At one point or another, everyone can wonder what their future will hold as they grow into a career that they love. For Carol Mitchell, film and literature seemed like the perfect fit.
Each year, at the Northeast Regional Pop Culture Association Conference, also known as NEPCA, an award is presented to the graduate student with the best paper presentation. This year, a surprise was in store for Mitchell when she arrived at the conference.
On October 26, 2014, at the conference luncheon, the previously unnamed paper prize was announced and hereafter be named for Carol Mitchell for her long-time service to NEPCA. The award is officially titled The Carol E. Mitchell Graduate Student Paper Prize. She has been a member of the organization for the past 20 years.
“We had just finished dessert and coffee and I was sitting there and I think I screamed out WOW! Everyone in the room kind of laughed…I didn’t know,” stated Mitchell. “It was spectacular. I was walking on air.”
Mitchell served as the president of NEPCA in 2000-2001 and hosted the conference at Springfield College in 2000. Today, she serves on the executive council and works with the organization’s committee to judge the graduate paper presentations for over 15 years.
Mitchell enjoys this process and, along with getting the award named after her this year, she particularly likes the paper of this year’s winner, Lisa Silverstri, entitled “Shiny, Happy People Holding Guns,” which was published in the Visual and Communications Quarterly.
“I dearly love this organization,” stated Mitchell. “It is getting a wider and wider appeal. Year after year is it getting better and better.”
Along with being on the committee for NEPCA, Mitchell has been at this institution since 1975. In this time, she has served as the Humanities Department chair for 11 years, and the chair of the William Simpson Fine Arts series for more than 15 years.
She considers teaching one of her highest priorities, stating, “My students inspire me every day.”
The conference makes Mitchell feel “that inspiring young scholars in this way is truly rewarding.”
“It’s is fun—great fun,” stated Mitchell.