News icon The Mitchell Institute Names Experienced Higher Education Administrator External Relations Associate & Operations Coordinator

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A photo of Alex Carrier Hitchcox

PORTLAND, Maine — Jared Cash, President and CEO of the Mitchell Institute, announced today that Alex Carrier Hitchcox will join Maine’s premier scholarship organization in early December as the External Relations Associate & Operations Coordinator. Among her responsibilities, Hitchcox will partner with the President and CEO to manage projects and priorities, coordinate logistics related to Board activities, and assist the Director of Development with data management and executing fundraising activities. Like every member of the Mitchell Institute staff, she will interface with scholar-facing programs and participate in the annual evaluation of scholarship applications.

“Along with a depth of program execution, Alex brings a broad range of higher education and student development experience to the Mitchell Institute, including professional positions in admissions, enrollment management, career development, academic advising, and student affairs,” Cash said. “After the staff interviewed an impressive round of finalists, it became clear that Alex’s full array of skills, project management experience, and demonstrated commitment to helping young people will help position our team for success. Most of all, her personal and professional purpose aligns with our mission — to increase the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue, and achieve a college education.”

At the University of Southern Maine, Hitchcox held several roles of progressive responsibility. Most recently as Associate Director of Admissions, she managed a recruitment territory of 40 high schools in Maine and New Hampshire and served as liaison to the Department of Athletics. While helping high school applicants find their paths to a college degree, Hitchcox also worked to raise awareness of issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion by serving as an Inclusive Excellence Fellow, reporting to the Vice President of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Impact. In this role, she collaborated with the University’s Human Resources team to develop a Search Advisor pilot program focused on ensuring the recruitment of diverse job applicants and conducting an equitable review of all applicants. As a Student Experience Advocate, she led retention-focused outreach efforts that helped more than 250 students overcome barriers to continued enrollment. She also conducted exit surveys and interviews with transferring and non-returning students to learn how to improve the overall student experience and increase retention.

In her role as Employer Relationship Manager for USM’s Career & Employment Hub, Hitchcox helped external business partners meet their staffing needs and improve applicant pipelines by developing and promoting employment, internship, and experiential learning opportunities for students. She also oversaw the planning and execution of the fourth-annual Hussey Leadership Institute, a professional development program for the community that annually attracts nearly 500 registrants. As Coordinator of Student Involvement and Activities, she oversaw the University’s broad range of student clubs and organizations and advised and mentored student leaders within several committees of the Student Government Association. She also supervised professional staff in charge of the campus radio station, WMPG, and The Free Press campus newspaper.

Throughout her career at USM, Hitchcox served students, faculty, and staff through volunteer work on several committees. She was a member of the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Council, Chair of the Student Commencement Speaker Selection Committee, and a member of the Food Security Council and Campus Safety Project Steering Committee. She also was appointed to serve on USM’s Bias Response Team. Outside of higher education, Hitchcox has been a member of the Junior League of Portland, serving on the organization’s Board of Directors, as Membership Vice President, and as Co-Chair of the Leadership & Membership Events Committee.

“After nearly ten years in higher education, I am excited to contribute my skills and experience to the continued success of the Mitchell Institute,” Hitchcox said. “I’m looking forward to supporting the operations of the organization at all levels and partnering with the staff, Board of Directors, Senator’s Circle members, and the Alumni as we work to expand the reach and impact of the Institute’s support for young people in Maine.”

Hitchcox received her bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on public health at the University of Richmond. During her undergraduate years, she served as the President of the Panhellenic Council, a tour guide and senior intern in the Office of Admission, and a volunteer EMT first responder. Hitchcox later earned a master’s in higher education and student affairs at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. While earning her advanced degree, Hitchcox served as a graduate assistant for the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, an intern with the Title IX staff within the Office of Diversity & Equity, and an academic advisor at nearby Manchester Community College.

Outside of work, Hitchcox, a native Mainer, enjoys spending time outdoors, visiting Monhegan Island with her husband, Doug, teaching yoga, and spending time at home in Windham with her three cats.

About the Mitchell Institute

Founded by Senator George J. Mitchell, the Mitchell Institute’s core mission is to improve the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue, and achieve a college education. Through awarding $1.4 million in college scholarship funds every year to students from every community in Maine, the Mitchell Institute unlocks the potential of the state’s young people so that they can find success in college and contribute to the vitality of their communities. In addition to providing each Mitchell Scholar with a $10,000 scholarship, the Institute provides an array of support programs for leadership development and supplemental funding opportunities for activities related to career and professional development. This combination of personal, professional, and financial support makes college degrees more attainable for Mitchell Scholars, who graduate at a rate 30% higher than the national average and are more likely than their peers to work in Maine or return to the state after graduating from college.