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PR # 104 November 29, 2007


Elizabeth (Liz) Mitchell, an internationally acclaimed multimedia artist and RVCC alumna, will deliver the commencement address at RVCC?s seventh Winter Commencement, to be held Thursday, December 20, at 6 p.m., in the Edward Nash Theatre at the College?s North Branch Campus.

Mitchell, who lives with her husband Thomas in Pittstown, has been a member of the RVCC Foundation Board of Directors since 2001. She will also receive an honorary degree during the ceremony.

More than 275 students are expected to receive associate degrees and certificates. Richard (Bick) Treut, an instructor in the Communication & Languages Department, has been selected as the faculty commencement speaker.

?Through her commitment to the RVCC Foundation and her involvement with the College?s Visual Arts program, Liz Mitchell has been a dedicated member of the RVCC family for many years,? said RVCC President Dr. Casey Crabill. ?It is more than fitting that we honor one of RVCC?s most successful graduates during our Winter Commencement,? Dr. Crabill continued.

Mitchell received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from West Virginia University and began working as a child abuse investigator for the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services in 1980. She began taking evening art classes at RVCC as a way to provide balance to the demands of Social Services. That first introduction to the College set her on the path to a career as a recognized artist and dedicated life-long learner. When Mitchell received her Associate Degree in Studio Arts from RVCC 25 years later, her work was already being seen in galleries?locally, nationally and internationally.

Mitchell experiments with a broad range of materials and processes to create unique, one-of-a- kind books and collages. She has exhibited her work at numerous New Jersey colleges, including RVCC, as well as at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and the Art Institute of Boston, Sir Wilfred Grenfel College in Newfoundland, Canada and the Fiber Art Center in Amherst, Massachusetts, among others. Her work has also been seen in Costa Rica and Mexico City and will soon be on display in Vilnius, Lithuania. Mitchell was one of seven American artists chosen for the Second International Biennnale for the Artist Book, held at the oldest library in the world: the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt. Her work now resides in the Bibliotheca?s special collections. Her work is also held in the collections of Johnson & Johnson Corporate Headquarters; the Pennsylvania Power and Light Corporate Headquarters; Lafayette College; Seton Hall University; William Paterson University; and the College of St. Elizabeth.

An educator as well as an artist, Mitchell was a visiting artist from 1999-2001 at the Discovery Charter School in Newark, where she helped youngsters in its Kids in Business program. The empowerment program challenged elementary school students to create products to sell and then select a charitable organization to receive the profits. Mitchell has also worked with area students in hands-on enrichment programs through the Printmaking Council of New Jersey?s Roving Press program and the Delaware Township Elementary School.

In addition to her years of dedication to RVCC through her involvement with the Foundation, Mitchell is a charter member of the New Jersey Artists? Guild. The group is a consortium of 15 artists who all studied at the College and who wanted to continue their friendship and share their creativity and technical expertise after they left the classroom for their own studios.

Mitchell has been recognized by RVCC in its Nota Bene publication with an honors award for academic excellence in 2005. She has also received awards from the Printmaking Council, Hunterdon Museum of Art and the Plainfield Arts Festival.

RVCC, located on Route 28 and Lamington Road in North Branch, NJ, and serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 40 years, offers more than 80 associate degrees and certificates. In addition, customized training programs and non-credit courses are available for those seeking personal and professional development. The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community?s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu .

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