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March 31, 2014


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SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

Graduate Returns to Campus for a Degree in Cybersecurity

Graduate Returns to Campus for a Degree in Cybersecurity

After completing his associate’s degree in information systems engineering at the Lynchburg Campus last fall, Robert Warrick, Jr. decided to maximize his education and take advantage of ANU’s progressive learning structure by immediately enrolling in the campus’s cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program. “ISE was interesting, but I felt like cybersecurity would give me a more well-rounded perspective on today’s computers,” Robert explains of his decision to continue his education. “More and more companies are going to need knowledge on how to secure their systems; I’m trying to get in the know on that.”

Robert came to ANU after retiring from 25 years of service in the U.S. Army. Computers were familiar to him as a part of everyday life in the military, so he wanted to pursue a career in technology. But first he needed to update his skills to get ready for entering the civilian job market, and he knew education was the first step.

Robert looked at several universities, both traditional and online, and was even accepted to one university based on his military experience, but his sister had graduated from the MBA program at ANU and encouraged Robert to give it a chance.  After visiting the campus, he realized ANU was the right choice. “I felt like I needed the training more so than just a pass-through,” he says of his decision to pursue a career-oriented education. It also helped that he felt very welcomed by the campus staff, such as admissions representative Phyllis Carimi. “Phyllis is outstanding,” Robert exclaims. “She made me feel welcome. She answered all of my questions. She had a big smile on her face, and no question I asked was stupid; she took the time to answer everything I asked, and that impressed me.”

Now that Robert is pursuing his second degree at ANU, he is “having a ball.” He particularly appreciates the pleasant family atmosphere he’s experienced at ANU. “I haven’t had a bad encounter with any one person or instructor since I’ve been here,” he says. “All the instructors have been very professional and more than willing to help. If you don’t quite understand something, they’ll stay after class as long as you need them to. I can’t express how pleased I am with the way the college works diligently to help us.”

And he’s been pleased with the quality of education he’s receiving too. His courses have expanded on his prior knowledge of computers coming from a military background. “Going through the ISE course, and so far in the cybersecurity course too, I’ve realized I only knew the very basics, and what I knew about the very basics wasn’t complete,” Robert explains. “Now I feel like I’m a little more well-rounded, a little more complete.”

Robert is excited to earn his bachelor’s degree and put it to good use with a career in cybersecurity. “I want to try to help safeguard people’s information from the crooks,” he says. “We lose billions and billions of dollars a year to cyber-crime, and it’s not the Fortune 500 companies getting taken, it’s the everyday Joe that’s getting mashed by this crime.”

Robert Warrick, Jr. retired after 25 years in the U.S. Army and is now pursuing a career in cybersecurity. 

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PRINCETON
Medical Office Employs Nine American National University Graduates

Medical Office Employs Nine American National University Graduates

Nancy George, office manager of East River Medical was presented with the Distinguished Community Employer award by director of health care education at the Princeton Campus, Pat Sell.  The company is a longtime supporter of student externs and employment of American National University graduates.  The office is staffed by nine ANU graduates who are medical assistants, medical office assistants, and medical billing and coding representatives.  “I loved the atmosphere and instructors at the [university],” said medical assisting graduate Jeannean Cregger, who is employed by East River Medical.   “My degree provided me with an opportunity for a rewarding career.”  Ms. George said that she is glad that ANU produces well qualified and employable graduates. 

Front row (l) to (r): Nancy George and Pat Sell.  Back row (l) to (r): Teresa Duncan, Marty Marquettesheybani-Agdam, Lindsay Smith, Angie Richardson, Jeannean Cregger, Jennie Belcher, and Peggy Robinson.


PRINCETON
M. Elaine Owens-Career Center Director-Princeton Campus

M. Elaine Owens-Career Center Director-Princeton Campus

WHO:
M. Elaine Owens—Difference Maker at the Princeton Campus

WHAT:
Career Center Director

WHEN:
ANU career center director for 12 years

WHERE:
• Gained previous career experience as an administrative assistant/data entry specialist, an accounts payable manager, and a small business owner
• Majored in liberal arts at Southwest Virginia Community College and graduated from supervisor management specialist program at National College

WHY:
“Students and graduates can depend on me to relentlessly search for employment for them. They can be confident that I will seek employment for them that requires the skills they possess. When it comes to my job, it really is all about the students.

“My ultimate reward as career center director is when a student or graduate I recommend for employment calls me with their voice quivering with excitement to thank me for helping them get their job. I always let them know that it is only because of the knowledge they acquired, the attitude they possess, and the work ethic they developed that secured the job for them.

“Education is knowledge that no one can take from you. If someone says it’s a waste of money to attend college, I tell them that’s not possible—acquiring knowledge is never a waste.”

M. Elaine Owens has been the career center director at the Princeton Campus for 12 years. 


ROANOKE VALLEY
International Student Learning English to Improve the Lives of Children

International Student Learning English to Improve the Lives of Children

Oyuntuya Sanjjav (”Vicky”), is an international student from Mongolia at the Roanoke Valley Campus.  Before she left her country, her father told her about his “family rule” that he was not going to help her in any way unless she went to a university.  She said that her dad added that he wanted her to learn in America.  She knew that learning English would make it much easier for her to find a job.  She was very curious about America, and began an ESL program at a university in Chicago.  She said, “I only stayed for [several] months [because] I did not know anyone there.”  Her sister had already been in the Roanoke area for 13 years and encouraged her to come to Roanoke.  Her sister told her about ANU and she also knew a couple of friends from Mongolia who had gone through the ESL program at the Roanoke Valley Campus, so she made the change and never looked back. 

She finished the ESL program over a year ago and recently began the business administration-management program.  She chose business because she loves the subject of math and because her goal after college is to return to Mongolia to open her own school for children.  She said that she wants to do this because many of the children in Mongolia are very poor; some do not even have parents or enough food to eat.  She said, “I want to take care of them.  I want to teach them English and be able to feed them.” Ironically, her mom was in this same line of work and recently retired.  She said, “My mom taught me a lot.”  Her parents laid the ground work of her education, but ANU has enhanced that.  She said that now when she talks to them, they tell her just how much she has changed; especially her personal spending habits.  Vicky added that in addition to learning academically, she “knows how to budget now including saving money and how to respect people”; thus gaining life skills.  These life skills have led her to want to work in Roanoke for one year after she graduates this July.  She would like to be employed by a local bank, then will return to Mongolia. 

Regarding people at the campus who have made a positive impact on her life, she first mentioned Ron Smith, director of admissions and international programs.  She said that he spoke to her first class at the campus and explained so much.  Neal Engers, faculty advisor and instructor and Mathew George, business management department chair, have also made her experience at ANU so much better.  Vicky explained that she has had a lot of questions about everything and that they were always answered.  “I have never been told ‘no’” she added.  She said that if she doesn’t understand something, they make sure that she does.  She further explained that the three of them do not treat her as simply a student but more “like a daughter.”

When asked if she would recommend ANU to others, Vicky said that she already has.  She has encouraged a friend from Chicago to attend as well as her cousin who came here from Mongolia who also brought a friend along for the experience. 

As for her future, she envisions that 10 years from now she will be managing her own school in Mongolia and will be married with her own kids.  She added with a smile that she will be teaching them English as well!

Oyuntuya Sanjjav (”Vicky”), is an international student from Mongolia who is attending the Roanoke Valley Campus. 
 

 


LEXINGTON
Graduate Thrives in Retail Management Career

Graduate Thrives in Retail Management Career

Lexington Campus graduate Toccara Parks loves being responsible for keeping her store running smoothly in her work as the assistant manager of Dollar Tree. “It’s challenging, but I like it all. I don’t dread going to work. I actually look forward to what’s going to happen that day.”

Toccara’s education from American National University helps her excel in the large variety of duties that she performs while managing the busy retail store. She earned a diploma in the office technology professional program, and then carried those credits into her business administration-management program to quickly earn her associate’s degree.

“The Microsoft Office…the Excel, the Power Point—those were my favorite classes,” said Toccara.  Other classes helped her to develop strategies for providing superior customer service, and she enjoys sharing those with her employees to help them interact professionally with the many personalities that they encounter.

While her education has been a key factor in her career success, Toccara didn’t think that college was in her future until she visited National.  “I really didn’t plan on going back to school.  I just came to National with a friend who was signing up. I talked to Ms. Sharon, and I filled out the paperwork, and she said ‘You should go,’” she recalled of her first visit with admissions representative Sharon Rodgers. “She gives you a reason to believe that you can do it.”

As she neared graduation, Toccara also gained confidence as career center director Cheryl Howell assisted her with her job search. “She sent me a whole lot of job leads, and she helped me re-do my resume.  She told me to go for what fit me the best,” she recalled.

Her goals for the future include being the best mother possible to her young daughter, and she also hopes to eventually manage her own clothing or home accessories shop.  “I’m looking forward to excelling in retail,” she said proudly. 

Tocarra feels that her education at National has opened the door to opportunities that she never expected to receive. “It gave me a start to a beginning that I never even knew was in me,” she said. “If you’ve got the chance to better yourself, do it.”

Lexington Campus graduate Toccara Parks, who is working as an assistant manager of Dollar Tree, was not planning to go to college when she visited American National University with a friend.
 


RICHMOND
Pharmacy Technician Student is Hired After Externship

Pharmacy Technician Student is Hired After Externship

Sheri Ingram, a student in the pharmacy technician and medical assisting programs at the Richmond Campus, recently completed her pharmacy externship at Madison Drug and was offered a position with them.  She also passed the certification exam in February and can now proudly add CPHT to her job title.

Sheri credits her success to Paula Beth Ciolek, director of health education and Glen Jones, pharmacy tech instructor. “They gave me the confidence I needed to take the pharmacy technician certification exam,” said Sheri.  “I don’t think I could have done it without their encouragement.”

When Sheri started school she was a stay-at-home mom who was looking to learn skills that would provide her family with a better life.  She also wanted to show her children the importance of an education.

Sheri found out about National from a friend, Jason Shackleford, who is currently enrolled in the pharmacy technician diploma program.  She said that she loves the small class size and the one-on-one instruction that you get at the school.  After completing her medical assisting program, she hopes to find a job working in a doctor’s office, but for now she is enjoying helping people at Madison Drug.

Pharmacy technician and medical assisting student, Sheri Ingram, has been hired after completing an externship at Madison Drug in Richmond, KY.


LOUISVILLE
Louisville Campus Provides Screenings and Information during Community Event

Louisville Campus Provides Screenings and Information during Community Event

The Louisville Campus recently participated in the Riverport Business Association’s annual Health, Wellness and Safety Expo, a vendor fair which allows business representatives to share information about their companies with the community.

During the event, American National University medical assisting students offered health screenings under the supervision of instructor Shanita John. 

Eileen Lockhart, who is about half-way through the medical assisting program, said she liked conducting cholesterol screenings best.  “I enjoyed that and meeting the people,” Eileen said.  She felt that it was very beneficial to get hands-on experience with the screenings.  “I’m proficient with that now,” she explained.

“Practice makes perfect,” added fellow medical assisting student Vannessea Porter.

Admissions representative Kelley Hamilton shared information with attendees about the programs available at the campus and about the Business Partnership Grant, an exclusive grant available at American National University which matches tuition assistance from employers.  Career center director Donna Reed-Carson also participated in the event, networking with employers to help connect them with workforce-ready National graduates when they have hiring needs.

A-Medical assisting student Eileen Lockhart is shown conducting a health screening during the Riverport Business Association's Health, Wellness and Safety Fair.
 
B-Medical assisting students from the Louisville Campus gathered for a photo after performing health screenings during the event.


FLORENCE
Medical Students Visit Coroner’s Office

Medical Students Visit Coroner’s Office

Surgical technology and medical assisting students from the Florence Campus recently visited the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Dr. Lakshmi Kode Sammarco, a board certified neuroradiologist, is the Hamilton County Coroner.  Dr. Sammarco supervises the daily operations of the office, and has a chief deputy coroner who is board certified in forensic pathology.  The students and their instructor were given a two hour lecture and overview on the daily operations of the coroner’s office.  The office also has an on-site crime lab, as well as other forensic labs.

During the lecture, the procedures and policies of a coroner’s case were covered in great detail. In 2012, 909 autopsies were performed in the office.  The students also learned about the chain of custody as it pertains to evidence, and about the testing that is done in the laboratory.

The students found the visit very informative.  “We were surprised when we heard that heroin overdose is now the number one cause of death in a coroner’s case and not traffic accidents,” said Derrick Berry, a student in the surgical technology program.

Students and staff from the medical programs at the Florence Campus recently visited the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office. Pictured left to right are Carolyn Nienaber, surgical technology program director, Kathreen Buckner, director of health care education, and surgical technology students, Donna Galliher, Kristen Bowling, and Derrick Berry.


 
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.