Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Alumni Association

Bud and Mary Mansfield Parent of the Year Recipients

Awarded for 2014

Matthew & Mary Slocum, Friends and Advocates for Kaitlyn Brogan

Awarded for 2013

John & Karen VanDusen, Parents of Melody VanDusen
Williamsburg, Michigan

Awarded for 2012

John & Rita Plotzke, Parents of John Plotzke
St. Clair Shores, Michigan

Awarded for 2011

Kevin & Teresa Gordon, Parents of Michael Gordon
Redford, Michigan

Awarded for 2010

Suzzanne Luton, Mother of Lisa Luton
Mancelona, Michigan

Awarded for 2009

Bill & Candi McAlvey, Aunt & Uncle of Cheyenne Shinabarger
Carson City, Michigan

Awarded for 2008

Debbie Garcia, Mother of Angela Chartier
Menominee, Michigan

Awarded for 2007

Dan Zeiger, Father of Amy Zieger
Lansing, Michigan

Awarded for 2006

Dale & Joan Betcher, Parents of Michelle Betcher
Trout Lake, Michigan

Awarded for 2005

Will & Claudia Kaul, Parents of Cicely Kaul
Afton, Minnesota

Awarded for 2004

Thomas & Penny Underwood, Parents of Lance Underwood
Danville, Michigan

Awarded for 2003

Neil & Cindy Gallaway, Parents of Cory Gallaway
Lewiston, Michigan

Awarded for 2002

Wayne & Sue King, Parents of Tiffany King,
Freeland, Michigan

Awarded for 2001

Phil & Christine Butler, Parents of Courtney Butler
Elk Rapids, Michigan

Awarded for 2000

Donna Vinette, Mother of Nicole Vinette
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Awarded for 1999

Emily Chandauka, Mother of Sophie Chandauka
Zimbabwe, Africa

Awarded for 1998

Patricia Johnson, Mother of Candy Johnson
Perry, Michigan

History of Bud & Mary Mansfield Award

Home » Bud and Mary Mansfield Parent of the Year Recipients
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