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Students Capitalize on Opportunity to Meet with State and Federal Legislators

Mar 09, 2015

Career College Day at Kentucky Capitol Connects Students with Elected Officials

On Thursday, Feb. 26, career college students from across Kentucky converged on Frankfort for Career College Day at the Capitol. The annual event, sponsored by the Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools, allows students to connect with their legislators to help keep them informed about the role that career college education plays in the Commonwealth’s workforce.

During the event, Louisville Campus students Marlen Estrada Navarrete and Ebelyn Noguera Labrada, surgical technology program director Stephanie Walker, Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra, and Florence Campus director Amy Brown, shared information about American National University and its surgical technology program.  

Although surgical technology is a relatively unknown field, surgical technologists play a vital role in the operating room. As Marlen and Ebelyn answered questions about the instruments that are used in the OR, legislators tried their hand at suturing a replica of a wound using a skin stapler.

“Nobody knows what a surgical technologist is or what they do. They assume that you just clean the instruments and set them up. They don’t know that you’re physically shoulder-to-shoulder with the surgeon, elbow deep with the patients, helping out,” said Stephanie, who has over 10 years of experience working in the OR. “I think it’s always important to inform legislators about careers like ours that nobody knows about, especially when it has as much responsibility as we do, because you don’t get a lot of backing if nobody knows what you do.” 

Perhaps no one in the room was as proud to represent their school, and to play a part in impacting future legislation, as Marlen and Ebelyn, who worked in the medical field as natives of Cuba and enrolled at American National University to train for new careers in health care after coming to the United States.  

They particularly enjoyed talking with State Representative Dennis Horlander, who serves the Louisville Campus in District 40. “He was very friendly and very interested in the career; that is important,” said Ebelyn.

State Representative David Hale, another legislator who participated in the event, said that he is always happy to lend his support to career college students. “It’s just great to be a part of this,” he stated. “I like to see these career colleges; they offer a great service to the people in our state.”

As they complete the last term of their program, Marlen and Ebelyn are looking forward to earning their certifications in the field and getting started in their new careers. “I feel so happy [to represent National], because I appreciate every teacher and every person working in student services, admissions—everybody here,” said Marlen. “I try to tell everybody, ‘Come to American National University,’ because it’s a good facility to learn. They help you with tutoring; they help you in the lab; everybody helps you. I love American National University.”

ANU Ambassadors Travel to Nation’s Capital to Discuss Importance of Career Education 

Meanwhile, in the nation’s capital, ANU was well-represented at the Association of Private Sector Colleges & Universities’ (APSCU) annual State of the Workforce Symposium. At this two-day event, vice president of government affairs Roger Dalton, vice president of communications Chuck Steenburgh, and Charlottesville Campus career center director Anne Brown kept pace with the latest trends in workforce development thanks to a variety of authoritative speakers.  The highlight of the event was the keynote address by the new chairman of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who spoke of his efforts to roll back unproductive federal regulations.

The following day, representatives from ANU’s Charlottesville, Virginia Campus and the Parkersburg and Princeton Campuses in West Virginia, visited members of their congressional delegations in Washington, D.C. as part of APSCU’s annual Hill Day.

Roger and Anne were joined by Charlottesville Campus graduate Lindell Chavis, who earned her degree in business administration-accounting. The Princeton Campus was represented by medical assisting graduate Eric Nunley, and the Parkersburg Campus sent student services representative Kristina Marucci and medical assisting student Steven Fisher. 

They visited each of the states’ two senators, along with the House of Representatives members for the campus’ respective districts.  

“The ANU representatives focused their comments on the work students are doing to prepare themselves for the workforce, as well as the need for Congress to work for regulations and legislation that support access and choice for all in higher education,” explained Roger.

American National University has provided career training to meet the workforce needs of community employers since 1886, and thanks to the advocacy of our students at all of our 31 campuses, career college education will be available for students for many generations to come.

A- (Left to Right) Florence Campus director Amy Brown; students Ebelyn Noguera Labrada and Marlen Estrada Navarrete; surgical technology program director Stephanie Walker; and Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra are pictured at the Kentucky State Capitol.  

B- (Left to Right) Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra and surgical technology students Marlen Estrada Navarrete and Ebelyn Noguera Labrada are pictured with Kentucky State Representative Dennis Horlander, who serves the Louisville Campus in District 40.

C- Representative Richard Heath (right) of Kentucky is shown speaking with students and staff from the Louisville Campus during Career College Day at the Capitol.

D- (Left to Right) Charlottesville Campus career center director Anne Brown; Parkersburg Campus student Steven Fisher; Parkersburg Campus student services representative Kristina Marucci; ANU vice president of government affairs Roger Dalton; Charlottesville Campus graduate Lindell Chavis; and Princeton Campus graduate Eric Nunley participated in Hill Day in Washington, D.C.

E- Parkersburg Campus medical assisting student Steven Fisher (left) met with West Virginia Congressman Alex Mooney (right) outside the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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tags: KY-Florence KY-Louisville VA-Charlottesville WV-Parkersburg WV-Princeton