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November 10, 2014

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Career Center Proves to Be Missing Piece of Veteran's Job Search Puzzle

Career Center Proves to Be Missing Piece of Veteran's Job Search Puzzle

Saudia Hairston loves math, chemistry, and taking care of others, so a career as a certified pharmacy technician is a natural fit for her.  Saudia earned her associate’s degree at the Dayton Area Campus in September of 2013 and she now works for Remedi SeniorCare Pharmacy, a company that provides pharmacy services to long-term care facilities.

“I’ve had the greatest experience because I got the dream job that I wanted for two years,” said Saudia, a U.S. Army veteran who lost her job as a compliance auditor when the manufacturing company that she worked for closed. “I like the pharmacy because it’s about medications and people’s well-being.”

During her program at American National University, Saudia gained hands-on experience working at the VA Medical Center as a federal work-study student and an extern.  While that experience, combined with her high grade point average contributed to her career success, she feels that the career center director’s connection with local employers was the final piece of the job search puzzle that helped bring her new career to fruition.

“She was on it” said Saudia.  “She knew I was graduating and she said, ‘Ok, I’ve got a couple of positions and we’ll see what we can do.’  I had an immediate interview and I got hired.  I finished the program in September and got a job within thirty days.  That’s how great this school is.  Who gets a job in thirty days?  I went to a different school and never got these results, ever!”

Saudia has been so pleased with her experience at the Dayton Area Campus that she has re-enrolled in the business administration-accounting program with the hope of someday combining her love of both fields in one career.

She frequently recommends National to others and Saudia feels that her education has been exactly what she needs as an adult learner.  “This is a small school and we’re all family,” said Saudia.  “The staff know me by name.  I’m in a great part of my life and I’m so grateful.  If it hadn’t been for the people in this school, I wouldn’t be where I am.”

Certified pharmacy technician Saudia Hairston was hired by Remedi Senior Care within thirty days of her completing her associate's degree program at the Dayton Area Campus.

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Knowledge Gained in Business Classes Helps Student Advance in Human Resources Career

Knowledge Gained in Business Classes Helps Student Advance in Human Resources Career

When Reena Dixon was promoted from customer service into the human resources department of DISH Network, she knew that she needed to get a degree to continue to advance in her career.  “I love it out there, which is why I came back to school, because I want to be promotable,” said Reena.  “Nowadays, they want a college degree.”

With funding through the vocational rehabilitation program, as well as tuition assistance from DISH, Reena enrolled at the Princeton Campus where she is a student in the business administration-management program.  “Where I am a full time employee, they were very flexible having the night classes that I needed to complete my degree,” Reena said of her program at National College. “I loved how they had the smaller classes.  Being out of school for over a decade, that was something that I really looked forward to—having that one-on-one with the teachers there.”

In her job at DISH, Reena has a wide variety of duties—from answering questions regarding employees’ benefits, to making job offers, conducting phone screenings, and recruiting at job fairs.  She feels that her classes at National help keep her current with the computer software, as well as the laws and regulations that she needs to know to be successful in her career.  “I love the field that I’m in, so I’d love to make it up to a director or HR manager, whether it’s with Dish or any other company,” said Reena.  “My goal is to be happy and to be successful at whatever job I do.”

Reena Dixon is earning her degree at the Princeton Campus to help further her career working in the human resources department at DISH Network.

Husband and Wife Team Make the Dean's List

Husband and Wife Team Make the Dean's List

Nicole and William Melton are going back to school together and are making academic strides.  The husband and wife team recently made the Dean’s List at the Bristol Campus. Nicole is pursuing a degree in medical assisting, while her husband William is working on his bachelor’s degree in business administration-management.  “We use each other as a support system and encourage one another to stay on task,” said Nicole. The couple decided to go back to school to complete their education and gain a better quality of life.  “We chose National College because of the small class sizes and how quickly we would be able to earn our degrees,” Nicole explained.

Another motivating factor for Nicole and William are National College’s military education benefits. William is an Army veteran, and the couple met while they were both serving in the Army Reserve.  In addition to being able to use William’s GI Bill, they also qualified for the Blue Ribbon Grant.  The Blue Ribbon Grant, offered exclusively at National College, awards up to $15,000 in additional financial support to eligible veterans and dependents.  It has helped Nicole and William have the financial freedom to go back to school.
Since enrolling at National College, Nicole has started working at Mountain State Pharmacy, where she was referred by director of health care education Sheri Jessee, and William is hoping to start his own business while earning his degree.  They hope to eventually be able to work together in a family business.

Husband and wife William and Nicole Melton study together. They are both pursuing degrees at the Bristol Campus.

Well Child Provides Graduate with the Opportunity to Serve Area Children

Well Child Provides Graduate with the Opportunity to Serve Area Children

Well Child is a Memphis-based organization that collaborates with school districts to provide preventive health care services to children and youth in school-based settings.  One of their registered medical assistants is Christine Alexander, a graduate of the Bartlett Campus.  Jamaal Ray, human resources coordinator at Well Child, is very pleased with Christine’s dedication to the organization and especially appreciates the attention to detail and great customer service that she brings to her job.

“[Christine] was well-prepared and was able to fit in well with the company’s business model,” said Jamaal.  “She understands the importance of teamwork, customer service, and the importance of the medical assistant role.”  Yolanda Davis, managing director of optometry at Well Child, agreed, saying, “Christine Alexander is awesome!  She is a great employee and exceeds departmental goals.”

For their commitment to the community and for hiring National College graduates, Well Child was recently presented with the Distinguished Community Employer award by the Bartlett Campus.

Bartlett career center director Sammie Hawkins presents the Distinguished Community Employer award to Jamaal Ray, human resource coordinator at Well Child.

Christine Alexander succeeds in her job as a registered medical assistant at Well Child.

Patricia Eby - Anatomy & Physiology Instructor - Roanoke Valley

Patricia Eby - Anatomy & Physiology Instructor - Roanoke Valley

• Patricia Eby – Difference Maker at the Roanoke Valley Campus

• Instructor of Anatomy & Physiology courses
• Holds a Master of Science degree in rehabilitation counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the VCU School of Nursing
• Certified Rehabilitation Counselor; Certified Disability Management Specialist; Licensed Clinical Nurse Specialist; Registered Nurse

• ANU faculty member since 2009
• Nominated for DePaul Community Resources Women of Achievement award - 2014
• Rehabilitation Professional of the Year (Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Professionals) - 2003

• Has run a private medical and vocational rehabilitation consulting practice for more than 20 years
• Gained previous experience in trauma nursing and outpatient clinical care in cardiology and orthopedics
• Past president and board member for both the Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and the Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Professionals

“I admire adult learners who take charge of their own destinies and decide to build a better life.
“My greatest rewards as an instructor are when I’m out in the medical world and a former student – now successfully employed in a meaningful job – runs up and thanks me for helping equip them to get there.
“I enjoy seeing students’ fear of anatomy change over to joyful confidence in understanding it.
“The Roanoke Valley Campus is a diverse population of faculty and students – joining together in a combined purpose – all working together.”

Patricia Eby is a Difference Maker at the Roanoke Valley Campus, where she has been an instructor since 2009.  She has more than 20 years of experience in nursing and rehabilitation counseling.


Graduate Loves Being at the Heart of Busy Medical Practice

Graduate Loves Being at the Heart of Busy Medical Practice

As the office manager of Madison Family Clinic, Movetta Hall keeps the busy practice running smoothly and ensures that its patients receive superior care and customer service.  “I’m the core and the center.  I’m the heart of it,” Movetta said of her work.  “As far as the clinical part and the office—I’m watching over the entire thing.”

Many of the skills that Movetta uses to manage the office were acquired in her program at American National University.  She graduated from the Richmond Campus in 1999 from what was then known as the medical secretarial program, a program which has now been superseded by the medical office assistant and medical office professional programs.  After graduating, Movetta worked in the front office of a local practice for five years before she was hired to help open Madison Family Clinic in 2004.

Although she’s a successful medical professional today, returning to school wasn’t an easy step for her after working at home raising her family for many years.  “I was in my 40’s, and I thought, ‘Oh, it’s been a long time.  Can I do this?’ And [I decided] I [could] set my mind to do anything.”

She came to National at the recommendation of friends, and she feels that she made an excellent choice.  “I kept hearing a lot of good reviews about it,” Movetta said of National.  “I couldn’t have asked for any better. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for coming to the College.  I’m where I’m at today because I devoted my time to coming here.”

In particular, Movetta feels that her hands-on training in the area of electronic medical records (EMR) has been essential to her career.  “That’s what got me to where I’m at,” she said.

Movetta and her family are very proud of her career accomplishments, and she plans to stay right where she is to continue to help others as a vital member of the Madison Family Clinic team.  “I’ve always loved working with people,” she explained.  “I’m really satisfied with what I’m doing and where I’m at.”

A-Richmond Campus graduate Movetta Hall helped open Madison Family Clinic in 2004.

B-As the office manager of Madison Family Clinic, Movetta Hall helps ensure that the clinical and administrative sides of the practice run smoothly.

Speedway Recognized for Regularly Hiring Graduates

Speedway Recognized for Regularly Hiring Graduates

The Lexington Campus’s affiliation with Speedway (a convenience store chain), goes back four years-plus, and Kathy Wolf had a tremendous part to play in this very successful venture.  Ms. Wolf was Speedway’s recruiter when she first partnered with National, and she was interested in interviewing graduates who wanted to pursue careers with one of the area’s largest companies.

“For some folks, employment at Speedway is simply a job – a stepping stone to other careers,” explained Ms. Wolf.  “There are those, however, whose employment at Speedway represents a career.  Those with this mind-set will find many opportunities to ‘climb the corporate ladder,’ so to speak.  I saw that American National University provides quite an extensive curriculum in the management arena, so our alliance was off and running,” said Ms. Wolf.

Over the past several years, Ms. Wolf has interviewed and hired more and more graduates for positions with Speedway.  “I came to rely heavily on National for many of my staffing needs,” she said. “They were all very well-trained, but I’ve noticed [National] graduates possess two outstanding traits – the desire to succeed and tremendous ‘people-skills’.  These traits don’t come from a book – they come from involved, dedicated instructors,” beamed Ms. Wolf.

Although Ms. Wolf was recently promoted to a regional training position and no longer works directly with the Lexington Campus, Speedway still partners with National when seeking quality employees.  “My long affiliation with American National University has shown that everyone working there has the students’ best interest at heart,” said Ms. Wolf. “I can say nothing but great things about the graduates we have hired, and we will continue to rely on American National University to help fill vital positions in our company.”

Lexington Campus career center director Cheryl Howell (left) and campus director Kim Thomasson (right) present the Distinguished Community Employer award to Kathy Wolf of Speedway for hiring numerous American National University graduates.

Medical Students Provide Screenings during Northern Kentucky Stand Down

Medical Students Provide Screenings during Northern Kentucky Stand Down

Students from the surgical technology and medical assisting programs at the Florence Campus recently volunteered to provide medical screenings during the Northern Kentucky Stand Down, an event that provides services and resources to homeless veterans.  Students from the campus have participated in the event for several years.

Surgical technology program director Carolyn Nienaber, director of health care education Kathreen Buckner, and instructors Karrie Perkins and Alice Spencer supervised the students during the event.  According to Carolyn, the group performed almost 90 screenings.  The VA Medical Center’s mobile unit also provided flu shots, and other health services.

“Many of our students are veterans, so they loved the opportunity to give back,” said Carolyn.  “The event also provided the students with a wonderful opportunity to practice their skills in preparation for their upcoming careers in the medical field.”

Students and faculty from the Florence Campus surgical technology and medical assisting programs are shown at the Northern Kentucky Stand Down, where they performed health screenings for homeless veterans.

Human Resources Manager Offers Résumé Writing and Interviewing Tips

Human Resources Manager Offers Résumé Writing and Interviewing Tips

Kari Barnes, a human resources manager with Click IT Staffing, recently visited the Louisville Campus to present a job readiness workshop. The first of a two-part series, the workshop covered résumé writing and interviewing skills.

Ms. Barnes has recruited for a number of industries, and she currently focuses on the information technology field. “You name it and I’ve recruited for it, so you’ll have the insider’s scoop on what recruiters are looking for,” she stated at the workshop.

Ms. Barnes stressed that the main purpose of a résumé is to get an interview.  “You should identify what you have to offer.  You want to explain contributions that you can make to any company,” she explained.  She encouraged the seminar participants to limit their résumés to one page, and to use buzz words, such as “organizational skills,” “problem solving,” “bi-lingual,” and “proficient in Microsoft Office Suite.”

For employment interviews, Ms. Barnes suggested practicing answers to common questions to help alleviate nerves.  She also suggested that job-seekers research the company in advance of the interview in order to speak intelligently about the work that they’ll be performing there.

All of the participants left the workshop with increased confidence and a new set of soft skills, which will help them present themselves in a very professional manner to any potential employer.

Kari Barnes (standing),  a human resources manager with Click IT Staffing, is shown discussing types of résumés during a Job Readiness workshop that was held by the Louisville Campus career center.

Mother and Daughter Prepare for New Careers in the Medical Assisting Program

Mother and Daughter Prepare for New Careers in the Medical Assisting Program

Deseriee Riddle and her daughter, Amanda Jones, have always been close, but they’ve recently developed an even tighter bond since Amanda joined her mother as a student in the medical assisting program at the Pikeville Campus.

Deseriee was working in food service at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) when she decided to return to school to advance her career and further her opportunities to care for others. At the recommendation of her husband, a former American National University student, and some of her co-workers at PMC, she came to American National University and enrolled in the medical assisting program. “I’m just trying to better myself,” Deseriee explained.

Shortly thereafter, Amanda graduated from high school, and was pursuing entering nursing school at a large university, when the lack of attention that she received during the enrollment process caused her to reconsider and follow in her mother’s footsteps.

Both Deseriee and Amanda enjoy the small class size and the personal attention that they receive at National.  “I’ve loved all of the teachers so far.  It’s just been a really good experience,” said Deseriee.

After graduating, Deseriee would like to work in oncology, and she hopes to help brighten the day for her patients.  Amanda’s goal is to work in pediatrics. “I have a big heart for kids,” she said.

While Deseriee knows that her degree is going to make a big difference in her career, she feels that it’s just the first of many opportunities that will now be available to her daughter. “She’s so young; she can do so many things with her life,” she encouraged. “She can do the [medical assisting] program, and then go into nursing, and then go on to get a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing), said Deseriee.  “She can go on and become a PA (physician assistant) or anything. She can do it.”

Deseriee Riddle (left), and her daughter, Amanda Jones (right), are both students in the medical assisting program at the Pikeville Campus.

Pharmacy Technician Student Works Side-By-Side with Professionals during Externship

Pharmacy Technician Student Works Side-By-Side with Professionals during Externship

Hannah Crane, a student in the pharmacy technician program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, is completing an externship with Thompson Pharmacy in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, where she’s gaining practical experience before entering the field. 

Hannah had just graduated from high school when she enrolled at American National University.  She chose the pharmacy technician program because of the job stability that the field offers. “They never go out of business,” said Hannah.  “You always need one.  Plus, I’d like to be a pharmacist later.”

As she completes the last term of her program, Hannah feels that she has received a great learning experience.  “The [instructors] are so good. They make sure that you know what you’re doing instead of moving on without you,” she explained.

Hannah is appreciative of the opportunity to work side-by-side with other medical professionals at Thompson Pharmacy, and she feels that the externship will help her achieve her career goals. “I’ve learned a lot here,” she said with a smile.  She plans to become certified as a pharmacy technician and hopes to possibly work in a hospital setting after graduating.

Pharmacy technician student Hannah Crane is gaining valuable hands-on experience working as an extern at Thompson Pharmacy in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

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.