Joe Mitchell served residence hall students, their parents and University staff members for nearly 17 years, including as Assistant Director of Resident Life (1999-2005).
He founded Resident Life's Information Systems unit and worked closely with colleagues from across the Maryland campus, particularly in the Networking and Telecommunications Services and Security units within the Office of Information Technology and the Student Application Services office. Joe served with two Directors of Resident Life -- Dr. Patricia Mielke, now Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, through 2002 and Dr. Deborah Grandner.
Joe came to the University of Maryland and the Department of Resident Life in December 1988. He arrived from the University of Maryland , Baltimore County campus, where he had been a Resident Director and for two years a member of UMBC's Assignments Office staff. Joe's undergraduate degree is from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Joe joined Resident Life's Assignments Office as Assistant Assignments Manager, initially working with Lisa Carroll, then the manager, Patricia Rhoan Calloway, Doris Schneider and Brenda Moore, and later also with Rani Rizvi, Michelle McCubbin, Scott Young, Grace Crussiah, Tina Mincin, Andre Brown, Sultana Carroll, Raquel Campos-Poussin, Michelle Hahner, Tanja Pilzak, and Psyche Williams. In November 1992, after Lisa joined the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Joe was promoted into our Assignments and Information Services Manager position.
Over his first several years in Resident Life, Joe was instrumental in developing and enhancing the automated systems for our room assignments and billing operation. In particular, he provided leadership to the creation of our own student housing databases that let us retrieve and manage assignments and billing information much more autonomously and effectively than had been possible.
In November 1995, as the Internet was expanding so rapidly and it was becoming clear that new
technologies would soon dominate on college and university campuses, Joe was named Manager for Assignments and Information Systems and given additional responsibilities in the Information Technology arena. In January 1999, he was named Assistant Director.
Under Joe's leadership, Resident Life acquired and began managing its first server, the number of PCs available to Resident Life staff more than tripled, and the number of residence hall students activating their Ethernet connections grew from fewer than 200 students to more than 11,000 students. Many "firsts" were achieved, including making Resident Life the first residence hall program in the U.S. to develop and market its own PC connectivity kit to students.
As he developed Resident Life's Information Systems unit, Joe built one of the nation's finest student-staffed IT programs. He personally recruited into part-time student positions dozens of students, many of whom later sought full-time IT positions within the Department.
"Joe was a mentor, guide and friend to our students, developing their talents and abilities," Deb Grandner says. "I consider this to be Joe's greatest gift." Protégés of Joe's who serve our students and professional staff members with distinction are Stacy Tucker, Neil Cotherman, Walter Mills, Dai-An Tran, Tom Lamp, Gidon Rosenthol, Nick Sparrow, Annette Dixon and Linh Nguyen.
Joe was formally recognized many times for his contributions to our Resident Life department, including being the recipient of an Employee of the Year Award in 1995.