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Honors College Alumni Profiles

Donald MitchellDonald Mitchell, Jr., Ph.D., Class of 2006

Class of:  2006, graduated summa cum laude
Undergraduate Major:  Chemistry
Portsmouth, VA

Involvement at Shaw:

  • Presidential Scholar
  • Platinum Sound Marching Band
  • President, Honors Scholars Association
  • Captain, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Varsity Team
  • President, Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society
  • Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society
  • Editor-in-Chief, Shaw University Yearbook, 2005-06
  • President, Shaw Man & Shaw Woman Society
  • Leader in the Student Government Association
  • Golf Team
  • Selected as the outstanding student in his major his junior and senior year

Graduate Study:

  • M.S., educational leadership, Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2007
  • Ph.D., educational policy and administration with a concentration in higher education, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, 2012

Professional Work Experience:

Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI, 2012 – Present

  • President & CEO, Harris, Mitchell & Co. Investment Group, LLP, Portsmouth, VA, 2006 - Present
  • Graduate Recruitment & Retention Specialist, The David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity in Arts, Sciences and Engineering, University of Rochester (NY), 2010 – 2012
  • Instructor of Educational Leadership & Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN, 2007 – 2009

Recent Accomplishments:

Donald was selected by The Center for the Study of the College Fraternity award selection committee to receive the 2012 Richard McKaig Outstanding Doctoral Research Award. The Richard McKaig Outstanding Doctoral Research Award recognizes an outstanding doctoral dissertation completed by an individual recently completing her/his doctorate. The recipient receives a $1,000 cash award and additional recognition at the annual meeting of the Association of Fraternity Advisers. The purpose of the Richard McKaig Outstanding Doctoral Research Award is to encourage and support the study and dissemination of high quality research on the role of the fraternity and sorority in higher education.

Important to Know:

Donald was the first Honors College graduate to receive a Ph.D.  His long term professional goals include becoming a Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs at an HBCU with a profile similar to Shaw University.

Personal Motto:

"What is your purpose?"

About the Honors College:

"As presidential scholar James Bailey would say, 'Nothing is by chance!' It's not by accident that Shaw University Honors College graduates go on to do great things. During our time at Shaw University, we were prepared to go out and leave our mark on the world, and that's what we do. For example, I studied with the likes of Eve Blakney 09', Maurice Preston 06', and Oyindamola Oki 06', among many more outstanding alumni. If I could do it all over again, I would do it exactly the same. Shaw University and the Honors College helped develop me into the man – or Shaw Man –  I am today."

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