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Internet2 Names William Mitchell of Great Plains Network as Winner of 2017 Richard Rose Award

Posted on Apr 25, 2017 by Sara Aly
Tags: 2017 Internet2 Global Summit, Frontpage News, 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.

About Internet2:
Internet2 is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 317 U.S. universities, 70 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 94,000 community anchor institutions, over 900 InCommon participants, and 78 leading corporations working with our community, and 61 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.
Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2’s core infrastructure components include the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network that was built to deliver advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by the community-developed trust and identity framework.
Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Emeryville, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.
About GPN:
The Great Plains Network (GPN) is dedicated to supporting research and education through the use of advanced networking and cyberinfrastructure technology. GPN connects member universities in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin to Internet2 and other advanced R&E networks in the US.  GPN also facilitates collaboration, training, development and deployment of cyberinfrastructure services to faculty, researchers and students.
About MOREnet:
The Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet) provides Internet connectivity, access to Internet2, technical services, training, resources and support to Missouri's public sector entities, including K-12 schools, colleges and universities, public libraries, health care, state and local government and other affiliated organizations. Established in 1991, MOREnet operates as a department within the University of Missouri System and is based in Columbia, Mo.
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Media Contact:
Sara Aly, Internet2

William Mitchell, GPN

Greg Monaco, GPN