Although Springfield College holds a strong heritage in sports and the prestigious health science programs, there is a heritage that is even stronger: Humanics. This year Carol Mitchell, professor of English, received the Springfield College Distinguished Professor of Humanics award by displaying Humanics through the arts. Mitchell will be presenting her speech Tuesday, April 22 at 4 p.m. in the Fuller Arts Center.
Mitchell has been at Springfield since 1975, having served as a department chair for 11 years and also currently serving as the chair for the film portion of the William Simpson Fine Art Series.
In addition to being an avid lover of the arts, specifically film, Mitchell has a passion for her profession.
“I always wanted to teach. That has been my primary goal in life, to teach,” said Mitchell. “I took a lot of classes at the graduate level and I knew that I wanted to make that a part of my teaching career.”
Mitchell shows many films to her vast array of classes, including Last Call of the Oasis, which talks about worldwide water shortage and New Year Baby, which covers the topic of the Cambodian Genocide.
“The definition of Humanics is educating students in spirit, mind and body for leadership and service for humanity,” Mitchell stated. “I feel that over the years, in many of my classes I have used films to display some of the prime, positive characteristics of Humanics, such as being good citizens, being caring individuals and being responsible while doing service to others.”
Springfield College prides itself on its strong commitment to developing students. Humanics in Action Day is a staple at Springfield, and it is no secret that students on this campus are actively involved with a wide variety of clubs that benefit the community of Springfield as well as the campus. Mitchell, who has been practicing her speech for a while now, is a little nervous but is excited to express her gratitude and ideals.
While the arts may not be the most popular of topics at Springfield College, professor of Spanish and chair of the Humanities Department, Joyce L. Szewczynski, believes that it is Mitchell’s strong commitment to the arts that has made such a large impact.
“Throughout her career at the college, she has worked tirelessly to promote the arts, both as a committed member and as chairperson of the William Simpson Fine Arts Series,” Szewczynski said. “Through her teaching and the series, she has brought appreciation and awareness of both the Humanics Philosophy and of current global issues through the medium of the arts. Carol is most deserving of this award.”
While it is no surprise to Szewczynski as to who the award was given to, Mitchell relays that she is ecstatic to have received such a high honor, an award that signifies a payoff of all of the work she has put in towards getting a message of Humanics across through film.
“I was very, very happy to receive it; I was overjoyed. It is a great honor and something I really wanted,” said Mitchell. “I’m hoping that some of my messages in film have gotten through to people and that they have appreciated and enjoyed the things that I have done and learned from them.”