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Mitchell joins Plant City faculty

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Perry “PJ” Mitchell joins the HCC Plant City faculty.

Perry “PJ” Mitchell joins the HCC Plant City faculty.

JASON TURNER/STAFF

JASON TURNER/STAFF

Perry “PJ” Mitchell joins the HCC Plant City faculty.

By Jason Turner, Staff

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Every year, Hillsborough Community College has a few new full-time teach­ers and this semester is not an exception. One of the new instructors is Mr. Perry (PJ) Mitchell, who teaches Chemistry on the Plant City Campus.

Before this semester, Mitchell was a part-time Chemistry instructor at both HCC and St. Petersburg College (SPC). He currently teaches Introductory Chem­istry with labs and General Chemistry I with labs, and he hopes to be able to offer General Chemistry II on the Plant City Campus so stu­dents can stay on that cam­pus for more of their course­work.

Mitchell earned an asso­ciate’ degree at SPC before moving on to the University of South Florida where he earned his Bachelor in Arts in Biochemistry and then his Master of Science de­gree in Chemistry.

As a child, Mitchell al­ways loved science and his favorite science subjects were chemistry and astron­omy.

While at SPC, he worked as a lab assistant and decid­ed to focus on chemistry.

Chemistry is not a class that is only for science ma­jors. According to Mitch­ell, “Learning and study­ing chemistry, or any basic science, teaches us how to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills both in and out of the classroom. We also learn facts of the world around us in the con­text of basic science litera­cy and how it applies to and affects us on a daily basis.”

As do other faculty mem­bers, Mitchell has a life out­side of HCC. He says he is a “total nerd” and is an avid science fiction enthusiast and gamer.

He also cares for and tends orchids, carnivorous plants and bonsai. He has his own throwing wheel at home and makes his own pottery. Recently he has been trying to learn how to play the violin. In his words, “the keyword there is try­ing,” he says with a laugh.

Mitchell has some words of wisdom for students taking chemistry, wheth­er from him or one of the other HCC instructors. He says that saying, “practice makes perfect” is a misno­mer and should be “perfect practice makes perfect.” What he means is that stu­dents should learn best for their needs and find ways to study that match the way they learn. Going to lecture or just studying the prob­lems in the books is rarely enough, and students should be aware of other resources, such as YouTube videos, the tutoring center and study groups.

As far as college itself, he believes students should know their limitations be­cause they cannot over­come them if they don’t ful­ly what they are. He says it is okay to work within limitations because every­one goes to college “in the hopes of changing the world even a little” and it is “okay if you only change one per­son and that person is you.”

Mr. Mitchell’s office is in PADM 134. Stop by to say hello and talk about chem­istry or anything else you may find of interest.

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Mitchell joins Plant City faculty