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April 28, 2014

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Graduate Is a Shining Example for Prospective and Current Medical Assisting Students

Graduate Is a Shining Example for Prospective and Current Medical Assisting Students

Kelly Privette completed an internship with Central Ohio Surgical Associates (COSA) in February of last year while she was a medical assisting student at the Columbus Campus and was hired by the practice in May.  “She did a good job while she was here,” said Dr. Philip Price, one of the nine surgeons in the practice.  “She was more engaged than any other medical assisting student that we have had here.  Because of that, when she finished we offered her a job.  My nurse, who had been with me for 14 years became ill, retired, and we had Kelly step into her position.  Kelly has done an excellent job.” 

The surgeons of COSA perform advanced gastrointestinal laparoscopic surgeries in addition to other types.  The practice orders all kinds of tests, sets appointments, for patients and performs diagnostics.  Dr. Price added, “Kelly has been very cognizant of learning what she doesn’t know.  She has done an outstanding job stepping into the most difficult position that she could have stepped into in this practice.” 

“I really enjoy working with Dr. Price,” said Kelly.  “I have learned quite a bit and am still learning every day.  Getting to work with him and our cancer patients is very rewarding.”  Kelly is involved with both the clinical and administrative sides of the practice.  A typical day might find her handling patient charts, ordering tests, completing FMLA paperwork, scheduling appointments, phone triage, requesting insurance authorizations, and removing all staples and stitches for patients. 

In the future, Kelly plans to earn her registered nurse credential then continue her education to obtain her bachelors of science in nursing.  She added that she wants to continue to work with Dr. Price and terminally ill patients. 

“I can’t imagine a better role model for prospective and current students other than Kelly as what you can achieve if you work hard and care about what you are doing,” said Dr. Price.  “In any field of endeavor, the people who strive to be the best they can be personally are the ones who succeed.  This is what she has done.  Kelly is a good example of what you can accomplish if you decide that you want to be engaged, care and strive for excellence.” 

Read more about Kelly Privette’s educational journey here:

A-Graduate Kelly Privette is a medical assistant with Central Ohio Surgical Associates.

B-Graduate Kelly Privette (r) with her employer, Dr. Phillip Price (l).

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Connecting, Networking, and Hiring are Themes for Career Fair

Connecting, Networking, and Hiring are Themes for Career Fair

To connect, network, and hire were the main themes for the Third Annual Spring Career Fair at the South Bend Campus that was held recently.  Some of the employers included: AWS, Beacon Health Systems, Best Buy’s Geek Squad, Logan Community Resources, MapleTronics Computers Inc., the March of Dimes, Saint Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Trine University, Indiana Wesleyan, and the U.S. Army.  

Having medical representatives present gave the medical students a firsthand opportunity to meet and talk directly with the recruiters who hire for their in-network medical practices.  The technical employers were pleased to meet with the information technology students and graduates and offer them tips on how to earn their certifications and gain employment in the technical field.  Raquel Foster from the Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center said, “I felt meeting with many of the upcoming graduates was extremely beneficial as the grads are prepared to be hired immediately in their new fields”. 

ISE student Charles Jemison (l) with Mark Boetsma, Best Buy’s Geek Squad Manager (r).

Workshop Enhances Study Skills

Workshop Enhances Study Skills

Students at the Parkersburg Campus recently had the opportunity to enhance their study skills through a workshop offered by Leah Lane, director of health care education.  Leah, who was herself a non-traditional student, realizes the challenges that students who have been out of the classroom for several years can face.  “It can be very intimidating to start taking classes as an adult,” said Leah.  “Many of our students are working full-time jobs, are parents and have a multitude of responsibilities in their lives.  Learning to organize their schedules and brush up on techniques for studying can make a big difference in their ability to succeed in college.”

In the workshop, Leah and her students explored different methods of note taking, the benefits of learning how to skim an article or chapter in a textbook and how to manage their time.  “We all only have twenty-four hours in a day,” said Leah.  “Learning how to organize and prioritize our schedules can [mean] the difference between success and failure at ANU.”  The students were reminded about the importance of regular class attendance and were encouraged to find the study techniques that suit their individual learning styles the best.

Student Brenda Godfrey was pleased with the information she learned in the workshop. “We covered topics like mind mapping, SQ3R and APA format,” said Brenda.  “Leah did an amazing job, and I can’t wait to put some of the techniques she showed us to work as I study.”

The director of health care education, Leah Lane, presented a study skills workshop.

Fifty Students Attend Recent Career Fair

Fifty Students Attend Recent Career Fair

Nine community vendors were recently welcomed to the Madison Campus for the spring career fair.  Career center director Adella Harris provided students with a great opportunity to showcase their skills, education, and professionalism to local businesses and employment agencies. Throughout the day, students were allotted time to submit résumés and complete applications for potential employment.  The fair also provided the campus with the chance to boost National College’s presence in the community.  The company representatives were able to see for themselves the types of working professionals the institution produces.

Fifty students attended the career fair with 13 of those students completing onsite interviews.

Campus director, Richard Blankenship described the event as a great success.  In response to positive feedback he received by students, Richard said, “We will always remain, ‘total team focused,’ on our students allowing them to reach their goals.”  Some of the companies present included CSL Plasma, the Tennessee Air National Guard, Life Care Center, Fed Ex and Benchmark.  It is Madison’s goal to cultivate and enhance each student’s abilities.  The end result of this education is to provide students with their best chance for obtaining employment. However, in addition, the campus strives to help students hone skills that make them stand out to employers and make them valuable assets to any company.

Ray Montgomery, Human Resources Generalist for FedEx (l), speaks with Student Ashley Douglas (r).

Medical Facility Has Hired Fourteen ANU Students

Medical Facility Has Hired Fourteen ANU Students

The Martinsville Campus recently named Fatade Health and Medical Center as a Distinguished Community Employer for the spring term.  

Fatade Health and Medical Center offers a full range of primary care medical services.  The medical practice has become a valuable partner to the Martinsville Campus, providing externships for students in the medical assisting program.  The medical facility has hired 14 students since 2006.

Dr. K. Fatade graciously accepted the plaque, saying, “I want to thank the students and graduates from American National University who are continuing to help provide excellent service to our patients.”

“American National University students are enhancing their skills to enter in the workforce and fill positions that are in high demand in their communities,” said campus director John Scott.  “Support from area employers like Fatade Health and Medical Center helps students achieve their career goals.”   Rakisha Spencer, LPN, office manager and a graduate of the Martinsville Campus said that she “appreciates that American National University is able to send us externs because the opportunity provides students with expertise they will need when applying for jobs”.

(l) to (r): Tabitha Justice-RMA and Martinsville Campus graduate; Gary Jenkins, RN, Director of Healthcare Education; Vanessa P. Hairston, FNP;  Dr. K. Fatade, DO; Annette Lawson, Career Center Director; and Rakisha Spencer, LPN/Office Manager and  Martinsville Campus graduate.

Meticulous Medical Doctor Sets High Standards for Externs

Meticulous Medical Doctor Sets High Standards for Externs

The Princeton Campus chose Dr. Domingo G. Javier Inc., as the Distinguished Community Employer for the spring term.  Denver Riffe, campus director, presented Dr. Javier the plaque in recognition of his long term commitment of ensuring that the medical assisting students receive the best hands-on experience available.  Credited with assisting in the initial implementation of the campus’s medical externship program, Dr. Javier is meticulous and sets high standards for the students who extern there.  Devoted to helping students understand medical procedures, he takes the time to explain why he performs the cuts the way he does and why he uses the type of suture he uses.  One of our recent graduates was hired at a local hospital after completing her externship with him and receiving his recommendation.

“ANU students are knowledge, very dedicated and eager to learn,” said Dr. Javier’s office manager of approximately 30 years, Janet Collins.   “They stay in touch with [Dr. Javier] after their externship because he wants to know where they are and how they are doing.”

(l) to (r):  Pam Stanley, receptionist for Dr. Domingo G. Javier,  Janet Collins, office manager for Dr. Javier, and Denver Riffe, campus director.

Stellar Student Gains Valuable Insight at Campus Career Fair

Stellar Student Gains Valuable Insight at Campus Career Fair

The Bristol Campus recently hosted a career fair that included multiple regional schools and employers.  Some of the participants were:  Tusculum College, King University, Tennessee Career Center, Eastman Chemical Company, Brock, Aid & Assist at Home, Chick-fil-A, and Avon.  Students benefited by engaging the companies face-to-face regarding available educational and job opportunities in the region. 

Student April Taylor took advantage of the career fair and gained some valuable insight.  “King University transfers all National College credits as long as you have a C average,” said April.  “Eastman has about 150 jobs available including clerical, manufacturing, health and maintenance.  Brock is offering manufacturing and maintenance positions.  Chick-fil-A is looking for management, directors, and cooks.”

This is good news for upcoming graduates.  April is one of them and will graduate with an associate’s degree in office technology and a degree in business administration-management.  She began taking classes in April, 2012.  April decided to go to college because she needed a better opportunity for her family.  She chose National because the school accommodates the schedules of her three children.  April’s future career goal is to obtain an office management position.  She is well on her way with a cumulative GPA of a 4.0. 

Student April Taylor gained valuable insight at the recent career fair held at the Bristol Campus.

Student Touts the Benefits of Campus Career Center

Student Touts the Benefits of Campus Career Center

When she walks across the stage at the Lynchburg Campus graduation ceremony this May, Dominique Hilliard will have even more to celebrate than receiving her associate’s degree; she can also celebrate knowing she has already found a job she loves.

Dominique was recently hired as a medical assistant at Johnson Health Center in Lynchburg, an achievement she attributes to the support she found from the faculty and staff at ANU. “From the time I walked in the door, my success was their top priority,” she explains of her ANU experience. “The individual attention from the teachers gave me that push to be better than what I thought I could be.”

She also appreciates the assistance she received from the career center, explaining that it was her instructors who helped prepare her to do the job but the career center that helped her find the job by sending out her résumé to area health care facilities. “I definitely give the career center 100% of the credit for me being employed at Johnson Health Center because having someone who was already looking for something for me before I had a chance to start to look for something for myself, it was amazing,” she says. “It makes a big difference when you have someone standing behind you.”

The career center helped her land an interview, but it was Dominique herself who had to land the job. When she was faced with a daunting 3-person panel interview, it was the tips she had learned from the career center’s mock interviews and first impression workshops that prepared her and gave her the confidence she needed to prove she was the right person for the job. She succeeded and received the call that she was hired within hours of the interview.

Now she is happy to have the opportunity to put into practice on the job what she learned in her classes and in her externship. “Every class that I took here, I’m applying it to where I work now,” she explains. “From my oral communications and ethics classes, to the medical office finance class, there’s nothing I learned at this school that I’m not using out there every day.”

Student Dominique Hilliard will graduate in May with a degree in medical assisting.

Sammie Hawkins-Career Center Director-Bartlett

Sammie Hawkins-Career Center Director-Bartlett

• Sammie Hawkins—Difference Maker at the Bartlett Campus

• Career center director

• Bartlett Campus career center director since 2012
• Recipient of National College “Career Center Director of the Year” award for the Tennessee division in 2004
• Previously served for more than 17 years as executive director of a non-profit organization serving handicapped adults

• Gained prior experience as the Knoxville Campus career center director and as a corporate recruiter and manager of a staffing firm
• Active community involvement includes: member of the West Tennessee Society for Healthcare Human Resources Association; board member for the Bartlett Education Foundation; and ambassador with the Bartlett Chamber of Commerce, where she was recently honored as “Ambassador of the Month”

“I have a real passion for helping people find new careers. I believe it is important to give individuals hope that they will achieve their dreams and the importance of thinking positive and staying focused.  I enjoy helping students figure out what their competencies are and how to develop them to best benefit each student. My philosophy is that everybody should be valued and respected.

“I get a lot of joy from seeing that I've helped someone, whether it is realizing their value in developing their résumé, feeling confident in interviewing and networking, or ultimately securing a career opportunity in their field of study. Worku Wardofa clearly stands out in my mind as a huge success story.  He was a pharmacy technician student, and I am so thankful to have been a part of helping him achieve his dreams.  He came to America from Ethiopia, and he overcame not only a language barrier but also a cultural one. He has now graduated, is working as a pharmacy technician, and his next goal is a bachelor’s degree and ultimately to be a pharmacist. I am so proud of him!

“My definition of success is being able to contribute in a way that helps the team; I enjoy collaborating to achieve something special.  I am blessed to work with such a caring and committed staff and faculty who put the needs of the students as their top priority!”

Bartlett career center director Sammie Hawkins is pictured accepting the “Ambassador of the Month” award from Bartlett Chamber of Commerce ambassador president Sharon Fryman. “This is such a high honor for me,” said Sammie.  “I have always enjoyed being involved in my community, and the Chamber is the backbone of any city.  It is an awesome avenue to promote National College, and it provides me with tremendous networking opportunities to find job opportunities for our students and graduates.”

Formulas and Numbers Are Music to Graduate's Ears

Formulas and Numbers Are Music to Graduate's Ears

As a member of the booster club for her children’s high school marching band, music is a big part of Judy Carpenter’s life, so she feels that her job working as an accounting clerk in Willis Music’s corporate office is a perfect fit for her. “I like this job a lot.  It’s fantastic for me, because my kids are very active in band,” said Judy.  “They just love music and I’m happy to see it.  It makes such a difference in their life.”

Judy was nearing the end of her business administration-accounting associate’s degree program at the Florence Campus when Willis Music contacted career center director Jeff Elmlinger to ask for his assistance in finding qualified candidates for the position.  “The career center director here emailed me and told me that somebody had called from Willis,” Judy recalled.  “I went in the next day and dropped off my résumé and they called me that afternoon and said, ‘Come on in here.’  My last class ended on February 10th and by February 21st I had a job.” 

Judy, a U.S. Navy veteran, came to American National University through the Veteran’s Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) which provides training in high-demand fields for unemployed veterans between the age of 35 and 60.  Judy said that she’d always wanted to go back to school and the VRAP funding gave her the opportunity to do so.

 “I was so tired of not having any money to spend,” said Judy, who had previously worked as a lunch lady in her children’s school.  “I’m a single mom, so times were tough.  Here I am at 50-plus going to school, but it was a good choice.  Everybody was so vet friendly.”

Thanks to the five-term schedule at National, Judy was able to accelerate her education and complete her associate’s degree in just 17 months.  “I loved how fast it went,” she said.  “If I would have had to do a four year program, I never would have come back to school.”

In her job at Willis, Judy works on financial statements, trial balances, sales plans, and performs many other accounting functions.  “The more formulas and the more numbers, the better,” she said with a smile.  “I’ve loved working with numbers all my life, and I don’t know why I didn’t do this a lot sooner.  It’s given me the opportunity to improve myself, my family, my life, and made me believe in myself.”

A-Veteran and graduate Judy Carpenter is working as an accounting clerk for the Willis Music corporate office in Florence. 

B-Graduate Judy Carpenter is a U.S Navy veteran.

Student Service Representative Runs for Re-election on City Council

Student Service Representative Runs for Re-election on City Council

Student services representative Mike Sutton recently announced that he is seeking re-election for a seat on the Lancaster, Kentucky City Council.  A life-long resident of Lancaster, Mike has served on the city council since 2010.

Mike earned associate’s degrees in business administration-management and accounting at the Danville, Kentucky Campus and he’s currently working toward his bachelor’s degree in business administration-management through American National University Online.  “I felt that the experience that I brought to the table with my background in business, and with the education that I’ve gotten at National, that I could help,” he said of his initial decision to run for city council. “I wanted to give something back to the place that I grew up in, and try to make it better, and try to help it grow.”

Mike said that he’s particularly enjoyed working on the strategic plan for the city that includes one year, five year, and ten year goals.  “There have been a lot of key decisions that we’ve made in the last few years,” said Mike.  “I enjoy it.  It takes a lot of time and energy, but it’s rewarding.” 

Student services representative Mike Sutton is seeking re-election on the Lancaster, Kentucky City Council and is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business administration-management through American National University Online. 

Career Fair Provides Opportunities for Students and the Public

Career Fair Provides Opportunities for Students and the Public

The Pikeville Campus recently held its annual Spring Career Fair to help students and graduates link with employers.  The public was also invited to attend.  Employers that participated included East Kentucky Broadcasting, Kentucky One Health (St. Joseph Martin), the U.S. Army and Marines, Lowes Home Improvement, Employee Resource Group, Pikeville Area YMCA, U.S. Bank and Carl D. Perkins Job Corporation.  Resource agencies such as Veterans Affairs, Big Sandy Area Community Action Program and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation were also available to assist with job searching.  “During the career fair, several applications and résumés were accepted from the students and graduates, and several were considered for positions,” said Tiffani Ballard, career center director.  “The career fair is a service of American National University in which students and graduates have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with prospective employers and submit their résumés.”

Student Amy Jarrell (l) is shown talking with Mindy Fleming (r) from Big Sandy Healthcare during the campus career fair.  

Student Returns to Campus to Complete Degree after Long Hiatus

Student Returns to Campus to Complete Degree after Long Hiatus

Judy Higgins has worked for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government for 19 years.  She was promoted to the division of revenue department after four years and said, “I love my job but I always imagined myself working in the computer services department.  I have always loved computers and that is the department to work in [here].”  Now in her third term in the network administration program at the Lexington Campus, Judy is working toward her dream job in the computer services department each day.  Judy replied, “I can see that dream job coming closer and closer – with the help of American National University.”

Judy thoroughly enjoys her job and raising her family, but she also kept the desire to finish her degree close to her heart.  Judy said, “I love computers.  I have a fascination and passion for them.  I promised myself that, before I leave this Earth, I will finish my degree in something I love.  I want to earn those Microsoft Certifications and get my dream job in our computer services division.”

When asked about her time with American National University, Judy quickly replied, “I love the NET [network administration] program!  I am adapting to a full-time job, a full-time schedule, homework, and also being a wife and mother…but I’m learning you can juggle these things successfully.  It’s all about time management.  I love the flexible scheduling.  Everyone is so helpful and dedicated to my success.  They are helping me make the dream come true!”

Judy Higgins has returned to the Lexington Campus for a degree in network administration with the goal of obtaining her dream job in the computer services department with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

Medical Students Interact with Older Residents of Local Apartment Complex

Medical Students Interact with Older Residents of Local Apartment Complex

Recently the evening Invasive Clinical Procedures class at the Louisville Campus visited Sacred Heart Village, a local apartment complex for seniors.  Under the supervision of Bonnie Kiefer, director of health care education, the students performed glucose, cholesterol screening and pulse oximeter tests for the residents. In addition, the students brought treats and visited with the senior citizens.  Bonnie noted that besides giving her students hands on experience with the screenings, the trip gives students experience in dealing with the elderly.  The senior citizens are able to interact with the students.  Many of the residents do not have regular visits from friends or family.

“The ladies and gentlemen were a joy in allowing us to have some sort of practice,” said student Ebone’e Hood.  “I am very grateful.”  Ebone’e has already completed medical billing and coding courses and is currently enrolled in Bonnie’s Clinical Medical Assisting and Invasive Procedures classes.

Ebone’e’s classmate, Toni Sullivan, said, “My experience at the retirement home has given me a better outlook on life and the many different experiences that may come.”  Toni is well on her way to her associate’s degree in medical assisting, having enrolled last July.

Instructor Bonnie Kiefer, center, is pictured with students (left to right) Ebone’e Hood, Toni Sullivan, Autumn Busch and Chantoia Jones.

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.