Dr. Mitchell earned his B.S. in chemistry from Westminster College on a four year Sharon Steel Scholarship and went on to Vanderbilt University with teaching fellowships to pursue his Ph.D. in physical chemistry. Leaving Vanderbilt, he became a research chemist for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, to study X-ray crystallography. He left this position to join the faculty at Juniata in 1967. He has since continued his studies and research at the University of Sheffield, England, and the University of Massachusetts.
His academic honors are many and include the Beachley Distinguished Professor Award (1986), the Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service (1991), the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation Excellence in Education Initiative Award, and the Chemical Manufacturers Association Catalyst Award.
He has received grants from the Petroleum Research Fund, the National Science Foundation, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.
He served as president for and Pennsylvania representative to the Middle Atlantic Association of Liberal Arts Chemistry Teachers, is director of the Central Pennsylvania Chemistry Teachers Science Education Improvement Project, and is a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Association of University Professors.
Dr. Mitchell served as chair of Juniata's Chemistry Deparment from 1978-82, and has been involved in a number of other administrative tasks. He also serves as director of Juniata College's Science in Motion Project .
His outside interests include basketball and Penn State University football. He is also a member of the Huntingdon School Board.