- BS Biological Sciences 1977
He has been involved with the Alumni Association for eight years, and as he strives to strengthen ties between alumni and their alma mater, he looks forward to working with the people whom he has come to admire. "I have a great amount of respect for them," he says, speaking about University alumni, administrative staff, and faculty.
Mitchell accepted the presidency of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association in August 2008 and will serve for two years. He is the medical director at Memphis-based Keystone Healthcare Management, a supplier of emergency department physicians and management services to hospitals. He earned his MD at the University of South Alabama.
A native of Ohio, Mitchell came to Tech to study engineering and then switched to biological sciences.
While at Tech, he immersed himself in both studies and out-of-class activities. He was simply "inspired" by the faculty to succeed. As well, he was a musician, who played in both the Jazz Lab Band and the Pep Band, and a member of Sound and Lighting Services and Mu Beta Psi music service fraternity.
These days he hits a high note in praise of Michigan Tech. He says his education was "excellent training" and "great preparation."
Now, from the perspective of an alumnus, he says the alumni board is in a "self-questioning" period: "Who are we? What are we supposed to be doing? Who are we here for?"
"We're getting to the point where we're answering those questions," Mitchell says. "We have definite ideas of why the Alumni Association is here and what we can do."
He anticipates vibrant programs. He can picture alumni getting involved with student outreach to other countries, through such programs as the Pavlis Institute for Global Leadership, or supporting Tech's extension of their signature Enterprise Program to high schools across the nation, thereby making Tech a model for STEM education in both higher education and secondary schools.
"There are many opportunities for alumni to participate as active partners working hand-in-hand with our students," he says.
"I think our alumni are interested in service, leadership, and learning. They are perhaps not so inclined to go on an alumni association sponsored cruise as they are to participate in service travel to an underdeveloped country, or come back to Tech for a learning vacation."
As he envisions these prospects, Mitchell is encouraged, for he believes that Michigan Tech alumni share a bond and a character.
The bond is the land. "There's a connection that stems ultimately from a sense of place," he says. "Love it or hate it, everybody's got a story about the location, the weather, the remoteness, the outdoors-something. There's always a story. It's a real binding force. The people who leave here are unique."
Mitchell, then, believes that the rigors of a Tech education in Michigan's north country shape alumni, whom he describes as uniquely "hard-working, resourceful, self-reliant people who are going to get a job done when it's given to them."
Written Fall 2008