Internet2 Names William Mitchell of Great Plains Network as Winner of 2017 Richard Rose Award
Mitchell to be honored and recognized for his contributions to the K-20 education community
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 25, 2017 — Internet2 today announced that William “Bill” Mitchell of Great Plains Network (GPN) is this year’s winner of the Richard Rose Award. The award honors K-20 educators or technologists who have made demonstrable impacts on the K-20 community by extending advanced networking, content and services to the broader education community. Mitchell will receive his award today at the Internet2 Global Summit taking place in Washington, D.C.
Mitchell currently serves as executive director of the Great Plains Network (GPN), a non-profit consortium aggregating networks through GigaPoP connections while advocating research on behalf of universities and community innovators across the Midwest and Great Plains. In this role, Mitchell directs the business of the consortium, including strategic and tactical planning, business and financial management. Mitchell is also responsible for technical leadership in advanced networking initiatives, both within GPN and at the national level.
Prior to his current role, Mitchell founded and served for almost 20 years as executive director of the Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet), Missouri’s first collaborative information technology initiative and one of the nation’s first and largest research and education networks supporting K-12 schools, higher education institutions, public libraries, state and local government, health care and other non-profits. He was responsible for the initial planning, funding and implementation of MOREnet, a department within the University of Missouri System, which currently supports more than 730 members throughout the state.
“For nearly three decades, Bill has inspired educators, leaders, researchers and government representatives to identify their common goals, to leverage their individual strengths and to drive teaching and learning improvements,” said Dr. Gary Allen, vice president for information technology at the University of Missouri. “His enthusiasm and contributions have had a profound impact on the advancement of education and lifelong learning for Missourians and the entire K-20 community.”
In 2000, the American Library Association inducted Mitchell into their first National Advocacy Honor Roll, recognizing his work with the Missouri State Library leadership to bring the Internet, online databases and periodical resources to libraries and their patrons across the state. In 2001, Bill was selected by Internet2 to lead a new national initiative. He played an active role in the early development of the Internet2 K20 Initiative, serving on the executive committee and as co-director in its early years. He was also the last Chair of the Federation of American Research Networks (FARNET) and helped to merge it into the newly consolidated EDUCAUSE organization.
Mitchell has continuously demonstrated innovation and perseverance in developing partnership opportunities, building advocacy relationships and seeking funding sources to improve Missouri’s learning environments. His dedication and leadership in launching and advancing the use of technology throughout Missouri’s education and library communities have helped to ensure greater access and availability of connectivity, content and essential services.
The Rose Award is named in honor of Richard Rose (1947-2007), who was an early leader in the national Internet2 K-20 Initiative. Rose was executive director of the University of Maryland Academic Telecommunications System and the University System of Maryland Office of Information Technology. He was an indefatigable advocate for extending the Internet2 Network to students at all levels—in both formal and information education—in the U.S. to broaden and deepen opportunities in learning, scholarship and science. The Rose Award is given annually based on criteria such as commitment to the K-20 mission, recognized innovation in the community and leadership and mentoring qualities.
William Mitchell, GPN
Greg Monaco, GPN