Frank Longaker is entering his 50th year in higher education, serving the majority of that time as president of American National University. A graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and Radford University, where he received his MBA, President Longaker served as a captain in the U.S. Army and is a decorated Vietnam veteran.
As president of ANU, he has led the university through a number of evolutionary stages, adapting to the needs of the modern workforce and global economy. Under his leadership, ANU pioneered “Computers Across the Curriculum,” bringing computer technology into all disciplines before most people knew what a “personal computer” was. He developed the concept of the High Tech, High TouchTM curriculum, and adapted it to the distance learning era (well before COVID) with its constituent parts, Global MeetTM, Global TeachTM, and Global LearnTM. He also oversaw the growth of ANU’s footprint to 30 community campuses, then foresaw the transcendence of the online eUniversity and expanded the university’s reach globally.
In 1972, President Longaker began his career in higher education as an instructor at American National University’s Lexington Campus, and quickly rose to senior leadership positions within the university. His assignments within the university have included financial aid director, director of student services, federal funds manager, and senior operating officer, becoming president in 1984.
In 2012, Longaker was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Imagine America Foundation, recognizing his 40-plus years of contributions to higher education.
Longaker has long been active in the community, and has served as a chamber of commerce president, a Virginia state senate candidate, and has been a member of numerous community boards and organizations. He is an avid mountain biker, active in outdoor activities, and experienced commercially-rated pilot.
Steve Cotton has been executive vice president for legal and regulatory affairs / general counsel for American National University since 1997. A former naval officer and staff judge advocate, Cotton earned his Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University College of Law. His education also includes a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in chemistry from Denison University and a post-graduate fellowship in legal medicine at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.
Steve’s more than 25 years of experience in the career college sector has made him widely sought after for his expertise, and he has served as a member of numerous boards and commissions, including the Tennessee Joint Legislative Committee on Proprietary Education. He is currently past president of the Virginia Career College Association and Chairman of the Career College Advisory Board for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
Dr. Joel Musgrove has been the senior executive vice president of operations since 2017, and has provided the key leadership to implement President Longaker’s vision for American National University.
Prior to joining the University, he served as associate vice chancellor of operations, regional vice chancellor, campus president, senior director of admissions, director of admissions, managing associate director of admissions, and assistant director of admissions for multiple large college systems. Additionally, he was director of operations at Heritage & Liberty Traditional K-8 Charter Schools in Glendale, Arizona and community relations & grant director at La Paloma Academy in Tucson, Arizona.
Joel earned his Doctorate of Business Administration at the University of Fairfax. He has a Master of Business Administration in Global Management from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Behavioral Science from the University of Arizona.
Shawn Hershey has been Vice President of Academic Affairs for American National University since early 2018 and has over 14 years of experience in higher education. Throughout his career in higher education, Shawn has held positions in admissions, academics, and management as well as experience in teaching distance education courses. His philosophy is simple; he aims to create an engaging, cutting-edge learning experience for ANU’s students by incorporating current technologies and resources into their programs. It is extremely important to him to find committed faculty who encourage student growth through student engagement, perseverance, and hard work. Shawn holds an undergraduate and master’s degree in business administration.
Dr. Carolyn Scott has served as the chief academic officer for American National University 2020. She holds a Doctor of Business Administration in International Business from Argosy University, a Master of Business Administration in International Business from South University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in International Business from Argosy University. She has worked in higher education over the last 15 years in various roles.
She formally serves as a subject matter expert in research methods, organizational behavior, and marketing. Her area of research is organizational behavior; specifically, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), which is the study of how and why employees engage in extra-role behavior for the benefit of their employers. She is an active participant and frequent speaker with the International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines (IABPAD) on OCB as well as other business and research topics.
Prior to working in higher education, Dr. Scott enjoyed a 20+ year career in the publishing and airline industries.
April Howard has served as the chief financial officer for American National University since 2021, after having served as Vice President of Accounting and Student Finance since 2013.
A two-time graduate of American National University, she received her bachelor’s degree in business management in 1995. She began her career in higher education finance with ANU in 1996 in the accounting department processing accounts receivable. Over more than 25 years with ANU, she progressed through roles as director of accounting, vice president of accounting, and chief financial officer.
She received numerous awards from ANU, including the Distinguished Service Award-Campus Support in 2007 and 2010. In 2008 and 2011, she was chosen as the Outstanding College Member of the Year for dedicated service and contribution to the accounting department. In 2014, she received the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award at the Roanoke Valley Campus for American National University.
Beth Overbey has been the vice president of financial services since 2019. Beth is responsible for the Funds Management, Financial Assistance, Student Accounts, and Internal Collections departments.
Under Beth’s leadership at the university, the Financial Services team developed new practices ensuring transparency relating to financial assistance while also providing students with the best customer service possible. With the new processes in place, the university has been able to reduce outstanding account receivables each term, allowing students to focus on their educational needs. Beth is a member of NASFAA, SASFAA, TASFAA financial aid associations.
Before joining the University, Beth was employed by a large higher education group for 16 years in various roles. She began working in higher education in 2004, as the business office manager and was promoted to director of financial aid at the largest branch location. She then moved into more senior positions in the corporate office, including director of cash management, associate vice chancellor of financial services, and vice president of financial aid. Beth earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Western Governors University.
David Yeaman has been the director of compliance and accreditation at American National University since 20007. He is responsible for making sure the University meets the requirements of state and federal regulatory agencies, as well as institutional and programmatic accreditors.
Yeaman began working at ANU in 2005 as an instructor in paralegal studies. Shortly thereafter, he was elevated to the director of instructional services in 2006. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Appalachian School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Radford University. He also received his Master of Business Administration from Radford University in 2014.
Chuck Steenburgh has been vice president of marketing & communications for American National University since 2015, having previously served as vice president of communications since 2004. Steenburgh has been a higher education faculty member and administrator for more than 30 years, including a stint as director of communications & government relations for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). An award-winning teacher, writer, and photographer, Steenburgh has a Bachelor of Science degree from the Virginia Military Institute and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. He has served on a number of higher education boards and committees at the national and state levels.
Jessica Williams became director of student services in 2018 and was promoted to vice president in 2021. Jessica is responsible for the success of, retention of, and communication with students.
Under Jessica’s leadership at the University, the Student Services team developed new practices to ensure students receive the highest quality service. New processes have given the student services advisors more quality time working with students and ensuring they understand their program requirements, what it takes to be successful, and how to reach the goal of graduation.
Prior to joining the University, Jessica began working in higher education in 2005 in the role of bookstore manager/accounts receivable. She has also worked as the administrative assistant to the campus president, and the campus registrar for the largest campus of a multi-campus higher education group. She then moved into corporate office positions as director of central registration, area registrar, and assistant director of academics and accreditation.
Jessica earned her Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University and her bachelor’s degree in management and human relations from Trevecca Nazarene University.
Carl Robertson has been comptroller for American National University since 1997. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from American National University, Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certificate from the Institute of Management Accountants, and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license from the Virginia Board of Accountancy.
Carl has more than 40 years of experience in finance and accounting, including over 25 years in higher education. In addition to his MBA, he holds associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration-accounting from ANU, and is an inductee into the ANU Alumni Hall of Achievement.