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PR # 118 December 20, 2007


Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) tonight awarded associate and certificate degrees to more than 300 candidates for graduation at its seventh Winter Commencement. The ceremony was held in the Edward Nash Theatre at the College?s North Branch Campus.

Elizabeth (Liz) Mitchell of Pittstown, an internationally acclaimed multimedia artist and RVCC alumna, delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree during the ceremony. Mitchell has been a member of the RVCC Foundation Board of Directors since 2001.

?We are recognizing Liz Mitchell for her many years of dedication to Raritan Valley Community College and the College?s Foundation,? said RVCC President Dr. Casey Crabill. ?As a talented and successful RVCC alumna who continually gives back to her alma mater, Liz is a wonderful role model for all of our students.?

Laurie Anderson of Bedminster was the student commencement speaker. One of Anderson?s part-time jobs is working with teenagers at risk, and she will be continuing her studies next semester at Centenary College in the Bachelor?s of Social Work program.

Richard (Bick) Treut of Bethlehem Township, an instructor in the Communication & Languages Department, delivered the faculty address.

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 lifelong 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. 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.

Treut, the faculty Commencement speaker, has been teaching at RVCC since 2002, first serving as an adjunct professor. He was hired as a full-time instructor in the Communication & Languages Department in 2006.

Prior to teaching, Treut was a marketing and advertising consultant to major computer manufacturers and their advertising agencies for 20 years. He worked on several high-visibility campaigns, including IBM eBusiness, HPdirect and Intel Centrino. He also served as a reporter for the Hunterdon County Democrat and continues to write a monthly column in Hunterdon Life magazine.

Treut received an MA in Communication from Ohio University and a BS in Radio/TV Production from Emerson College, Boston. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology from Capella University.

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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