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September 15, 2014

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Intelligence Plus Character Equals Success For Graduate

Intelligence Plus Character Equals Success For Graduate

Martin Luther King once said, “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”  Kathy Goode feels that she’s developed that winning combination as a graduate of the Cincinnati Campus, and she’s using her knowledge and her big heart each day, working as an administrative assistant and receptionist at LifeCenter Organ Donor Network.

Before coming to American National University, Kathy had worked in banking and retail, and had a degree in criminology from a local college.  She enrolled in the business administration-management program and was able to transfer a number of credits from the other college to National to help her complete her program as quickly as possible.  “I just wanted to add a little more under my belt,” she recalled.  “Knowledge is power.”

Kathy is able to draw from the broad foundation of business knowledge and technology skills that she gained at American National University to help her efficiently perform her duties at LifeCenter, an organization that encourages and facilitates organ and tissue donations.  She finds that she wears many hats during her busy day, including greeting visitors, coordinating fund raisers, performing accounting duties, and assisting with human resources.

In addition, Kathy also speaks at schools, hospitals, churches, and events in her community on behalf of LifeCenter to help promote organ donation.  “I enjoy helping people and saving lives,” she said.  “Our mission and vision is so important, and to see a loved one’s family, and how we have touched their lives through organ and tissue donations is so beautiful.”

Kathy was recently recognized by the Cincinnati Campus for her work at LifeCenter when she was named the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award recipient at this year’s commencement ceremony.  “I’m overwhelmed,” Kathy said of receiving the award.  “I think it’s an honor and a privilege.”

While Kathy has a passion for her work at LifeCenter, her ultimate goal for her career is to use her degree to advance into a management position.  “I feel that you have to have patience.  You have to be a people person, and you have to be driven.  I think I have all of those qualities,” she said proudly.

A-Business administration-management graduate Kathy Goode is working as a receptionist and administrative assistant at LifeCenter Organ Donor Network.

B-Kathy Goode is shown accepting the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award during the Cincinnati Campus's commencement ceremony that was held in June.

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Graduate Enjoying Career in the Technical Field

Graduate Enjoying Career in the Technical Field

Graduate Jeffrey Buskirk found out about American National University through the internet.  “The programs seemed interesting, it was about two blocks from my house, and I have a relative who graduated from here as well.”  Jeffrey graduated from the Akron Area Campus in September 2013.

Jeffrey had always worked with electronics and had completed lots of jobs for friends and relatives.  He is currently working for Simplex-IT as a junior technician.  “We monitor, maintain, and help customers with network infrastructure no matter how small or big and we enjoy doing it,” he said.  Jeffrey added that they take care of customers “from start to finish; with those having nothing in place to already having infrastructure in place or just needing that extra perspective.”

Jeffrey said that customers bring in networks and servers, sometimes they need software loaded, or they have internet connectivity problems.  A lot of the work is done remotely from their company but they also go on-site to their customers. 

“I love computers and helping people,” said Jeffrey.  In the future, he plans to stay with the company.  “It’s the truth,” he continued.  “It’s a family environment.  You don’t usually find that in big companies.  Everyone works as a team – we help each other.”

Reflecting on his education at National, Jeffrey said, “You’ll get out of your education what you put into it and if you buckle down and spend time learning what you are going to school for, you’ll go far.” 

Graduate Jeffrey Buskirk loves his career as he gets to help people with their information technology needs. 

National College Helps Veteran Back Into Civilian Life

National College Helps Veteran Back Into Civilian Life

U.S. Army veteran Joshua Parsons was having a difficult time acclimating to civilian life when he came to the Danville, Kentucky Campus about six months after his departure from military service.  He enrolled in the business administration-management and accounting programs at American National University, and thanks to the skills he is developing and the support he has received, he is well on his way to a successful career in business as a civilian. 

As a former infantryman, Josh decided to go back to school using his Post-9/11 G. I. Bill benefits because he was tired of the physical, back-breaking work that he had done in the military, and he was ready to transition into a career in business. He also wanted to be sure that he could always provide for his family. “I have to make sure that I have something secure for their future,” Josh explained.

Josh was driving past National when he saw students outside the campus in business attire, so he dropped in to get information about the school, and he was impressed with the attention that he received during his initial visit. “The faculty in the front office took me right in, and was very professional at introducing me to the school, and explaining to me what I’d be looking forward to if I came to school here,” he said. 

He also found the student services staff to be extremely knowledgeable about processing his Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.  “The student services/financial planning—they’re experts here,” he said. “One of the bigger things that stuck out to me here at the school, is that they’re such experts in their field, I haven’t had one bump in the road with my financial aid.”

Josh is enjoying building his business skills in class at National.  He has also found his role as a federal work study at the campus, where he performs administrative work and assists students, is helping him with his transition back into civilian life.

“When I came out of the military, I had such trouble adjusting to being back in society, and just being out in general,” said Josh.  “You couldn’t really have picked a more perfect situation than me coming here, because the staff and everybody here have helped me integrate back into where I’m more social.  It’s life changing for me to come here, and for them to take such interest in my situation and help me.”

A-U.S. Army veteran Josh Parsons is getting acclimated back into civilian life as he pursues his business degree at American National University.

B-Josh Parsons, shown with fellow student Nancy Carmicle, works as a federal work study and a tutor at the Danville, Kentucky Campus.

Student Advances In Career and Receives Substantial Raise After Completing Externship

Student Advances In Career and Receives Substantial Raise After Completing Externship

Heather Walker graduated from the Columbus Campus with an associate’s degree in health information management in July 2014.  She had no formal medical training but had worked in the medical field since 1998.  She knew that she needed a degree to validate everything that she had done and to fill in her educational gaps.  She said that there have been so many changes in the health care industry, such as the new ICD-10 and the changes in the HIPPA law that are coming.  “There are no real resources for small offices,” said Heather.  “If you have a small practice you are really on your own.” 

Heather said, “American National University just felt like the right fit,” because of the small class sizes and the fact that students can receive one-on-one attention from instructors.  She reflected on instructor Stephanie List’s Anatomy and Physiology class.  “She is a great nurse and it was a tough class,” said Heather.  “I learned so much.” 

Prior to coming to National, Heather had worked for Dr. Chris Keller of Keller Chriopractic, a well-known chiropractor.  While a student, she returned to complete her externship with Keller Chiropractic, helping them convert to electronic health records.  After completing her degree, she returned to work for the practice at a significantly higher salary than before she became a student.  

Since re-joining the staff, Heather has updated his privacy and financial policies and is responsible for billing management, online credentialing, and insurance verifications.  She is also training the rest of the staff on the new billing software and performing human resources duties. 

For anyone considering furthering their education, she said, “Definitely do it.  Education is such a critical thing no matter how old you are.  If you are willing to put forth the effort, [American National University] will help you.”

Heather Walker obtained a degree in health information management and is now employed by Keller Chiropractic. 

ANU Encourages Business Management Graduate to Pursue Her Dream

ANU Encourages Business Management Graduate to Pursue Her Dream

At the young age of 55, Eddis Payne decided to go to college.  “I was afraid, because I had not been to school since 1974,” said Eddis.  “I had always been in banking and realized that I was not getting promoted.  I thought of changing from business to a medical career.”  After meeting with admissions representative Crystal Souder, Eddis decided to stay in the business field, enrolled in the business administration—management program, and started working on her associate’s degree.

The Lynchburg Campus of American National University provided Eddis with the jump start she needed.  With small class sizes and encouragement from her instructors, she discovered that she was not too ‘mature’ to learn.  After attending college before and never completing her degree, she made up her mind to graduate.  She is in her final term and will be completing her program soon.

“It wasn’t easy, but I did it,” said Eddis.  “I have not taken a week of vacation for two years because my priority was to be in class every week.”

She knows that the instructors take their jobs seriously. 

"I understood each one of them…and they only wanted to prepare us to be the best at what we do.  When they see us (the students), they see success.  I feel successful!  I am not afraid to step out of my comfort zone and try new things.  I am not afraid of failure.  Sometime failure gets you to the place where you are supposed to be."

While attending ANU, Eddis was also volunteering at Gleaning for the World, making hygiene bags for girls and women in Uganda and other countries.   She has now transferred to Liberty University to complete her bachelor’s degree in psychology.  “My dream has always been to be a social worker,” said Eddis.  “American National University has helped and encouraged me to pursue my dream.”

Eddie Payne entered college at the age of 55.  She is working towards a career in social work.

Systems Technician Improves Critical Thinking and Finds Personal Fulfillment With Degree

Systems Technician Improves Critical Thinking and Finds Personal Fulfillment With Degree

Shawn Meriwether, a U.S. Army veteran, had a successful career working as a systems technician for Northrop Grumman, when he enrolled at the Dayton Area Campus in 2006 to fulfill his dream of earning a college degree.  He was temporarily side-tracked from his education, but the admissions staff at American National University urged him to return and he completed his associate’s degree in the office technology program this year.

Shawn feels that the skills gained in his degree program have been very beneficial in his work--from better composed emails, to a better understanding of management operations.  “A lot of the courses I had to take opened my eyes to a whole lot of things as far as leadership and professionalism [are concerned],” said Shawn.

In his work at Northup Grumman, Shawn analyzes data on multiple computer monitors throughout the day, and works to resolve any problems that he finds.  He feels his classes at National have improved the critical thinking skills that are vital to his job.  “College is basically learning to think through a process,” said Shawn.  “Then when I got back to work, I would sit down at the computer, and I would think about it more in depth--‘How can I resolve this?’  You develop a really strong thinking process.”

Most importantly, Shawn’s degree has given him a personal sense of fulfillment, as well as the confidence to launch his own auto fragrance business, Uncommon Scents. “It was always in my heart to prove to myself and nobody else that I could do this.  So basically, going back to school wasn’t for anyone else, it was for me,” said Shawn with a smile.

Shawn Meriwether, a graduate of the office technology program at the Dayton Area Campus,  has worked as a systems technician for Northrop Grumman for more than 16 years.

Pharmacy Technician Graduate Returns to Campus as Guest Speaker

Pharmacy Technician Graduate Returns to Campus as Guest Speaker

Bill Liskow graduated from the pharmacy technician program at the South Bend Campus in April of this year.  Recently, he was a guest speaker in Renee Neldon’s Systems of Transport and Support class.   Bill completed his pharmacy technician externship at Merrill’s Pharmacy in Mishawaka and is currently employed at CVS Caremark Pharmacy in Walkerton where he also substitutes at other locations as needed.  

Bill spoke about how much he has learned since becoming employed by CVS.  His CVS orientation training covered policies and procedures, but he has learned much more since his first day.  He uses much of what he learned in his classes every day. “You have to know dosage and calculations for delivery unit quantities, and understand anatomy for health problems such as poison ivy.”

Deciphering prescription codes and abbreviations can also be challenging, but Bill’s education prepared him well for this task.   Brian Sizemore, a CVS district manager who likes to hire our graduates, mentioned to Bill how important it is to know more about insurance.  “You can look up codes, but you need to know where to look and what you are looking for.”  BCBS, Affordable Care, Medicare and Medicaid, and various secondary insurances all have their own codes.  Medicaid is the most difficult insurance coding.  There is on the job learning from day one while applying classroom knowledge. 

Bill is also able to provide patient advice for over the counter drugs.  He said, “You need to know what drugs work for which multiple health conditions.”  More drugs are now behind the counter becoming available only with a prescription for those that are being heavily abused. 

Asked by a student about the certification exam, Bill could only tell them to listen to their instructors on preparation, study hard, and that all South Bend pharmacy technician graduates have passed the examination on the first try.  Bill said, “I am proud to wear my pharmacy technician certification pin.”

Pharmacy Technology graduate Bill Liskow was a guest speaker in Renee Neldon’s Systems of Transport and Support class.

Cardiology Office Partners with Campus

Cardiology Office Partners with Campus

The Fort Wayne Campus recently presented their Distinguished Community Employer award to Allen County Cardiology.  This downtown Fort Wayne office has hired a medical assistant in the past, and has also supervised medical billing and coding, and health information management externships.

Tonya Ashford, office manager, talked about hiring practices and having students fit into the office culture.  “If students want me to hire them, they have to show me they are worthy of getting the job,” said Ms. Ashford.  “Students in health care, whether it is working with patients or in the business office, have to project professionalism and have to be prepared to work hard.”  Her other advice for students is to find a mentor to work with them in finding their strengths and weakness in a career choice.

Ryan Kiel, nuclear physiologist at the office said, “American National University students come prepared with hands-on patient skills and needed knowledge of cardiology medication names and performing blood pressures and EKG’s”.

Kathy Heibel, Director of HIM, Fort Wayne, Ryan Keil, Allen County Cardiology (Holding award) and Greg Kaminski, Career Center Director.

Surgical Techs Learn Biology Through Pig Dissection

Surgical Techs Learn Biology Through Pig Dissection

“And this little piggy went to the surgical lab.” Surgical technology students at the Harrisonburg Campus were able to get hands-on anatomy experience by dissecting fetal pigs. Pigs have an anatomy similar to humans and this experience not only lets them inspect how the body is put together but also how delicate the organs and tissues really are.  James Colbert said, “You really have to be careful when placing your retractors and grasping with your forceps.  I shredded my liver and now I understand why you encounter a lot of bleeders in surgery.”

The students treat the dissection experience just as if they were really in the operating room performing a surgery.  They choose a procedure they would like to perform on the fetal pig, they gather the supplies needed and they set-up their sterile field just as they would do in the operating room.  “This is one activity the externs really look forward to at the end of the term and it really helps them get in a good anatomy review before they take their certification exam at the end of the week,” explained Deborah Gravely, surgical clinical coordinator.  As a surgical technologist working alongside the surgeon in the operating field, you do get to view some pretty amazing body anatomy – most of the time. Multiple doctors, medical students and equipment can greatly hinder your viewing capabilities – making it hard to see deep down inside the body or in tight areas.

By dissecting the fetal pigs, the students are able to trace the alimentary tract from the beginning to the end and inspect how the organs connect to each other.  They can see how the heart lies in the pericardial sac and feel the valves in the stomach.  These are all aspects that they read about in their textbook but may not get the chance to experience as they complete their clinical rotations.  Also, the fetal pigs come double injected, meaning blue dye is injected into the veins and red dye is injected into the arteries.  This makes it possible for the students to trace and identify the arteries and veins throughout the body.

Sarah Price, another of the surgical technology students, said, “I was so excited when I found out we were dissecting pigs! It definitely put into perspective and clarified some things I had questions about.”  By incorporating the dissection module, the externs can develop a better understanding of anatomy, their manual and cognitive skills, and the necessary confidence for completing a successful surgery.

Student Sarah Price, Deborah Gravely, surgical technology clinical coordinator, and student James Colbert.

Group Interviews Make “Awesome” Workshops

Group Interviews Make “Awesome” Workshops

Denver Riffe, Princeton campus director, has initiated yet another hands-on learning method to ensure the university is dedicated to the student’s professional success.  These workshops have included résumé writing, professionalism, and mock interviews, and were conducted in Debbie Jackson's Oral Communications class.

The class assignment was to create a résumé, dress appropriately, and be ready to interview for an administrative assistant position with Denver and Brenda Stinson, administrative assistant, during class recently.  The two joined Debbie in critiquing résumés, assessing professional appearance, and selecting appropriate answers to interview questions.

Discussion consisted of how to cover or downplay tattoos and body piercings, maintaining good eye contact, dressing appropriately, and revealing what the use of nonverbal language such as standing with arms crossed or hands on hips indicates.

 "Respect yourself by dressing and speaking professionally, having a good attitude, and making good eye contact,” said Denver. 

"Develop your professional skills, punch up your résumé and interview skills,” said Brenda.  “Convince yourself you will be an asset to the company and then convince the employer".

After the session, Denver asked the class to consider whether they would hire themselves based on the way they were dressed and how they presented themselves for the mock interviews.  Denver and Brenda each chose four students they would hypothetically hire based on the criteria given to them from their assignment.  Carol Evans, Sara Nelson, Keisha Farmer, and Vicki Simpkins were chosen by Mr. Riffe.
Carol Evans, Keisha Farmer, Frankie Whitt and Yolanda Smith were chosen by Brenda.  Both Brenda and Mr. Riffe agreed Frankie Whitt gave outstanding answers to the interview questions and Randy MacDonald asked the best questions of the interviewers.

Carol Evans, one of the four chosen to be “hired,” enjoyed the workshops. “I never did a group interview before and it was tough,” said Carol.  “For me, the best advice I received was to think before answering the questions.”

Debbie Jackson, instructor, Denver Riffe, campus director, and Brenda Stinson, administrative assistant led a workshop for an Oral Communications class. 

Medical Office Takes On Four ANU Externs in One Year

Medical Office Takes On Four ANU Externs in One Year

Recently, Hill Chiropractic Clinic of Danville, VA celebrated its one year anniversary.  During this time the employer was presented with a Distinguished Community Employer award by the Danville, Virginia Campus.  This was a very special moment not only for Dr. Isaac Hill and his staff but for the entire community.  A few community partners helped Hill Chiropractic Clinic celebrate its one year anniversary and ribbon cutting.

Dr. Hill and his family recently moved to the Danville VA area from Elk River, MN.  Dr. Hill is very passionate about work and strives to ensure his patients are “living their best life.” Hill Chiropractic Clinic has offered ANU exceptional support in educating our students as well as opportunities for the medical assisting externs to hone their skills.  ANU has had four medical assisting students complete externships at Dr. Hill’s Chiropractic Clinic: Jennifer Filler, Holly Winstead, Sue Johnson, and Latasha Barksdale.  During the award presentation, Dr. Hill gave upcoming medical assisting graduates April Shearin, April East, Latasha Barksdale, and Tina Mel, a tour of his office. Dr. Hill said, “Our goal is to not only alleviate pain, but more importantly, inspire and educate our patients to become active participants in achieving wellness.”

Students Tina Mel and April Shearin, Rhonda Pass, career center director, Dr. Isaac Hill, Mechelle Warren, director of health care education, and students Latasha Barksdale and April East are pictured at Hill Chiropractic Clinic in Danville, VA.

Graduate Discovered a Passion for Surgical Technology

Graduate Discovered a Passion for Surgical Technology

D.J. McKay, a graduate of the Youngstown Campus, is working as a certified surgical technologist at St. Elizabeth Hospital, where she assists with a wide variety of surgical procedures. “I love getting to see new things every day.  It’s never boring,” D.J. says of her work in the operating room.  “Every patient is different.  Every outcome is different.”

As D.J. talks about her passion for her career, it’s hard to believe she wasn’t even aware of the surgical technology career field just a short time ago.  She was taking classes online, working toward a degree in psychology through another university, when she took a career aptitude test which indicated that she was well suited for the medical field.  “It was going to take me too long to finish my degree [in psychology],” D.J. explained.  “With my situation, I thought I needed [a program that was] more short-term where I would be able to make decent money, and something that I would enjoy.”

After searching for options for careers in health care, D.J. discovered the field of surgical technology, and after further research, she found that American National University was one of the few colleges in her area that offered a surgical technology program.

After being accepted into the program at National, D.J. was immersed into her surgical technology classes right away.  She also participated in clinical rotations at several area hospitals, where she first observed, then later scrubbed in for surgeries.  “I thoroughly enjoyed my clinicals.  I was excited to come every week, and excited to see what new case I was going to get in,” said DJ.  “I remember my first experience where I scrubbed in.  Everything just came full circle for me, and I had this big epiphany…‘I’m really doing this on real people.’”

Although D.J. was nervous during those initial visits to the OR, she now has confidence in her abilities after becoming certified in her field and being hired by St. Elizabeth.  “Thankfully, now I’m very comfortable in my position, and I absolutely love it,” she said.  “I’m excited to get up every single day and come to work.  I love being able to help people.  I’m just really very passionate about this [career], and really happy that I chose this.”

Graduate D.J. McKay is working as a certified surgical technologist at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown.

Veteran Using Chapter 31 Program to Fund His Education Advises Others That “It's Never Too Late”

Veteran Using Chapter 31 Program to Fund His Education Advises Others That “It's Never Too Late”

Robert Adams, a veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps, was seeking an education using funding through the VA’s Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation program when he enrolled at the Richmond Campus.  But after relocating, he was able to transfer his credits and his benefits to the Cleveland Campus, where he’s working toward his business administration-management degree.

While in the Marines, Robert served as an administrative clerk at Camp Lejeune, and after leaving the military, he worked for many years as a fork lift operator.  He came to American National University to earn his degree in management with a goal of opening his own business in the future. “In order to start a business, you’ve got to know business,” he explained.

At National, Robert is building a strong foundation of business skills, and he’s enjoyed all of his classes, from economics to human resources.  “I learned something from each and every one of them,” he said. 

Robert has seen many of his family members have great success when they returned to school later in life, and he feels that you’re never too old to earn a college degree. “It’s never too late,” he said.  “If there’s something you want to do, then I would suggest you do it, and American National University is a nice school to go to.”

Student and Veteran Robert Adams is using military funding to work toward a degree in business administration-management.

Sheri Jessee - Director of Health Care Education - Bristol

Sheri Jessee - Director of Health Care Education - Bristol

Sheri Jessee – Difference Maker at the Bristol Campus

Director of Health Care Education

• National College faculty member since 2004
• Recipient of Tennessee Association of Independent Colleges and Schools (TAICS) Outstanding Instructor of the Year award in 2006 and 2012; recipient of National College’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2010

• Holds an associate degree and is a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
• Member of American Medical Technologists (AMT) and American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
• Has accumulated more than 20 years of experience in the medical field, including positions in home health and nursing homes and as an agency nurse, clinical office nurse, and float nurse

“It is a rewarding feeling to see students reach their goals, no matter how big or small—from making it day-to-day, attending and overcoming daily obstacles to completing their degrees and on to graduation.
“A positive outlook on everything each day can show students they are not alone and can do anything they set their minds to do.
“I try to bring real life scenarios to my classes.  My programs fortunately incorporate clinical hands-on experience along with an externship to make sure the students are exposed to real life situations.
“I get to visit many area employers as DHCE [the director of health care education], and it always warms my heart to see my graduates working and excelling in their chosen career field.  I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to touch each student’s life.”

Sheri Jessee has more than 20 years of experience in the medical field.  She is a Difference Maker at the Bristol Campus and is the director of health care education there.


Student Reaching New Career Heights at National College

Student Reaching New Career Heights at National College

With an impressive work history and a bachelor’s degree in her dossier, Amanda Sivis came to the Lexington Campus of American National University with plans for a new career direction.  She chose her career path while working in the banking industry while still in high school. “I realized early on that I enjoyed working in human resources,” said Amanda.  “It’s a challenging career, and a vital one in corporate America, and one I’m very passionate about.”

Amanda enrolled in the Community Communications and Leadership Development degree program at the University of Kentucky – and began her journey to her chosen career.  Amanda smiled and said,

I earned my bachelor’s but my career aspirations had actually broadened a bit.  I decided to add accounting to my skill set.  My experience at a large college was not as positive as it should be.  You have very little help with issues – you are on your own. Communications are electronic – so it’s very impersonal.  There was no way I wanted to reenter a large university again, so I did my homework and chose American National University.  What a huge difference!  The small classes and all the help is wonderful.  I no longer worry about my schedule being correct or if everything is in order for each new term. Without guidance…you can prolong your program and pay way more than necessary for college – but not at National!  Everyone is here for you every step of the way.

Amanda is working two jobs while attending classes and says her schedule keeps her motivated.  “I work with PNC Bank part-time and I plan on working in their HR department when I graduate,” said Amanda.  “I have a black-and-white personality and accounting and HR is perfect for me.  It’s either right or wrong – and my training here at National is giving me exactly what I need to land that perfect job!”

Student Amanda Sivis already has a bachelor’s degree but chose American National University to enhance her skill set. 

Career Center Director offers Résumé Writing Tips and Job Search Techniques

Career Center Director offers Résumé Writing Tips and Job Search Techniques

Samantha Palmer, career center director at the Florence Campus, recently visited instructor Cheryl Heer’s English Composition class to offer tips on résumé writing and job search techniques.

“The most important tip I have when it comes to résumés is that you should create one right away, and have as many people look at it as possible,” Samantha said. “If you have ever had a job, or if you have ever gone to school after high school, then you should have a résumé.  Don’t wait until you need one.  And make sure you add your volunteer work to your résumé!”

Samantha encouraged the students to take advantage of the many services that the American National University Career Center offers to assist them with their job search. “My goal is to help you find your dream job, but I need your help,” Samantha told them. “Please come to me and tell me what you need help with--résumés, interviewing skills, or job searching. Help me know what you are struggling with regarding finding a job, and that way I can work on a plan to help you overcome and thrive.”

Vasva Karahusic, a business administration-management student, said that she found Samantha’s presentation to be very helpful. “This presentation was very useful to me, since it gave me information that I can use in my future when I apply for a job,” Vasva said. “I learned how to write a résumé, what to wear to the interview, and what questions I can expect to be asked.”

Business administration-management student Vasva Karahusic (left) said that she learned some valuable job search techniques during the presentation by career center director Samantha Palmer (right).

Graduate Recognized for Career in Health Information Management

Graduate Recognized for Career in Health Information Management

Elizabeth Head has worked in a number of positions throughout her seven year career with Baptist Health, from release of information, to chart auditing, to front end compliance, before advancing into her current position working as a Revenue Integrity/Medicare Compliance Coder.  Although she’s seen the field constantly evolve over the years, she’s found that her degree in health information technology from the Louisville Campus, as well as her certification as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), has given her the skills necessary to succeed.

“With the electronic aspect that we’ve gotten into, and all of the changes from Congress that’s been made, the level of skill [required] has gone up a lot…You have to have a lot more knowledge now than you used to,” Elizabeth explained.

After working in the restaurant industry for more than 14 years, Elizabeth first came to American National University in search of training for a career that would bring her more stability and better benefits.  “I initially only came to get my coding certificate, but my admissions [representative] saw my résumé and saw that I had management experience,” Elizabeth recalled.  “She said ‘Why don’t you get a degree as opposed to a certificate,’ and I’m really glad that I did.”

In her classes at National, Elizabeth was pleased to find that she had plenty of opportunities for personal interaction with her instructors who were professionals in the field. “When I went to Eastern [Kentucky University] I loved it there, but with the large class sizes, I didn’t really feel a connection with many of my professors,” she said.  “Here, I really enjoyed that the people who are teaching me were actually people who were doing the job. I felt like I could go to any of my instructors if I had an issue and they would help me.”

In the last term of her program, she began working as an extern at Baptist Health, and she was offered an entry level position in HIM with the hospital a short time after graduating.  She also sat for the exam to become certified as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), and she feels that the credential has been an important component to her career success.

As certification is becoming required by more and more employers, she encourages current students to get certified, and urges graduates to take advantage of the tuition-free refresher courses available at National to help them prepare for the RHIT exam. “You come here and you work hard and you study, but without that certification, you’re not going to be able to get the type of employment you are looking for,” she said.
Elizabeth has served as an instructor and a member of the HIM advisory board at the Louisville Campus, which recently recognized her dedication to the profession when she was presented with the 2014 Alumni Hall of Achievement Award during the commencement ceremony in May.  “I was quite surprised, but I was extremely honored, because I felt like it’s nice to be appreciated,” she said.

The award confirmed, once again, to Elizabeth that she made the right choice in her education and in her career.  “I always try to promote the college, because I feel very strongly about it,” she said.  “I feel like it’s been a great opportunity, and I’m extremely happy with everything about it.”

A-Elizabeth Head, a 2006 graduate of the Louisville Campus, has had a successful career working in health information management for Baptist Health.  She currently works from home as a compliance coder and has also served as an instructor at American National University.

B-Elizabeth Head is shown accepting the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award from Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra during the campus's commencement ceremony that was held in May.

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