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

June 02, 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


Graduates Challenged to Have an “Attitude of Gratitude”

Graduates Challenged to Have an “Attitude of Gratitude”

Forty-nine graduates of the Princeton Campus were honored on Friday evening, May 16, with the presentation of degrees and diplomas at the Princeton Church of God.  Approximately 200 friends and family members were on hand to support the graduates.

Prior to presentation of their degrees and diplomas, the graduates received an inspiring message from Dreama Denver, former actress and West Virginia native.  The widow of actor Bob Denver (Gilligan’s Island), today Dreama spearheads The Denver Foundation, a charity which she and her husband founded to assist and enrich the lives of special needs individuals in West Virginia.  Dreama shared with the graduates the challenges of being caregivers for their special needs son, Colin, and how one can turn such challenges into lifelong rewards.  Acknowledging graduates had taken the first of three steps for a rewarding life – education – she challenged them to also adopt an “attitude of gratitude” and to eliminate the negative influence from their lives.

Dreama also expressed appreciation to the campus for its past support of one of her other causes, Always Free Honor Flight.  The first “honor flight” program in West Virginia, the service provides free trips to Washington, DC for veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War to visit the monuments erected in their honor.

Graduates receiving special honors included Rebecca Ann Loveall, Achievement Award; Joey Ray Rowe, Leadership Award; Catherine M. Webb, E. M. Coulter Award; Syndia H. Blankenship, Mary P. McGurn Award; Harinder Chavla and Debra L. Shrader, Joseph E. Hurn Award; Eric S. Whitt, M. A. Smythe Award; and Benjamin A. Gibson, who was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Achievement.

A-Dreama Denver, former actress and West Virginia native, gave the commencement speech for the Princeton Campus. 

B-Graduate Harinder Chavla and her family, some of whom traveled all the way from India for the ceremony. 

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

Author Shares Poetry in Celebration of Memorial Day

Author Shares Poetry in Celebration of Memorial Day

In celebration of Memorial Day, Bartlett Campus students were visited by Geoffrey Meece, author of Voice of a Warrior, on Wednesday, May 28th.  His book offers a variety of poetry of war and other writings.  Mr. Meece recited and read several selections from his book.  “His recitations were full of emotion and captivated the audience,” said career center director Willetta Grady.  “He shared what inspired him to write each poem with the students.”

“You need to start with something that you are passionate about,” said Mr. Meece.  “Write down your feelings and keep writing.  The words will come.”  Included before each of his writings is a description of what inspired the writings to give readers a better glimpse of the impact of each poem.  ISE student Jerry Sullivan said, “I really enjoyed listening to his poems, it was really great.”  At the end of the reading, some students had already ordered the book online.

Students Jackie Wilson, Jerry Sullivan, and Angela Easley, pictured with Author Geoffrey Meece.

Graduates are Given the Advice, “Never Quit Learning”

Graduates are Given the Advice, “Never Quit Learning”

The Bristol Campus’s commencement ceremony was held on Thursday, May 22nd at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee.  Fifty-six students were awarded associate’s degrees and diplomas. 

Campus director Michael Stout welcomed students and their families to the ceremony.  He praised students and faculty for their hard work, telling the graduates that their education is a legacy to pass on to your families.  Michael also shared a special message from President Frank Longaker, noting that the college is celebrating its 128th year.  He then presented the 2014 Educator of Distinction award to instructor Jonathan Worley on behalf of the Tennessee Association of Independent Colleges and Schools.

Chris Lee, chief operating officer of Bill Gatton Chevrolet and Bristol Chamber of Commerce president, delivered the commencement address.  He listed five things to do in order to make a difference in your success.  “Never quit learning; be dependable, not expendable; make time for yourself; network and get involved in your community; and attitude and enthusiasm will make any shortcoming that you have go away,” said Mr. Lee.  He also stressed the power of positive thinking by saying, “If you think you can or can’t, you’re right.”

Many graduates received recognition for their hard work.  Eight of those graduates received awards of distinction which were presented by the department chairs.  The Achievement Award was presented to Robert Busler; the Leadership Award was presented to Lindsey Arnold; the E.M. Coulter Award was presented to Jason Robinson; the Mary P. McGurn Award was presented to Gina L. Blevins; the Joseph E. Hurn Award was presented to Johnny Brown; the M.A. Smythe Award was presented to Elliot Smith; the Dorothy Coulter Hancock Award was presented to Brandee Worley; and the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award was presented to Samuel Schumate.

The graduates, families and friends, faculty, and staff members of the Bristol campus were all smiles as the school paid tribute to the accomplishments and success of the graduating students.  The Bristol Campus wishes its graduates continuing success in all of their future endeavors. 

A-Chris Lee, chief operating officer of Bill Gatton Chevrolet and 2014 Bristol Chamber of Commerce President, delivers the commencement speech to the Bristol Campus graduating class of 2014.

B-Graduates of the Bristol Campus are seated awaiting their diplomas.

Graduate Hired for Two Positions at Medical Facility

Graduate Hired for Two Positions at Medical Facility

Julie Alley graduated with a diploma in medical coding and billing from the Martinsville Campus last November.  She was hired for two different positions at Alleghany Memorial Hospital in Sparta, North Carolina: medical records/registration/admissions clerk, and operating room/emergency room clerk.  Within the medical records department, Julie is responsible for filing and scanning a patient’s files, performing basic coding, and compiling records for insurance and Medicare audits.  In the registration/admissions department, Julie registers patients for acute admissions, emergency room and outpatient services along with calculating charges for the operating room visits, and collecting payments from patients.

Julie was pleased with the courses included in the medical coding and billing program because the education she received prepared her for the work environment.  One of the deciding factors of attending American National University was the availability of taking night classes and the commitment to have better employment opportunities.  Julie would like to especially thank her instructors Lisa Williams, Joan Blankenship, and Sarah Ginter.  These instructors were always very accessible to Julie anytime she had questions and needs.  Julie would also recommend ANU to other students and said, “In order to compete in the work environment of today, you need a higher education.”

Graduate Julie Alley is employed by Alleghany Memorial Hospital.  She received a diploma in medical coding and billing from the Martinsville Campus. 

Veteran Was Tired of Making Money for Other People

Veteran Was Tired of Making Money for Other People

The Knoxville Campus recently presented Darren Relford with the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award because he is a true success story. 

Darren was impressed by the efforts of the admissions representative to locate all of his available aid as he is a military veteran and that convinced him to enroll. 

Darren chose the field of information technology and graduated in 2012.  At the time, he was working as a warehouse manager and working for a dealership streamlining and improving their processes.  “[I was] tired of making money for other people,” Darren stated frankly and added that he wanted to set a better example for his kids.  This prompted him to continue on in the business administration-management program and he graduated this February. 

While taking the variety of classes for his chosen major, he began noticing businesses in his community up for sale.  His wife encouraged him to make a purchase, he contacted the owner for more information, they worked out a deal and Darren wrote the contracts. 

He has since used his IT knowledge to automate and streamline his Suntyme Fitness and Tanning business located in Maynardville, Tennessee.  Darren said, “The IT knowledge and exposure to the management classes gave me the go-ahead to do this for my family and my goal is to have five businesses in five years.”

Graduate and veteran Darren Relford, is the proud owner/operator Suntyme Tanning and Fitness in Maynardville, Tennessee. 

Campus Graduates Celebrate Achievements as They Advance to Strengthen and Serve Their Community

Campus Graduates Celebrate Achievements as They Advance to Strengthen and Serve Their Community

The Danville, Kentucky Campus celebrated the achievements of the Class of 2014 on Thursday, May 22nd during a beautiful graduation ceremony which was held at the First Christian Church of Danville.  Danville Mayor Bernie Hunstad, who has had successful careers in business, the military, and public office, shared his insights and advice with the graduates as their commencement speaker.

“I want to first tell you how fortunate I think that we are, speaking as the Mayor of the city of Danville, to have an institution like American National University in our community,” said Mayor Hunstad.  “Today there is a disconnect between education and industry and American National University performs a vital role in removing some of that,” he said. “Work is worthy.  Every time that we have one of our citizens go to institutions such as American National University, and they get a degree, and they go out into the workforce, our nation is strengthened, our state is strengthened, and our city is strengthened.”

Following Mayor Hunstad’s address, several students were presented with awards in recognition of outstanding academic achievement.  The M.A. Smythe Award was presented to Delana Hall; the E.M. Coulter Award to Antonia Powers; The Mary P. McGurn Award to Doris Patten; and the Joseph E. Hurn Award to Brandon Anderson.

In addition, Crystal Scott, a student in the business administration-management program, was given the Achievement Award, and medical assisting student Traci Jones was presented with the Leadership Award.

Brandon, a U.S. Army veteran who graduated from the business administration-management program with high honors, said that he’s gained a great amount of confidence in his program at American National University.  “I never thought that I would ever go for any type of degree,” he shared. “It’s given me the confidence to keep going.”

Stephanie Slone, a graduate who worked in home health care for almost 9 years, and now serves as the director of health care education for the campus, was presented with the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award, the most distinguished award bestowed on alumni of the college.

“American National University is my passion. I was a student here, and then I became an instructor, and now the director of health care education.  It means a lot to me to make a difference in students’ lives like a difference was made in my life,” said Stephanie. “I strive to give 100% to the students, because I want them to give me 100%.”

A-Danville, Kentucky Mayor Bernie Hunstad

B-Director of health care education Stephanie Slone, recipient of the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award, is shown with campus director Lee Bowling.

A Prescription For A Brand New Career

A Prescription For A Brand New Career

Kathy Myers is beginning the externship portion of her pharmacy technician education this term– and she is eager to put her knowledge to good use in her chosen field.  Kathy’s enthusiasm for her new career was extremely high during her admissions interview and it has never wavered.

After more than twenty years of working in manufacturing, Kathy decided it was time to pursue a career that had interested her for many years.  “I was always fascinated by the patients around me at my doctor visits,” said Kathy.  “I wondered what kinds of medications they were taking, where those medications were made, and I was equally fascinated as to how they obtained their medications.  For me…the pharmacy was a place of wonder.  After years of being stuck in a ”j-o-b,” I realized it was time for me to make a huge career change.”

“I had just finished putting my daughter thru her master’s degree, actually,” Kathy said when asked about enrolling.  “I decided it was my turn and here I am, finishing my pharmacy technician training.  I am so excited to be finishing my college training in the very field I have always been so fascinated.  This is a dream come true!  Everyone at American National University has been so supportive and helpful.  I was a bit nervous at first, but everyone made this very comfortable for me.  I cannot wait to work in my new career!”

Student Kathy Myers of the Lexington Campus worked in the manufacturing industry for more than 20 years and is now studying to become a pharmacy technician. 

Melinda Chappell-Career Center Director-Cincinnati

Melinda Chappell-Career Center Director-Cincinnati

• Melinda Chappell—Difference Maker at the Cincinnati Campus

• Career Center Director

• American National University staff member since 2013
• Two-time recipient of American National University’s “Employee of the Term” award for the Cincinnati Campus; recipient of MLK Humanitarian Award in 2009 from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

• Certified Administrative Professional in Organizational Management (CAP-OM); holds a medical assistant diploma, a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional communications, and a Master of Business Administration degree
• Previously gained two years of experience as a medical assistant; twenty-one years as an administrative assistant for a local medical center; and six years as an instructor of medical, business, and technology courses for a local college

“I have a passion for assisting students and guiding them to successful career options once they graduate.  I enjoy mentoring and coaching students as they develop in their careers.
“I appreciate the stamina that most of our students have in overcoming adversity and significant setbacks as they strive to reach that prize of obtaining their diplomas and degrees from American National University, in order to become successful and contributing individuals in their communities.  I seek to help them see what can be accomplished through effort, energy, determination, and hard honest work.
“Working with my colleagues and peers is the best part of being here at American National University.  They are the best team I have ever worked with and are always willing to help make American National University a place of action for student career development.”

Melinda Chappell, career center director of the Cincinnati Campus is a two-time recipient of American National University’s “Employee of the Term” award.

Medical Classes Learn About Heart Physiology

Medical Classes Learn About Heart Physiology

Dan Manion, a physician assistant (PA) employed by Pikeville Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Unit, recently spoke to the Anatomy and Physiology, Fundamentals of Nursing, Body Control Systems, and Medical Assisting Exam Success classes at the Pikeville Campus.  An ox heart was the visual aid that he used to further explain the physiology of the organ.  During his presentation, Mr. Manion also explained the conduction process of the heart. 

“I knew the anatomy of the heart on paper but actually seeing the heart made me understand the subject more,” said Charlie Mueth, a student in the Fundamentals of Nursing Class.  “This is the first time I have seen a heart before.” Charlie is currently completing his clinical rotations and has started on the cardiac floor.  He added that now he has actually seen a heart and the anatomy, it makes it easier to read the telemetry strips in the hospital.

Dan Manion, a physician assistant, explains the physiology of an ox heart to several medical classes at the Pikeville Campus.

Guest Speaker Who Is Also an Author Inspires Students

Guest Speaker Who Is Also an Author Inspires Students

Brandi Hoskins, also known as B. T. Hoskins, author of the fantasy novel Sounding Waters, visited the Richmond Campus as a guest speaker for Janet Lynn Bellamy’s English Composition class.

She was working in construction, and had been a fantasy novel buff for more than a decade when she decided to write her book.  “Everyone has big dreams, mine was to write a book,” said Ms. Hoskins.

She discussed what the process of writing and publishing a book is like, and told the class that it took her five years to write and publish the novel.  She encouraged the students to be story tellers with their compositions.  She also advised them to write down their ideas as soon as they occur, explaining that she keeps a pen and paper beside her bed at night in case she wakes up with an idea.  She also stressed the importance of proofreading to correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.

“I love to read and collect books, so I really enjoyed [Ms. Hoskins] coming to talk to the class,” said Tracey Noe, a medical assisting student.  “She’s an excellent example of someone following their dream.  If you want something bad enough, do it.  Put the work into it and don’t give up.”

A-Brandi Hoskins, author of the fantasy novel Sounding Waters, is shown speaking to the English Composition class at the Richmond Campus.

B-Students from the English Composition class gathered for a photo with their guest speaker.  Shown left to right:  Melissa Crowe, CaSandra Sparks, author Brandi Hoskins, instructor Janet Lynn Bellamy,  Jason Puckett, and Tracy Noe.

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.