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

December 08, 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


Graduate Advances into Leadership Role Following Career Change

Graduate Advances into Leadership Role Following Career Change

As a lead IT technician at Advanced Business Solutions (ABS), Louisville Campus graduate Tony Brooks provides IT support to the oncology departments of hospitals in the Kentucky One Health network using virtually every aspect of the knowledge that he gained in his information systems engineering program--from imaging and refreshing computers, to network administration, and installing software.

“I’m using everything that I learned [at National] on the job,” Tony said of his work at ABS. “They hired me on straight out of school, and I let them know that the main thing that I was looking for was experience. Through hard work, I now have the lead on the oncology electronic health records management project.”

A U.S. Navy veteran, Tony came to American National University with funding through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Veterans Retraining Assistance (VRAP) programs when he lost his job in sales after almost 20 years. “When the economy turned down, my position was eliminated, so I decided to completely change career paths,” Tony recalled. “I was looking online, and I saw that American National University was very veteran friendly. I had a tour of the place, talked to some of the students, and I was in.”

At National, Tony mastered his skills in IT by putting theory into action in the computer lab. “I’m a hands-on person,” he explained. “You get the broad concept of how things are done, but until you actually get in there and get your hands dirty and take a computer apart, or image the system, or set up the reference computer -- you really don’t know until you do it.” He also earned Comp TIA A+ certification while in his program, an industry credential that he feels is vital to confirm his skill set to employers.

To help keep him advancing in his career, Tony plans to return to National to continue his education in the cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program. He’s become a strong advocate for the school, participating in Career College Day at the state Capitol and Hill Day in Washington, D. C., where he talked with legislators about the advantages of career college education. “It gave me my foot in the door and a whole new career,” Tony said of his education at National. “After a few years in the industry, when I get the experience, my long term goal is to start a business of my own, supporting clients of my own, and taking care of their IT needs.”

A- Louisville Campus graduate Tony Brooks is working as the lead IT tech on a large electronic health records management project in Kentucky One Health system hospitals.

B- U.S. Navy veteran Tony Brooks used funding through the WIA and VRAP programs to return to school to train for a new career in information technology.

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

Medical Assisting Graduate Returns to Campus to Encourage Current Students

Medical Assisting Graduate Returns to Campus to Encourage Current Students

To provide a source of inspiration for her current medical assisting students, South Bend Campus director of health care education Renee Neldon invited her former student and successful medical assistant LeToya Bradshaw to speak to her Medical Terminology and Support class. LeToya shared with the class how her six months as a medical assistant had been going, from being hired as a floater because of her outstanding performance at her externship site, then being chosen by a top physician for a permanent position at his practice, followed by two subsequent promotions. 

When asked by the class how she achieved this success so quickly, LeToya responded, “By being so well-prepared by Ms. Neldon in my clinical skills, staying focused on my courses, never being allowed to give up, and being told to reach for my potential.” She further elaborated that she went into her externship knowing to ask questions when she did not know what to do. 

“It’s non-stop, with wonderful patients of all ages from new [babies] to 98 [year olds],” explained LeToya of her typical day as a medical assistant, where she performs such tasks as preparing patients for the doctor by taking vitals, seeing to the completion of EKG’s and urinalysis tests when required, and refilling prescriptions for the doctor to sign. 

LeToya left the class of future medical assistants with a few helpful suggestions: know your instruments, keep a notebook with you at all times, document everything, and continue learning.  

Director of health care education Renee Neldon (L) invited her former student and medical assisting graduate LeToya Bradshaw to speak to her class.

Business Owner Offers Student Job during Mock Interview

Business Owner Offers Student Job during Mock Interview

Mock interviews are one of the many resources offered through the career center to assist students in obtaining interview experience that can help them secure employment after graduation. Career center director Rhonda Pass recently held mock interviews for students at the Danville, Virginia Campus to practice their interview skills with local employers and receive valuable feedback. 

Yolanda Caesar, CEO of Peace Haven Personal Care Services in Chatham, was one of the employers who came to the campus to conduct mock interviews with students. “The students’ professional appearance, professional résumés, and ability to answer all interviewing questions honestly and with confidence were very impressive,” she said after the event. 

Prior to the mock interview event, business management student Shantill Clayborn had been meeting with career services on a bi-weekly basis, making sure her résumé met all professional requirements and that she was prepared for the interview. Shantill’s proactive approach provided a great outcome for her. After her interview with Ms. Caesar, she was offered the position of administrative assistant at Peace Haven Personal Care Services. Once offered the position, Shantill exclaimed, “I can’t believe this is happening; my confidence level just went up!”

Now in her third week on the job, Shantill is still just as excited, saying, “I absolutely love what I am doing right now!” 

Student Shantill Clayborn (R) was hired on the spot by Yolanda Caesar, CEO of Peace Haven Personal Care Services (center), at a mock interview event held by career center director Rhonda Pass (L).

Guest Speakers Share Personal Stories at Veterans Day Ceremony

Guest Speakers Share Personal Stories at Veterans Day Ceremony

The Knoxville Campus recently celebrated Veterans Day by honoring all those who have served and who are serving to protect our nation. Vietnam veterans Mr. Tsani Turner and Mr. Curt Hall were the guest speakers at the campus’s Veterans Day ceremony.   

Mr. Turner, second class petty officer in the U.S. Navy, served as a radioman. He spoke of the brotherhood’s accountability and regimentation to protect each other during battle and how that translates to today’s generation of being responsible for your actions. “Little errors in the beginning lead to serious consequences in the end,” he stated. “It is not enough to determine goals; you have to plan how to achieve them and turn that commitment into a result. Responsibility breeds opportunities.”

Mr. Hall served as a specialist four and worked on the HAWK missile. He shared the personal story of a very dear comrade -- a B-52 pilot who was shot down twice, sustained severe injuries, and then endured 16 months in a POW camp. Mr. Hall was able to attend his friend’s funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery earlier this year and spoke of the honor that seemed tangible there that day. He then closed by saying, “Service is a privilege to some and an obligation to some, but we need to thank all veterans all the time.”

Vietnam veteran Mr. Curt Hall shares stories of his service with students, faculty, and staff at the Veterans Day recognition ceremony.

Martinsville Family Medicine Honored for Support of Medical Assisting Program

 Martinsville Family Medicine Honored for Support of Medical Assisting Program

The Martinsville Campus recently presented Martinsville Family Medicine with the Distinguished Community Employer award. Campus representatives presented a plaque of appreciation to recognize the medical facility’s continued support of the University’s medical assisting externship programs and for providing employment opportunities to ANU graduates. The practice has hired two ANU medical assisting graduates this year. 

Dr. Patrick Favero, DO, the principal physician at the medical practice, graciously accepted the plaque, saying, “I appreciate the award from American National University, and I have enjoyed working with the externs - they have done a great job in our medical office.” Dr. Favero also stated that he enjoys being the medical advisor for the medical assisting program at the Martinsville Campus.

Director of health care education Gary Jenkins (far left), administrative assistant Lisa Kendrick (second from left), and career center director Sheree Spencer (far right) present Dr. Patrick Favero of Martinsville Family Medicine with the Distinguished Community Employer award.

Guest Speaker Enlightens Students on Suicide Prevention Alertness

Guest Speaker Enlightens Students on Suicide Prevention Alertness

Medical assisting students at the Princeton Campus recently had the opportunity to hear from Mrs. Liz Ethier, the suicide prevention coordinator for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley, about the seriousness of being alert to signs or comments given by patients indicating their psychological state and risk for suicide. She provides intervention strategies in hopes of preventing suicide and educates patients and their families, as well as the community, about the high-risk behaviors that may exist in the community, especially among the veteran population.  

Students and faculty felt well-informed after Mrs. Ethier’s visit. “Everything she said about suicide among veterans was very insightful,” said student Lakan Newman. “Suicide is real and happens more often than we think.”

“I’m very thankful that Mrs. Ethier took time from her day’s schedule to come and inform us on this very important and emotional topic,” remarked student Jordan Holloman.

Mrs. Ethier’s presentation followed a Veterans Day recognition ceremony held at the campus the previous day to acknowledge all veterans and those in active service for their efforts to keep us free and safe.

Mrs. Liz Ethier, VA suicide prevention coordinator, spoke with students about the warning signs for patient suicide risk.

Parkersburg Campus Thanks Veterans for Their Service by Serving Them

 Parkersburg Campus Thanks Veterans for Their Service by Serving Them

ANU’s Parkersburg Campus found a special way this Veterans Day to celebrate those who have served their country – by serving them in return!

The campus joined with Hearts Behind the Badge, an organization for spouses and family members of local law enforcement officers, to save the day at a picnic sponsored by the Mid-Ohio Valley Veterans Museum. It had come to the attention of campus career center director Maryann Sims that the museum would not have the funds to hold their annual Veterans Day picnic, which usually attracts 200 to 300 veterans and their families for a wonderful day of camaraderie.

To prevent this important day of recognition from being canceled, ANU stepped in to supply smoked hams and turkeys, stuffing, and mashed potatoes for the event through the university’s community relations program. They also supplied volunteers to help serve the veterans the day of the picnic. “We could not have done this without American National University and Hearts Behind the Badge,” said Gary Farris, executive director of the Mid-Ohio Veterans Museum. “We hope to work with ANU in the future on our events and thank them for their love of veterans.” 

“It is a privilege to be able to honor those that served us in the military and show the appreciation we feel for them and what they have done,” said campus director Larry Sloter.

Students Alana Robinson (L) and Brenda Godfrey help serve veterans at the Mid-Ohio Valley Veterans Museum’s annual Veterans Day picnic.

Job Search Skills Obtained During Lynchburg Hiring Event

Job Search Skills Obtained During Lynchburg Hiring Event

One of the many resources the Lynchburg Campus career center provides for students and graduates is campus hiring events, which offer students the opportunity to work individually with recruiters to find employment that will work around school schedules. They also provide opportunities for students to build self-confidence in interviewing and determine what employers look for in potential employees. 

Shannon Devore, client program manager for Adecco Staffing, loves coming to the Lynchburg Campus to participate in hiring events. As the main seasonal recruiter for J. Crew’s local service center, she finds that the flexibility of ANU’s class scheduling allows them to select employees that fit exactly what they are looking for.

Business administration – management student Shannon Bowling likes the convenience of having recruiters on campus. She has been able to find employment in the evenings, which works well with her daytime class schedule. Fellow business administration student Deshawn Anderson enjoys building confidence and interviewing skills while talking to recruiters and feels the skills he has gained will be a great benefit to him in his job search.

The career center’s goal is to help students find employment in careers that fit their field of study; bringing recruiters on campus helps reach that goal.

Business administration student Deshawn Anderson (L) and Adecco Staffing client program manager Shannon Devore discuss employment opportunities at J. Crew.

Medical Assistant Transitions into the OR

Medical Assistant Transitions into the OR

Kati Lopes had a successful career working as a medical assistant for Providence Medical Group, but after twelve years with the practice she decided that she’d like to expand her skill base. Surgery had always fascinated Kati, so she enrolled in the surgical technology program at the Dayton Area Campus.  

In her program, Kati gained hands-on experience during clinical rotations in the operating room at Highland District Hospital. “To me, the externship was the focal point. It was fun,” she recalled. “I watched surgery and participated in a bunch of different surgeries. The lab is good, but actually being there where there are patients, it’s completely different.”

At the end of her program, Kati passed the exam to become a certified surgical technologist, and today, she assists the physicians at Providence Medical Group during outpatient surgeries in the Providence Surgery Center. “I love my job,” she said with a smile.

Kati Lopes earned her associate's degree at the Dayton Area Campus and became a certified surgical technologist after working as a medical assistant for twelve years.

Career Dreams Become Reality through National College’s Broadcasting Training

 Career Dreams Become Reality through National College’s Broadcasting Training

The joys of achieving his career dreams are coming true for radio and television broadcasting student Cameron Butts – and in a big way. “I have always dreamed of having a career in radio and becoming a stand-up comic; I’ve never had any questions about my future career,” beamed Cameron. “My dreams are becoming a reality thanks to American National University. I’m only a year into my degree, but things are already coming together for me, and I see my future coming closer every day.” 

Cameron had started in a communications program elsewhere when he heard that American National University offered a two-year degree in radio and television broadcasting. He immediately made the switch, and has not looked back.

Now mid-way through his degree program at the Lexington Campus, Cameron’s booming laughter and huge smile reflect his career passions. He truly has difficulty containing his enthusiasm when discussing his training. “I love it here at National!” he exclaimed. “This is a hands-on program; it’s real-world training, and it definitely gives you the skills you need to succeed. Imagine this – having a dream and finding a college that makes that dream come true! How much better does it get?”

In addition to a career in radio, Cameron also dreams of launching a secondary career as a stand-up comic. Having already participated in local comedy shows, he is on the way to making it happen. “A lifetime career in radio combined with my comedy act? Yes, I’m a happy guy and American National University is bringing it all together for me!” laughed Cameron. 

Student Cameron Butts is living his dream as he pursues his passions for radio broadcasting and stand-up comedy.

Dr. Neil Klemek Recognized for Championing Medical Assisting Program

Dr. Neil Klemek Recognized for Championing Medical Assisting Program

Richmond Campus career center director Cynthia Hansel and director of health care education Paul Beth Ciolek recently presented the Distinguished Community Employer award to Dr. Neil Klemek of Kentucky One Urgent Care.

Dr. Klemek currently employs American National University medical assisting graduates Renee Pruitt, Shauna Barrett, and Darlina Davis. His office also serves as an externship site, providing valuable hands-on experience for students in the medical assisting program.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Klemek shared that he has been very pleased with how prepared American National University graduates are for the workplace and that he would recommend American National University to anyone looking to prepare themselves for a career in the medical field.

“The American National University graduates and externs I have had are outstanding, and I would be happy to hire more in the future and help train those that are getting ready to graduate,” stated Dr. Klemek.

(L to R) American National University graduate Shauna Barrett, Kentucky One Urgent Care employee Kateruah Witt, graduate Darlina Davis, Dr. Neil Klemek, graduate Renee Pruitt, and director of health care education Paula Beth Ciolek participated in the Distinguished Community Employer award presentation at Kentucky One Urgent Care.

Family Members Share a Desire to Care for Others

Family Members Share a Desire to Care for Others

Mark Hardin, a former general manager of an auto dealership, recently joined his step-daughter, Carrie Bentley, as a student in the nursing program at the Pikeville Campus. Although they are at very different points in their lives, both Carrie and Mark were drawn to the nursing program by its small class size, accelerated term schedule, and the opportunity to care for others.

Carrie enrolled at American National University after finding the large class size at a state university too impersonal. “I actually had a class that had 632 people in it; my entire high school had 498, so it was scary,” Carrie recalled. “You had to wait for hours to talk to somebody. It was really just not the experience for me.”

She also preferred the accelerated term schedule at National, which will allow her to complete her program quickly and get started in her career. “Here, you can get general education classes, nursing classes, everything in 22 months, so that was one of the deciding factors for National over a community college, because you can get done quite a bit faster.”

Mark agreed. “It’s a fast-paced environment, and the faculty and everybody are just great here,” he stated. “They get to know you as a person. You’re not a number like at a University of Kentucky or somewhere much larger. It’s a great experience,” he said.

Carrie and Mark look forward to using their nursing degrees to make a difference in others’ lives. “I think the biggest thing that you can do for a patient and a family is just to show them that you care – to display not only empathy but sympathy, and mean it,” said Mark.

“All of the medications in the world—they might prolong a life, but it’s the people that determine if it’s a good experience or a bad experience,” added Carrie.

A- Carrie Bentley (L) and her step-father, Mark Hardin, are both students in the nursing program at the Pikeville Campus.

B-Mark and Carrie both enrolled in the nursing program at American National University due to their desire to care for others.

Pharmacy Technician Graduate Hired During Externship at Rite-Aid

Pharmacy Technician Graduate Hired During Externship at Rite-Aid

Sara Beth Ebert, a graduate of the Danville, Kentucky Campus’s pharmacy technician program, was recently hired from her externship in the Rite-Aid pharmacy in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

When Sara graduated from high school, she became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). But after working as a CNA for several years, she decided that she was ready to expand her knowledge of the medical field. “I’ve already worked with the public through my CNA work, and I wanted to go more in depth – learning more about the prescriptions and why the patients are taking them,” Sara explained.

She found American National University online and felt a connection with the friendly staff and faculty when she visited the campus. Sara feels that the support she received at National allowed her to successfully complete her program and gave her the confidence that she needed to start her new career. “I love coming to work now,” Sara said.  “If it wasn’t for National, and me wanting to change, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Sara Beth Ebert was hired as a pharmacy technician during her externship in the Rite-Aid pharmacy.

ESL Program Takes Cultural Immersion Trip to Pennsylvania

ESL Program Takes Cultural Immersion Trip to Pennsylvania

The English as a Second Language program at ANU’s Roanoke Valley Campus recently went on a cultural immersion trip to Hershey, Lancaster, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The trip was part of the program’s ongoing intensive learning extracurricular student activities—an important contextual part of the educational program. The trip tested the students’ abilities to function during a multi-faceted trip speaking only in English and helped them experience America’s rich cultural history. 


During the trip, ESL students learned about such things as candy-making at the Hershey Story Museum, Amish history and culture in Lancaster, and the significance of the Battle of Gettysburg on our nation’s history at the Gettysburg battlefield and Museum of the American Civil War.


The students appreciated the whole trip and certainly enjoyed their experiences – even as their skills in English were put to the test. “I liked the trip,” said Lkhagvatsetseg Purevdori, a Mongolian student currently in level two of the ESL program. “I spent time with teachers and classmates speaking in English. I listed to information in English at the Hershey Chocolate Museum and the Amish Village.”


“It is very hard to say what I liked the most about our trip in a short sentence because I enjoyed every single activity; however, our visit to the American Civil War Museum in Gettysburg was my favorite part,” said John Marulanda, a level five student from Colombia. “I think it was a very important experience that in this trip I could improve my vocabulary and my confidence to express myself in English.”


A-ESL stuents and staff are pictured during a tour the Gettysburg battlefield.


B-  (L to R) ESL student Xiaolei Sun; student Lkhagvatsetset Purevdorj; student Munkthuya Tsambasuren; ESL program coordinator Shereen Almadhon;  student John Marulanda; and ESL instructor Elizabeth Johnson participate in a hands-on chocolate making presentation at the Hershey Story Museum.

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.