In 2015, Leona Mitchell joined the School as a Professor of Practice. Utilizing her 30+ years of business, entrepreneurial, technical, sales, and leadership expertise, Mitchell has created courses and experiences that increase our undergraduates’ knowledge and help them build the necessary skills to be successful as technology professionals.

A graduate of the School’s MSIS program, Mitchell began her career at IBM in Pittsburgh as a Systems Engineer. During her tenure there, she held various executive leadership roles in sales, marketing, consulting, channel management and business transformation.

Since joining the School as a faculty member, Mitchell has created learning opportunities that give students more insight into the information technology industry as well as a better understanding of the information professional’s role in business. Her class “Analysis of Information Systems,” for example, is a team-based class that presents students with a problem and tasks them to create a viable solution. Teams must create a solid plan—complete with market research, a business model, a feasible product design, and a marketing strategy—and present it to a group of stakeholders.

Most recently, she mentored a team of undergraduate students in the Randall Family Big Idea Competition, which is an experience-based learning opportunity that pushes Pitt students to present their innovative ideas as complete, marketable startup concepts. TravelRoots, a travel site that uses a person’s DNA to create a customized travel experience, was initially created by the team during Mitchell’s Analysis of Information Systems class in Fall 2016. The team won second place in the overall competition on Thursday, March 23.