- Software / Computer Programming
- Video / television
- Political activism
- Languages / linguistics
Mitchell Szczepanczyk is a software developer who has pursued a suite of different activities over the years, some of which are described below. This website chronicles some of his work and interests. Mitchell was born in Michigan (USA) to Polish immigrants, and he lives in Chicago.
For a decade (2004 - 2014), Mitchell hosted the weekly public affairs show The Ministry of Truth on WHPK 88.5 FM radio in Chicago (all of the episodes are archived under the "radio" tag on this website). For five years (2010 - 2015), he produced From The Trenches, the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center; an archive of episodes of From The Trenches resides on the Chicago Indymedia website. He has been an occasional guest on Chicago radio station WZRD 88.3 FM. Mitchell was also a volunteer contributor for six years (1983 - 1989) at a community radio station in Michigan (the now-defunct WEHB 89.9 FM in Grand Rapids).
From 2004 to the present, Mitchell has helped produce and contributed to Chicago Indymedia's monthly TV series, Chicago Independent Television, which is distributed on Chicago cable television and on national satellite. He has produced about 70 short films over the years for the show; many of those segments are online and linked on this website (archived under the "indymedia" tag on this website). He has also made a number of past guest appearances on the public affairs program 26 N. Halsted on Chicago TV station WCIU-TV.
Mitchell is also a political activist, and has been involved in groups working toward positive social change, particularly around media and political economy. As a longtime organizer with Chicago Media Action (CMA), Mitchell has worked on CMA campaigns around the Federal Communications Commission and corporate media concentration, public access television, public radio and television, community internet initiatives, network neutrality, and the U.S. digital television transition. Much of his work there is chronicled on the website for Chicago Media Action. In March 2009, Mitchell was the subject of a cover story in the Chicago Reader entitled "Who's Holding the Remote?".
Mitchell has been involved with groups working on the heterodox economic model known as "participatory economics"; he co-founded CAPES, the Chicago Area Participatory Economics Society, and has organized events with CAPES. He was/is also active with the Chicago chapter of IOPS (the International Organization for a Participatory Society).
Mitchell is also a quiz and game show aficionado, having played quizbowl in college and graduate school. He has written and edited questions for NAQT, National Academic Quiz Tournaments, and also occasionally volunteers with the International Quizzing Association. In September 2007, he appeared as a contestant on the syndicated American version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. In September 2008, he was a member of America's Team on the syndicated TV show "Trivial Pursuit: America Plays". Mitchell has also been active with the Game Show Congress and has participated in the Trivia Championships of North America. He still occasionally plays bar trivia and he was a member of the team that won the 2013 Team Trivia National Championship.
Mitchell grew up in a household where Polish was spoken, and he is working to achieve adult fluency in Polish. He is also conversationally competent in ASL, American Sign Language. In the past, he has studied Latin, German, and Spanish, and is interested in improving his German, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. Mitchell holds two degrees in linguistics; his graduate work focused on Polish phonology, and his later professional work involves the computational analysis and presentation of syntax.
Mitchell was a columnist during the entire print run (2004 - 2005) of the Chicago monthly newspaper Third Coast Press. He was written articles and letters in other print publications including Z Magazine, Chicago's Conscious Choice magazine, and AREA Chicago. Some of those writings are available on this website. He also writes online to the Chicago Independent Media Center ("Chicago Indymedia"), and for Chicago Media Action, among other websites. He has written two e-books, and contributed to a chapter to the book Real Utopia.
Mitchell attended primary and secondary school in Michigan; he is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.A., 1996), and he holds Master's degrees (M.A., 1998; M.S., 2003) in linguistics and computer science from the University of Chicago. He has lived in Chicago since 1996.