William Mitchell Named Jo Murphy Chair Of International Education

May 12, 2000

WACO, Texas -- Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. announced today that Dr. William Mitchell, professor of political science at Baylor, has been named the Jo Murphy Chair in International Education and director of the Center for International Education. Mitchell succeeds Dr. James W. Vardaman, professor of history and master teacher, who is retiring.

"I am immensely pleased that Bill Mitchell will be the new head of our international program," said Dr. Donald D. Schmeltekopf, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "He has enormous experience in the international arena, both as an academic and in other areas of service. He is highly respected by faculty and students alike, and I look forward to working with him over the years ahead."

"I am very honored to have this opportunity to continue the fine work that Dr. Jim Vardaman has begun," Mitchell said. "I think that this is a very important position in terms of Baylor's mission of world-wide service and leadership. I hope to work closely with Baylor students and faculty to increase opportunities which will help us all become more internationally involved and aware."

Mitchell, a retired Air Force colonel who lived in Turkey for 10 years, received his bachelor's degree from East Texas State University and his master's degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. He earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois and additionally is a graduate of the Air War College, Air Command and Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Services.

A decorated veteran of Vietnam and the Gulf War, Mitchell served as base commander at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and as Air Base Group Commander in Izmir, Turkey, during the Gulf War. He previously held teaching posts at the United States Air Force Academy, where he was professor of geography and director of intercultural education, and at the Air War College. He also is an academic associate of NATO.

Mitchell's primary research has focused on the emergency response to earthquakes, and he has responded to seven disasters in Turkey and one in Italy as part of the investigative team for the National Science Foundation's Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER).

He has written articles for numerous publications, such as Middle East Journal, Journal of African and Asian Studies, American Aviation Historic Journal, Professional Geographer, Journal of Earthquake Engineering, Journal of Geography, Mass Emergencies and Geographical Review.

Mitchell is a recipient of the United States Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Humanitarian Award for Kurdish Relief Efforts, the Humanitarian Award for Armenian Earthquake Relief and the Air Force Special Research Award for Intercultural Education.

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