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January 12, 2015

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Graduate Enjoys Serving Her Customers as the Voice of Cincinnati Bell

Graduate Enjoys Serving Her Customers as the Voice of Cincinnati Bell

As a fiber optics pre-install (FPI) agent, Kimberly Dunning works with Cincinnati Bell’s customers to assure that their fiber optics installation runs smoothly and to their satisfaction. “I’m the voice of Star Tek and Cincinnati Bell,” Kimberly said proudly of her work in the Star Tek call center, which provides customer service support to Cincinnati Bell.

Kimberly first joined the company as a customer service representative and was recently promoted to her job as an FPI agent. A graduate of the Cincinnati Campus’s business administration-management program, she feels that her instructors at American National University made every effort to help her attain the career success that she’s found. “My teachers—they always were available for me,” she recalled. “They really pushed me to make sure that I got to where I needed to be to get the job that I really wanted.”

The skills in technology that she gained at National are vital to her job. “I’m on the computer five days a week from eight to five every day,” she explained. “You need to have computer skills because if you don’t, you won’t [succeed]. It’s the way of everything now.”

In addition, her time working in the American National University career center as a federal work study student refined her professional development and job search skills, and it made her aware of resources available to her in the community, such as a program that she participated in through the Urban League that helped her maximize her career opportunities.

With the help of her career center director, Kim applied to a number of positions as she neared graduation. Star Tek/Cincinnati Bell was among several companies that offered her a job, and she feels that she made a wise choice accepting their offer.

At Star Tek/Cincinnati Bell, Kim’s supervisors are always willing to assist and support her and she feels that there will be many more opportunities for advancement with the company. She can even see herself working for the company until retirement. “I’m happy doing what I do,” she said. “I love my job.” 

A- Kimberly Dunning, a graduate of the Cincinnati Campus, was recently promoted to fiber optic pre-install agent at Star Tek/Cincinnati Bell.

B- Kimberly is pictured at the Cincinnati Campus graduation that was held in June 2014.

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Sandra Hutchinson -- Director of Student Services -- Charlottesville Campus

Sandra Hutchinson -- Director of Student Services -- Charlottesville Campus


Sandra Hutchinson – Difference Maker at the Charlottesville Campus


Director of Student Services


ANU staff member since 2012


Holds an associate degree in business administration from ANU


“As a graduate of ANU, I believe I relate to the students because I was once in their shoes – working, having a family, and furthering my education. I know the hard work, dedication, and sacrifices it takes to accomplish your goals. 

“What I admire most about our students is that they’re here to make better lives for themselves -- not just to have a job, but a career. 

“I am my students’ biggest advocate. I give them encouragement when needed and an ear when they need someone to listen to them. I want, as much as they do, to see them succeed, and I try to make it a pleasant experience for them by letting them know someone has their back.

“The best thing about being part of the ANU staff is how everyone comes together with the same goal in mind and that is our students. We all help our students -- from admissions getting them started, to our instructors teaching them the knowledge they need to succeed in their new career -- because they chose to attend ANU.”

Director of student services Sandra Hutchinson is a Difference Maker at the Charlottesville Campus

Husband and Wife Train for New Careers at the Princeton Campus

Husband and Wife Train for New Careers at the Princeton Campus

Jeff Lusk and his wife, Vanessa, were both in search of new career opportunities when he first learned about American National University through a local television newscast. After researching the school online, he called to schedule a tour of the Princeton Campus and encouraged Vanessa to come along with him.

After visiting the campus, Jeff, a veteran of the U.S. Army, enrolled in the medical billing and coding program using funding through the Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation program. Vanessa chose the pharmacy technician program using educational assistance provided through the United Mine Workers of America after losing her job in computer drafting due to the downturn in the coal mining industry.  

“We did it together,” Jeff explained of their new educational adventure.

After one term in their programs, both Jeff and Vanessa are enjoying their time as students at ANU. “Everybody here is pleasant; everybody here’s got a smile,” said Jeff, adding that Lucille Sisk is one of his favorite instructors. “She has the patience of an angel.”

“I just enjoy learning and seeing that I’m able to accomplish it, with their help,” added Vanessa. “They’re all very good; everybody here is.”

Both Vanessa and Jeff feel that the medical field will provide their family with a more stable future. “I know that the medical jobs are going to be there,” explained Vanessa. “I know I’ve made the right decision, and I’m happy with it.”

Vanessa Lusk and her husband, Jeff, are both training for new careers in the medical field as students at the Princeton Campus.

Graduate “Pays It Forward,” Guiding National College Externs

Graduate “Pays It Forward,” Guiding National College Externs

After graduating from the Danville, Kentucky Campus in 2011, Jennifer Layton has advanced in her career to become the office manager of Lexington Urgent Care. In her work, Jennifer keeps the office running smoothly and also works on the clinical side of the busy practice. “I really enjoy it,” Jennifer said. “It’s like a mini-ER; you don’t see the same thing every day.”

Jennifer was working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) when she decided to return to school to continue her education in the medical field. She enrolled in the medical assisting program at American National University, where she practiced phlebotomy, taking vitals, and other medical skills in a small, hands-on classroom setting. An externship and passing the certification test to become a registered medical assistant (RMA) were also vital components of her education that helped prepare her for career.

As she neared graduation, Jennifer worked closely with the American National University career center to help her find employment in her field. “They actually sat up an interview for me [at Women’s Care for the Commonwealth]; I was hired before I finished my externship,” she recalled.

Jennifer worked as a registered medical assistant in the OB/GYN office for several years before being hired by Dr. Nowar Soda when he opened Lexington Urgent Care. She was promoted to office manager earlier this year.

Lexington Urgent Care, which was recently named a Distinguished Community Employer by the Danville, Kentucky Campus, employs several other American National University graduates who Jennifer now supervises. The practice also regularly provides externships to American National University students, and Jennifer provides guidance to them as they prepare to enter the workforce. “They come in willing to get right to work,” Jennifer said of the American National University externs. “Their knowledge is great and they’re all doing really well.”

Jennifer is proud to give back to students after advancing in her own career, and she encourages others not to waiver from their goals. “It’s a great feeling,” she said of her career success. “Set your mind to it and just keep going.” 

A- Jennifer Layton graduated from the Danville, Kentucky Campus in 2011 and has advanced in her career to become the office manager of Lexington Urgent Care.

B- As office manager, Jennifer supervises the medical assisting staff and externs and works in both the administrative and clinical sides of the practice.

Madison Drug Recognized for Continuous Support of Health Care Students and Graduates

Madison Drug Recognized for Continuous Support of Health Care Students and Graduates

Madison Drug was recently named a Distinguished Community Employer by the Richmond Campus in recognition of its strong support of career college education. The pharmacy, which opened in Richmond just two years ago, has seen tremendous growth due to the personal attention and excellent customer service it provides. It also quickly became an invaluable partner to the Richmond Campus, offering externships and employment opportunities to American National University pharmacy technology students and graduates.  

Sheri Ingram, a graduate of the pharmacy technology and medical assisting programs at the Richmond Campus, worked as an extern at Madison Drug and was hired there as a certified pharmacy technician after graduating.  

“She’s done great,” said pharmacist Charles Abney of Sheri’s work. “Even in the initial process [during her externship], she was a super help, and of course that’s why we hired her.”

Dr. Abney feels that the externship is very beneficial to students, providing hands-on experience that helps them retain the knowledge that they need to successfully pass their certification test, as Sheri did. Certification is important because it helps demonstrate graduates’ proficiency in the field to employers. “If you are able to pass the test, it tells us where you’re at,” Dr. Abney explained.  

Sheri enjoys working with her customers and co-workers in the pharmacy, and she feels that her education from American National University put her on the path to career success. “I now have a road to walk down, instead of wandering around aimlessly,” Sheri said.

A- Richmond Campus career center director Cynthia Hansel is shown presenting the Distinguished Community Employer award to pharmacist Charles Abney of Madison Drug.

B- Sheri Ingram is one of many American National University students who have completed externships in the pharmacy at Madison Drug. She was later hired as a certified pharmacy technician by Madison Drug after graduating from the Richmond Campus.

Grandmother and Grandson Share a Love for National College

Grandmother and Grandson Share a Love for National College

Lexington Campus student Dakota Woolums is a self-described ‘computer guy.’ “I’ve always had a fascination with not only working with computers but actually working ON them,” he stated. “I started out tinkering with our home computer, eventually dismantled it and put it back together; my parents freaked out – but they saw I had a true gift.” After taking computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) classes in high school, Dakota’s passion for working with computers was off and running. “I began upgrading our home computer, then friends’ computers; the more I explored, the more I loved it,” he said.

Dakota studied CADD after high school but soon decided to leave college. “It was obvious I was not headed where I wanted to go,” he explained. “I enjoyed it, but I didn’t LOVE it. So, with cautious blessing from my parents, I withdrew from college – taking time to figure out how to pursue my dream.” Dakota faced health issues that had him in and out of hospitals, but it led to a discovery of his love for the medical industry. “I quickly decided my ultimate dream would be to work in a hospital and ride shotgun over their computer systems,” he said. “Now all I had to do - find where to get the proper training!”

As often is the case, enrolling at American National University is a family affair. Dakota discussed his determination to find a new college with his family and learned his grandmother was a 2013 American National University graduate. She informed him that National may have exactly what he was looking for – and the pieces started to fall into place. Dakota is now enrolled in the network administration program and has his dreams firmly in his sights. “I immediately felt like part of the family here,” he stated. “I love the small classes and the focused training. This will take me where I want to go!”

Network administration student Dakota Woolums found a focus for his computer passion within the health care industry.

Information Technology Students Attain Industry Certification

Information Technology Students Attain Industry Certification

Three information technology students from the Florence Campus recently passed the CompTIA Security+ certification exam and are now Security+ certified. With the encouragement of their instructor, Greg Seipelt, network administration student Elva Stull and cybersecurity students Chris Powell and Ken Huff sat for the exam. 

The Security+ certification is one of three CompTIA exams students at American National University may elect to sit for. “These students worked hard, completed their labs, and dedicated their time to prepare for this exam, and I am proud of them and Mr. Seipelt for a job well done,” stated Valerie Bowman, director of IT programs.  

Florence Campus IT program director Valerie Bowman (standing) is shown with students Chris Powell, Elva Stull, and Ken Huff (seated, left to right) who recently earned CompTIA Security + certification.

Career Fair Leads to Jobs for Three National College Students

Career Fair Leads to Jobs for Three National College Students

The Akron Area Campus recently hosted a career fair welcoming employers from both local and national businesses to the campus to seek out potential employees. Several students who jumped at the opportunity to lay out their personal and educational qualifications for employers were rewarded for their efforts.

Medical assisting students Veatrice Smith and Tahjanae O’Neal spoke with a representative from Hattie Larlham, a company that provides care services to individuals with developmental disabilities. After successful interviews, both students were pleased to be offered positions within the organization. Tahjanae has a sister who is disabled and felt she had personal experience relevant to the job. “It’s something I wanted to do,” she explained.

Accounting student Jennifer Jarosz spent time at the career fair talking to Janet McFarlin of accounting firm Donovan, Klimczak & Company. After the career fair, Jennifer stayed in touch with Ms. McFarlin to make sure she wasn’t forgotten. “It’s important to thank people for their time by sending notes or calling,” Jennifer says. “Don’t let those personal connections go dry; make sure recruiters remember who you are.” Her attempts paid off when she was hired by the firm. 

These three students made sure to get the most out of the career fair and encourage others to take advantage of events organized by the career center. “Recruiters are looking; take advantage of that,” said Veatrice Smith. “Have your résumé ready and dress to impress.” 

(L to R) Tahjanae O’Neal, Veatrice Smith, and Jennifer Jarosz all have new jobs as a result of connections made at a recent Akron Area Campus career fair.

Campus Helps Families in Need Have a Happier Christmas

Campus Helps Families in Need Have a Happier Christmas

In the weeks prior to Christmas, the Martinsville Campus got into the holiday spirit by giving back to those less fortunate. Faculty, staff, and students contributed to a successful holiday food drive to help families in need in the Martinsville-Henry County community. 

Collection bins were placed around campus prior to Christmas break, and students and staff helped sort the collected food items to be delivered to the local chapter of the Salvation Army. “It is wonderful that students are willing to help others during this busy time of year and contribute to a worthy cause,” campus administrative assistant and student activities council (SAC) coordinator Lisa Kendrick commented.   

(L to R) SAC coordinator Lisa Kendrick, career center director Sheree Spencer, and student Brittany Cathey helped pack up food collections for the Salvation Army.

Leadership Award Recipient Continues His Education in the Health Information Management Program

Leadership Award Recipient Continues His Education in the Health Information Management Program

When James McFarlane relocated to the Dayton area, finding a job was much harder than he expected it to be. “I had a lot of business experience, and I figured that when I moved here I’d be able to pick up a job real quick” he recalled. “Instead, I moved here right about the time that everything started taking a down turn, and it was very difficult.”

He became interested in the pharmacy field while helping to care for his relatives. “I just decided it was time to go back to school for something in the medical field, because the medical field can land you a job pretty much anywhere,” he explained.

After visiting the Dayton Area Campus, James enrolled in the pharmacy technician program. “When I decided to come back to school, I was looking at a lot of different schools,” he explained. “I am really happy that I chose National; they have been fantastic. The teachers, the faculty, the student services--they’ve all been wonderful.”

James, a U.S. Air Force veteran, excelled at National, receiving the Leadership Award during the 2014 commencement ceremony and earning the Distinguished Studies Grant due to his high score on the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Proficiency Profile. He also served as a tutor and a federal work study student at the campus.

After earning his degree and becoming certified as a pharmacy technician, he has re-enrolled in the health information management (HIM) program at National to further his education in the medical field. “It will prepare me for the job that I want and to move up and advance,” he said of the HIM program.  “I’m very happy that I came here.  It’s done very well for me, so far.”

A- James McFarlane, a U.S. Air Force veteran, earned an associate's degree in the pharmacy technician program at the Dayton Area Campus and has returned to American National University to continue his education in the health information management program. 

B- James is shown accepting the Leadership Award at the 2014 Dayton Area Campus graduation ceremony.

Distinguished Instructor Receives International Accolades

Distinguished Instructor Receives International Accolades

The Columbus Campus has many good reasons to be proud of faculty member Doug Lewis. He possesses a long list of educational and professional accomplishments and holds nine degrees, including a Master of Business Administration, a PhD in health services administration, a Juris Doctor, and a Doctor of Audiology degree. In addition to his work as an audiologist and a lawyer, he teaches a number of different courses at the campus, where he enjoys a great rapport with the students, staff, and faculty. “The only way you can improve is to become a content expert in as many things as you can,” he has said. 

Doug can now add another achievement to his long list of accomplishments. He recently received the Joel S. Wernick Award for Dispenser Education at a recent convention of the International Hearing Society held in Palm Springs, California. The convention involved an examination of products and services pertaining to hearing health care from over fifty companies, as well as a variety of educational sessions on the topic. The Dispenser in Education Award is named for the late Joel Wernick, who held a PhD in auditory physiology from Stanford University and was a professor, researcher, and author. Doug, whose interest in audiology grew from his love of music, was honored to be the recipient of the prestigious award.

This recognition is yet another representation of the professionalism and exceptional expertise that Doug has been bringing to the campus in the more than five years that he has been a faculty member. During those five years, Doug has also received the Outstanding Achievement Award from American National University and has been recognized as a campus Difference Maker.

Instructor Doug Lewis was the recipient of the International Hearing Society’s Joel S. Wernick Award for Dispenser Education.

Medical Assisting Student Completes Pharmacy Tech Program, Keeps Moving Ahead

Medical Assisting Student Completes Pharmacy Tech Program, Keeps Moving Ahead

Contessa Scott was a stay-at-home mom with a passion to help people. Encouraged by her husband, she decided to put that passion into action and enrolled at American National University’s Lynchburg Campus, pursuing a medical assisting major and a pharmacy technician minor. She chose ANU after hearing that the instructors had work experience in the fields of study she was interested in. “I knew the day of orientation that I had made the right decision,” she affirmed. “Mr. Baker [Lynchburg campus director] talked about how he knew we all had busy lives, but his door would always be open for help or encouragement.”

She continues to love ANU for many reasons. “Once I started my classes, my support system grew, with fellow students and instructors persistently encouraging me to keep reaching for my goals,” she explained. “All of my instructors have been wonderful, and I would definitely recommend ANU. You should go where you can feel like a part of a dynamic family.”

The pharmacy technician externship Contessa completed was a great experience for her and an encouragement for her to keep moving ahead. Having now passed the exam to become a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT), she is excited about beginning her medical assisting externship in February. 

After graduating, Contessa hopes to return to ANU and obtain her bachelor’s degree in health care management and eventually to open her own assisted living facility. She feels the organization, time management, and communication skills she is gaining in her roles as a video conference proctor and a federal work study student at the campus, in addition to her studies, will be a great asset to her as she embarks on her future career. 

When asked what she likes most about American National University, Contessa responded, “The understanding that everyone’s situation is different, but the staff and students still encourage you,” further adding that, “ANU has given me the knowledge, skills, and encouragement to have the ambition for success.”

Student Contessa Scott has ambitious goals for her medical assisting and pharmacy technician degree. 

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.