On February 28, Willie J. Mitchell, Principal Information Technologies Specialist for Applied Technologies for Learning in the Arts & Sciences, was awarded the LAS Academic Professional Award.

Since 2014, Will has been the ATLAS Zone Manager for the following units and departments: Asian Educational Media Service, ATLAS Application Reporting Web, the Center for African Studies, the Center for East Asian & Pacific Studies, the Center for Global Studies, the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, the Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, the History Department, the Statistics Department, the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, and the Visiting Asian Scholars Program.

When people Will helps were asked to write why they believed he deserved the award, some of them answered with the comments below.

Every day for almost a decade, Will Mitchell has met and gone beyond the highest standards of service to the campus community. (Terri Barnes, Center for African Studies)

Will promotes positive morale through a congenial, supportive attitude and by providing service to others in a consistent and reliable manner.(Donna C. Tonini, Center for Global Studies)

He is an exemplary employee whose contributions have not only elevated our department but have also had a profoundly positive impact on the individuals fortunate enough to work alongside him. (Melissa Banks, Statistics)

Is there a person more efficient, effective, professional, skillful, helpful, and central to our functioning as an institution than Will Mitchell? If so, I have not met them.(Marc Hertzman, History)

Will ends each of his emails by writing, “Cordially, Will.” Few people are as cordial as Will!


Will answered a few questions we posed.

What is your educational background, and what brought you to the U of I?

I have a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Bachelor of Science in Finance from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. I also have a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Illinois at Springfield.  While completing my Master’s degree, I was able to secure a position with the Illinois Office of Banks in Real Estate as an Information Systems Planner, the first of several positions with different departments I’ve held throughout my tenure in Illinois State government. I moved to Champaign after marrying the love of my life, Dr. Karen Flynn ,in July of 2008, which brought me to the U of I.

Could you please briefly describe your responsibilities as an IT professional for ATLAS?

As an IT professional for ATLAS I recommend, configure, deploy, support, update, troubleshoot and retire computers, printers, and phones as well as provide network access and resource permissions for LAS faculty, staff, and students.

What do you enjoy most about your work, and what is the best part of your workday?

What I enjoy most about my work is the autonomy that I have been given to complete my responsibilities. The best part of my day is the satisfaction I get from helping others.

If people would like to follow in your professional footsteps, what advice would you give them regarding academics, experience, other?

In terms of academics, I would recommend a bachelor’s degree in an IT Field such as computer science or Information Systems. As far as experience goes, I advise people being comfortable with operating system software for Windows and Mac computers, software packages such as Microsoft Office 365, and Endpoint management software like Microsoft Endpoint configuration Manager and Workspace ONE.

What is your favorite non-work hobby or activity?

One of my favorite activities is playing Uno with my wife, mother, and son on Sunday evenings.


Terri Gitler, February 2024