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April 11, 2016


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SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

Graduate is All Smiles After Earning MBA at ANU

Graduate is All Smiles After Earning MBA at ANU

As a treatment coordinator at PureSmile, an orthodontic and dentistry clinic located in Shanghai, China, Fang Zhang is using the business acumen that she gained in her MBA program at the ANU Roanoke Valley Campus as she works with doctors and patients from around the world.

“My studies in the U.S. at ANU definitely helped with getting this job,” Fang stated. “It is a very high-end clinic. Most of the doctors are from abroad--like UK, US, Germany, Spain, [and] most of the patients are foreigners who are living in Shanghai.”

Earlier in her career, Fang was working as a project coordinator in China when she decided to continue her education. “During my work at Johanna Solar Solutions GmbH, I found out that there were a number of fields--financial management, marketing, business tax, and business organization-- in which I would like to improve my knowledge,” she recalled.

After moving to the U.S. and working as an au pair for a family in Roanoke, she enrolled in the MBA program at American National University.  In the program, Fang found that the real-life projects that she and her classmates worked on in conjunction with businesses and organizations in the community brought the concepts that she was learning in class to life.

“When you can apply subjects discussed during the lectures directly into practice, it is much easier to really understand the theory.”

“When you can apply subjects discussed during the lectures directly into practice, it is much easier to really understand the theory,” Fang explained. “Another positive thing is that all course participants are working on the same case; therefore, group discussions which also have a positive effect on the understanding of the course contents are possible.”

Fang also feels that MBA program director Dr. Annette Chamberlin played a big role in her career success.  “Dr. C [Chamberlain] is the greatest teacher I’ve ever seen,” Fang stated. “She is very passionate about teaching.”

In her work at PureSmile, Fang has a wide variety of duties, including building rapport with current and prospective patients and communicating treatment options with them.  She is also tasked with setting up contracts and assisting with financial negotiations; corresponding with insurance companies; and developing marketing materials for the practice.

“I'm so happy about finding this ideal job,” Fang said, adding that her education and experience have prepared her well to meet the challenges that the position offers. “The other exciting part is that I have a lot of new things to learn.”              

Photo A-Fang Zhang, a graduate of the MBA program at the ANU Roanoke Valley Campus, is working as a treatment coordinator at PureSmile in Shanghai, China.

Photo B-Fang has a variety of duties at PureSmile--from providing exceptional customer service to her patients to developing marketing materials for the practice.

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FLORENCE
Recent Graduate Encourages ANU Students to Be Proud of Their Accomplishments

Recent Graduate Encourages ANU Students to Be Proud of Their Accomplishments

David Cooper, a 15-year veteran of the Kentucky Army National Guard, recently graduated from the business administration-management program at the ANU Florence Campus with big goals for his future, including serving in public office. “I was already a leader in the military, and I felt that experience and a degree could benefit me in the civilian world,” David explained. “God willing, I hope to one day become Sergeant Major of the Kentucky Army National Guard and then possibly Governor.”

David first enrolled at ANU in 2011. He was taking a hiatus from school when he reconnected with the ANU staff, and returned to his program more determined than ever to complete his degree. “I had given up on being able to go to college. I felt like because I was married and had a child, there was no more time to attend college,” he explained. “But when they told me I was only two terms away from an associate’s degree, and a little over a year away from a bachelor’s degree, I decided to go for it.”

“I'm proud to be an ANU graduate; I hope you are as well.”

Thanks to ANU’s flexible class schedule, and the support that he received at ANU, David was able to overcome any obstacles that came his way. “When I worked 2nd shift the first time I attended, they scheduled all my classes in the morning.  Working the 12-hour swing shift now, the online courses [were] something sent from God to help me succeed,” he stated.  “The Florence Campus has a truly blessed staff that works hard to help students succeed, and I for one am beyond thankful they are in my life.”

David is proud to have earned his associate's degree at American National University, and he will be continuing his education at ANU to earn his bachelor's degree. He had this message for present and future ANU students: 

“When you graduate, hold your head up high; you’ve succeeded where most Americans fail.  Do not lose sight of where you came from.  Do not look down on others who haven’t done what you’ve done.  Instead, give them a hand up and encourage them to follow in your footsteps.  Don’t think…that someone’s degree from a traditional brick-and-mortar, well known, more expensive college is better than your degree.  If anything, they should be envious of yours because you worked harder for yours.  How? Because while they balanced school, and [deciding] what fraternity/sorority to join, and possibly a part time job, you balanced family, work, school, and if you’re like myself, military, church, and extracurricular activities for yourself and/or your children.  Maybe you also took care of a sick family member, or you were/are a single parent, or you had the added stress of owning your own business.  Regardless, you graduated with more stress than traditional college students and have done what less than half of Americans over the age of 25 have accomplished.  I tip my hat to you.  Now go out into the world, encourage others, and dominate.  I’m proud to be an ANU graduate; I hope you are as well.”

Photo A-David Cooper, a 15-year veteran of the Kentucky Army National Guard, recently graduated from the ANU Florence Campus with aspirations of becoming a Sergeant Major and serving in public office.

Photo B-Like many ANU students, David, pictured with his wife, Danielle, and their daughters, attended ANU while juggling work, military service, family responsibilities and more.


HARRISONBURG
Education Keeps Family Business Moooving Right Along

Education Keeps Family Business Moooving Right Along

When James Beckenstrater wanted to play a bigger role in the management of his family’s business, Mount Airy Dairy Farm LLC, he turned to the ANU Harrisonburg Campus to acquire the business skills that he needed.

Now, with just a few months left in his business administration-management program, Anita Andrick, James’ mother and owner of the farm, feels that James is thoroughly prepared to help manage the company. “He is prepared for a management position and he brings valuable insight into our company, because of the economic and legal aptitude that he obtained by going through his management, economics, and business classes,” Ms. Andrick stated. 

James received funding for his education through the dairy farm, and the funding was matched by the exclusive ANU Business Partnership Grant.  Due to the tuition assistance that the family business provided for James and its support of career college education, Mount Airy Dairy was recently recognized by the Harrisonburg Campus as a Distinguished Community Employer. 

“He is prepared for a management position,and he brings valuable insight into our company.”

“We are honored to receive this award,” Ms. Andrick said, “and we are very appreciative that American National University--Harrisonburg has taken the initiative to not only recognize businesses in the community, but also for their desire to build lasting relationships with us.”

Photo-(Right to left) Student James Beckenstrater and ANU Harrisonburg Campus director Wandile Maseko are pictured with James’ mother, Anita Andrick, and brother, Joe Beckenstrater, during the Distinguished Community Employer award presentation at Mount Airy Dairy Farm.


LYNCHBURG
Mother Passes ANU Legacy on to Daughter

Mother Passes ANU Legacy on to Daughter

Jessica Collins has found career success after graduating from the ANU Lynchburg Campus, and she recently inspired her daughter, Chelsea Laughlin, to continue her legacy as a student at American National University.

Jessica was a single mom working hard to support her three children when she decided that she had to find a better future for her family.  While visiting her children’s dentist, she noticed the Lynchburg Campus across the street, and when she finally decided to visit, her sister-in-law and her daughter Chelsea encouraged her to go for it.

“I wanted to provide a better life for my family and I wanted to feel better about myself,” Jessica recalled. “Chelsea kept saying ‘Mama, you can do it.’”

“This is a wonderful school. The instructors and friends you make are there for you.”

Right away, Jessica realized that she would succeed at ANU. Her instructors helped her when she was struggling, and motivated her to push forward and accomplish her dream of a better job. She made life-long friends on campus, and even today remains in close contact with several of her classmates. She also received support from student services who worked with her to find sources for financial assistance, including the ANU Business Partnership Grant, which matched the employee education benefits that she received from her employer, Courtyard by Marriott.

When she graduated in 2013, Jessica’s hard work paid off when she received a promotion into a management position with the hotel chain. The promotion came with a salary increase that doubled her previous income.  For the past eight years, she has enjoyed success in her job, and she is proud of what she has accomplished with her management degree from ANU.

Chelsea, who cheered Jessica on throughout her program, is now preparing to graduate from high school in May. With a 4.0 G.P.A., she has received acceptance offers from many major universities. She told her mom that she wanted to enroll at ANU because she saw how much the college had helped her. After meeting with admissions representative Nancy Wilcox, Chelsea is all set to follow in her mother’s footsteps, and will start her classes in the business administration-management program in August.

“This is a wonderful school,” said Jessica proudly. “The instructors and friends you make are there for you. No one ever gave up on me.”

Photo A-Jessica Collins (front) and her daughter, Chelsea Laughlin are pictured with ANU Lynchburg Campus director Bill Baker.

Photo B--Chelsea (left) is following in Jessica's footsteps as a student in the business administration-management program at the ANU Lynchburg Campus.


DANVILLE, VIRGINIA
Jeff Moore – Director of Admissions – Difference Maker

Jeff Moore – Director of Admissions – Difference Maker

Difference Maker Jeff Moore recently marked his 25th year working for American National University. He is currently serving as the director of admissions at the Danville, Virginia Campus. During his distinctive career at ANU, he has been recognized with nine awards for his contributions. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Indiana University.

“I enjoy helping guide students into the right career. For instance, I had a student come to me with long hair and hanging with the wrong crowd. Now he has a bachelor’s degree in business administration-management and is the general manager of a store.”

“I enjoy helping guide students into the right career.”

“The best thing about being part of the ANU staff is making a difference in students’ futures.”

From Danville Campus director Carlene Wilson: “Mr. Moore is an asset to ANU, and we are happy to celebrate this milestone with him.”

Photo-Director of admissions Jeff Moore (center) celebrates receiving his 25-year service award with his admissions team at the ANU Danville, Virginia Campus.


LEXINGTON
Air Force Veteran Lands in Surgical Technology Program

 Air Force Veteran Lands in Surgical Technology Program

Stephanie Stutzman is excited to be pursuing her degree in surgical technology at the Lexington Campus, and her story of how she chose ANU and the surgical technology field is full of twists and turns. “Everything I have accomplished in the past has led me to where I am today,” Stephanie stated. “My experiences are literally the sum-total of who I am and what I am preparing to do.”

Stephanie spent four years in the U.S. Air Force where she served as a bioenvironmental engineering journeyman. After leaving the military, she and her family settled in Michigan where she became a licensed massage therapist and operated her own massage therapy business. 

“ANU is a perfect fit for me--they are veteran-friendly, have great instructors and one-on-one assistance, and it just felt right.”

Later, after relocating to Kentucky, Stephanie enrolled at ANU where she is using her G.I. Bill benefits to prepare for a career as a surgical technologist. “ANU is a perfect fit for me--they are veteran-friendly, have great instructors and one-on-one assistance, and it just felt right,” she stated. “My admissions representative, April Stanley, was absolutely wonderful. The level of assistance here at ANU in all areas is unbelievable.”

In the future, Stephanie hopes to travel as a surgical technologist and eventually earn certification as a surgical first assistant. “You just take one step at a time and proceed one day at a time,” she shared. “It’s a wide-open field and demand is tremendous. I plan on making this my lifetime career.”

Photo-Stephanie Stutzman is pictured in the surgical technology lab at the ANU Lexington Campus.


KNOXVILLE
Mother Knows Best

Mother Knows Best

Charlene Hughes foresaw challenges approaching for her and her husband’s roles in the business that they own.  She began doing research regarding options for career training that would help her open a business in the future that would be less physically demanding.

As she was deciding which avenue would best suit her life goals, her son, Luke Evans, began working for the National College Knoxville Campus as an admissions representative. Together, Luke and Charlene looked at all the options available.

“I chose National College as the best option, because it addressed all of my needs.”

Since Charlene has several years of work experience in various industries, and has even worked with her husband in their own business, she was looking for more than a typical lecture hall environment. “I wanted very close relationships with my teachers where I could ask questions that pertained to my field of choice,” she explained.

After touring the Knoxville Campus with Luke, and seeing the small class size that National College offers, Charlene enrolled in the business administration-management diploma program.  She feels that she will be comfortable talking with her instructors in a one-on-one environment. She also appreciates that there will be time available in class to ask the instructors relevant questions and she will be given plenty of time to understand the answers.

Charlene feels National offers everything she needs to better her own life and the lives of her family.  “I chose National College as the best option, because it addressed all of my needs,” she said.

Photo A-Charlene Hughes enrolled at National College to help her transition out of the physically demanding business that she and her husband own.

Photo B-Charlene is pictured with her son, Luke Evans, an admissions representative at the Knoxville Campus.


 
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.