Nashman Center's Joan Mitchell Celebrates 20 Years at GW

Today marks Joan Mitchell's 20 year anniversary at George Washington University! Joan is currently the Business Manager of GW's Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. Previously, she was part of GW's Center for Student Engagement (formerly Student Activities Center, or SAC) from 1996 to 2011. To commemorate the occasion, we asked her a few questions about her time here.  

What is the best part about working at GW? 

I love the interaction I have with students. It is so fulfilling and rewarding. I love what I do.

Over twenty years, I've also made many friends along the way. Some of them have retired. Some have moved on. Some are lifelong friends. 

How did your journey begin at GW? 

I used to work in the hoteling business in L'enfant Plaza. The concierge's wife received a promotion at GW and there was an open position. I had no experience in higher education, but they encouraged me to apply. Some of the staff who interviewed me at GW are still here. At the time, my daughters complained they didn't see me enough on the weekends. That was all it took for me. I accepted the position, and I never looked back. When Deborah asked me how long I would stay, I said, "Five years." She looked at me and said, "See you in twenty."

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Seeing my daughters come to GW. I used to bring them here to pack supplies. One of my daughters actually wanted to go to NYU at first, but after visiting their campus she said it just wasn't GW. 

What is your favorite memory at GW? 

Being a parent on the other side of Colonial Inauguration. One of the Vice Presidents here saw me at Colonial Inauguration and asked what I was doing there. When I said I was there as a parent, he looked at me wide-eyed. We both didn't realize so much time had passed. 

You've been here for 20 years. You've probably seen it all. What is your advice for GW students?

Enjoy what you do. Be able to listen and take criticism and make it into something positive. Learn from people who came before you, and keep connections. 

What are you looking forward to at the Nashman Center? 

New, fresh ideas! 

 Student Activities center staff, 2011

Student Activities center staff, 2011

Here's what Jovanni Mahonez, Immersion Coordinator at the Nashman Center, had to say about Joan: 

Mama Joan's commitment to students and her colleagues is an inspiration. I have had the pleasure of working with her in two departments and no matter what her role has been she has been the spirit of each office. Joan brings warmth, kindness, humor, swag, and an amazing work ethic to the Nashman Center every day. GW is a better place because of her and hundreds of students, staff, and faculty can attest to that.