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May 25, 2015

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Graduates Prepared to Contribute to Community's Workforce

Graduates Prepared to Contribute to Community's Workforce

On Wednesday, May 13, the Indianapolis Campus Class of 2015 took the stage of the Indiana War Memorial to celebrate their accomplishments as friends and family members proudly cheered them on.

Commencement speaker Adam Collins, deputy mayor for economic development of the City of Indianapolis, also applauded the graduates for their achievements and reminded them that they were helping to build a brighter future for their community, as well as for themselves. “Not only are you celebrating your academic accomplishments, but also you’re embarking on the next step of your career, pursuing greater financial security, and helping to build our city of Indianapolis into a world class place to live, work, and raise a family,” he stated.

Deputy Mayor Collins reported that in 2014 almost 12,000 new jobs were created in Indianapolis, many in the areas of health care and technology. “All of you here, whether you’ve pursued a degree in medical assisting, in network administration, health information management, pharmacy technician, business accounting, or any other degree that gives you the know-how and the skills to work in today’s knowledge-based economy, are going to play a pivotal role in the success and growth of this city for decades to come,” he said. “Thank you very much for your work. Thank you for your dedication, and thank you for investing in yourself in order to make our city a better place to live and work.”

Following Deputy Mayor Collins’s address, several outstanding graduates were presented with awards:  Janai Stewart—Achievement Award; Olaitan Atbatele—Leadership Award; Remella O’Steen—E. M. Coulter Award; and Aminata Diop—Joseph E. Hurn Award.

Charity Rodgers, a health information management graduate who is working at St. Francis Hospital, was also presented with the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award. Watch for more on Charity’s career success in an upcoming issue of the National News.

A- The Indianapolis Campus Class of 2015.

B- Commencement speaker Adam Collins, deputy mayor for economic development of the City of Indianapolis, applauded the graduates for their achievements and for the contributions that they would make to their community's workforce.

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Dreaming Big!

Dreaming Big!

Have you ever wondered what you will be doing when you turn 73? For some good ideas what to do, just ask Lenore Castillo. Lenore is a 73 year old recent graduate of the Master of Business Administration program and an upcoming Roanoke community entrepreneur.

In 2014, Lenore returned to school to study for her MBA. She dreamed of starting her own business but felt her business skills needed attention. One year later, Lenore found herself walking across the stage at the Roanoke Valley Campus’s commencement ceremony with her MBA in one hand and a business plan developed by her MBA peers in the other hand.

Lenore plans to open an after-school tutoring and daycare facility in Roanoke City. The new business, called the Educational Enhancement Academy (EEA), will provide tutoring services for young students ages six to sixteen, as well as daycare operations that will serve families with children ages two to twelve.

Although she knew she had a good start with her previous work experience as an educator, social worker, and minister, Lenore wanted to ensure her success with a solid business management education. “I couldn’t think of starting this business without first knowing business,” she explained.

Lenore’s dream touched the hearts of her MBA classmates, and her business vision became a class project. Her peers all devoted many hours assisting with the project, determined to help the Educational Enhancement Academy become a reality. They researched the best real estate options to locate the business, designed a website for the EEA, and wrote a business plan for grant funding.  “Lenore’s project was an inspiration to us that we can make our dreams come true and help others,” said classmate Saba Madhoun.

A- Dr. Annette Chamberlin (left) presented the MBA class’s project, a business plan for Educational Enhancement Academy, to graduate Lenore Catillo.

B- The MBA class was inspired by Lenore’s dream to open a business and dedicated their time and effort to helping her achieve it.

State Representative Urges Graduates to “Never Stop Learning”

State Representative Urges Graduates to “Never Stop Learning”

The Honorable Martin Daniel, Tennessee State Representative for District 18, addressed the 34 graduates of the Knoxville Campus on Saturday, May 16 at Bearden High School. “Never stop learning, because learning keeps you from being bored and gives you a fuller, more interesting life,” said Mr. Daniel. “Learning will keep you motivated and happy. Continue learning because it is the ‘fast track’ for success.” 

Mr. Daniel added that anyone who does not continue to learn will “lose out to competitors who have a passion for learning,” and for people in business, “there is no end to education” because “the process of learning [occurs one’s] whole life!”

Mr. Daniel also encouraged the graduates to continue learning in their personal lives, such as on matters of raising their children, maintaining their home, and personal finances. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow,” said Mr. Daniel, quoting Ghandi. “Live as if you would live forever.”

At the commencement ceremony, Steven Miller received an associate’s degree in business administration-management as well as the Joseph E. Hurn Award for high academic achievement. Steven, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, will soon transfer his associate’s degree credits to another university to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Steven enjoyed his time at National and in particular commented that he appreciated how the “institution works well with veterans.” 

Cherida Bolland and Uneek Turner both received pharmacy technician diplomas. “It was wonderful. Everyone was helpful,” Cherida said of her experience at National College. She is planning to gain some experience in the pharmacy field, then return to the campus next year to build on her medical training in another program, perhaps medical billing and coding. Uneek added that her educational experience was wonderful and spoke highly of her instructors, especially Sabrina Davis who received the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award. Uneek considered Sabrina a good mentor and especially appreciated how she was able to relate to students, having graduated from National herself. Uneek is already employed by Walmart as a pharmacy technician and is planning to attend pharmacy school to continue her education in the field. 

Other graduates who were presented with awards were:  Michael Gipson— Achievement Award; Tamika Gary—Leadership Award; Raquel Adams-Russell—E. M. Coulter Award; and Tameshia Williams—M. A. Smythe Award.

A- State Representative Martin Daniel provided the commencement address for the Knoxville Campus graduation, encouraging the graduates to make education a lifelong process.

B- Graduate Uneek Turner received her pharmacy technician diploma and is planning to attend pharmacy school to continue her education. 

Cincinnati Students Form Future Leaders Club

Cincinnati Students Form Future Leaders Club

Despite the demands of school, study, and home life, a group of Cincinnati Campus students are dedicating one hour per week to learning the craft of leadership. These students have formed the Future Leaders Club and are exposed to guest speakers, discussions, and service opportunities designed to hone their leadership knowledge and skills.

"It is refreshing to see how much these students are drawn to the subject of leadership," said campus director Michael Holmes. "Every one of these students is putting themselves in a better position for long-term success." 

The Cincinnati Future Leaders are learning what leaders do and how they think, which will prepare them for future career situations they may encounter.

Several Cincinnati students recently formed a campus Future Leaders Club to hone their leadership skills and awareness.

A Detour Did Not Deter this Determined Student

A Detour Did Not Deter this Determined Student

The old saying, “Life doesn’t always go as planned” is one that Lexington Campus student Julia Maupins can fully attest to. “I was on my way to fulfilling my dream of a medical career and I had to withdraw after my first term at ANU,” she shared. “I had everything planned out for the two-year period I would be in the medical assisting program and it all went away. I was crushed. I had to change jobs and ended up in a very stressful call-center job, but I had no choice. My family comes first, and I did what I had to do.”

Roadblocks and detours come from out of the blue and can test the mettle of anyone they happen upon. “I had always wanted to work in the medical field and my career path was set – and this really put a dent in my confidence,” Julia explained of having to put her education on hold. “I had to wait another four years to come back and I wondered if I still could do it. But one of my favorite things about ANU is everyone cheered me on and told me I COULD do this. And now I’m graduating in July with my associate’s degree in medical assisting.”

What first drew Julia to ANU eventually became part of her success story. “I love the small classes and the hands-on instruction. The staff and faculty inspire and encourage us to succeed, and they have also brought back my confidence,” she said. “I’m so excited about learning my craft and being able to apply my training in a new career!”

Julia was also motivated to return to ANU and complete her education because of her children. “They have watched me overcome obstacles, study, and succeed,” said Julia. “They know they can also succeed and reach their goals.”

Student Julia Maupins was determined not to give up on her dream of a career in health care and returned to ANU after a four year hiatus to finish her degree program.

Cleveland Area Campus Graduates Set Sail Into New Careers

Cleveland Area Campus Graduates Set Sail Into New Careers

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” These words of wisdom from human rights activist Malcolm X were the first of several famous quotes shared by attorney Deborah Loughner during her inspirational commencement address to the Cleveland Area Campus Class of 2015.

During the ceremony, the graduates celebrated their educational achievements and many celebrated recent job offers, as well. Heather Sills, the recipient of the campus’s Leadership Award, became a registered medical assistant and certified pharmacy technician as a result of her training at American National University, and she recently began working as a certified pharmacy technician at Walgreens. “I’m still moving on,” she shared. “I’m [working] on my bachelor’s now online with ANU. After that, I’m going into a physician assistant program.”

Accounting program graduate Julie Burch, a recipient of the Joseph E. Hurn Award, gave kudos to her instructors for her success in her program. “The instructors were so one-on-one with you. You didn’t have to worry about big classes and not understanding,” she explained.  “They were there to help you the whole time. It was wonderful.”

In addition to Heather and Julie, the following graduates were recognized with awards:  Ethel L. Burnett—Achievement Award; Tara Lynne Moore—Joseph E. Hurn Award; and Charlene Little—M. A. Smythe Award. 

As Ms. Loughner concluded her inspirational address she closed with a quote from American author Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

“I hope that as you sail off from American National University that you explore, dream, and discover,” Ms. Loughner added. “This is your new beginning that you have earned.”

A- Graduate Heather Sills, who earned certification as a registered medical assistant and certified pharmacy technician, is shown accepting the Leadership Award during the Cleveland Area Campus graduation ceremony.

B- The Cleveland Area Campus Class of 2015.

Louisville Campus Graduates Celebrate Reaching the Finish Line

Louisville Campus Graduates Celebrate Reaching the Finish Line

On Friday, May 15, graduates from the Louisville Campus crossed the stage to accept their diplomas at Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church, completing an educational journey that campus director Vincent Tinebra likened to a long distance race. “There are easy times and there are hard times, but you have to keep your eyes on the finish line,” he explained during his opening remarks. 

As an example of the tenacity of the graduates of the Class of 2015, Vincent pointed to the dedication of U.S. Army veteran James Ziegler, who is often referred to as “The Mayor” on campus. Despite family responsibilities, major health issues, and his inexperience with computer technology, James remained steadfast in his quest to earn his business administration-management degree. “He persevered and came back this last term to complete his degree. Good job Mayor, we are going to miss you!” Vincent said. 

Commencement speaker Jacqueline Austin, an educational leader and retired administrator from Jefferson County Public Schools, also praised the graduates for seeing their educational goals through to the end. “It doesn’t really matter how you started that journey to pursue your higher education,” she stated. “We’re here today to celebrate and honor you for finishing strong, for finishing successfully.”

After sharing insights from her successful career in education, Ms. Austin urged the students to be lifelong learners and not to let anyone dissuade them from pursuing their dreams. “Be determined to have a full life and a successful career—the very career and the very life that American National University has prepared you for,” she advised.

Later in the ceremony, graduates from the diploma, associate’s, and bachelor’s degree programs accepted their diplomas. Phillip Thurman, a graduate who earned his MBA through American National University Online, also participated in a special hooding ceremony in recognition of his accomplishment.

In addition, the following outstanding graduates were recognized with awards:  Theotis Pope and Cody Childress—M. A. Smythe Award; Christina Sapp, Rae’Chel Glenn, and Sylvia Allen—E. M. Coulter Award; Kevin White and Vanessa Enriquez-Ruiz—Joseph E. Hurn Award; Rhonda Lee Kelly—Mary P. McGurn Award; Delrico Farris—Leadership Award; Lachelle Ashby—Achievement Award.

Following the ceremony, Christina Sapp, a recipient of the E.M. Coulter Award, said that she plans to relocate to Michigan where she feels that employment opportunities will be abundant with her new degree and certification as a registered medical assistant in hand. “I’m the first in my family to graduate from college,” she said proudly.  “I’m going to get into a career instead of just a job—something I love, something I want to do—and there’s no beating that.”

A- The Louisville Campus Class of 2015.

B- U.S. Army veteran James Ziegler (left) overcame several obstacles to earn his business administration-management degree thanks to the support of his fellow students, as well as campus staff and faculty, such as instructor Dr. Theosious Fuqua (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.