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Trustee-Alum Comes Full Circle

Mitchell College Trustee Cornell Yarbrough ’01 fondly remembers words of wisdom imparted to him as a student by one of his Mitchell professors: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

“I love that line,” Cornell said.

Living your unique story – not trying to live someone else’s – is an ingredient for living a joyful life, and Cornell’s Mitchell experience was one part of his recipe.

“When I arrived on the Mitchell campus,” he said, “my intention was just to attend college and live on a campus while I figured everything out. I didn’t have a specific plan. I was drawn to the school for its campus, the individual attention a smaller college like Mitchell can provide and the amazing teachers. Mitchell was beautiful, transformative and fun.”

Cornell began his Mitchell career as a sport management major before changing to liberal arts. He earned his associate degree in 2001 and went on to Hofstra University to earn his bachelor’s degree in communications in 2004.

“I learned discipline and how to focus at Mitchell College, which helped me tremendously in my success at Hofstra,” he said.

Today, he excels in the communications field as an on-air personality and DJ for iHeart Radio in New York and Boston. He also pays his success forward as CEO of Whutever it takes DJ Academy – an innovative afterschool program that exposes students in grades 4 through 12 to a unique form of learning music, communication and improvisation, all which can be the foundation for future careers.

A soon-to-be-author, he is also working on a line of children’s books to inspire youth through music.

“I’m excited because the storyline will show that all children are created equal and can overcome any obstacle in life, whether they have disabilities or not.”

As a Mitchell student, Cornell involved himself in many activities.

“I was on the baseball team, in the multicultural club and worked in the campus bookstore. I was also a resident assistant for Matteson Hall. Some of my favorite memories at Mitchell were family weekends, on-campus parties in the club room, talent shows in Clarke Center Auditorium and laughing with friends in the lobby of Matteson Hall.”

As a Mitchell trustee and an alumnus, Cornell is in a unique position to help move the college forward.

“Being an alumnus informs my work as a trustee by allowing me to have a similar perspective of a future, current or past Mitchell student. I can bring information to my fellow trustees about events and other ideas that can enrich the student experience at Mitchell.”