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June 06, 2016

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Radio Personality Gets His Big Break After Graduating From ANU

Radio Personality Gets His Big Break After Graduating From ANU

Tune in to Hot 102.5 FM in Lexington, Kentucky and you may hear ANU graduate Che’ Carr lighting up the air waves. “I’m an on-air personality for one of the biggest radio stations in Lexington,” said Che’ of his career at Cumulus Media.

Che’ began his career at Cumulus as an extern while he was a student in the multimedia production program (formerly radio and television broadcasting program) at the ANU Lexington Campus. He was hired by the company shortly thereafter, and soon advanced into his current on-air talent role. “My education has changed my life for the better,” he said. “I would not be where I am today without ANU.”

After working as a DJ in clubs and volunteering at a radio station early in his career, he found that he didn’t have the tools he needed to advance in the broadcasting field.  “I really wanted to be a personality.  I wanted to be a star,” he recalled of his decision to enroll at ANU. “I knew I had to go to school to do it.  So, I decided to become a student and luckily it was at a great school. It taught me a lot.”

“I would not be where I am today without ANU.”

At American National University, Che’ received hands-on training on the equipment that he uses in his studio today. “My instructor, [program director] Bill Gray, he knows all of the local radio and television station directors, promoters, and managers here in town…so I was learning from someone who wasn’t just here to instruct, but actually had the experience who could tell me “Hey, this is what you need to do”…and that was really beneficial for me,” he explained.

Che’ sees himself one day working as a program director or possibly in television, but for now he’s enjoying every minute of his life in the spotlight.  “I get to meet a lot of great people.  I get to meet a lot of celebrities. I get to do a lot of things that most people don’t get to do, “he shared. “Being a part of what makes this town great…and people knowing who you are, and recognizing you, and saying  ‘Hey…I heard you on the radio and that was fantastic’—that’s the best part of my job.”

Photo A-ANU graduate Che’ Carr is an on-air personality for HOT 102.5 FM in Lexington, Kentucky.

Photo B-Che’ is shown in the multimedia production studio at the ANU Lexington Campus where he received the hands-on training that helped him succeed in his career.

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Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton Welcomed As Commencement Speaker

Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton Welcomed As Commencement Speaker

On Thursday, June 2 graduates of the ANU Richmond Campus Class of 2016 was honored to have Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton serve as guest speaker of their Commencement Ceremony at First Baptist Church.

During her commencement address, Lt. Governor Hampton explained that her career has taken a number of twists and turns which were unexpected, but ultimately contributed to her career success.

“Be ready for those unexpected twists. Some of the jobs that I’ve had came out of the blue—I say it was God’s hand in the mix,” she explained. “Opportunity is going to come, and you don’t know what it’s going to look like. It could come in many forms, and it could be unexpected. You be ready.”

“Opportunity is going to come and you don't know what it's going to look like. You be ready.”

During the service, outstanding graduates were also presented with awards: Tonita Janinne Rose, Achievement Award; Lisa Bargo, Leadership Award; Sheena Pitman, E. M. Coulter Award; Jennifer L. Guier, Joseph E. Hurn Award; and Cindy Arbuthnot, Mary P. McGurn Award.

Cynthia Hansel, a graduate of the business administration-accounting and the administrative office professional programs, who has been a member of the staff at the Richmond Campus since 2009, was this year’s recipient of the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award.

Before coming to American National University, she worked as a housekeeper at Rockcastle Regional Hospital and as a production worker in a factory. “I always loved the idea of working in an office setting and interacting with people, and I knew that I would need an education in order to make that dream job come true,” Cynthia said. “Going to a large university was not a good fit for me.  I wanted to find a place where I could gain the necessary skills and knowledge to find my dream job. With the small classes and being able to take night classes--I found the perfect place here at American National University.”

Photo A-The ANU Richmond Campus Class of 2016

Photo B- Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton encouraged the graduates to be ready for unexpected opportunities during her Commencement Address.

Former Prisoner Of War Encourages Graduates to Go After What They Want

Former Prisoner Of War Encourages Graduates to Go After What They Want

On Wednesday, June 1, the ANU Parkersburg Campus celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2016 during its graduation ceremony at the Grand Pointe Conference & Reception Center. The campus was honored to have Jessica Lynch, former Private First Class in the United States Army and former Prisoner of War, as the commencement speaker.

Ms. Lynch, a home town hero, captivated the audience with her story as she explained that on March 23, 2003 her life was literally turned upside down. “What could have gone wrong, went wrong, and then some,” she shared. 

On this unforgettable day, her convoy was ambushed by Iraqi forces in Iraq when her unit wrecked into an 18-wheeler.  Although she was captured and sustained extensive injuries, she had no choice but to lay there suffering for nine brutal days until a team of US Special Forces rescued her.

“My favorite part of graduation was the guest speaker!”

Jessica told the graduates and their guests that faith and God helped her overcome the battle of her life. She shared that perseverance was also a big part of her not giving up hope. Although she knows not everyone’s story would be like hers, Jessica said she hoped that the audience could connect and relate in one way or another. She feels that willpower and determination can truly help individuals live fulfilling lives and accomplish many goals, no matter the obstacles they may experience.  She also encouraged the graduates to take one day at a time, but to go after what they want!

The graduates and their guests were spellbound by Jessica’s story, including Katharine Reynolds a phlebotomy + ECG program graduate. “My favorite part of graduation was the guest speaker!” she said.

Congratulations to the Parkersburg Class of 2016, including the following students who received awards in recognition of their leadership and academic excellence: Achievement Award – Kyna Hill; Leadership Award – Tyson Kemp; E.M. Coulter Award –Daphne Jarvis; Mary P. McGurn Award – Ashley Weaver; and Joseph E. Hurn Award – Alysha Weaver.

Photo A-Graduates from the Class of 2016 celebrated their academic achievements during the ANU Parkersburg Campus’s Commencement Ceremony.

Photo B-Commencement speaker Jessica Lynch (center) is pictured with instructor Dr. Mike Cox (left) and campus director Mechelle Drake (right) at the ANU Parkersburg Commencement Ceremony.

Martinsville Campus Holds Graduation Ceremony

Martinsville Campus Holds Graduation Ceremony

On Friday, June 3, the ANU Martinsville Campus held its graduation ceremony honoring 39 graduates with associate degrees and diplomas in the career fields of healthcare, business management, and computer technology.  Some graduates reflected on the challenges and obstacles they experienced in finishing their programs, and others expressed their contentment with employment opportunities obtained while enrolled or shortly after completing their academic study.

Graduate Dionna Jones shared information about her recent hiring as a medical assistant at Paths Medical Center in Martinsville.  “I was offered the job while I was finishing up my externship,” she said. Dionna expressed her appreciation for instructors Joan Blankenship and Sheilla Coplin for teaching her the skills that she needed in the workplace, and for their patience while she learned medical lab procedures.

“I was offered the job while I was finishing up my externship.”

Samantha Witt reflected on her employment at the ICSM Medical Center in Martinsville. “I enjoy my work.  I work in internal medicine with no pediatrics – the focus is on lab procedures and venipuncture.” Samantha credited Gary Jenkins, director of health science education, for helping the students reach high performance levels.  “Mr. Jenkins was performance oriented and driven to help students,” she explained.

Sarah Kendrick stated that she is happy with her position at Children’s Medical Center and also mentioned instructors Sheilla Coplin and Gary Jenkins as being good instructors who were skills oriented.

Virginia Delegate Les Adams, 16th House District, gave the keynote address.  Delegate Adams remarks focused on character traits and commitment needed to meet goals, but also highlighted change and the need for flexibility. His comments were received by graduates and staff as uplifting and motivational.  After the recessional march, Delegate Adams mingled with graduates and offered congratulations to end a happy occasion.

Photo A-Martinsville campus director John Scott is pictured with graduates (left to right) Karen Ross, Sarah Kendrick, Samantha Witt, and Lisa McGhee as they discussed their experiences and their career goals as members of the ANU Class of 2016.

Photo B- Virginia House District 16 Delegate Les Adams addresses the ANU Martinsville Campus graduates on the importance of character values and motivation in building their careers.

Graduate Pays It Forward By Training and Hiring Other Students

 Graduate Pays It Forward By Training and Hiring Other Students

Having graduated from the ANU Lynchburg Campus himself, Mark Lindy knows exactly what ANU students and graduates have to offer. He has been the owner and CEO of Digital One, a full-service information technology enterprise in Lynchburg, Virginia, focusing on desktop support, networking, troubleshooting, and computer repair, since 2009. Through the years, his company has served as an externship site for IT students to receive real-world training to supplement their classroom education. He has hired a number of ANU graduates, as well, for positions such as, field engineers, senior network administrators, and office coordinators.

Because of their dedication to providing externship and employment opportunities to ANU students and graduates, Digital One was recently presented with the ANU Distinguished Community Employer Award.

“When I have a position to fill in my company, I go to ANU first.”

“When I have a position to fill in my company, I go to ANU first,” stated Mark. “I know first-hand that they will come prepared with the knowledge and skill-level needed to excel from day one.” Mark, who also serves on the campus’s advisory board, revealed that he looks for job candidates who possess integrity, honesty, good communication skills, and resourcefulness, and the ANU students and graduates he has worked with fit that bill. “The graduates of ANU exemplify workplace excellence and are a shining example of how all college graduates should perform in the workplace,” he added.

ANU graduate Mark Lindy (left) received the Distinguished Community Employer Award from Lynchburg Campus Director Bill Baker in gratitude for his company’s commitment to providing opportunities for ANU students and graduates. 

Campuses Come Together To Celebrate Educational Achievements

Campuses Come Together To Celebrate Educational Achievements

On Saturday, June 4, graduates from the National College Nashville and Madison Campuses came together to accept their diplomas at Madison Church of Christ as a full house of family and friends cheered them on.

Dr. Rubin Cockrell, international speaker, author, and CEO of Positive Images and Associates, delivered the commencement address. “I’m a firm believer that vision without action if just a dream,” he stated. “Action without vision is just passing time away.  Vision and action together make the world go round.”

Dr. Cockrell used the letters of the word "success" to offer the graduates some keys to moving forward in their careers: S-self-discipline; U-understand obstacles are a part of life; C-create opportunities to shine; C-commit to not making excuses; S-stay focused; S-show yourself that you can do it.

“I'm excited for the opportunities that lie ahead with my National College education, and I just give God all the glory.”

“Repeat after me: I am a business. No one can market me like I market myself,” he said. “You are a walking billboard for you.”

Following Dr. Cockrell’s address, outstanding graduates were presented with awards.

Following Dr. Cockrell’s address, outstanding graduates were presented with awards. Recipients from the Madison Campus included: Maurice L. Franklin, Achievement Award; Andrew Christopher Osburn-Davis, Leadership Award; Benitha Bracey, E. M. Coulter Award; Marilia Rivera,  Joseph E. Hurn Award; Patrick R. Chaney, Dorothy Coulter Hancock Award ; and Orfa Recinos, Alumni Hall of Achievement Award. 

Award recipients from the Nashville Campus included: Martha E. Coleman, Achievement Award; Shakirra R. Brown, Leadership Award; Elizabeth M. McWherter, E. M. Coulter Award; Wanda Graham, Joseph E. Hurn Award; Alan McCannon, M.A. Smythe Award; and Jasmine N. Smith, Alumni Hall of Achievement Award.

Shakirra Brown, the recipient of the Nashville Campus Leadership Award, shared that she will be entering Chili’s Bar & Grill Restaurants’ management training program after graduating, an opportunity that she feels she’s achieved thanks to hard work and her degree. 

“I’m excited for the opportunities that lie ahead with my National College education, and I just give God all the glory,” she said.

You can read more about her educational journey here:

Photo A-Commencement speaker Dr. Rubin Cockrell is pictured offering his keys to success to the Class of 2016.

Photo B-Nashville Campus graduate Shakirra Brown is shown accepting the Leadership Award during the commencement ceremony.

National News Seeking Your Ideas for Upcoming Stories

  National News Seeking Your Ideas for Upcoming Stories

Do you know an ANU graduate or student who should be featured in the National News?  Is your class’s upcoming project, guest speaker, or field trip National News worthy?

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Send us your idea for a National News story. If your story idea makes it into the National News you’ll get some awesome ANU gear!

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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.