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April 14, 2014

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Former Instructor Is Now a Member of the Virginia House of Delegates

Former Instructor Is Now a Member of the Virginia House of Delegates

Sam Rasoul, a former ANU instructor and new member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing the Eleventh District, visited the 50th Annual SkillsUSA Virginia Leadership Conference and Skill Competition that occurred April 4th and 5th at the Roanoke Civic Center to show his support for the students and the tourism that the event brings to the Roanoke Valley.  More than 1,100 high school and college students participated in 99 competitions demonstrating their skills in career areas such as emergency medical technology, first aid/CPR, computer maintenance technology, criminal justice, and technical computer applications.

“I’d like to commend Delegate Rasoul for his participation in the SkillsUSA Virginia State Leadership and Skills Conference,” said Tim Lawrence, Executive Director of SkillsUSA.  “His presence demonstrated a sincere interest in workforce and economic development for the Roanoke Valley and the Commonwealth of Virginia.  It was very refreshing to hear Delegate Rasoul’s comments regarding the high level of technical skills demonstrated by the student participants and his understanding that students in Career and Technical Education and SkillsUSA are heavily involved in learning and practicing skills that are grounded in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.” 

During the legislative session, Delegate Rasoul introduced a career and technical education bill, HB 1128. The bill has several components, one of which seeks a plan for increasing the number of students receiving industry certification and state licensure as part of their career and technical education. He wanted to have this bill be his first project “because of the changing needs of the business community-it is important for us to have school divisions and localities that provide support for technical students.”  Secondly, Delegate Rasoul wanted to have a bipartisan bill to demonstrate that the members are willing to work together to help our region.  “We also need to coordinate with local workforce development to build an advisory capacity,” said Delegate Rasoul.  “Workforce development is an important part of the education coalition and economic development is becoming the most important. Workforce readiness is what firms consider when growing and expanding.  We need to make sure the Roanoke region is as competitive as possible,” he added.

Delegate Rasoul is a former CFO and COO of a non-profit healthcare firm.  He said, “I grew up in a family of small business owners.  I am a small business owner.  Roanoke raised me and I am very fortunate to be able to give back to a region that gave me so much.”

Delegate Rasoul taught MBA management and accounting classes at the Roanoke Valley Campus.  He said, “I consider teaching one of the most important chapters of my life.  I loved teaching.  We are all life-long students.”  Delegate Rasoul added, “I really enjoyed showing students how various disciplines work together as well as all of the departments of a company.  They are all interconnected; you have to understand that to be a leader in tomorrow’s workplace.” 

Delegate Rasoul said that he became a politician because, “I have a passion for public policy.  I am very fortunate to be doing something that I enjoy.”  He also said that the voters will determine just how long he stays in politics.  “I am so lucky to be a public servant in that capacity [of public policy].  I will be happy to serve if that is my calling.”

PHOTO-A-Delegate Sam Rasoul is a former MBA instructor of the Roanoke Valley Campus. He is pictured teaching one of his classes.

PHOTO-B-Tim Lawrence (l), executive director of SkillsUSA with Delegate Sam Rasoul (r).

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Graduate Grateful for her Positive University Experience

Graduate Grateful for her Positive University Experience

Latisha Crutchfield graduated from the Martinsville Campus in February with an associate’s degree in medical assisting.  Latisha completed a very successful externship with Friedrichs’ Family Eye Center and was hired as an ophthalmic technician prior to completing her degree.  Latisha performs many tasks to assist the optometrist, incuding preparing the patient for vision examination; assisting in testing for near and far acuity, depth perception, color perception; and utilizing ocular testing devices and apparatus.

Latisha decided to enroll at American National University “because I wanted a career in the medical field that would help individuals.”  Latisha said that she enjoys assisting the clients who come into the office and working with medical professionals.  Latisha’s university experience was very positive.  She said, “I am very pleased with the educational experience I had at National because it showed and prepared me for what to expect within the medical field.”

Latisha Crutchfield completed an externship with Friedrich’s Family Eye Center and was hired as an ophthalmic technician before completing her degree. 

Medical Students Learn CPR

Medical Students Learn CPR

Five medical assisting students at the Charlottesville Campus recently participated in a cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) class sponsored by the American Heart Association.  The students were instructed on how to save someone in a life-threatening situation.  Scott Berry, an instructor for the American Heart Association, went into great depth describing the different methods of hand placement and appropriate responses to emergencies.  Students were challenged to put this newly learned classroom information they received into action and simulate performing CPR on a life-sized manikin. 

The classroom instruction included a video presentation that virtually showed step-by-step instructions on what to do in case a CPR administrator lost their place on the victim chest.  This training opportunity provided the students with a unique hands-on experience that they will be able to use if needed in their medical profession or in everyday life.  Medical assisting student, Amanda Richardson said, "As a healthcare provider, CPR is essential to performing my duties."

Students pictured from left to right are: Loretta Long, Jessica Wilson, Delta Worley, Wendy Jones, and Amanda Richardson. 

Bonnie Reynolds-Instructor-Cleveland

Bonnie Reynolds-Instructor-Cleveland

Bonnie Reynolds—Difference Maker at the Cleveland Area Campus

Instructor of business and technology courses

• American National University faculty member since 2011
• Has gained more than 20 years of career experience in various fields, including health care, real estate, life insurance, and banking, and currently owns a consulting business

Holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management, a Master of Arts degree in organizational management, and a doctoral degree in business administration with a concentration in finance

“My passion is education. My desire is to give back by sharing my experience with students who have similar aspirations.  For example, I helped one student develop her motivational speaking skills by having her share her life story before an audience at the Cleveland Area Campus. The response was very uplifting for her!

“I strive to listen to and become familiar with my students’ life experiences and values, then incorporate that information for their own benefit within the course objectives, but also in a way that can be used in their own personal lives.  I challenge my students to identify their own talents and express those talents within some system that can be viable in the marketplace or in their next level of education.

“My favorite moments are when students come back to tell me how a tool I gave them helped them in pursuit of their degree or became part of a bigger venture for them.”

Bonnie Reynolds is an instructor at the Cleveland Area Campus who has more than 20 years of experience in various fields. 

Career Fair Aimed to Help Students from Every Academic Program Succeed

Career Fair Aimed to Help Students from Every Academic Program Succeed

The Dayton Area Campus held a Spring Career Fair on Monday, March 31st.  The five businesses that attended were Aerotek, Home Instead Senior Care, Walgreen’s, Staffmark, and H&R Block.  “It’s always a pleasure to meet the students at American National University,” said Renee Farison with Home Instead Senior Care.  “We have had tremendous success with recruiting students for part-time work while they attend school.  The great staff there makes it an enjoyable experience.”

Renee McKinney, a current student in the office technology professional program, thought that the job fair was “very informative and had great opportunities for us, the students.” The reviews from the students and employers who attended the Career Fair were excellent and there were 66 potential employer/employee connections.  “I feel the event was a great success.  I talked to 22 people and based on their experience, I feel I could possibly qualify several people for various positions,” said Theresa Martin, account manager with Staffmark.  “It was a good event, and we will continue to partner up with American National University with future job fair events.”

Sherri Davis, a recent graduate of the business administration-management and business administration accounting programs, really enjoyed talking with different employers that attended.  Sherri said, “The employers seemed very interested in the students personally, and that makes the students feel welcome and empowered.  We really enjoyed meeting with the students in person, and we definitely walked away with some great résumés,” said Karim Abdul-Aal from Aerotek.  “We are looking forward to doing more work with American National University in the future!”

Theresa Martin, Account Manager with Staffmark is pictured on the left.  Student Amanda Kunko is on the right.

Three Generations of Higher Education with National College

Three Generations of Higher Education with National College

Our nation celebrated its Bicentennial in 1976, and Gwendolyn Christopher started a long and illustrious family tradition that same year when she enrolled at American National University – and that family tradition is still going strong to this day.

Gwendolyn finished her management degree in 1978, and after a 30-year hiatus she returned and finished her bachelor’s in business administration – management in 2008.  She subsequently earned her master’s in management, went on to work for the University of Kentucky, and now plans on exploring new career directions.

To say the least, Gwendolyn has been a tremendous inspiration to her daughter, Kimberly, who finished her associate’s degree in management in 1996.  Kimberly took a hiatus as well—hers only 12 years--and came back and completed her bachelor’s in business administration – management in 2008.  Kimberly raised her family after finishing her bachelor’s degree and will utilize the American National University Career Center to find her dream job.

Proving how deeply inspiration and motivation can run in a family, we forward now to Gwendolyn’s three granddaughters - or put another way, Kimberly’s three daughters - who are all attending the Lexington Campus.  Joye Christopher is pursuing her associate’s in radio and television broadcasting, while Deltoria and DeRhonda Christopher are both pursuing their associate’s in management.  Earlane Cox, admissions representative, said, “Three generations pursuing their dreams will surely have a positive effect on the world – in addition to the inspiration they have given our entire campus.”

“American National University has provided all of us with what we needed – great instructors, a family atmosphere, and a great learning environment,” said Gwendolyn.  “I would only send my family to the very best!”

A-Pictured left to right are: Joye, Kimberly, Gwendolyn, Deltoria, and DeRhonda Christopher.

B-Gwendolyn Christopher with her daughter and three granddaughters who have attended or are attending the Lexington Campus. 

Guest Speaker Informs and Inspires Students

Guest Speaker Informs and Inspires Students

Tori Marshall, a registered nurse at St. Joseph Hospital, recently visited the Richmond Campus as a guest speaker for instructor Heather Randall’s Terminology of Body Support class.  Ms. Marshall, who works in labor and delivery at the hospital, discussed the many changes that a woman’s body goes through, both physically and emotionally, during pregnancy.

Tori also inspired the class when she discussed her own struggles with earning her degree while taking care of her family.  Tori completed nursing school while she was pregnant with her fourth child, who was born just prior to her finishing her program.

Medical assisting student Tracy Noe said that she enjoyed Ms. Marshall’s presentation.  “Tori was great!” she said.  “I relate to her in many ways, and hearing her story lets me know that I can do this, even when I am overwhelmed and don’t think I can.  If I keep going, it will all be worth it for me and my family.”

Tori Marshall, a registered nurse who works in labor and delivery at St. Joseph Hospital, is shown during her visit with students in the Terminology of Body Support class at the Richmond Campus.

Medical Students Tour Cardiology Practice

Medical Students Tour Cardiology Practice

Students from instructor Jennifer Lyon’s Medical Office Procedures class at the Danville, Kentucky Campus recently got to see first-hand how a cardiology office works when they toured Ephraim McDowell Cardiology.

During the tour, the students watched the front window and check-out procedures. The staff demonstrated the use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and also showed the students how hard copies are used in the office.  They were also given a brief lesson on pacemaker insertion in which they learned that the documentation of brands is very important.  Dr. Sharat Kohl spoke to the students and told them that a good office staff is vital to a successful office.

Medical assisting student Connie Gonzalez said that the tour was very educational.  “It was a very nice tour of their office.  The staff was very informative,” she said. “They gave us a lot of interesting information about the office procedures and billing and scheduling systems of the office.”

“I really enjoyed going to Danville Cardiology,” added fellow medical assisting student Megan Locker.  “The office was very organized and professional.  I would definitely like to go back!”

Dr. Sharat Kohl (seated) is pictured during the tour with students (l to r) Deanna Rice, Connie Gonzalez, Christina Brown, Megan Locker, Teresa Culton, Tionna Leavell, and Lindsey Parker.

Librarians Share Tips and Resources to Help Students Succeed

Librarians Share Tips and Resources to Help Students Succeed

The Oral Communications and English Composition classes at the Florence Campus recently had the opportunity to hear presentations from Cheryl Heer, campus librarian, and Melanie Sperling, outreach manager for the Boone County Public Library.  The librarians emphasized how mastering the art of research is a lifelong skill that will serve them well personally and professionally.  Cheryl discussed how important information literacy is in our digital age when there is so much information available to us.  She said that by knowing how to find and use accurate information from credible sites, students will enhance their own credibility as researchers and writers.

Ms. Sperling informed the students about the resources and services that are available to them to complement their campus library’s collection and services.  She showed them databases that offer peer reviewed publications, culture grams containing information on the culture and customs of countries worldwide, Access Video on Demand, and Freegal, which provides three free MP3 downloads per week.
Ms. Sperling and Cheryl also discussed search strategies using truncation, Boolean operators, and quotation marks to limit, expand, and exclude terms from a search query.  Both demonstrated how students can refine a search from 14,000 results to a much more manageable 150 by using these techniques.
Medical assisting student Faith Sullivan said, “Thanks to these two librarians, I learned how to be a more efficient researcher and about the services and resources available to me on campus and at the public library.”

Medical assisting student Faith Sullivan (l) is shown with Melanie Sperling, outreach manager of the Boone County Public Library.

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.