time at National.  “She always showed a genuine interest in learning and improving at whatever she was doing in her many roles on campus,” said Vincent.  “Now that she has graduated and started her career, I am always looking for a new Nyata at campus who I can work with and mentor.”

Thanks to her dedication to her studies and to her fellow students, Nyata was the recipient of the 2013 Leadership Award which she accepted during the campus’s commencement ceremony. “That’s my inspiration,” she said. “I think the day that I walked across that stage was the proudest moment of my life.”

After graduating with her associate’s degree in business administration-management, she was hired by Overhead Door of Louisville where she’s a vital member of their team, working as a dispatcher and customer service representative.  She often is the first person that customers come into contact with at the company, and she always goes the extra mile in providing excellent service to them.

Greg Conn, general manager of the residential division of Overhead Door of Louisville, said that Nyata’s degree was a big factor in their decision to hire her.  “Just getting out of college made a difference,” he said, adding that she has a knack for customer service and a good knowledge of business in general.  “She’s very energetic and handles herself well.”

Nyata continues to be a leader in her community, building her own marketing and public relations business, and serving as a mentor in the Y-Now Children of Prisoners Program.  “I’m a professional business woman trying to open up my own business.  It’s evolving, and I’m showing these kids how to evolve, “she said.  “I hope that I can be an inspiration for somebody.  I just feel blessed.”

A-Nyata Spence, a recipient of the Louisville Campus Leadership Award, is working as a dispatcher and customer service representative at Overhead Door of Louisville.

B-Nyata Spence, a graduate of the business administration-management program, is pictured with her supervisor Greg Conn, general manager of the residential division of Overhead Door of Louisville.


Student Has a Successful Journey

Student Has a Successful Journey

Kierra Washington, a student at the Charlottesville Campus, decided to enter the medical assisting program after high school.  As a child, she would always play doctor or nurse with her sister.  When she became a teenager, she realized how much she loved helping people when they were sick and unable to take care of themselves.  She told her parents that she would like to become a registered nurse.  Her parents thought that it was an excellent career choice.  She began to research different colleges, to see what type of nursing programs were offered  and realized that the programs were not interesting.

Her mother found out about American National University and Kierra visited the campus the very next day to see what nursing programs were available.  She spoke with an admissions representative who recommended medical assisting to Kierra.  She enrolled in the program on June 6th, 2011.  “It has truly been a great journey ever since that day,” said Kierra.  She completed the program last month and will be receiving her associate’s degree in medical assisting on Friday, May 16th which happens to be her 20th birthday.  “This journey is not over yet,” said Kierra.  I will be continuing my journey at a university in Richmond, Virginia.  I will be pursuing my bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration.  I have accomplished my dream, and none of this would have happened, if it wasn’t for God walking with me through this successful journey.”

Medical assisting student Kierra Washington will be graduating in May from the Charlottesville Campus. 

Campus Director Promotes American National University to the Community

Campus Director Promotes American National University to the Community

Martinsville Campus Director John Scott was invited to be the program speaker for the Rotary Club of Henry County on Wednesday, March 12th.  John chose to speak on the history of National College and the institution’s recent name change to American National University.  John stated that American National University is an integral part of the post-secondary education network in Martinsville and Henry County as a result of offering strong programs that meet employer needs.  The Martinsville Campus opened in 1978 and soon moved to the Jefferson Plaza in the central business district.  The campus is now located in Martinsville on Memorial Boulevard with easy access and high visibility.  John said the name change to American National University is needed because the university provides education and training in diverse fields such as network administration and medical assisting, and new academic programs are being developed.  He also explained the program offerings at the Martinsville Campus and cited examples of graduate success stories that contribute to the workforce quality in the community. 

Pictured, from left, is Henry County Rotary President-Elect David Price and Martinsville Campus Director John Scott.

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.