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January 26, 2015

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Degrees Help Graduate Achieve Successful Paralegal Career

Degrees Help Graduate Achieve Successful Paralegal Career

Louisville Campus graduate Patti Sisco Hess has built a career that she’s passionate about, working as a paralegal for some of the top attorneys in the Louisville & Knoxville areas. “I’ve got lots of experience in lots of different areas of law,” said Patti, whose duties as a paralegal include interviewing witnesses, new client consultations, preparing files, and being at the attorney’s side during a trial.

Although she’s found career success today, she wasn’t sure which direction she wanted her career to take when she first came to American National University in 2002. “I woke up one morning and [told my best friend] ‘I’m going to enroll in college today,’” recalled Patti, who was tired of the low pay, erratic hours, and unfashionable uniform that she wore working at McDonald’s. 

After reviewing the many program options available, she enrolled in the legal secretarial program. As a survivor of domestic abuse, she wanted to learn more about the justice system in order to help other victims. After completing that program, she earned a second associate’s degree at National with a double major in business administration-management and accounting.

As a young mother, Patti juggled responsibilities at home, work, and school, but she found that her instructors at National supported her every step of the way. She also learned valuable lessons in accountability, recalling that one instructor made her take a test even though her son was in the hospital. “He taught me that just because I have things going on in my life does not mean that the rest of the world stops,” she said.

Patti began her career working as a secretary in a legal office, where she continued to broaden her knowledge and responsibilities, eventually moving into a position as a paralegal. “I’m the type of person that once I get everything under control and I’m comfortable with what I’m doing, I say, ‘Give me more. I want to know more,’” she explained. “I ended up climbing my way up.”

With her unquenchable thirst for knowledge, it’s no surprise that Patti, who later transferred and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from another institution, plans to continue to advance in her education and her career. “I want to go to law school. That is absolutely my dream and my passion,” she stated.  “American National University helped me see that if I put my mind to it, I can do it.”

A- After graduating from the Louisville Campus, Patti Sisco Hess has advanced in her career to work as a paralegal for some of the top attorneys in the Louisville and Knoxville areas.

B- Patti is pictured with business department chair Theosious Fuqua, an instructor who supported her throughout her programs at National and who she has remained in contact with for over 10 years.

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East Tennessee Medical Group Provides Externship and Employment Opportunities

East Tennessee Medical Group Provides Externship and Employment Opportunities

Recently, East Tennessee Medical Group, located in Alcoa, Tennessee, was presented with National College’s Distinguished Community Employer Award. ETMG is one of the area’s largest health care groups, with over 40 physicians across ten specialties, and growing.  

It is the belief of ETMG that by bringing together multiple specialties, as well as x-ray and laboratory services, patients can be offered faster and better service. It is through this vision that National College’s Knoxville Campus medical assisting students completing their externships at ETMG have gained a vast array of experience. “I have worked in endocrinology for 18 years, and working with diabetics is my heart’s passion, but the six weeks that I worked at ETMG clinic brought out the ‘trauma junkie’ in me,” said graduate Raquel Adams, who completed her externship there. “I was excited to go to my externship every day; I didn’t know how exciting family medicine could be.” 

ETMG has hired several National College graduates, and nurse supervisor Kathy Payne is impressed by the skills with which they come equipped. “National College students assisting in quality patient care at ETMG, either during their externships or as hired employees, bring with them a great deal of training, education, and skill,” she said. “It has also been a pleasure to work with the professional staff of National College."

Knoxville Campus director of healthcare education Barb Neblett (left) presents the Distinguished Community Employer Award to ETMG nurse supervisor Kathy Payne. 

Cincinnati Campus Job Fair Connects Job Seekers with Employers

Cincinnati Campus Job Fair Connects Job Seekers with Employers

The Cincinnati Campus recently held a job fair that brought students, graduates, and other job seekers from the community face-to-face with a number of local employers. During the event, Hyde Park Health Center, Horseshoe Casino, Walgreens, Aerotek, Graceworks, and representatives from a variety of other businesses offered information regarding positions they had available. 

Rocky Shabazz, an employment specialist from the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati who participated in the job fair, said that he felt that the event provided a valuable service to the community. “I think it’s a great thing for people in the community because sometimes people are just not aware of where to go to look for work,” he said. “It’s very key that [job seekers] make contacts, make connections, and build relationships,” he advised.

Tiya Beavers, a student in the medical assisting program, spoke with human resource representatives from several health care companies. “I loved the job fair; I actually had an interview with Black Stone Health Care, so I’m very excited,” she said. “I feel like it will be great experience in the medical field.”

A- Horseshow Casino Cincinnati recruiter Tamiko Ware (right) speaks with a job seeker during the Cincinnati Campus job fair.

B- Urban League employment specialist Rocky Shabazz is pictured with campus director Michael Holmes at the Cincinnati Campus job fair.

Quadrilingual Student Pursues MBA

 Quadrilingual Student Pursues MBA

Virginia is a long way from Mongolia, but Gereltuya “Tuya” Gonchig has found a sense of home at the American National University Roanoke Valley Campus. She initially enrolled in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, but after completing it last fall, she felt confident in her English skills and decided to continue on her educational journey at ANU by enrolling in the MBA program. 


Tuya’s goal is to one day work in top management for an international company, and with the education and experience she is gaining, she is well on the way. She attended a Russian high school in Mongolia and then earned a bachelor’s degree in business computing from the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany, where she lived for nine years. 


Before coming to America, Tuya worked as the assistant to the CEO of a mining exploration company in Mongolia and later as the human resources manager. She was already fluent in Russian and German, in addition to her native language, but it was the English language she most wanted to master. “English is very important, especially in the workplace,” she explained. “In Mongolia, the mining sector is now in a developing process. This sector offers many opportunities to get a job in international companies, and English is the most important [factor].”


She wanted to study English in the United States and was drawn to ANU based on the recommendation of friends and family members who have also participated in the campus’s ESL program. Tuya is glad she heeded their advice and is very happy with her experience at ANU, especially regarding the faculty and staff. “This is one of the best experiences of my life,” she shared. “The instructors always have time to hear about our concerns and really care about the students, even beyond our studies. For people who are new here in the USA, especially people here for the first time, it can be very difficult, but the instructors make us feel secure and safe, that we could go to them any time.”


She is also pleased with the courses she has taken so far in her MBA program and has found the course material, as well as the perspectives shared by her other classmates, to be enlightening when compared with her own business experiences. “The MBA program is especially interesting because it touched on my own work experience,” she explained. “It’s very useful to see why things are the way they are and how they can be improved; to see another view and get new ideas.”


A-Tuya Gonchig improved her English skills in the ESL program before moving on to the MBA program.


B- Tuya hopes to work in top management for an international company.

Workshop Participants Learn How to Protect Themselves from Hackers

Workshop Participants Learn How to Protect Themselves from Hackers

There was a full house in the Lynchburg Campus computer lab last Wednesday night, as community members gathered to learn more about internet security, including tips on what to watch out for and how to get help.

IT director Pamela Hooper led the workshop and shared her four rules of internet safety: you’re never 100% secure; if it doesn’t look legit, don’t click; defend yourself; and find a good computer repair technician. She also shared hints on how to keep smartphones and tablets secure from malicious attacks.

Community member Pat Deacon attended the workshop and found that it offered practical advice she could use. “I didn’t know very much about this, and I found it very useful,” she shared. “I’ll definitely go home and use some of this on my own computer.” Her husband also attended the event and commented, “I’ve taken other computer classes, but this one was the best; it actually made sense!”

Pat Deacon and her husband learned many useful tools for protecting their home computers against malicious attacks.

A Leap of Faith Propels Student to His Dream Career

A Leap of Faith Propels Student to His Dream Career

Lexington Campus student Jeremiah Mitchell has his future all ironed out thanks to American National University’s radio and television broadcasting training. His long-term aspirations are becoming a reality, and his contagious enthusiasm is proof that you can make your dreams come true if you’re willing to take risks. 

Jeremiah was a forklift operator with a local manufacturing company when he began to realize there must be something better for him. “I had a solid future with the company, but I had this nagging feeling all the time - I wanted something more – something I loved,” he explained. “My fascination with electronics, software, cameras, video production – that is where I wanted to be. I felt so strongly about my future career choice that I resigned from my job and started looking for training in the industry.” 

Jeremiah was inspired to check out National by a friend who had been through the same program. “Before I knew it he had his own studio and was doing video productions for clients,” Jeremiah said of his friend. “I’ve tried working for someone else, but I want my own business.” 

His dream is to produce both videos and stills for a wide variety of clients, custom tailoring them to the clients’ specific needs. “This will keep my work fresh and challenge me – keep me at my creative best,” he explained. “When you start out, you have to establish your name and your work, so I plan on doing a fair amount of free work. Great work speaks for itself and word-of-mouth is the best advertisement you can have.”

Jeremiah’s exuberance about his future is reflective of his drive and determination. “I have big plans for the future, but I’m taking it one step at a time,” stated Jeremiah, who has his eye on enrolling in the business administration-management program next. “My time here has been wonderful – everyone is so helpful, dedicated to our success, and always available. I’m learning my craft every day, and that is preparing me for a wonderful career!” 

Student Jeremiah Mitchell resigned from his job to pursue his dream of owning his own video production studio.

Student Inspires Husband and Sister to Continue Their Education

Student Inspires Husband and Sister to Continue Their Education

Chelsie Davis created a legacy of education and career success for her family when she recently inspired her husband, Eric Davis, and her sister, BreeAnna Jarboe, to enroll in the medical assisting program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus.

Chelsie first came to American National University in 2013 and enrolled in the pharmacy technician diploma program because she wanted to help her family become more financially stable. “I was tired of struggling and living paycheck to paycheck,” she explained.

Although she was nervous about returning to school, her success in the pharmacy technician program gave her the confidence that she needed to continue her education in the medical assisting associate’s degree program. After seeing her success, and hearing about the great experience that Chelsie was having at National, BreeAnna and Eric both enrolled in the medical assisting program, as well.

“American National University just welcomed me here,” recalled BreeAnna, a recent high school graduate, who sat in on a class with Chelsie before enrolling. “I like helping people so I thought medical assisting would be the way to go,” added Eric.

Chelsie, Eric, and BreeAnna are committed to supporting one another in any way that they can as they prepare for careers in the medical field. “There have been a lot of times that I wanted to give up,” said Chelsie. “If it wasn’t for these two and my teachers, I would have quit a long time ago.”

A- Chelsie Davis (center) inspired her husband, Eric Davis (right) and her sister BreeAnna Jarboe (left) to enroll in the medical assisting program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus.

B- Family members Chelsie, Eric, and BreeAnna provide support to one another as they all work towards earning medical assisting degrees.

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.