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

September 22, 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


Sarver Tadjikhodjayev "Sam" - Building His Dream

Sarver Tadjikhodjayev

Sarver Tadjikhodjayev (Sam) was born and raised in Uzbekistan, where he grew up for most of his life.  He came to the United States in 2008 in search of an education to pursue his dream of owning his own business. Four years later he opened his first business, Fox's Pizza Den, in Nashville after attending the Nashville Campus for one year.  This past spring, he graduated with his associate's degree in business management, and it's been the fulfillment of one dream (getting an education) and just the beginning of a new one (owning his own business) for Sam.

Sam said, "I've been in some other schools and I realized it wasn't what I was looking for - so I decided to come back to National College."  What made the difference to Sam were the people: "The thing I like about National College is the staff is really friendly, helpful, and I really like the way the classes are taught." In considering other larger universities Sam says that he saw from his friends' experiences how hard it was for them to get in contact with the administration and staff. "It's hard to get personalized attention up there," said Sam.  "I like that you can get that here."

Sam wasn't a "traditional student" who comes straight from high school and stays in school full-time.  Owning his own business, trying to do well in school, and manage his life as an adult meant that he needed to take a year off in between and couldn't finish his degree straight through.  However, Sam felt that the year off solidified for him his choice for coming back to National to finish his degree.

"The instructors are great," he said and added how his Human Resources class made a difference for him in owning his business.  He learned about how to manage his staff and about laws concerning hiring and paying his staff members.  "Because I'm from a different country, it helped me learn how it's done here," said Sam.  "That's why I decided to go for this major - because I wanted more knowledge and experience in this field to run my business more efficiently." He found that not only did he get that knowledge and experience at National, but he felt like he was part of a community as well.  "Most of [my classmates] were my friends," he says with a smile.

Looking forward, Sam has plans of opening more locations for his pizza business and perhaps pursuing more school.  "I was thinking of maybe going for a master's degree too," he said, and is considering the option of pursuing that degree online at American National University since it is directly linked to his degree at National.  For now, however, he is focusing on applying his current knowledge to building on his dream of owning his own business and seeing it grow.

In 2008, Sarver Tadjikhodjayev (Sam) came to the United States in search of an education to pursue his dream of owning his own business.

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

GED Group Tours Lynchburg Campus

GED Group Tours Lynchburg Campus

The Lynchburg Campus recently hosted a brunch for the regional GED testing centers and their director, Luke Saechao.  Karen Foster, admissions representative, provided the 6 area coordinators with an admissions presentation highlighting the enrollment process, career training opportunities, and professional development workshops.  The ANU staff also found out more information on the GED process.

During a tour of the campus, the special guests met with the campus ambassadors who partner and assist new students and help with campus events.  They also toured the library where students were in tutoring sessions.

Soon after the brunch, the campus received a call from the Amherst County GED site and accepted an opportunity to partner with their event on Thursday, September 25th.  Karen Foster and Sue Coleman, director of health care education, will take the medical assisting success class on a field trip to the school to participate in their Career Day.

Pictured (l) to (r) are : Bill Baker, Lynchburg campus director, Rene James, school counselor at Amherst Education Center, Sue Pratt, Bedford GED coordinator, Marymargaret Cardwell, Amherst County Supervisor for Federal Programs and Literacy, Ada Pinn, Amherst County GED coordinator, Cathy Lindsay, Amherst Education Center data specialist, Luke Saechao, regional adult education manager, and Howard Johnson, Lynchburg GED Coordinator.

Campus Celebrates a 100% Pass Rate

Campus Celebrates a 100% Pass Rate

All four medical assisting students of the most recent graduating class of the Harrisonburg Campus successfully passed the Registered Medical Assisting (RMA) Exam, giving the class a 100% pass rate.  Nkowan Diggs, Laura Hernandez, Holly Martinez, and Ashley Stickley all shared in the excitement of passing their certification exam on Tuesday, September 9th with their instructor and director of health care education, Christopher Weve.  It has been a long road for this group, but it all has paid off in the end.  The group shared an emotional last day of class as they said their goodbyes and enjoyed pizza for lunch.  “I am so very proud of each of these girls,” said Chris.  “They have worked so hard and have come so far in reaching their educational goals.”

Graduates pictured (l) to (r) are:  Ashley Stickley, Nkowan Diggs, Holly Martinez, and Laura Hernandez.

Kim McFee - Student Service Rep & Administrative Assistant - Parkersburg

Kim McFee - Student Service Rep & Administrative Assistant - Parkersburg

Kim McFee – Difference Maker at the Parkersburg Campus

Student services representative/administrative assistant

• ANU staff member since 2013
• Has gained more than 30 years of experience working in higher education

• Holds an associate’s degree in secretarial science/office administration
• Previously held positions in higher education as an administrative assistant, certification analyst, and an office administrator

“I have worked in higher education for close to 32 years, and I’ve seen many changes and helped initiate some of them. I believe this has given me the background and the knowledge needed to advise and help the students at ANU.

“Most of our students come from diverse backgrounds and are trying to make a better life. To see them succeed, and know that I had a little bit to do with their success, makes me happy.

“I try to give students a shoulder to lean on, to help them as best I can to understand the processes, and to answer any questions they may have. It brings me great joy to be able to help a person meet their goals, getting to know them as individuals as well as students.

“We had a student my first term working at ANU that was one of the first I helped enroll.  She was shy and wasn’t sure this was where she needed to be but wanted to better herself for her children.  She has succeeded and will be graduating next term and already has a position in her field of study.  Seeing students grow from not believing in themselves to holding their heads high is just amazing.

“Everybody at the Parkersburg Campus works together as a team. We have one goal and that is to help our students succeed.  I have not only coworkers here, but friends.”

Kim McFee has worked in higher education for more than 30 years. 

Campus Observes Constitution Day

Campus Observes Constitution Day

The Stark County Campus held two celebrations for Constitution Day on Wednesday, September 17th.  Both were in conjunction with the Canton area League of Women Voters.  The organization’s volunteers assisted people who needed to register to vote and distributed literature on voting rights. 

Dr. Amy Shriver Dreussi teaches Introduction to Government and Politics and “Diversity” at The University of Akron.  Her presentation was very interactive.  She really made students think about The Constitution and Bill of Rights and the history behind them.  Students who participated in these activities were given credit for this term’s community involvement.

Dr. Amy Shriver Dreussi, an instructor at the The University of Akron, spoke to students about the importance of The Constitution and Bill of Rights. 

Two Transfer Students Are Working Towards a Surgical Technician Degree

Two Transfer Students Are Working Towards a Surgical Technician Degree

Hannah Napolitan and Emma Andrushchenko both transferred from Youngstown State University to the Youngstown Campus.  Both have the same goal – to become a surgical technician. 

Hannah first heard about American National University through a friend who loved the program.  She made the appointment and “fell in love!”

Emma previously worked as a medical assistant.  She was always interested in surgery, made an appointment, and knew that she wanted to go to National. 

Hannah said that she has always been interested in surgical technology.  Emma said that what attracted her to the field is that “every surgery is different - even if it is routine.”

“A lot of the classes are challenging – terms are shorter than what we are used to-they [the instructors], help us out a lot,” said Hannah.  Classes are smaller and it’s more hands-on here.  You actually know your professor.  Ms. Zurcher really helps us out with everything.  There [at Youngstown State University], the professor would not know your name.

Emma said, if you are thinking about going back to school, it doesn’t hurt to talk with someone in admissions.  Hannah said, “it’s never too late.” 

“I’m just really happy,” said Hannah. “I switched over and it was definitely worth it.  I was nervous about it but I’m glad about the decision that I made.  Everyone is so helpful here too!”

Hannah Napolitan and Emma Andrushchenko are both on their way to a successful career in surgical technology.

Mom of Three Looks Forward to a Healthcare Information Management Career

Mom of Three Looks Forward to a Healthcare Information Management Career

Marie Campbell attended Cincinnati State University and began working on an associate’s degree in childcare education.  “The classes were so big that I dropped out,” said Marie.  “The classes are smaller here.”

Marie not only changed schools, but also changed her career path at the Cincinnati Campus.  She wants to work in the medical field so she is now a healthcare information management student.  She found out about the program though a former co-worker who was in the program.  “I saw how she was progressing,” said Marie. 

The mom of three knows that she wants to work in a hospital and maybe in a medical records department.

“I’m just glad I’m doing a career change,” said Marie.  “I love American National University.”

Marie Campbell was previously a childcare education major at Cincinnati State University

Graduate’s Love for Horses Leads to Dream Job

Graduate’s Love for Horses Leads to Dream Job

Sharon L. Schafer has been employed by the Equine Veterinary Hospital of Northern Indiana since April 2013.   Visiting Sharon at work in this pastoral Indiana setting, it was obvious that she has found the perfect job.  Her position combines her love for horses while employing the professional and technical skills she learned at the South Bend Campus of American National University.   Sharon first graduated in May 2012 with a diploma in medical billing and coding and graduated in May 2014 earning her health information management associate’s degree.  Sharon was the most fitting winner of this year’s prestigious Alumni Hall of Achievement Award.  

Dr. Matt Randolph, DVM, founder of the Equine Veterinary Hospital, said “Thank you American National University for bringing Sharon to my practice. She is the ideal employee”   Dr. Randolph started the practice in 2006, a practice that offers farm calls, in hospital care and a clinic which offers breeding, dental procedures, and endoscopy.   A large pasture with a shelter is available to board horses along with an indoor arena.  The 30 stall barn serves foaling mares, stands stallions, and houses mares including a breeding area with stalls and labs.  Sharon said, “The best of the best is the arrival of the new foals in the Spring.”   Sharon’s responsibilities include maintaining all accurate billing and coding records, collecting of past due accounts, responding to clients questions and concerns, and entering all office technical data. 

Sharon said that being in a 2 year leadership role for the Student Activities Committee [SAC], her academic success in 2 technical healthcare programs, and her Federal Work Study responsibilities while on campus, have all assisted her in her role with Dr. Randolph.   Sharon’s outstanding evaluations from her employer and her presence as a model graduate sharing her professional career experiences with current students have led her to being an outstanding employee in her dream job.    Sharon said, “This is a perfect fit”.

Pictured (l) to (r):  Dr. Matt Randolph of the Equine Veterinary Hospital, “Nutmeg,” and  Sharon Schafer, medical billing and coding and health information management graduate.

Former Daycare Employee Looks Forward to a Career in the Medical Field

Former Daycare Employee Looks Forward to a Career in the Medical Field

Before becoming a student at the Columbus Campus, Sarah Groves worked at a daycare within a local business.  She had heard about American National University and about how the focus was on  programs that prepare graduates to work in careers that are in high demand. She viewed the web site, set up an appointment, and enrolled in health information management. 

Now, after two years, she is nearing the completion of the program and is looking forward to finding a job in the medical field. 

“I was kind of scared because I went to school right out of high school and it was a totally different experience,” said Sarah.  “The classes are smaller [here], and you can ask questions.  All of the medical classes are interesting but at the same time, they were also challenging.”  Sarah added that all of the time and studying is worth it.  She said, “Go to school.  It’s the best thing that I ever did.”

Sarah Groves previously worked at a nursery and now is on her way to becoming employed in the medical field. 

Graduate Uses Her Business Skills to Help Build Her Family’s Business

Graduate Uses Her Business Skills to Help Build Her Family’s Business

Lydia Griffith has worked in her family’s business, Merchant Payment Services, since she was sixteen years old.  After graduating from high school, she decided that she’d like to take on more responsibility in the company, so she earned a degree in the business administration-management program at the Dayton Area Campus.  “I went to American National University so that I could gain more knowledge in the business world to help out here [in the] family business,” said Lydia.

In her new position working as an executive assistant at Merchant Payment Services, which  provides check, credit card, and gift card payment processing and ATM equipment to clients across the country, Lydia processes merchant applications, and provides customer service and sales support.

“We’re business-to-business, so having the business degree helps with that a lot,” Lydia said. “I really like doing paperwork, and I like working with numbers.  I learned more functionalities of Excel [at National] and I use that every day.”

Lydia would like to one day become part-owner of Merchant Payment Services, but she also has a myriad of other options available to her, thanks to her degree from National.  “Now, [I don’t] have to work here, I want to work here.  I’m able to apply my skills and my knowledge that I gained from going to college,” Lydia explained.  “If I decide in the future that I want to venture off, I can do that because I have my degree.”

Lydia Griffith earned a degree in the business administration-management program at the Dayton Area Campus to help her advance in her family's business

From Coal Miner to Registered Nurse

From Coal Miner to Registered Nurse

As a coal miner, Mikey Blair worked 10-hour shifts deep in the mines, always on the alert for falling rocks or other dangers.  While his job as a coal miner seems far removed from his new career as a registered nurse (RN) at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC), Mikey feels that the two jobs have an important common denominator.  “So many things can go wrong in the coal mines that you have to pay attention to every single thing that you’re doing,” said Mikey. “In nursing, it’s the same way.  You could kill somebody by giving them the wrong injection, or too much of an injection, or in the wrong place.”

After losing his job as a coal miner, Mikey feels lucky to have been given the opportunity to start over and find a new career.  He earned his nursing degree at the Pikeville Campus with funding through the Hiring Our Miners Everyday (HOME) program, which provides training to out-of-work coal miners and their spouses.  The tuition assistance that he received through the HOME program was supplemented by the American National University Workforce Development Grant, an exclusive grant which matches funding from agencies.

In his new career, working on the orthopedics and neurology wing of the Pikeville Medical Center, Mikey has found more than just a way to replace his income, he’s found a passion for caring for others.  “I love taking care of patients, but not just patients, their families, too,” he said.  “Their families are really, really important to them, therefore they’re important to me.”

Mikey is already thinking about the next step in his career, and he’s enrolled in a BSN program to help ensure that he has the skills that he needs to advance.  He hopes to be accepted into a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) program within five to ten years. 

Mikey encourages others in his community who have lost their jobs to go back to school. “It’s hard to stay in this area, because the coal mining jobs are going away, but so are other jobs,” Mikey said. “You don’t have a fighting chance without an education.”

Army Veteran Impresses Instructors with His Work Ethic and Dedication

Army Veteran Impresses Instructors with His Work Ethic and Dedication

U.S. Army veteran Daniel Nylund is using his Post-9/11 G. I. Bill funding to earn a degree in medical assisting at the Florence Campus.  “I moved here from Seattle a few years ago to be close to my sister,” Daniel explained.  “I spent 10 years in the Army and didn’t really have any job skills, and I always wanted to do something in the medical field.”

Although there were many colleges in the area where Daniel could have used his veteran’s benefits, he chose American National University because it came highly recommended by his future mother-in-law.  “My fiancée’s mom graduated from National many years ago and loved it,” he said. “The small class size is awesome and my instructors are the best.”

Director of health care education Kathreen Buckner said that she has worked closely with Daniel over the last year.  “Daniel was in my Medical Office Finance class this term and has shown true dedication,” said Kathreen.  “He was carrying a real heavy work load this term with five classes in total.  Danny stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park with three A’s and two B’s.”

Instructor Karrie Perkins also feels that Daniel was an exemplary student in her Pharmacology class.  “Danny was very enthusiastic, energetic, and ready to learn,” said Karrie.  “Even though his work load was more than others, he demonstrated the willpower needed and pushed through a difficult class with flying colors.  I couldn't be more proud of him and I know that he will succeed in anything that he puts his mind to.”

A-Medical assisting student Daniel Nylund, a U.S. Army veteran who is attending American National University with funding through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, is pictured in the medical lab at the Florence Campus.

B-Daniel Nylund is shown accepting a certificate of excellence from director of health care education Kathreen Buckner (l) and pharmacology instructor Karrie Perkins (r).

Campus Hosts Open House for Information Technology

Campus Hosts Open House for Information Technology

The spotlight was shining on the information technology department of the Lexington Campus as the team gathered together to host an open house event recently.  The event was organized by George Camp , senior director of IT programs. “I wanted to highlight our offerings at the Lexington Campus and show that information technology has several paths to be taken and the diverse skill-sets needed for the various programs,” said George.  “Many individuals lump IT into one common program and we wanted to show how diverse the careers actually are.  It’s no longer enough to say you want to go into ‘computers’ when looking into an IT career.”

Numerous stations were up and running to demonstrate the variety of training programs the campus offers and how they pertain to the many job offerings in the field of IT.

“You have to specialize in today’s market to be a success in the IT field,” said network administration student Judy Higgins.  “American National University is giving me specific training so I can pursue my dream job.  I am really enjoying my NET training and I plan on moving up with my current employer into their IT department.  Specialized training is what employers are seeking – and American National University is providing what I need!”

Pictured (l) to (r): Adam Bolden, graduate and employee of the University of KY IT Department, Judy Higgins, network administration student, George Camp – Senior Director of IT Programs,  Josh Mattingly – ISE Grad, Orlando Guest – Grad/Owner- Central KY PC Repairs, April Stanley – Admissions Representative

Transfer Student Is Preparing For Career as a Medical Doctor

Transfer Student Is Preparing For Career as a Medical Doctor

Radu Spinant is originally from Romania but has been living in the United States for 17 years.  He entered Kent State University in the nursing program, then transferred to exercise physiology.  He decided that he wanted to finish his studies more quickly as he is getting married soon, so he enrolled at the Akron Area Campus.  He shadowed some classes to figure out which program he wanted to choose.  Radu said, “Surgical technology was a great avenue because it allows you to climb up the ladder when you start out.”

Comparing his experience at Kent State with American National University, Radu said, “It’s really convenient.  There is less travel time and you can focus on what you are doing.”  Radu added that, “It’s a lot more personalized.  The teachers get one-on-one time with you.”

“Honestly, I think most aspects [of surgical technology], is interesting,” said Radu.  “I can’t think of anything right now that’s not.  Right now we are studying microbiology and there’s a lot of information there to take in - just the procedures that you need for surgical technology itself.  I can’t narrow it down to one aspect.”

“Everything is going great so far,” said Radu.  “I love the [instructors], the students, the community is really nice.”

Radu said, “I would like to start in med school eventually.  I was going to do it earlier but I am trying to find a job to be able to support my wife and I.”  In the future, he anticipates that he will be a medical doctor. 

Radu Spinant is a surgical technology student at the Akron Area Campus.  He is originally from Romania.

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.