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

March 16, 2015

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


From Beautiful Beaches to Alaskan Glaciers, Degree Gives Graduate Opportunity to See the World

From Beautiful Beaches to Alaskan Glaciers, Degree Gives Graduate Opportunity to See the World

Shay Rideaux has been able to quench her wanderlust, working in hospitals located from St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands; to Anchorage, Alaska, after graduating from the Memphis Campus and becoming a certified surgical technologist. 

Shay first got a taste for exploring new locales when she was stationed in England while serving in the U.S. Air Force as a surgical services specialist. After leaving the military, she decided that she’d like to travel the country working as a surgical technologist, but she was told by a travel staffing agency that she needed to back up her military experience with education and certification in order to find work in the field. “It’s a rarity for [employers] to accept military training,” Shay explained. “Even though you get schooled within, people on the outside don’t qualify that. They want you to be AST [Association of Surgical Technologists] certified.”

Using her Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits, Shay enrolled at National College and transferred a number of her credits from another college to help expedite her program.  After earning her degree and becoming certified in the field, she was offered a job by the hospital where she had completed her clinical rotations, but she chose instead to accept short term assignments working as a certified surgical technologist in hospitals throughout the country. “I had a moose that came and visited me at work [in Anchorage],” she recalled with a smile. “[I was] getting experiences that a lot of my friends never thought they would have or never even dreamed about.”  

After working in travel assignments for several years, Shay recently accepted a permanent position in Memphis working at Methodist Hospital Germantown, but no matter where she’s working, Shay’s passion for the field of surgical technology never wavers. “The surgical tech is the stronghold of the operating room. If I was to do this the rest of my life until the day I die, I would be happy with that because there’s nothing else that I can see myself doing,” Shay stated. “National College changed my life by giving me the essential things that I needed to get to where I needed to be. It was the gateway to where I am today.”  

A- After working in the U.S. Air Force as a surgical services specialist, Shay Rideaux used her Post 9/11 G.I Bill benefits to earn her degree and become certified as a certified surgical technologist.

B- Shay had the opportunity to see new places like St. Croix, U.S.V.I. working in hospitals throughout the country during short-term assignments through a medical travel staffing agency.

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

Akron Area Students Enlightened by Exhibits at Psychology Center

Akron Area Students Enlightened by Exhibits at Psychology Center

Late in 2014, Akron Area Campus instructor Stephanie Cameron took her Psychology and Critical Thinking classes to visit the nearby Cummings Center for the History of Psychology. The Cummings Center maintains several exhibits on the history of psychology, including exhibits on topics and experiments featured in the students’ textbooks.

Radu Spinant and Marshall Ruf particularly enjoyed the interactive exhibits. They participated in an experiment together called “Pattern Talk,” where one partner, the talker, creates a pattern with simple colored shapes and must describe the pattern to the other partner, the listener, who then attempts to recreate the pattern. Only the talker can talk, and neither partner may see the other’s work until the task is over. Radu and Marshall performed the experiment twice. Of the first attempt, Radu said, “It was horrifying; it didn’t look anything like it. I had things on the wrong side.” The second attempt went much more smoothly. Radu and Marshall both noted the implications of the experiment for good communication. “You have to be as clear as you possibly can; each person has to understand the terminology.” said Radu. “What you say and what other people understand is two different things,” agreed Marshall.

Veatrice Smith, a student in the Critical Thinking class, commented that she enjoyed the center’s exhibits so much, she was planning to bring her kids. She was especially entranced by many of the original artifacts on display, including an immigration test once used at Ellis Island and Stanley Milgram’s shock box. “I was not expecting the actual machine to be there,” Veatrice said.

The trip was a great opportunity for the students to see and interact with the world of psychology they had previously only read about.

A- Akron Area students visited the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology. (Front row; left to right): Stephanie Cameron (instructor), Shannon Henderson, Christina Kumse, Zecharial Kendricks, Aleece Collins, Henry Brown; (back row; left to right): Candyce Thornton, Radu Spinant, Marshall Ruf, Jerry Colbert, Anton Rugley.

B- Students Radu Spinant (seated left) and Marshall Ruf (seated right) participate in the “Pattern Talk” experiment during a class trip, while student Jerry Colbert looks on.

Campus Staff Attend Trade Show to Enhance Networking Opportunities

Campus Staff Attend Trade Show to Enhance Networking Opportunities

The Martinsville Campus of American National University recently participated in the 2015 Fast Track Trade Show sponsored by the Martinsville Henry County Chamber of Commerce. This premier event is held annually to allow area businesses and organizations to showcase their products and services and to promote social interchanges between the participants and the public. ANU was among 130 businesses and organizations that staffed a booth for the occasion, which recorded nearly 4,000 people in attendance.

The campus staff greeted visitors and offered a history of American National University and a description of programs at the Martinsville Campus. Department chair Pam Van Nutt’s Preparatory Computing class visited the trade show to view the newest computer technology in their product offerings.

Visitor Samantha Moore spotted the ANU booth and stopped by to share that her daughter Jessica Moore was a graduate. “My daughter attended American National University and is working and loving her job,” said Samantha. “She speaks very highly of her education received from the University.”

“It provides a great opportunity to network with businesses, find out about employment opportunities, and invite people to our upcoming events,” said career center director Sheree Spencer of the trade show. “The Trade Show allows us to meet a large number of people at one time,” added director of admissions Barbara Rakes. “I especially enjoyed speaking with area veterans and telling them about ANU and our Blue Ribbon Grant.” 

Admissions representative Kim Myers (right) speaks with visitor Amy Delancey (left) about courses in ANU’s accounting program. 

Loreatha Stanback – Director of Health Care Education – Cincinnati Campus

Loreatha Stanback – Director of Health Care Education – Cincinnati Campus


Loreatha Stanback – Difference Maker at the Cincinnati Campus


Director of health care education

Instructor of medical assisting courses


American National University faculty member since 2013


Has five years of experience working as a medical assistant and more than ten years of experience as an educator

Holds an associate degree in medical assisting, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health care management, and a master’s degree in project management


“The information that I have learned as a medical assistant gives me the opportunity to pay it forward because someone took the time to teach me and to show they cared, and now I can do the same.

“My students know they are able to come to me for the assistance needed for their understanding, but they are here to learn and I challenge them to look for the answer to any question first because I feel giving the answer to the question is an easy way out and they may then only remember the answer long enough to pass a test.

“My favorite moments are when I see my students graduate and become the successful adults I know they can be.

“The best thing about being a American National University faculty member is knowing I have the ability to make a change in a student’s life that maybe no one else can, and that is the gift of knowledge.”

Director of health care education Loreatha Stanback is a Difference Maker at the Cincinnati Campus.

Student Duo Epitomizes Teamwork

Student Duo Epitomizes Teamwork

Sometimes it pays to work together. That is what Columbus Campus students Akemi Marquez and Teshena Ackerman have discovered, as they have worked on a number of different initiatives together on campus. Academically speaking, Teshena tutored Akemi for her accounting class, and as a result helped her improve her grades, and consequently her overall academic performance, substantially. In addition, Teshena and Akemi have worked together on the Student Activities Council (SAC), collaborating on ways to improve student participation and planning campus events. “We’ve been motivating each other,” Teshena said.

Before coming to American National University, Akemi managed her own cleaning business. Although appreciative of the knowledge she gained from that experience, it also taught her that there was a lot she didn’t know about running a business. Feeling overwhelmed, she decided to go back to school and study business so she could get more training in accounting and information technology—two areas in which she struggled while running her cleaning business. After following up on a recommendation from a friend, Akemi enrolled at National, where she enjoys the small class sizes and learning environment. “It’s like a small community, and the teachers make it fun,” she said. Upon graduation, she would like to take another stab at business ownership. 

Teshena came to American National University after getting laid off from several jobs. She wanted to get a degree so she could obtain more stable work for herself. Teshena chose to pursue a degree in business, but after enrolling, she found that she also liked accounting and is now working on a double associate’s degree in business administration-management and accounting. She appreciates American National University in many of the same ways that Akemi does, such as the small classes and availability of the faculty and staff. “We both have a love for this school,” Teshena said.

Akemi (left) and Teshena (right) encourage one another as they pursue their business degrees. 

Dean's List Student Has Big Plans for Her Future

Dean's List Student Has Big Plans for Her Future

“It’s never too late to better yourself or your life,” said Kimberly Spraker, a medical assisting and pharmacy technician student at the Lynchburg Campus. Recently being named to the Dean’s List, for completing the term with a minimum 3.5 grade point average, was the first of many accomplishments that the future holds for her.  

Kimberly’s career journey started as a childhood dream to be in the health care field, so it made perfect sense for her to pursue a career in something that she had always dreamed of doing. Having spent most of her life helping take care of family and friends, Kimberly gets great joy out of caring for others, especially when it comes to the elderly and children. “At the end of the day I want to do work I enjoy and love, not just something that pays the bills,” she explained.

As a mom working a full-time job as a 911 dispatcher, self-discipline has been the key to Kimberly’s success. “Going to school is hard, but you have to get up, come to class, and put in the work because when you are able to graduate and begin a career in something you love, all the work will be worth it! This will allow you to show the world and your children that you can do anything you put your mind to,” she said.

Support from family and friends, as well as maintaining a mindset that her child is a reason to further her education, rather than an excuse not to, has motivated her to keep going. “My son loves to tell people that his mommy is in college,” shared Kimberly. “When I’m doing my homework at night, he will tell whoever is at home to be quiet because ‘mommy is doing very important homework.’” 

The ANU faculty members have been an encouragement to Kimberly in many different ways. “[General education instructor] Kristy Tatum helped me feel better about myself with math because math has always been a struggle for me,” stated Kimberly. “And [pharmacy instructor] Jane Wright was one of the major reason I chose pharmacy tech – she makes learning fun and interesting.”

But Kimberly doesn’t plan to stop at an associate’s degree. “I would like to have my bachelor’s in medical and health services management,” she said. “I have loved everything about my experience here. Going to a school where staff and teachers know your name really makes a difference in the overall experience.”

A- Kimberly’s grandmother, fiancé, son, and mother came to the Dean’s List ceremony to show their support as she was honored for completing the term with a minimum 3.5 GPA.

B- As a mom working full-time, self-discipline and the support of family and friends are the keys to Kimberly's success.

From Factory Worker to Registered Medical Assistant

From Factory Worker to Registered Medical Assistant

William Doan is the latest in a long line of Richmond Campus graduates who have earned certification as registered medical assistants (RMA) and found new careers in health care using the skills gained at American National University.  

After working in back-breaking and unfulfilling jobs in factories for most of his life, William made the decision to continue his education after his nine-year-old son told him that he wanted to be just like his dad and work in a factory when he grew up. “I said ‘Oh no, you aren’t.  You’re smart enough to go to school,’” William recalled.

When William’s son asked him why he had never gone to college, William explained that he needed to work to provide for his family, to which his son responded that financial assistance was available to help him get an education and find a better job. “I had to do it to set an example for him,” William said. “I had to show him how important college was, and I had always wanted to go back anyway.”  

A short time later, William enrolled at American National University where the small class size allowed him to get one-on-one attention from his instructors, including director of health care education Paula Beth Ciolek who he feels was instrumental to his success on the RMA exam. “She’s very knowledgeable about the information we needed to know to [pass] the RMA exam,” he stated.

Before he completed his program at National, William was hired to work as a field service representative for Calloway Labs, where he travels to addiction treatment clinics to conduct drug screenings. “Calloway Labs actually called the school [looking] for a male medical assistant. The career center director [recommended] me to do it and [so did] Paula Beth,” he explained.

William is proud of his new career working as part of a medical team that helps make a difference in others’ lives. “I felt like God had given me the purpose to help people, and what better way can you help people than being in the medical field?” he offered.

A- William Doan enrolled in the medical assisting program at the Richmond Campus after his nine-year-old son told him he wanted to be a factory worker just like his dad.

B- William is shown with director of health care education Paula Beth Ciolek, whose instruction helped him earn the valuable RMA certification.

Nursing Program Continues Record of Excellence

Nursing Program Continues Record of Excellence

Aristotle was quoted as saying, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” The Pikeville Campus is celebrating the accomplishments of yet another nursing class who have performed excellently in their studies. All ten graduates in the class successfully passed the National Council License Examination (NCLEX) to become certified Registered Nurses (RN), giving the class a 100% pass rate once again. 

Edith Owens, nursing instructor at the Pikeville Campus, commented that these graduates are examples of the dedication, determination, and intelligence required to complete the program.  ”I am very proud of the graduates and glad they have decided to further their education,” she shared. “These students made the sacrifices necessary to be successful, and it really paid off, as they all passed the exam on their first attempt.”

In addition to passing the exam, all of the graduates have successfully secured employment in their field of study before graduation.

Pikeville nursing graduates all successfully passed the exam to become Registered Nurses and secured employment in their field of study. (Front row; left to right): Melissa Bentley, Hannah Ratliff, Jacqueline Mollett, Marla Cantrell, Teela Clay, and Amber Slone; (back row; left to right): Shantayia Kiser, Tiffany Burke, Elmer Karczewski.

Graduate's Film Advances in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

 Graduate's Film Advances in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

Congratulations to Louisville Campus graduate Rodney Cox, whose short film “Open Up PTSD” will advance to the national level of the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, after previously taking top honors at the state level. 

A veteran of the U.S. Marines and Army Reserve who was sent to Kuwait just a few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Rodney wrote, directed, and also has a small part in the film. “I knew soldiers who experienced it,” Rodney said of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “It’s a real touchy subject. A lot of veterans don’t open up, so that’s the name of the short film—‘Open Up,’” explained Rodney. “It’s trying to get grown men to actually open up and talk to somebody, because they leave those emotions bottled up and they just explode or hurt themselves or hurt other people. I’m just trying to prevent that.”

In addition to his work on “Open Up PTSD,” Rodney’s passion for filmmaking has also led him to produce, direct, and star in the comedy “Calling Tyrone,” a web series that was selected for the Los Angeles Web Festival. He also worked on a futuristic film called “Hindsight 20/20,” which includes a scene that was shot in the Louisville Campus auditorium.

Rodney plans to put his business administration-management degree to good use as he builds his production company, Rizm Vision Filmz. “Education is power; it’s helped me to open my mind to different avenues and ways to go about doing things,” he explained.  

He plans to produce more documentaries about veterans and hopes that “Open Up PTSD” will encourage veterans who need help to ask for it. “Hopefully I can save a life or two,” he stated.  

Watch and share “Open Up PTSD” here (warning: film contains some profanity, alcohol abuse, suicide, and other issues those with PTSD often struggle with):

Louisville Campus graduate Rodney Cox's film "Open Up PTSD" is advancing to the national level of the VA's National Veterans Creative Arts Festival.

Lexington Campus Graduate Featured in KACCS Video

Lexington Campus Graduate Featured in KACCS Video

Jennifer Neisinger, a medical assisting and medical billing and coding graduate from the Lexington Campus, is featured in a new video that was just released by the Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools (KACCS). The video features a number of graduates and students from the association’s member schools, and it will be shared with legislators, employers, high school counselors, and others to inform them about career college education and the contributions that our graduates are making to Kentucky’s workforce. 

During the video, Jennifer, a veteran of the U.S. Marines, explains that she was hired from her externship at Bluegrass Family and Extended Care, where she now works as a registered medical assistant (RMA). Jennifer loves working in the practice because it gives her the opportunity to use all of the skills from her programs, caring for patients who range from 7 days old to 93 years old. “This is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Jennifer said regarding her new career.  You can read more about Jennifer’s education at American National University here:

Amy Masters, RN, the surgical services educator at Baptist Health Richmond who works closely with surgical technology students from the Lexington Campus during their clinical rotations, is also featured in the video. “I would recommend a career college,” she said. “[Career college students] will get that hands-on, daily education that they really need in order to go out and get that job.” 

You can watch the KACCS video here:

Jennifer Neisinger, a graduate of the Lexington Campus who is working as an RMA, is pictured during the taping of an informational video that was recently released by the Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools.

Student Enjoys Sharing Her Knowledge as a Peer Tutor

Student Enjoys Sharing Her Knowledge as a Peer Tutor

Jenna May Neakok, a student in the medical assisting program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, enjoys working as a peer tutor. Peer tutoring is a valuable service available at no additional cost to students at every American National University Campus.  

Jenna recently assisted fellow medical assisting student Crystal Scott with her Clinical Medical Assisting class by practicing taking blood pressure, pulse, and respiration readings. Crystal, a graduate of the business administration-management program, returned to American National University to gain training in the medical field. “I’m having fun being tutored, and it is helping me with improving my medical skills,” said Crystal.

“American National University is an exceptional school that ensures that the students who want and need a tutor, receive one at no cost to the student,” explained Jenna May. “I enjoy tutoring because what I have already learned at American National University I can share with someone else.”

Jenna May Neakok (left), a peer tutor at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, is shown practicing blood pressure readings with fellow medical assisting student Crystal Scott (right).

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.