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December 07, 2015


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SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

Externship Performance Earns Graduate Full-Time Position

Externship Performance Earns Graduate Full-Time Position

Nora Murillo was cleaning rooms at Massanutten Resort, when a friend spoke of her experience at American National University’s Harrisonburg Campus and encouraged Nora to give it a shot. Nora, a mother of four children, had already been toying with the idea of improving her career opportunities. “I wanted to be a role model for my kids,” she said of her ultimate decision to go back to school.

“Going back to school and earning my degree was the best thing I have ever done.”

At first Nora chose to study business management, but her love for helping people and making them happy pulled her toward medical assisting. “When I was taking phlebotomy, and one-on-on drawing practice, I thought to myself, this is where I belong,” Nora stated when reflecting back on her time at ANU.

She now works for Sentara Rockingham Memorial Health Center, where she travels between three locations. She received this position after impressing the staff during her externship with them. “From the beginning, Nora was a great asset to the team, always helpful and cheerful. We knew we wanted to hire her full-time,” her supervisor, Jennifer Sandy, explained.

Nora’s future goals for her medical career include becoming a Spanish translator and working as a delivery nurse. “Being a mother, going back to school and earning my degree was the best thing I have ever done,” she stated. “To those thinking of going back – do it, the sacrifices are worth the rewards.”

A- Medical assisting graduate Nora Murillo went back to school to improve her career opportunities and to be a role model for her four children.

B- According to her supervisor, Jennifer Sandy (right), Nora was offered a full-time position after proving herself during her externship.

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PRINCETON
Students Gain Hands-On Experience While Helping Community

Students Gain Hands-On Experience While Helping Community

As part of their ongoing efforts in community involvement, staff and faculty members from the Princeton Campus sponsored a booth at the 14th annual Women’s Expo, held by the Princeton Mercer County Chamber of Commerce. The two-day event featured numerous attractions for the thousands of area residents in attendance.

This year, medical assisting students April Stanley, Megan Morgan, Carmella Akers, and Shavonne Garrett volunteered their services to perform blood pressure checks for individuals visiting the ANU booth. “Working at the Women’s Expo gave me needed experience working with the public and more confidence in my blood pressure taking techniques,” said April. She also enjoyed working side-by-side with the friends she has made during the progression of her program at ANU.

“Working at the Women's Expo gave me needed experience working with the public and more confidence in my blood pressure taking techniques.”

Community events, such as this, provide students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience in interacting with patients while also practicing their medical assisting skills. It also provides a beneficial health service for the community participants. “They were very pleasant, professional ladies,” commented community member John Taylor, Jr. upon having his blood pressure checked at the ANU booth.

Medical assisting student April Stanley assessed the blood pressure of community member John Taylor, Jr. at the ANU booth.


DANVILLE, KENTUCKY
Guest Speaker Gives Students a Glimpse into their Upcoming Career

Guest Speaker Gives Students a Glimpse into their Upcoming Career

Community involvement is an important part of each student’s program at American National University, bringing professionals from the field in to classrooms as guest speakers and offering students an inside glimpse into a professional setting during field trips to businesses and health care facilities, for example.

At the Danville, Kentucky Campus, students in instructor Lesa Moore’s Terminology of Body Systems class recently heard from guest speaker Angie Miller, who works as a medical assistant at Garrard County Clinic. She told the students about her work in the clinic, which includes performing drug screenings and genetic testing.

“It was very informative and [we learned about] real life situations that we will encounter as medical assistants.”

Following the presentation, student Jacquelyn Hudson expressed her appreciation of hearing about Ms. Miller’s job experience first-hand. “I really enjoyed Angie’s speech and company,” said student Sandra Banks. “She was very informative and she was easy to talk to [when we asked] questions.”

“It was very informative and [we learned about] real life situations that we will encounter as medical assistants,” added her classmate, Autumn Crandall.

Instructor Lesa Moore (seated, far left) is shown with guest speaker Angie Miller (2nd from left) and her Terminology of Body Systems class.


LEXINGTON
Lifelong Dream is set to Come True after Graduation

Lifelong Dream is set to Come True after Graduation

Finding the keys to a dream career did not come easily for Theodore Brown, but his perseverance is paying off. He will soon be finishing his degree in business administration – management at the Lexington Campus, and his enthusiasm is, to say the least, palpable. “I bounced from job to job and was never satisfied. I even tried real estate, but I was miserable and I quit,” he explained. “I had a business plan, but I was not going to make it happen living paycheck to paycheck. A friend of mine was already attending ANU and suggested I visit the campus. The rest is history!”

Theodore did his research and knew that insufficient management training is one of the top reasons new businesses fail to succeed. He hopes to collaborate with his friend, who is enrolled in the multimedia production program at the campus, to establish a combined service-based business with live on-site radio broadcast.

“I'm ready to get started and ANU has given me the tools I need to jump right in.”

“I’ve matured during my time at ANU. I’ve gained the tools I need to be a successful business owner/manager, but I’ve also become responsible,” Theodore shared. “I love it here at ANU, and that has helped me learn and achieve everything I need to run my business.” He expressed his appreciation for his instructors and the campus staff members for motivating him to succeed. The support and encouragement he feels he has received from everyone, both within the university and outside, especially from his mother, has helped carry him through. “I’m ready to get started and ANU has given me the tools I need to jump right in. This is proof that dreams DO come true!”

Theodore Brown found the management skills he was looking for at ANU and plans to use them to open his own business.


ROANOKE VALLEY
Medical Assisting Student Strives For Success

Medical Assisting Student Strives For Success

“I was working dead end jobs,” said Ashlee Holy Elk Face, a medical assisting and medical billing and coding student at the Roanoke Valley Campus.  As a single mom with a son who is eight years old, she wanted to ensure a better life for both of them. 

“I wanted a career,” she stated. “I wanted a job that was meaningful.”  Although she was unsure of where to begin her research of universities, through a friend and strong support system, she decided to explore the possibilities that American National University had to offer.

“I wanted a career; I wanted a job that was meaningful.”

Ashlee attributed her choice to enroll in both the medical assisting and medical billing and coding programs to conversations with multiple instructors and advisors. Those same instructors brought their field experience and support into the classroom, further solidifying her decision. 

“Most of the instructors work in the field, so when they come in to teach bookwork, they also tell us about their experiences or take us on field trips to their place of work,” said Ashlee. “They work with you on anything.” 

On a memorable class trip Ashlee enjoyed, M.J. Williams, director of health science education, took the students to an acupuncturist and physician specializing in alternative Eastern medicine.  

In addition to taking care of her son, working full time at the LewisGale Regional Health System in Salem, Va., and finishing one of her final classes at American National University, Ashlee is also currently completing an externship part-time at Blue Ridge Pain Management as part of her final requirements for earning her degree.

With much preparation and determination, Ashlee is set to graduate in March 2016 with hopes that her new degrees will help expand her opportunities with her current employer.

Ashlee Holy Elk Face is a medical assisting and medical billing and coding student at the Roanoke Valley Campus. She is employed by LewisGale Regional Health System. 


FLORENCE
Graduate Sees a Bright Future Ahead After Being Hired as a Paraoptometric

Graduate Sees a Bright Future Ahead After Being Hired as a Paraoptometric

Frankie Regensburger, a graduate of the medical assisting program at the ANU Florence Campus, has a clear vision of her future after being hired as a paraoptometric at Metzger Eye Care. In her work, she assists the optometrists in the practice by charting patients’ medical histories, taking blood pressure readings, conducting retinal OCT scans, performing eye pressure and visual acuity testing, and much more.

Frankie first became interested in working in optometry after meeting the staff of Hudson Eye Care during a health fair at ANU. She inquired about externship opportunities and was accepted to work in the practice as an extern a short time later. 

“I like this field a lot; I'm still learning so much.”

During her externship, Frankie was able to use many of the skills in patient care that she gained in her program at ANU, and she also got hands-on experience with the specialized equipment that is used for vision care.

Although Hudson Eye Care didn’t have an opening for Frankie at the end of her externship, the practice contacted Metzger Eye Care and, after discovering that they were looking to add a paraoptometric to their staff, Dr. Hudson gave her a glowing recommendation which helped her land the job. “I had a job before I graduated,” Frankie stated with a smile.

Frankie finds it hard to describe the sense of fulfillment that she gets when she helps a child or adult see clearly. “It’s almost tear-jerking,” she explained. She recently enjoyed the opportunity to participate in continuing education seminars with the Kentucky Optometric Association, and she hopes to eventually become certified as a paraoptometric. “I like this field a lot,” Frankie stated. “I’m still learning so much.”

A- Medical assisting graduate Frankie Regensburger found her passion for optometry during the externship she acquired after networking at a campus health fair.

B- Frankie’s excellent performance during her externship prompted her supervising doctor to offer a glowing recommendation on her behalf, which led to her being hired at another practice.


CINCINNATI
Graduate Makes Mid-Life Career Change after Graduating From ANU

Graduate Makes Mid-Life Career Change after Graduating From ANU

Paula Willoughby was recently hired as a registered medical assistant (RMA) by Lindenwald Medical Associates after earning her associate’s degree at the ANU Cincinnati Campus. In her job, she works in the front office of the practice, checking patients in and out, scheduling appointments, ordering prescriptions, and working with electronic medical records through the Epic system. “This place is a perfect fit,” Paula stated enthusiastically. “It has been super—my dream job.”

Paula bad just been laid off from her job in shipping and receiving and was in search of a mid-life career change when she first came to ANU. “After I lost my job, it was time to think about working smart, not hard, because that was hard work,” she recalled.  She checked out a number of local schools before enrolling at American National University. “The whole program was really good,” she explained. “A lot of schools, when I was investigating them--the credibility wasn’t there. That was important—to have something substantial that would back me while I’m in this career.”

“This is an investment in yourself, and you're worth it.”

While at ANU, Paula used every available opportunity to study, and she feels proud that her dedication to her program has paid off. “This has been amazing to me because I did something for Paula,” she shared. “This is an investment in yourself and you’re worth it.”

Paula Willoughby enrolled in the medical assisting program at ANU after being laid off from her job.


CAMPUS SUPPORT SERVICES
Eric Rector – Director of Library Services – Difference Maker

Eric Rector – Director of Library Services – Difference Maker

American National University’s new director of library services, Eric Rector, has always had a passion for library services with a focus on the technological improvements that make researching and learning easier and more accessible for students. Eric has worked in library services for more than 15 years at a number of university libraries. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in writing from Missouri State University and earned his Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Iowa.

“I really enjoy being involved in all aspects of library services. The structure of higher education continues to change rapidly, and technology plays an ever larger role in how libraries deliver resources and services to our students. In my experience, our students are extremely engaged and eager to learn, despite the other commitments and activities they are juggling in addition to taking classes.”

“The structure of higher education continues to change rapidly, and technology plays an ever larger role in how libraries deliver resources and services to our students.”

“Since coming to American National University in July, I have really enjoyed establishing a new vision for library and research services. We are now able to provide chat services during the week for students, answer questions via email and text, and are excited about helping the students learn to find and evaluate information in a meaningful way. With the changes we are making, we are enabling students to use library services and databases to find answers without mediation, while also increasing their access to help from the library, both in real-time and asynchronously.”


CLEVELAND
Campus Director Elected to OACCS Board of Directors

Campus Director Elected to OACCS Board of Directors

Cleveland Area Campus director Andrea Fricks has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools. 

Andrea has more than 10 years of experience in campus leadership, curriculum development, and student services. “Andrea Fricks will be a strong advocate for career colleges and schools and our students, who are essential to Ohio’s skilled workforce and economic recovery,” said Kent A. Trofholz, executive director of the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools.

“Andrea Fricks will be a strong advocate for career colleges and schools and our students, who are essential to Ohio's skilled workforce and economic recovery.”

Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in human services/management and a master’s degree in education/adult education and training, as well as an MBA with a concentration in management. She is also a candidate for a doctorate of education in organizational leadership.

Cleveland Area Campus director Andrea Fricks has been elected to the OACCS Board of Directors.


MARTINSVILLE
Guest Speakers Educate Students and Public on Affordable Care Act

Guest Speakers Educate Students and Public on Affordable Care Act

Representatives from Enroll Virginia and Virginia Organizing recently held a public health care forum on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at American National University’s Martinsville Campus. Twenty-five community members and students attended the event.

Enroll Virginia is a non-partisan organization formed to educate Virginians about the health insurance marketplace and other health insurance options. Virginia Organizing describes itself as a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.

Elizabeth Burton, a community health education provider with Enroll Virginia, began the forum with a presentation on provisions of the Affordable Care Act. She explained that a person’s eligibility to receive government subsidies to pay for the ACA depends on the size of the family and the individual’s income compared to the Federal poverty level and that the costs for coverage may vary depending on the where the person lives and the type of plan selected.

“The information provided was important for people who are not enrolled in a plan […]. The penalty for not having health insurance is high.”

Ms. Burton further shared that there is a Medicaid gap affecting low-wage workers and some individuals receiving benefits from other government programs. Nik Belanger from Virginia Organizing picked up from there and spoke to the attendees about Virginia Organizing’s efforts to expand Medicaid in Virginia.  Mr. Belanger said his organization works to include people in Virginia who have been not been heard and that if Medicaid is expanded in Virginia, more Virginia tax dollars will be going to help Virginians instead of these dollars paying for expansion in other states.

Campus Director John Scott attended the forum to greet visitors and to learn about changes to the Affordable Care Act.  “We were happy to host representatives from Enroll Virginia and Virginia Organizing at our campus to educate our students, as well as the general public, on the intricacies of the Affordable Care Act,” he stated. “The information provided was important for people who are not enrolled in a plan through their employer or through Medicaid. The penalty for not having health insurance is high.”

(L to R) Ellen Cabiness, Virginia Organizing intern and American National University Online student; Nik Belanger, Virginia Organizing Southside organizer; and Elizabeth Burton, Enroll-Virginia community health education provider participated in the health care forum on the Affordable Care Act.


RICHMOND
Medical Field Offers Secure Future for Graduate and Her Family

Medical Field Offers Secure Future for Graduate and Her Family

Shauna Barrett made the decision to return to school to help create a brighter future for her children. After earning her degree in medical assisting at the ANU Richmond Campus and becoming certified as a registered medical assistant (RMA) and a certified medical assistant (CMA),  she has found a career that she loves working at Berea Family Practice, thanks to the knowledge and skills that she gained at ANU. 

“It made a huge difference,” Shauna said of her education at ANU. “I don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen in the future, because I have a medical degree. [Medical offices are] always looking for somebody to help out with the front office or clinical. Either way, I can get a job.”

“I don't have to worry about what's going to happen in the future, because I have a medical degree.”

While in her program, Shauna felt that she could always count on the support of her director of health science education, Paula Beth Ciolek. “Paula Beth made sure that we knew everything we need to,” Shauna stated. ”The teachers—they’re amazing.  Any time you were struggling they were there [to help you].”

Although it wasn’t easy going to school while raising a family, Shauna feels proud to have set the bar high for her children. “My daughter looks up to me,” she shared. “She [was] excited to come see me graduate.”

Richmond Campus graduate Shauna Barrett earned certification as a registered medical assistant (RMA) and a certified medical assistant (CMA) and is working at Berea Family Practice after completing her medical assisting program at ANU.


LYNCHBURG
Campus Celebrates New Program with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Campus Celebrates New Program with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Community members, local business leaders, and Congressional staff members joined the Lynchburg Campus faculty, staff, and students for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Dec. 8, in collaboration with the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, to celebrate the launch of the campus’s newest academic program. Students enrolling at the campus for the winter term, which begins Jan. 4, will be among the first to have the new phlebotomy/electrocardiogram program available as a career program option.

“We’re excited to give students another option for getting into the medical field and to build opportunities for employment in the area,” said director of health science education Sue Coleman.

“It's a growth field that helps our employers fill positions they already have a need for.”

The new phlebotomy/ECG program will prepare students to sit for the National Certified Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT) and National ECG Technician (NCET) exams. Mastery of these two tasks is a key component of working as a medical support employee at most health care facilities. In addition to classroom training, students will have opportunities for hands-on experience through labs and externships.

“With the addition of this program, I see workforce development that fits the needs of employers in our community,” said Mike Lewis, the Chamber’s director of sales. “It’s a growth field that helps our employers fill positions they already have a need for and will help keep a ready workforce in the pipeline.”

A- Campus and community members gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the addition of a new phlebotomy/electrocardiogram program to the Lynchburg Campus’s career training options.

B- (L to R) Director of admissions Nancy Wilcox, campus director Bill Baker, and director of health science education Sue Coleman look forward to welcoming students into the new phlebotomy/ECG program.


 
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.