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

June 23, 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


Senator Explains that Many Different Paths Will Lead Graduates to Success

Senator Explains that Many Different Paths Will Lead Graduates to Success

The Parkersburg Campus held graduation on Thursday, May 15 at the Parkersburg Art Center.  Thirty-seven students graduated, with seven receiving honors and five receiving high honors.  The campus hosted State Senator Donna J. Boley as the commencement speaker.

Senator Boley has served her community and state as a senator for nearly 30 years.  Born in Tyler County, she retired from the private sector and was appointed by Governor Arch Moore, Jr., to the Senate in 1985.  She then won the 1986 election for her appointed seat and is one of the first women to serve in the state legislature.  Currently, Senator Boley serves on numerous committees, including Military and Education; and Energy, Industry and Mining.  Senator Boley has previously served as the Senate Minority Leader; a delegate to the Republican National Convention multiple times; the 70th, 71st, and 72nd Legislature’s Other Public Service Chairman; and was the recipient of the Distinguished West Virginian Award.

Senator Boley spoke to the graduates about success and that we may not get there in the way we plan it.  Most people think that their path to success will be a straight line.  “In most cases, your path to success may take you in many different directions and that is ok,” said Senator Boley.  She used her son’s path as an example of what success will most likely look like.  She said that he had moved throughout the country holding jobs in sales, account management, and other industries.  Some of his jobs took him around the world, particularly to Japan and the Far East.  He is currently teaching in West Virginia and very happy to be doing so.  “Being flexible is important as you move through your career and your life,” she advised the graduates. 

Five students earned special awards for achievement, leadership and academic success.  Michael Parkhurst, Jr., was awarded the Achievement Award with a 3.97 GPA  in a double major of business administration-management and office technology professional.  Pharmacy technology graduate Beverly Edwards, received the Leadership Award.  The E.M. Coulter Award went to phlebotomy graduate Elizabeth Carrodus, while Laurie Landers, medical office assisting graduate, won the Mary P. McGurn Award.  Christopher Matlack, an information systems engineering graduate received the M.A. Smythe award.

Reflecting upon time spent at ANU and what her degree means, Shela Mihaliak, a medical coding and billing graduate stated emphatically, “It means that my daughter will have a better future.”  Shela started her career in medical billing at the PMR Clinic shortly after completing her course work. 

“I was a diamond in the rough and the staff at ANU, my friends and my family helped me shine all the way past my graduation day to where I am now,” said April Workman.  “I’ll never forget the confidence that was given back to me thanks to that college.”  April passed her certification and is working as a registered medical assistant at Mid-Ohio Valley Nephrology, which is exactly where she wanted to work.

A-West Virginia State Senator Donna Boley served as the commencement speaker at the Parkersburg Campus graduation.

B-The Parkersburg Campus Class of 2014.

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

Lynchburg Students Learn Importance of Diet to Overall Success

Lynchburg Students Learn Importance of Diet to Overall Success

Sylvia Denton, diabetes educator with Centra Health, was a guest speaker for the Lynchburg Campus and talked to students about the importance of diet, how it can affect or cause diabetes and how all of this affects their ability to function in their daily routines.  She gave helpful advice on how to manage health issues and maintain a healthy balance in your personal and family life, college work, and job success.

A person with diabetes has high blood glucose, which is a high sugar level in their system.  There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, where your body does not produce insulin and you are insulin injection dependent for the rest of your life; Type 2, which is the most prominent, where your body does not produce enough insulin and you can control with diet, weight management and exercise; and Type 3, gestational diabetes which affects some females during pregnancy and usually goes away immediately after childbirth. 

Sylvia suggests using the “plate method” of what to eat.  One half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, one quarter should be proteins (meats, fish) and one quarter starches (potatoes, rice, pasta).  She says, “Simply put, eating more fruits and vegetables (avoiding processed), less starchy vegetables and more fiber, along with controlling your serving size, will help with your glucose level.  Remember, if your glucose is high, your ability to think clearly is hindered and your energy level is decreased.”  Whether you are at work, at school or being with family and friends, you truly aren’t functioning at your best.  By controlling your diet, you help control your glucose level – and your success in life!

Student Jasmine Waller says, “I’ve learned how easy and quick it is to manage blood glucose with portions of meals and how it affects us in life.”  Student Darlene Tucker stated that she learned, “The importance of healthy eating is very vital.  It might not affect me today, tomorrow or next month, but as I get older it will catch up with me, so start sooner than later.”

Sylvia Denton, diabetes educator with Centra Health, speaks to students about the importance of a healthy diet.

Hospital Operations Coordinator Believes in the Health Information Management Program

Hospital Operations Coordinator Believes in the Health Information Management Program

The Fort Wayne Campus recently awarded St. Joseph Hospital with the Distinguished Community Employer award for the term.  Kimberly Purnell, health information services operations coordinator, accepted the award on behalf of the hospital. 

Jennifer Frey, a recent graduate from the HIM program, performed her externship at St. Joseph and was hired based on the strengths she brought to the job.  Ms. Purnell said the health information management curriculum at American National University, “Has a wonderful layout to the program.”  Ms. Purnell also said, “If a student wants to work in a hospital, it is best to do an externship in a hospital setting.”  She urged Jennifer to pursue an externship at St. Joseph Hospital because that is the environment in which Jennifer wanted to work.

“Jennifer was motivated to learn,” said Ms. Purnell, regarding why Jennifer was hired after completing her externship.  “Health information management has so many components.  Jennifer was eager to learn every part of it.”

Jennifer Frey (l), a graduate of the HIM program, presents Kimberly Purnell(r), with St. Joseph Hospital, with the Distinguished Community Employer award.

Student Completely Happy with her Choice for Higher Education

Student Completely Happy with her Choice for Higher Education

Samantha Weddle graduated from high school in 2007 and soon after, was blessed with a son.  She decided to go to college after her son was born.  She thought that she wanted to become a veterinarian, so she enrolled at another institution of higher learning.  She then realized that she really didn’t know what direction she wanted her career to take.  Samantha said, “My family had heard about National, and told me that they offered placement after graduation.”  She made an appointment to see David Tofano, an admissions representative at the Roanoke Valley Campus.  David helped Samantha to realize that she was great with computers and their programs so she decided to pursue a diploma in administrative office specialist.  She was able to transfer many of her credits that she had previously earned to American National University.  At the same time, she met Kristal Bushong, the campus career center director, and became a federal work study in her department where she  assisted her with graduation coordination, job fairs, and anything that Kristal needed done.  “I am so proud of Samantha,” said Kristal.  “She is going to go places in her lifetime with the hunger and drive that she possesses to make it happen.  She always takes on every project in her life with great vigor and dedication.”

Samantha’s favorite instructor has been business administration chair, Mathew George.  She said, “He gets on students if they are not doing something correctly and puts in a bunch of examples [in the classroom],” said Samantha. 

“I can go to any of my instructors for help,” said Samantha.  “I have a close bond with them and they are so much easier to talk with compared to [my other college]. Here it is a close knit family.  I have found that I am better able to concentrate and learn more.” 

Samantha completed her administrative office specialist diploma in 2012 and said, “I decided to keep going and earned my associate’s degree [in business administration-management] in one year!”  Samantha is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in business administration-management and will complete that program in early July.  Asked about her ultimate goal, Samantha said, “I would like to be an office executive or an administrative assistant in a high level position.”  She feels that her ANU experience has been excellent and a much better experience than what she received at her other college.  She said, “I have kept on track with all A’s and B’s and have made the Dean’s List.”  Samantha said that she immediately had a “feeling that I had made the right choice.”  She added that she really appreciates the fact that ANU prides itself on finding positions for graduates compared to other colleges in the area that do not offer career assistance.  “[The university] is always going to be here,” said Samantha. “I also like that when a new software program comes out, I can take a refresher course.”

Samantha said, “I am the first one to graduate in my family.  Nothing is going to stop me in getting my education.”  She is confident that she now has the education needed to land a full time position that will allow her to take care of herself and her young son. 

A-Student Samantha Weddle has completed a diploma, associate’s degree, and will be completing her bachelor’s degree in early July. 

B- Student Samantha Weddle refers to the Roanoke Valley Campus as a “close knit family.”

Joshua Deppen-Pharmacy Technician Department Chair-Dayton

Joshua Deppen-Pharmacy Technician Department Chair-Dayton

• Joshua Deppen—Difference Maker at the Dayton Area Campus

• Pharmacy Technician department chair and instructor
• Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)

• American National University faculty member since 2013

• Holds a pharmacy technician degree from Sinclair Community College and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Wright State University
• Gained 15 years of experience as a lead technician and trainer in retail and hospital pharmacies

“The experiences that I have had working as a pharmacy technician allow me to focus on important areas that students need to know to become successful in their careers. During labs, I like to teach students the tricks of the trade, such as smarter and easier ways to complete job tasks that can only be learned by job experience or mentoring.

“I like to challenge my students to share their knowledge and experiences. By teaching or helping someone else, it shows that they have truly mastered their course material and reinforces the patience and teamwork they will need to exhibit to be successful in life.

“My favorite teaching moment is the ‘Ah-ha!’ face. Students light up when all of the pieces come together. They may have been struggling with a calculation or concept during their entire K-12 education, but it finally clicks when it is related to their chosen career.

“The Dayton Area Campus staff and faculty are very supportive and brilliant teammates. It’s great that we all share the same vision: students’ needs come first, and our goal is to help the students achieve their goal of graduating and beginning a career.”

Joshua Deppen is the Pharmacy Technician department chair and instructor of the Dayton Area Campus. 

Graduates Position Themselves For Future Advancement

Graduates Position Themselves For Future Advancement

On Saturday, June 7th, graduates of the Cincinnati Campus proudly took the stage at Woodward Career and Technical High School to have their diplomas and degrees conferred during the annual commencement ceremony.

Kevin Goins, managing partner of MassMutual Innova Financial Group, delivered an inspiring commencement address as he noted that the graduates came from diverse backgrounds. “Regardless, you chose to attend American National University because you decided to make a down payment on your future with the expectation that you would be able to position yourself for future advancement,” he said.  “That’s the unique sense of purpose that has always influenced this college—the condition that this is a training ground, not only for individual success, but for leadership that can have an enormous impact on a community.”

Prior to the service, Raphael Hanley, a graduate of the information systems engineering program, said that a desire to build a better future for his family fueled his determination to earn his degree. “I’m a single dad.  I have three children and they all look up to me,” he said. “I had to make some kind of deciding factor to change my life, so I went back to school, and this time I completed it.”

Raphael, who received the M.A. Smythe award during the ceremony, has been hired by Trinity Hydro Organics as a project manager, where his duties include maintaining the company’s computer systems and creating layouts of the store using Microsoft Visio.

“I couldn’t think of a better job right now,” he said.  Raphael plans to continue his education to earn a bachelor’s degree, and he’s considering doing so through the American National University Online program.

Other award recipients included Danielle Walker, who received the Achievement Award; Kelly Coffey, the Leadership Award; Ava Dinkins and Loretta Diane Souder, the E. M. Coulter Award; Sherrie Ode, the Mary P. McGurn Award; and Aminata Ba, the Joseph E. Hurn Award.  Kathy Goode, a business administration-management graduate who is working for Life Center Organ Donor Network, was the recipient of the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award.

A- Commencement speaker Kevin Goins, managing partner of MassMutual Innova Financial Group, told the graduates that their leadership can have an enormous impact on their community.

B- Information systems engineering graduate Raphael Hanely, the recipient of the M. A. Smythe Award, said that he went back to school because, as a single Dad, his three children depend on him.

Graduate Transitions From Waitress to Chiropractic Assistant

Graduate Transitions From Waitress to Chiropractic Assistant

In her work as a chiropractic assistant at McClellan Chiropractic Center, Jessica Wyrick’s days are busy as she conducts new patient consultations, performs ultrasounds and electrical stimulation therapy, and assists with scheduling and billing in the front office.

Jessica was hired by the practice after working there as an extern as part of her medical assisting program at the Richmond Campus.  She admitted that she’d never been to a chiropractor before she began working in the office, but after Dr. McClellan took her step-by-step through the adjustment process, she was soon working side-by-side with the rest of the staff.  “It was awesome.  It was hands-on from day one,” she recalled.

Interacting with her patients is her favorite part of her job.  “I love talking to them and asking how their day has gone.  You develop a really good relationship with them,” said Jessica.

She has had a desire to help others and work in the medical field since she was a child after she visited patients in the nursing home where her grandmother worked as a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
Jessica was working as a waitress, with two kids and a busy schedule, when she decided to return to school to pursue her dream of a career in health care.  She came to American National University at the recommendation of friends, and found it to be a good fit for her because of the personal attention that she received from her instructors.  “I wasn’t afraid to walk up to a teacher and say, ‘I need one-on-one,’” she recalled.

She also enjoyed the camaraderie that she shared with her fellow students as they took turns practicing phlebotomy and other clinical skills in preparation for their new careers.  “I loved drawing blood,” said Jessica. “It was a fun experience.”

After becoming certified as a registered medical assistant and earning her associate’s degree at National, Jessica has more self-confidence and feels that her family’s future is bright.  “I just wanted to provide better for them,” she said.  “It made me…realize that there are more opportunities out there than just waiting tables.”

A-Graduate Jessica Wyrick is working as a chiropractic assistant at McClellan Chiropractic Center in Richmond, Kentucky.

B-Graduate Jessica Wyrick has wanted to help others and work in the medical field since she was a child.  She earned her associate’s degree and became a registered medical assistant at the Richmond Campus. 

Campus Plans Annual Community Event

Campus Plans Annual Community Event

The Pikeville Campus is in process of planning their 7th Annual Healthy Fun Fair for Thursday, July 24.  During the event, the college provides free medical services and consultations to the community.  Last year there were approximately 1,000 people in attendance and that number is expected to grow this year. 

Along with free medical services, the students also get to participate in a mock disaster.  The mock disaster requires hours of planning and preparation.  Recently, several members of the first responder community were present for the planning luncheon.  The timing of the event, marketing and improvements from last year were a few of topics on the agenda.  Those in attendance were Bill Baker and Dwayne Osborne with AirEvac Lifeteam; Gilbert Storey with Thelka Fire Department; Cyrus Hess with Appalachian First Response; Chief Jason Ray of the Coal Run City Police; and Wilma Storey, director of health care education at the Pikeville Campus.  Each department has a part to play in the response to the mock disaster and this luncheon helped determine the roles that each would play.

Tammy Riley, campus director said, “The Pikeville Campus hopes, with the help of these agencies, that this year’s event will be the best one on record.”

To stay up-to-date on the event developments, join the campus's Facebook event for the Healthy Fun Fair. Use the hashtag #HealthyFunFair2014 to tell us if you are planning to attend. We will be live tweeting and posting on the day of the event using this same hashtag.

A-A partial outside view of the 2013 Healthy Fun Fair held annually at the Pikeville Campus. 

B-Medical students of the Pikeville Campus get to see the inside of the Mountain States Health Alliance rescue helicopter at the 2013 Healthy Fun Fair. 

Medical Students Attend Job Fair for Multiple Available Positions

Medical Students Attend Job Fair for Multiple Available Positions

Ten students from the Florence Campus recently attended a job fair presented by The Christ Hospital of Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Christ Hospital Health network has been providing health care services in the Greater Cincinnati area for more than 25 years.  At the job fair, interviews were conducted for open positions in medical assisting, phlebotomy, medical front office, billing and coding,and management. 

The Florence Campus has been working hard to build strong relationships with the hospitals in the community.  “When I received an invitation to the event, I knew this would be a great opportunity for everyone to build connections in their field,” said Jeff Elmlinger career center director.  He partnered with the director of healthcare education, Kathreen Buckner, who earmarked two medical classes to attend to learn more about career opportunities in the field. 

Kristen Robertson, a medical assisting student who will graduate at the end of this term, liked the layout of the event.  She added, “Having so many hiring managers in one place made this a very worthwhile experience.  I was impressed by the benefits and opportunities that The Christ Hospital had to offer, including daytime schedules with weekends and holidays off.” 

Medical assisting student Kristen Robertson (l) is shown with director of health care education Kathreen Buckner (r).

Medical Assisting Graduate Transitions Into a Career in Financial Planning

Medical Assisting Graduate Transitions Into a Career in Financial Planning

After working as a certified nursing assistant for many years, Nilla Hill came to the Lexington Campus and enrolled in the medical assisting program to help ensure a more secure future for her child.  But after earning her associate’s degree and working as a registered medical assistant for many years, she grew tired of the clinical side of the medical field, and returned to American National University to earn her bachelor’s degree in business administration-management.

At first, she intended to use her management degree in a medical setting such as a nursing home, but after learning more about finance and money management during her classes, she became interested in working in financial planning.

She’s now working as a senior sales representative for Primerica, where she advises her clients on insurance options, debt reduction and saving for retirement.  She’s licensed to sell life insurance and plans to take the exam for her securities license which will allow her to make investments for her clients.

“I’m my own boss,” she explained, adding that she loves the challenges and independence that her job offers.  After just a year with the company, she now manages a team of twelve representatives, providing them with the leadership that they need to take their own careers to the next level.

Nilla is enjoying her work with Primerica, especially traveling to conventions and seminars across the country, where she has the opportunity to learn from others who’ve found great success in their careers.  She hopes to continue to advance in the company and to give back to her community.  “My goal with Primerica is to be a regional vice president,” she said. “I feel great about my future.”

PHOTO-A- Graduate Nilla Hill transitioned from her medical career into a career in financial services after earning her bachelor's degree in business administration-management at the Lexington Campus.

PHOTO-B- Nilla Hill (back row right) is shown with other Primerica representatives who recently participated in the Lexington Campus career fair.

The Effort Is Worth It In the Long Run

The Effort Is Worth It In the Long Run

When Nancy Carmicle, a student in the office technology program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, decided to return to school, she had many colleges to choose from, but American National University has been a part of her community for as long as she could remember, so it was the natural choice for her.  “My mother attended here long ago…,” she recalled.

Nancy made the decision to go back to school because her husband is a psychology student at another local college, and he hopes to open his own practice someday.  Nancy wanted to gain the skills that she needed to help him run his office efficiently.

Although she was nervous about returning to school, she’s been successful in her program, and she’s even made the Dean’s List.  “The instructors are very nice and always willing to help you,” she said.  She likes that she doesn’t have to compete with hundreds of other students for their attention.  “I feel like you get a better education the smaller the class size,” she said.

She encourages others, no matter what their age, to continue their education.  “If you feel like you’re in a rut, then it’s time to find yourself in a different place,” she advised.  “It’s helped me to grow and understand [business] better, and know that I can accomplish anything that I choose to accomplish.  You’ve got to put forth a little effort, but the effort is worth it in the long run.”

Nancy Carmicle, a student in the office technology program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, feels that she gets a better education in the small classes that are offered at American National University.

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.