Welcome to Bluefield at 100! Bluefield College is celebrating 100 years and has undergone a name change! Each week, in honor of this milestone, The Confusing Middle will shine the spotlight on an individual who spent time at Bluefield University, giving them a chance to fill us all in on where they are and how they’ve been doing since the college years. I hope you’ll join us back here every week as we get reacquainted with some old friends!
This week we’re hearing from Jennifer Mitchell!
- What have you been up to since your time in Bluefield?
I’ve held a few different jobs, have had a lot of fun along the way, and am still so blessed by my time at Bluefield College. (It’ll always be BC to me!)
- Where are you living now? For how long?
I currently live in Moseley, VA – which is about 25 minutes outside of Downtown Richmond in Chesterfield County. I’ve lived in Moseley for 4 years now, but have been in Richmond my whole life.
- Did you pursue any education after college? If so, what degrees have you obtained?
I did not pursue any education after college. Bluefield was enough for me!
- Where did you earn your first “grown-up” paycheck?
When I returned to Richmond after Bluefield, I worked for a small medical supply company called Colonial Scientific. It was owned by a family friend, and while I was grateful for the job at the time, I’m glad it wasn’t a long term scenario. My desk was at the warehouse door and I froze to death most of the time.
- Who is your current employer and what is your job title?
Starting in January 2022, I will be working for TK Promotions which is a promotional products agency based out of Richmond, VA. I met Todd Mawyer (the company’s president) through Mark Hipes (another BC/BU Alum!) and am grateful for the many connections that have been fruitful for my career progression. I will be handling some of their production coordination as well as their inside sales. I can’t wait for a new adventure!
- What are your hobbies? What do you end up doing in your spare time?
This question always makes me laugh! Hobbies?? Idk. I enjoy travelling and taking pictures and making memories. I like to cook, I like to visit new places, and we collect magnets from all of the new places we visit. In my spare time I am the Football Director for the Midlothian Athletic Association, cook dinner, walk the dog, and make sure the laundry is done. It’s a hard knock life!
- Have you done much traveling? Where have you visited?
I love to travel and try to get the heck out of dodge any chance I can! I’ve been all kinds of cool places – Slovakia, Hungary, Paris, Mexico and 26 states including Hawaii! We love the Outer Banks and Cape Charles and get there as often as we can.
- Are you married? If so, who is your spouse?
I am not married as of this moment, but my significant other is named Chris and we’ve been together for 5 years.
- How did you and your spouse meet?
My boyfriend and I met through a mutual friend with whom he works and I grew up swimming with. She’s a good friend and connected us and I’m so grateful!
- Do you have children? What are their names/ages?
Chris has an 8 year old son named Reed who claims me as his “Ms. Jenn”. Being his Jenn and having him as my bonus son is the greatest joy of my life.
- Tell us a funny story about your kids…
Where do I even start with this kid? He’s so funny. We’ve had so many moments over the time that I’ve known him that have just caused me to stop and be so thankful that he’s in my life. One of his favorite songs to sing when he was around 4 was “Ms. New Booty”, and I’ll never forget being in the middle of CVS picking up a prescription and it happened to come on the radio and he yelled “YESSSSS! THIS IS MY FAVORITE SONG” so the entire store could hear him. The pharmacist and I both busted out laughing when Reed started dancing to it.
- What was your favorite class at Bluefield?
I was an Exercise and Sport Science Major (Sports Management concentration) while at Bluefield, and I thoroughly enjoyed any class I had with Dr. Scott Bryan. He really truly cared about his students and thought of us as adults, not just as kids in a classroom. He was always there with a listening ear, or well-placed advice that came at just the right time. I also really enjoyed Painting with Walter Shroyer. It was an unexpected joy to enjoy something like that, but I learned a lot that semester and really liked having a creative outlet like that, even if it was just for a semester. Management with Dee Shoemaker was one of the hardest classes I took at Bluefield, but she pushed us hard, and we were better off for it.
- Which teachers influenced your life and made a lasting impression? Why?
As mentioned above, Dr. Bryan was a big influence in my college years and I’m forever grateful that he taught leadership lessons in the classroom and not just out of a textbook. Others that come to mind are Dee Shoemaker (Management – shew – that was a tough one!), Chris Shoemaker, Carrie Camden, DT and Dr. Minnix.
- What was your major and/or minor?
I’m getting really good at answering questions before they pop up on this questionnaire! I was an Exercise and Sport Science Major with a concentration in Sports Management and a minor in Coaching.
- What did you want to be when you “grew up?”
I still don’t want to grow up, but back then, I wanted to do anything in Collegiate Athletics. I got to live that out when I coached Synchronized Swimming at the University of Richmond.
- What was your funniest moment in college?
Oh gosh so many of them. One that stands out was a bunch of us went to see one of the “Saw” movies at the theater at Mercer Mall, and we’d driven a bunch of cars up there. Josh Cline and I arrived back at my apartment and all of a sudden Laura Whiteed Grubb’s trunk popped open and Josh Grubb jumped out and scared the MESS out of us. Josh Cline and I must have jumped 50 feet in the air and we still laugh about it to this day. There were lots of funny moments freshman year living in Rish Hall – I remember the RA’s were all gone on a retreat one weekend and the power went out in the dorm overnight. We didn’t have anything to do so we organized a dorm wide game of hide and seek. Everyone wore all black and it was so fun running around the entire dorm with no one to tell us we couldn’t. There was another moment freshman year where I took a picture with Andy Berry and it ended a relationship he was in. That was a pretty funny night!
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
I can’t really recall anything super embarrassing, but I’m sure they happened!
- What was the dumbest thing you did in college? Was it worth it?
I did a lot of dumb stuff in college. Who didn’t! I probably drove when I shouldn’t have (ya know… too much snow on the road or something like that…) and all of the dumb things were worth it. They’re all a part of my story and my memories of one of the greatest times in my life.
- What is your most vivid memory from Bluefield College?
Gosh – so many of them. I have a very vivid memory of living with Lesley Gray Clark and eating Papa John’s pizza and Little Caesar’s Breadsticks almost every Sunday night of Freshman year. I vividly remember singing the “12 Days of Christmas” during Christmas Convo. I remember Mud Pig Day 2007 standing in the outline of what would have been the East River Dorm for them to take an aerial photo and it was BEYOND hot. SO many basketball games in the Dome, lots of chicken and cheese biscuits from the Corner Mart, too many water pipe breaks to mention, and just praying that it would all never end. Eventually it did and the memories I’m left with even today are some of the best of my life.
- Was there ever something you wanted to do during your college days but never did?
I always wanted to get my nose pierced during college, but never did. I did it about 2 years later. So much for adventure!
- What was your go-to during Late Night in the Shott Hall dining room?
Mozzarella Sticks for sure. Also, the Cruise Hall dining room? Come on, Aaron. It was the Shott Hall Dining Room!
*Editing note – When I initially sent out the questionnaire, I mistakenly asked about Cruise Hall and only later corrected the question to say Shott Hall, where the dining hall actually is. Come on, JMitch! Even I make mistakes sometimes…
- Did you play any sports?
I did not play any sports, but I attended almost every women’s and men’s basketball games and baseball games. I was a Ram Fan through and through!
- How about intramurals?
Nope, I didn’t participate in intramurals, but I do remember cheering for the Gerties my freshman year. Dodgeball Intramurals in the dome were always fun to watch too.
- Did you pledge with a fraternity or sorority?
Alpha Delta. My nickname was FlutterBug. I did it because I wanted to do something fun with my freshman roommate.
- Were you involved in any other extracurriculars (theater, yearbook, clubs, etc.)?
I was on the Football Feasibility Committee that studied bringing Football back to Bluefield College. It worked!
- What on-campus events did you enjoy participating in or attending?
If there was a basketball game going on in the Dome, I was there. Some of my best friends were both men’s and women’s players and they were always a lot of fun. Baseball in the Spring was always fun to be off campus (or skip class…) to head over to Bowen and cheer for the Rams. I always loved Christmas Convo too.
- Did you jump into the mud pit on Mud Pig Day?
Was it really even Mud Pig Day if you didn’t get muddy? Or eat corn on the cob dipped in a vat of butter? I can still smell it… so good.
- Did you have a work-study job on campus?
I did not. I babysat for Carrie Camden’s grandson Kodi my Junior year at BC. That counted for something because I never had to pay another parking ticket again!
- Did you have a job off campus?
See above. Although Kodi and I spent a lot of time running around the Quad on campus!
- Which dorm did you live in? Or did you commute?
Freshman Year: Rish Hall room 306 with Lesley Gray Clark. So so fun!
Sophomore Year: Rish Hall room 212 with a girl who only had a room on campus because her parents said she couldn’t live with her boyfriend. She did anyways. So I had the whole room to myself and we didn’t have suitemates either. It was incredible!
I lived in New Hall for a week during a Maymester Sophomore year. It was the worst week ever. New Hall needs to go!
After that I lived in a house on Frederick Street for 1st Semester Junior year and then moved to C2 at Canterbury Court with Laura Whiteed Grubb in Bluefield WV to finish up Junior and Senior year. Living in C2 with Laura was the best thing that could have happened to me. So many memories were made in that apartment. I’m forever grateful for that time off campus. I grew up a lot.
- Tell us your craziest roommate story…
Well, when I filled out my roommate questionnaire when I was accepted to Bluefield, I was placed with Laura Whiteed Grubb, but had met Lesley Gray Clark at orientation, and we asked if we could switch and live together. Laura and I ended up still becoming friends, and then lived together eventually. It was great all the way around. My roommate Junior year was not the best situation, but we managed, I guess. I wanted out of that scenario, so I was so happy to move to C2. Living on Frederick Street presented its own challenges just with the roughness of that neighborhood, but my roommate was incredibly messy, never cleaned up after her dogs, and left dirty dishes all of the time. No fun!
- Which classmate influenced you the most?
I’m truly blessed to say that so many of the people that I met during my time at Bluefield are still in my life today. There are way too many to name, but truly, I’m so thankful that God wrote my story to include Bluefield College. I am a better person because of it.
- What personal experiences since college would you like to share?
Life’s taught me a lot of things, but mostly, I’m grateful for a family that loves me, for a new job in 2022 that excites me, and for all of the adventures along the way that have molded me and shaped me into a person who loves people hard, enjoys laughing, and really hopes that everyone finds friends that are as amazing as mine are. Also, everyone should give back to their Alma Mater. Especially if you’re a Ram. Bluefield gave us so much. It’s time we give back to it so others can have even better experiences than we did! Serve on the Alumni Association, stay connected and get involved. It truly is a lot of fun!
- What plans do you have for the next 10 years?
I will hopefully have a new last name somewhere along the way… but I’ll ALWAYS be JMitch! That I’ll keep having the opportunity to be the best Jenn that I can be for my bonus son, Reed. I want to travel to Fiji, Italy, Greece and Alaska. I hope to build a house one day and to be able to continue giving back to my Alma Mater in meaningful ways.
- Give us a quote to live by…
Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose. – Coach Taylor (Have you ever met me… of COURSE this was bound to be my choice!)
I want to thank Jenn for taking time to answer all these questions and for sharing with us this week! Come back next week when another Bluefield survivor takes the hot seat!
And if you spent time at Bluefield College and want to participate, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the full list of questions! Until next time, GO RAMS!