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April 20, 2015

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Encouragement from Mom Helps Graduate Find Career She Loves

Encouragement from Mom Helps Graduate Find Career She Loves

Richmond Campus graduate Amber Smith has always had a desire to help others, so she feels it’s a privilege to work as a patient relations assistant at the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center, one of the top cancer treatment centers in the country. “I work in oncology, so there are some very heart-warming stories,” Amber said. “My patients make me want to come to work every day. They’re the ones that make me love my job.”

Amber was hired by Markey after earning her degree at American National University and becoming certified as a registered medical assistant (RMA). Although she initially knew very little about the medical assisting field, she learned more about the career when her mother, American National University graduate Dora Smith, encouraged her to visit her alma mater. “I was just looking for something that I could get in and out of [quickly] and get a career for myself,” Amber explained of her attraction to the medical assisting program. “We did research here, and I did my own research, and I fell in love with it.”

As a recent high school graduate, Amber felt comfortable learning in the small classroom setting at National, where she developed both clinical and administrative skills. An externship at Kentucky One Urgent Care, where she worked side-by-side with several other National graduates, also gave her valuable hands-on experience in preparation for her first job in the field. “It gave me [experience in] the clinical side and administrative side,” she recalled. “It was one-on-one interaction with the physician and with the [office staff].”

Today, working as a patient relations assistant at Markey Cancer Center, Amber registers patients and performs scheduling, referrals, and much more. After achieving her career goal in just two short years, she encourages others to consider American National University for their own career training. “I would definitely recommend something in a two-year program,” she advised. “Just because it’s an associate’s degree does not mean you’re not going to get a good job. If it wasn’t for National, I don’t think that I would be where I am now. I would still be looking for jobs.”

A- Amber Smith developed skills in the clinical and administrative sides of the medical office during her medical assisting program at the Richmond Campus.

B- Amber found the medical assisting program at American National University to be a perfect fit for her because she could complete her program quickly to get started in her career caring for others.


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Microsoft Business and Entertainment Expo Brings Latest Technology to Campus

Microsoft Business and Entertainment Expo Brings Latest Technology to Campus

Recently, the Florence Campus hosted a Microsoft Business and Entertainment Expo which offered students and area residents the opportunity to try out some of the company’s newest technology. The event, which was held in collaboration with the Microsoft Store in Cincinnati, gave gamers a chance to try out the latest Xbox One games, like Halo and Just Dance, while business professionals practiced their skills using Windows 8 and other technology which can enhance their careers.

According to John Radenheimer, a Microsoft business specialist who assisted attendees during the event, one of the most popular demonstration areas was for the Surface Pro. “The neat thing about the Surface is that it’s a tablet, but it’s a computer. It does it all,” he explained. “You have all your legacy programs on it, yet it’s compact enough that you can take it on an airplane or to work, and it’s not oversized.”

Sarah Yocis, director of community development for Microsoft, said that her company welcomed the opportunity to bring their products to American National University, which is certified as a Microsoft IT Academy. “Being a partner of American National University, with their services and systems that they’re teaching, we like to showcase some of the newer devices that we have, so that the public can become more familiar with them,” she explained.

A- (Left to Right) Valerie Bowman, director of IT programs; George Hampton, senior director of IT programs; John Radenheimer, Microsoft business specialist; and Sarah Yocis, Microsoft community development specialist, are shown at the Microsoft Business and Entertainment Expo that was held at the Florence Campus.

B- Participants check out the features of the Surface Pro during the Microsoft event.

Lynchburg Campus Hosts Spring Job Fair

Lynchburg Campus Hosts Spring Job Fair

American National University's Lynchburg Campus recently held a mini job fair for students, graduates, and community members. Six employers participated, discussing job openings, accepting applications and résumés, and offering advice to job seekers.

The event also provided a great opportunity for local employers to network. Employers from all fields were on campus - from staffing agencies and technology, to medical and management. "This continues to be an excellent venue to meet and network with employers," stated Charles Guerin with the Virginia Employment Commission.

"I met with approximately 50 job seekers today, collecting 35 résumés and giving out instructions on how to fill out applications online,” said Shannon Devore with Adecco.

The Lynchburg Campus is gearing up for its larger spring career fair in June, planning for more than 20 employers to attend. These events provide valuable opportunities for members of the community, as well as students and graduates, to get face-to-face with local employers. “I saw the posting in the newspaper this morning and decided to stop by,” said Kathy, a community member. “Speaking to the ANU admissions representatives made me want to think more about furthering my education. I will definitely be here for the June event!”

A- Shannon Devore (left) speaks with Lynchburg Campus students about available job opportunities with Adecco.

B- More than 50 job seekers stopped by the recent job fair at the Lynchburg Campus.

Local Business Provides Career Opportunities for Students and Graduates

Local Business Provides Career Opportunities for Students and Graduates

The Cincinnati Campus recently presented Walgreens Pharmacy with American National University’s Distinguished Community Employer Award. Store manager Kevin Hoppins, store pharmacist Jason Dorsey, Cincinnati regional pharmacy supervisor Brett Kovalyak, and the regional store manager Sandy Reeves were all on hand to accept the award.

Walgreens has served the community for over 40 years in the Roselawn neighborhood of Cincinnati. The pharmacy’s presence in the neighborhood has not only brought health care, preventative care, and wellness to the community, but also employment opportunities for community members, including students and graduates of American National University’s Cincinnati Campus.

Over the years, Walgreens Pharmacy has given upcoming pharmacy technician graduates an opportunity to gain first-hand experience through externships and has offered employment opportunities upon graduation.

Store manager Kevin Hoppins began his career with Walgreens 13 years ago. "I am very honored to receive the award and happy to give back to the community I help serve," he stated. "We here at Walgreens are excited about the partnership with American National University and the opportunity to help pharmacy technicians begin their careers.”

In addition to providing externship and employment opportunities, Walgreens continually participates in campus health fairs, flu shot clinics, and job fairs.

Career center director Shantay Adams (center) and campus director Michael Holmes (far right) presented the Distinguished Community Employer Award to Walgreens regional store manager Sandy Reeves (far left), regional pharmacy supervisor Brett Rovalyak, and store manager Kevin Hoppins (2nd from right).

Students Earn Phlebotomy Certification

Students Earn Phlebotomy Certification

Shelly Hamilton, Cortney Reed, and Jenna May Neakok, three students from the medical assisting program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, are celebrating their new credentials after passing the exam to become nationally certified phlebotomy technicians (NCPT). The exam, which was open to American National University students, graduates, and the public, was given at the Danville Campus on April 4 and proctored by American National University graduate Rhonda Watkins and director of health care education Stephanie Slone.

As certification continues to become increasingly more important to employers in the medical field, credentials such as the NCPT can lead to expanded career opportunities and higher pay.  In order to qualify to sit for the exam, phlebotomists are required to complete 25 venipunctures and 5 capillary sticks. 

“I have gained more [career] options in my degree,” Shelly said as she celebrated her accomplishment. “The instructors made sure we had the study material to excel on the test.”

“I felt prepared and confident for the exam,” added Cortney. “I feel like I can accomplish anything now.”

Jenna May, who is on course to complete her medical assisting program this fall, said that she’s thoroughly enjoying her experience as a student at American National University. “The instructors at this location ensure that you receive the knowledge needed and used in the field that you have chosen,” she explained.  “After taking the phlebotomy exam, I was extremely excited that I passed. Even now, I’m pinching myself because it is a dream come true.”

(Left to Right) Cortney Reed, Shelly Hamilton, and Jenna May Neakok passed the exam to become nationally certified phlebotomy technicians.

Multimedia Production Program Students Attend Lexington Comic Convention

Multimedia Production Program Students Attend Lexington Comic Convention

Students in the multimedia production program (formerly radio and television broadcasting program) at the Lexington Campus recently had a chance to attend the Lexington Comic and Toy Convention as working media after obtaining press passes for the event. The convention, which is held annually in downtown Lexington, features actors, celebrities, and other professionals who work in the television and movie industry. 

During the event, the students got a chance to practice their interviewing techniques while talking with actor Verne Troyer, known for his role as Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies.   Academy Award nominated actor Eric Roberts gave them advice on how to succeed in the movie industry, and they also met WWE legend Ted DiBiase, “The Million Dollar Man,” who discussed how WWE wrestlers really do get injured during their performances. In addition, the students watched as a professional Adobe Photoshop expert worked his magic to create fantastic scenes. 

“The comic convention was amazing. I couldn’t believe all the work that goes into movies and television shows,” said student Steven Damron.  “It really opened my eyes. This is what I want to do with the skills I’m getting from American National University.”

”This was a great way for students to make contacts with people in the media industry,” added multimedia program director Bill Gray. “We learned so much about the video and photo effects that television and movies use.” 

A- Student Steven Damron (left) improvised a movie scene with an actor dressed as Batman.

B- Students in the multimedia production program at the Lexington Campus got the chance to interview actor Verne Troyer at the comic convention.

Graduate Finds Support and Inspires Others

Graduate Finds Support and Inspires Others

La’Shonda Martin has transitioned from working as a full-time mom to working as a full-time insurance specialist at American Homepatient after graduating from the medical assisting and medical billing and coding programs at the Nashville Campus.

La’Shonda made the decision to enroll at National College to create a better life for her family and to motivate others to do the same. “I wanted to set an example for my friends and family to go to college and get more education,” she recalled. “That’s basically the only way to better yourself; there’s no other way.”

While inspiring others in her circle, La’Shonda found support of her own from the staff and faculty at the Nashville Campus. “I really liked the family-oriented atmosphere,” she explained. “They help you stay goal oriented.”

After earning her degree and finding a stable career, La’Shonda feels that there will be many opportunities for advancement with American Homepatient, one of the largest home health care providers in the nation. “I was ready for this,” she said with a smile. “We have a better income, and the experience that I’m gaining here is really great. As long as you stay with it and have a goal in mind, you can get it done.”

Nashville Graduate La'Shonda Martin is working as an insurance specialist at American Homepatient.

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.