Q&A with Nicollette Mitchell ’13 HHMI Inclusive Excellence STEM Fellow

August 30, 2017

Communications Staff

Nicollette Mitchell
Nicollette Mitchell ’13, the college’s HHMI Inclusive Excellence STEM fellow.
Photo credit: Nicollette Mitchell

Geology and Africana studies graduate Nicollette Mitchell will return to Oberlin as the first HHMI Inclusive Excellence STEM fellow.

During master’s degree work on climate change at the University of Arizona, Nicollette Mitchell ’13 mentored young scientists and advocated for inclusive learning environments. So when the graduate in geology and Africana studies discovered a fellowship opportunity within Oberlin’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)’s Inclusive Excellence initiative, a program that promotes the success of all students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), she saw values that reflected her own.  

“This fellowship stood out to me because it’s in line with my own commitment to scientific excellence and social equity, and it would allow me to really make an impact in the lives of young scientists,” says Mitchell. “Applying to do that work at Oberlin was a no-brainer.”

This fall, Mitchell will return to Oberlin as the college’s first HHMI Inclusive Excellence STEM fellow. In this role, she will work with students and partners across campus to develop targeted student programming and nurture STEM access, engagement, and success.

“I’m looking forward to being a resource for current students,” says Mitchell. “The Center for Learning, Education and Research in the Sciences (CLEAR), the Oberlin Workshop and Learning Sessions (OWLS), and other related activities did not exist when I was a student at Oberlin, so I’m really excited about all of the new possibilities for student engagement. I’m also thrilled to be back at Oberlin in a new position and closer to my mentors in the geology and Africana studies departments.”

Find out more about Mitchell in this Q&A

1. What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The Arb, hands down. I wish I went there more when I was a student—it’s a hidden gem. I may or may not have memories of sledding down the hill using lunch trays. As an administrator, I do not recommend this activity to current students.

2. Cats or dogs?
Cats. I have two!

3. What’s your passion?
I love learning new things and seeing new places, because traveling and learning puts life in perspective.

4. Go-to ice cream flavor?
Rocky road

5. Where can we find you on campus?
I will be based at the CLEAR center in the Science Center, Mudd library, and elsewhere on campus where there’s CLEAR programming. I’ll be living in Third World House.

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