The $$Harrisonburg Campus held graduation for 94 graduates on Friday, May 9th at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren. Dr. David Zimmerman, campus director, welcomed everyone by thanking the faculty, staff, and all of the graduate’s families for sending the students to American National University.
Robin Sullenberger, former CEO of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership provided the commencement address. Mr. Sullenberger retired in 2011 and in 2013, was named as one of the 50 most influential Virginians in the Commonwealth by Virginia Business Magazine. He was previously employed by Bath County Schools as a teacher and an athletic coach. He has served on numerous boards for organizations such as the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council and the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board.
He imparted a lot of wisdom to the graduates. “Your time could not possibly have been better spent as technology and education are never not linked,” said Mr. Sullenberger. He recognized that many of the graduates that night had completed a health care program and said that this is the third largest industry of the Commonwealth of Virginia and that in the Shenandoah Valley “we refer to ourselves as the health care or education corridor,” explained Mr. Sullenberger. “Those career opportunities are abundant, and I wish you the best in that career field.”
He also mentioned that many of the graduates chose IT fields of study, and added that all of the programs at American National University are “relevant to what is going on in the world today,” said Mr. Sullenberger. “Don’t hesitate to think that you can’t go out there and get a good job,” he said regarding the current economic situation. “Here in the valley, technology has persevered through everything in recent years,” he added. Mr. Sullenberger concluded by stating, “You are the brightest generation ever and the most technology savvy ever…you know how to be successful. When you talk with someone, look people in the eye and be proud of who you are; of what you have accomplished. You will be successful….best of luck to all of you!”
[img]Six of the graduates received awards. Admissions representative, Kari Miller received the Leadership Award as she was also the first MBA graduate of the campus; Heather Crawford received the Mary P. McGuire Award for paralegal graduates; Sarah Hall received the E.M. Coulter Award; Mary Stephens received the Joseph P. Hurn Award; and Samuel Collins received the Dorothy Coulter Hancock Award.
Suheil Barraghi, a graduate who has been in the United States for 14 years but is from Kurdistan, is a medical assisting and phlebotomy students who currently has several job offers. He said, “I want to work in ER because I like something fast-paced.” He recently completed an externship at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
Halie Bosheers is currently working as a medical assistant in the dermatology department at the University of Virginia Medical Center. She described her education at ANU as, “Fast. I am looking forward to keeping my career going.” When asked what advice she would give to someone starting their education at ANU, she said, “Don't wait! Your education is the most important thing for you and your families or potential families. It might not feel like the perfect time, but it is. Every day is the perfect time to start or continue your education.”
A-Dr. David Zimmerman, campus director, with commencement speaker and former CEO of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, Robin Sullenberger.
B-Three medical assisting graduates gather before the ceremony: Courtney Ribet, Suheil Barraghi, and Alicia Shores.