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July 07, 2014

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Graduate Delivers Good Business Sense in Her Job as a General Manager for Papa John's

Graduate Delivers Good Business Sense in Her Job as a General Manager for Papa John's

Misty Bray had a full scholarship to a state university waiting for her when she graduated from high school, but her life took a different path.  She was afraid that the opportunity to go to college had been lost until she enrolled at the Danville, Kentucky Campus several years later.

She was a stay-at-home mom when she came to American National University for her first visit, but choosing a program came easy to her.  “As I was looking through the curriculum I saw accounting, and I knew immediately that’s what I should do,” she recalled.  “I’ve always had a head for numbers and I’ve always had a head for business.”

After graduating from National with her associate’s degree in 2005, she continued her education and earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in accounting through an online program.  “I flew through my bachelor’s and my master’s thanks to the foundation I had at National,” she said.

When her children were older, she decided to put her education to work. “I went looking for a career, instead of just a job, and I found that career at Papa John’s,” she explained.  “I got hired on as a general manager because of my degrees and my head for business.”

In her work at Papa John’s, Misty’s duties include scheduling, taking inventory, placing orders, customer service, marketing and more.  “I do everything!” she said with a smile.  “Overall, all of the classes that I took at National really prepared me to be a general manager.  Without that business sense going on, I probably wouldn’t have landed the job that I have now.”

She hopes to advance in the company and become a district manager.  “That pride of showing my kids that no matter what life hands you, you can still succeed if you put your mind to it—that was my main goal in getting the degrees to begin with,” Misty explained. “I’ve succeeded quite well.”

A- After earning her associate's degree in accounting at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, Misty Bray earned her bachelor's and master's degree in accounting and was later hired by Papa John's as a general manager.

B- “Overall, all of the classes that I took at National really prepared me to be a general manager," said Danville, Kentucky Campus graduate Misty Bray.

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Student Credits ANU for His Life-Changing Experience

Student Credits ANU for His Life-Changing Experience

Five years ago Tyler Cromack was working as the assistant deli manager at a local Kroger store.  A Nevada native, when his grandfather passed away, he was compelled to move there to help his grandmother take care of her eight-acre ranch.  Tyler said, “I painted the house, trimmed trees, and did anything that needed to be done.” 

He soon returned to Roanoke and took an online survey about attending college.  He made an appointment at the Roanoke Valley Campus with admissions representative David Tofano whom Tyler credits as the main reason that he chose American National University -- “he made me feel comfortable with the environment.”  Tyler also likes that the teaching method at ANU is hands-on and that he was able to receive life experience credit for his past work experience.  This experience actually allowed him to skip two terms so that he can graduate more quickly. 

Tyler has become very involved with the campus.  He has been a federal work study in the paramedic department; has helped Kristal Bushong, the career center director, with job fairs; and with updating the evacuation plans that are seen throughout the building.  He has also helped Gail VanDuursen, the academic dean, update the academic calendar.  On top of this, he has volunteered for other tasks.  “It is just in my nature,” said Tyler.  “It’s those random acts of kindness that cause a snowball effect.”

Tyler finished his associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration and is set to complete his MBA this term.  When asked why he chose the field of study he said, “I’ve always been interested in how businesses work…such as, at Chuck E. Cheese’s, how much do the balls cost?  How much overhead do they have?  How do they make money?” 

After graduation, Tyler anticipates that he may need to relocate to a bigger city.  He plans to own a car wash, a bar/restaurant, and maybe even an arcade with a bar and restaurant.  In five years, he sees himself owning a house and his own business, and living very comfortably.  Looking further into the future, he said, “I am an executive in a penthouse suite, sitting in the middle of a big floor with a tiny desk.”  Tyler added that he wants to be on the Forbes Magazine Fortune 500 List.  Tyler said, “I want to learn as much as I can as fast as I can.”  He has big dreams but is grounded at the same time.  Quoting Socrates, he said, “The more you know, the less you know.”  He also explained that eventually, he wouldn’t mind getting his doctorate in business administration from ANU – a program that is currently under development. 

In addition to Gail and Kristal, Tyler credited the staff at the Roanoke Valley Campus for helping him, including Lisa Harbert, the paramedic program clinical coordinator; Ron Bradbury, campus director; and Lew Bishop, the former campus director. 

Tyler is a huge advocate for the university and said that he frequently distributes ANU business cards to those who are interested in attending college. 

“It was spectacular, “said Tyler regarding his education.  “I could not have asked for a better experience.   It has been life-changing and has been a great, personal evolution.  I don’t think I would be the person I am now without the experience. “

A-Tyler Cromack, MBA student, will graduate this term. 

B-Five years ago, MBA student Tyler Cromack was the assistant deli manager at a local Kroger store. 

Classroom Guest Speaks to the Importance of Maintaining Good Credit

Classroom Guest Speaks to the Importance of Maintaining Good Credit

Jessica Clarkson, assistant vice president of business development at MemberOne credit union, visited the Lynchburg Campus and talked to students about the importance of having good credit and how it relates to job searches.  Ms. Clarkson said, “You should start building good credit now because bad credit can hinder your ability to obtain a job.” 

Many companies perform credit checks on potential employees as part of the background check.  Some even check credit history when considering a promotion for the employee.  Delinquencies, bankruptcies, judgments, liens, loans, mortgages, and credit card accounts are things employers can see on these credit checks.  This is why managing your income and expenses, as well as understanding and managing credit wisely, are important for your future.  Ms. Clarkson said, “The prediction of your future behavior is in your past behavior.” 

Ms. Clarkson also informed the class that there are steps they can follow to repair their credit.  The important thing is to get started now in building good credit and repairing bad so you will be in better standing when that potential employer is considering you for a position in their company.

Student Amie Clowdis said, “Jessica gave important information on how people looking at your credit can affect your credit score.”  Student Cyteria Bolden said, “This information was very informative and I am definitely interested in learning more in their financial workshops.”

Student Martha Byers (l), spoke one-on-one with Jessica Clarkson (r), assistant vice president of business development for MemberOne in Lynchburg. 

Recruiter’s Visit to Campus Benefits Students

Recruiter’s Visit to Campus Benefits Students

Glenn Newman of AtWork Personnel Services visited the Bristol Campus recently.  Students had the opportunity to discover available positions in the region which include contract-to-hire and direct hire jobs.  Mr. Newman provided job-hunting tips and insider information.

Chris Massengill is one of the students who took advantage of the unique opportunity. Chris presented his cover letter and résumé to Mr. Newman and spent time discussing job openings with him.  Chris is currently a sales associate and he chose National College to take him to the next step in his career.

Chris is earning his associate’s degree in business administration-accounting and will be graduating later this year.  He decided to go to college because he wants to advance in his career and increase his income.  He said that he chose National because he is able to fit the classes around his demanding work schedule.  His future career goal is to enter the accounting field and become a city manager.  “I have the advantage thanks to National,” said Chris.  He added that if someone is considering going back to school that they should take the plunge.  Chris said, “Get your degree, advance your life, and be proud of yourself.”

Student Chris Massengill (r) presents his résumé to AtWork Personnel Services recruiter Glenn Newman (l).

Cybersecurity and Network Administration Students Attend Inspiring Workshop

Students in the cybersecurity and network administration programs at the Danville, Virginia Campus recently attended “Fuel for the Future” at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.  The outstanding members of the panel included: Dr. Pam Gilchrist, North Carolina State University; Dr. Jody Thompson-Marshall, Virginia Tech; and Dr. Gresilda Tilley-Lubbs, Virginia Tech.  The event was designed to offer suggestions as to how the academic, business, and local community, as well as family and friends, could encourage minority participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.  From a prepared list of questions, the panelists discussed various ideas and methods to increase the underrepresented populations’ involvement in the fields of STEM. 

Student Geoffrey Knight said, “Hearing the ways the academic, business, and local communities are encouraging entering the technology field made me feel great about my school and career goals at ANU.”  

Students in the cybersecurity and network administration programs at the Danville, Virginia Campus recently attended “Fuel for the Future” at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

Medical Assisting Student Lands Job Prior to Graduation

Medical Assisting Student Lands Job Prior to Graduation

When medical assisting student Amy Lamp, walked into the Parkersburg Campus, she knew it was where she wanted to go to school.  “It felt like home the minute I came in,” said Amy.

Amy had spent the past few years raising her sons, now 12 and 14.  They were getting older and more independent, so she felt she needed something more.  Her goal became finding a career that she could love, but she also knew she would need a degree to do so. 

Her internet search for a college produced many results and she researched each thoroughly, deciding on ANU after her initial visit.  Amy loved the small class sizes and knew she would benefit from the personal attention.  She decided that medical assisting would be her major.  She wanted to be involved in the healthcare field and knew this major would allow for variety and flexibility by allowing her to be involved in the front office and with patients.  Going to school at the same time as her boys has created a little GPA competition in the home which has inspired all of them to do well.

Amy feels that ANU has certainly prepared her to enter the workforce as she is currently a certified nursing assistant (CNA), at Healthsouth, a short and long-term rehabilitation facility.  Her phlebotomy classes particularly helped since that is part of what she is doing.  She is also being given more responsibility with her classes being taken into consideration.  Amy credits Leah Lane, director of health care education, with keeping her motivated and working hard to keep moving forward.

Amy’s goal is to get a position as a medical assistant after graduation and see where that takes her.  Her biggest bit of advice for anyone wanting to go back to school is to just do it.  “Don’t worry about your age, your past or anything like that.  Those things don’t matter,” said Amy.  “It’s more important to do something you love so just do it.”  She would recommend ANU to absolutely anyone and added that getting a degree in something you love “is so rewarding.”

Student Amy Lamp is working on a medical assisting degree at the Parkersburg Campus.

Congresswoman Urges Graduates to “Go Out and Make Their Difference in the World”

Congresswoman Urges Graduates to “Go Out and Make Their Difference in the World”

On Friday, May 16 the South Bend Campus held its third graduation ceremony at the Kroc Community Center with Congresswoman Jackie Walorski as the commencement speaker.  She serves the people of Indiana’s Second District in the 113th Congress and serves on the committees of House Armed Services, Budget, and Veterans’ Affairs.

Inspired to get more involved in the education system, Congresswoman Walorski worked as a development director for local colleges and universities to improve educational access for Hoosier students.  She provided two examples of individuals who have met and exceeded challenges; a local retired fireman who has a baseball park named after him for his many years of silently doing good work with less fortunate children; and an unassuming woman in D.C. who as a forensic scientist in a small Washington office was able to identify from finger prints more than 30 Middle East terrorists who have been convicted of their crimes because of her findings.  Both have made a difference in the lives of many and with that Congresswoman Walorski challenged the graduates to “go out and make their difference in the world”.  She commended the graduates on how far they have come, how confident they have become, and how much they have accomplished since first walking through the doors of American National University.

The Class of 2014, made up of 35 graduates, accepted their diplomas and degrees from Congresswoman Walorski, Tina Bonne, the current campus director, and John Herman, South Bend’s first campus director. 

Several graduates also received awards:  Letoya Bradshaw, Achievement Award; Chereka Fox, Leadership Award; Brenda Smith, E.M. Coulter Award; Vianey Velazquez, Mary P. McGurn Award for medical office administration; Stacia Michalak, Joseph E. Hurn Award for business administration-management; Paula Frison, the M. A. Smyth Award for computer science; and Sharon Schafer, the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award. 

A-Congresswoman Jackie Walorski gave the commencement address for  the South Bend Campus.

B-Graduates of the South Bend Campus who received degrees.

Campus Library Received Unique Donation

Campus Library Received Unique Donation

 Gail Borio, librarian at the Knoxville Campus, recently received a donation of a complete set of Native American Time Life Books.  The collection of 20 books was generously donated by Barbara and Marty Beckerman of Knoxville, Tennessee.  The colorful and historical books have been added and cataloged to the National College Library Reference Collection and will be shared with students and staff.  Gail said, “This gift is very exciting for the library because it enhances and enriches the History Collection.” 

Gail Borio, librarian at the Knoxville Campus, with the collection of 20 Native American Time Life Books that was recently donated by two local citizens. 

Former Furniture Company Employee Becomes a Pharmacy Technician

Former Furniture Company Employee Becomes a Pharmacy Technician

Sheila Reed graduated with a diploma in pharmacy technology from the Martinsville Campus last September.  She completed a very successful externship with Memorial Hospital of Martinsville-Henry County and has since been hired at the hospital as a certified pharmacy technician.  Sheila is responsible for day-to-day operations along with working with customers.

Sheila had a strong background in providing excellent service while working at the Stanley Furniture Company before deciding to become a stay-at-home mom.  When she decided to begin a new career, Sheila chose the field of pharmacy technology because she wanted to be in a health-care related environment and she knew that she enjoyed working with people.  The next step involved finding the right type of training program to achieve her goal.  Sheila previously graduated from ANU with a degree in computer science, so she already knew about the small class sizes and personal attention that students experience. When Shelia discovered the pharmacy technician diploma program, she made the decision to re-enroll and achieve her goal of beginning a new career.

One of Sheila’s favorite instructors was Gary Jenkins. “He challenges the student to make sure you understand the curriculum before you leave his class,” she said.  Sheila recommends American National University because “the classes are small and personal and not only will the student obtain an education, the college prepares the student to find a career that [they] are passionate about”.  Shelia’s long term goals still pertain to the pharmacy.  Sheila wants to become an IV certified pharmacy technician so that she can possibly work in neurology or oncology.

Sheila Reed is a certified pharmacy technician at Memorial Hospital of Martinsville-Henry County. 

Money and Credit Workshop Held On Campus

Money and Credit Workshop Held On Campus

“So many successful athletes and celebrities are broke, even after making millions, because they just don’t know how to manage their money,” said Bob Abadie, an instructor at the Dayton Area Campus.  “Typically after students graduate from college, their income increases, but usually, so do their bills, with a nicer car and home.  So one of the keys to success and happiness is knowing how to manage your money and credit.”

Bob asked Don Schweitzer, Jr., of Day Air Credit Union to speak to students.  During the workshop, Mr. Schweitzer explained several keys to financial success, and he later answered individual questions on this vital topic.  Mr. Schweitzer showed the students how to set financial and career goals, because as he explained, “These are the engine that drives your financial success.”

Mr. Schweitzer examined how credit affects every part of one’s financial life, and he reviewed vital ways to establish and manage credit, including how to increase credit scores.

Mr. Schweitzer described the importance of finding a financial partner that will help you through your financial life. He later spent time teaching about saving for emergencies, wants, and unexpected expenses, and he finished by showing students and staff how to achieve financial independence.

After his presentation, several students mentioned that the information was exactly what they needed. 

Don Schweitzer, Jr., from Day Air Credit Union, spoke to students about managing their money and credit.

Student Earns Two Degrees Simultaneously

Student Earns Two Degrees Simultaneously

After receiving her GED in 1993, Heather Sills never planned on stepping onto a college campus.  But 20 years later, she ended up doing just that and more.

Heather followed the encouragement of her husband, as well as a friend who was a student at the time, and enrolled at the Cleveland Area Campus of American National University in June, 2012.  Heather said, “I saw a late, late night television commercial for National and decided to ask my friend.”  Heather joined the pharmacy technician program, but found it necessary to stop attending after the first term.

Upon returning one term later, she let the department chair of pharmacy technology, Scott Schlemmer, know about her real desire—to get a medical assisting degree and finish her pharmacy training immediately after.  He advised her not to wait, but instead to pursue the medical assisting degree immediately.  Then an unexpected surprise came.  “When I talked to Kim (the student services representative at that time), she advised me that I could pursue the medical assisting degree for my major while continuing to study pharmacy as a minor,” said Heather.  “This combination had never been attempted at [the Cleveland Area Campus] before.  I decided to do it.”

In addition to a full course load, Heather worked as a campus tutor for between five to ten students.  She also held a work study position which required alternating between two campus departments and helping to set up various campus events.

Undaunted by her schedule and a myriad of other unforeseen personal challenges, Heather successfully became the first ever double-discipline graduate of the Cleveland Area Campus.  Completing all her requirements on July 4, 2014, “independence” took on a special meaning for her. 

Heather has been hired in the pharmacy department of a local CVS store where she had completed a term-long externship and hopes to obtain a position as a medical assistant at a local medical facility in the near future. 

A-Heather Sills is the first double discipline graduate of the Cleveland Campus.

B-Graduate Heather Sills has been hired by CVS.

Student Is Juggling Entrepreneurship, Volunteerism, and College

Student Is Juggling Entrepreneurship, Volunteerism, and College

Andre’ Wilson of the Lexington Campus is a man on several missions and he will accept nothing but success in all of them.  While juggling his own business and volunteer opportunities, Andre’ recently added the pursuit of his business administration- management degree to the mix.

“My pressure-washing business was my first endeavor,” said Andre’.  “I provide pressure washing and outside clean-up for jobs of any size.  My management training is definitely helping me do a better job of running my business.” 

“My second ‘career’ [volunteerism], is my true passion - mentoring youth and young adults.  I had no role model in my youth and I wanted to prevent those same missed opportunities for as many of our community’s youth as possible,” he explained. “I work frequently with youth groups and also work with ex-offenders with the Bluegrass Reentry Council here in Lexington.  I’m proud to help guide folks who may otherwise start down the wrong path in life.”

“I tried college several years ago and I was definitely not ready,” said Andre’.  “I waited until I was seasoned - I am determined and motivated this time.  My degree will provide the tools I need and will propel my career even higher.  And on top of that - everyone at National is so encouraging and helpful.  They are my mentors and I love it here.  I am frequently on campus on my days off because it is one terrific place to be!”

Student Andre’ Wilson has his own business and is a community volunteer. 

Husband and Wife Earn Health Information Management Degrees at the Louisville Campus

Husband and Wife Earn Health Information Management Degrees at the Louisville Campus

The Louisville Campus commencement ceremony truly was a family affair for Holly Hall and her husband, Kenyon Hall, who participated together in the ceremony after they both earned associate’s degrees in health information management (HIM) at American National University. “It’s an accomplishment,” said Holly. “It was kind of neat for us both to be there.”

Kenyon earned a diploma in the technical support program at National in 2010, and then became interested in the medical field, so he returned to continue his education in the HIM program.  Holly, a certified professional coder who works for Norton Healthcare, also decided that a degree in HIM would be valuable to her career, and she soon joined him in the program.

After earning her degree and becoming a registered health information technician (RHIT), Holly recently received a promotion to coding educator at Norton.  “My HIM helped me be more confident and decide to reach out for it,” said Holly. “I think it’s going to give me more opportunities to broaden my experience.”

Kenyon, who also works for Norton Healthcare, feels that he will be able to advance within the company as well, thanks to his new degree.

Graduates Holly and Kenyon Hall, a married couple, both recently graduated from the Louisville Campus with associate’s degrees in health information management (HIM). 

IT Students Put Skills to Work on Campus

IT Students Put Skills to Work on Campus

Network administration and cybersecurity students at the Florence Campus got a chance to practice skills that they learned in their CompTIA A+ class when the campus’s uninterruptable power supply (UPS) went out. 

The UPS is a device that supplies emergency power to a load when the input power source fails.  All of the campus’s networking equipment used this device, so when it failed, the equipment was moved to the IT classroom’s UPS as a temporary measure.

Once the new device was received, the students and their instructor, Mamadou Sidibe, replaced the new UPS in the network rack and reconnected the campus equipment back to the original network rack.

“While it was an unfortunate event to happen to the campus, the students benefited by acting as IT technicians to replace the equipment,” said IT program director Valerie Bowman.

Student Brady Stacks, instructor Mamadou Sidibe and student Jerry Holifield put their IT skills to use when they replaced a UPS device at the Florence Campus.

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.