Tyler News

Back to Blog April 27, 2022

Temple's 30 Under 30 Features Two Tyler Alums

Author: Emily Herbein

This year, Temple's annual 30 Under 30 list features two Tyler graduates, Rachel Bell (BFA '17) and Amirah Mitchell (BS '21). Each year, Temple University reconnects with 30 of its best and brightest graduates under the age of 30 across all schools to find out how they've become innovators in their fields. Thanks to an extensive alumni network, these honorees are furthering Temple's legacy for the better. The 2022 award recipients will be formally recognized during Temple Made Days, April 25–30. 

Launched in 2019, in partnership with the Alumni and Constituent Engagement and Strategic Marketing and Communications, the 30 Under 30 award program highlights a trailblazing cohort of Temple Made leaders, recognizing not only the remarkable work they’ve already done, but the work we know they will do. Read more about Tyler representatives Bell and Mitchell below.

Our 2022 30 Under 30 honorees are unstoppable. Determined to make the world a better place, these Owls are using their talents to entertain and educate, reach across boundaries, and effect social change. For our young alumni, it’s just the beginning: The future holds so much more. And we’re on board.

Rachel Bell, who earned her BFA in Painting, pursued her lifelong dream to become an artist, and reflects on how Tyler's painting department influenced her style and process in ways she'd never considered. “I make this joke, like, the Tyler painting department ‘untaught’ me how to draw,” she says. “In high school, I felt like I needed to do everything representationally, and then I learned to do more thought-provoking abstract work.”

After spending a semester at Temple Rome during her junior year, she noticed a tonal shift in her artwork, gravitating toward abstract themes of "fragility and deterioration," inspired Italian scenery and street corner flower stalls. Her senior thesis show was titled Give Me Flowers, and incorporated skills she'd learned from Temple Ambler's floral design classes. 

Today, she works as a florist at Bloomie's Flower Shop in Easton, Pennsylvania, assistant director at the Bethlehem House Gallery, and an exhibiting artist at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem. 

Read more about Bell here.

Rachel Bell, photo by Ryan S. Brandenberg

Amirah Mitchell, who earned her BS in Horticulture, launched her own business, Sistah Seeds, a company that focuses on growing and distributing heirloom vegetable seeds from the African diaspora. Through this initiative, Mitchell hopes to also educate people about seed-keeping and the importance of propagation. 

During her time at Tyler, Mitchell grew her business plan and worked at two local farms, True Love Seeds and Greensgrow Farm. The hands-on experience, along with time she spent researching farming processes and seed production, set her up for a successful launch. 

“Farming has always been part of ancestral practice, a way that I connect to my ancestry and my heritage,” Mitchell says. “Saving seeds is an extension of that because the seed varieties that I store are the same varieties in many cases as those that were stewarded by my ancestors or by my community for generations. There are very few companies that are specifically prioritizing and focusing on the needs of both Black and brown farmers."

Read more about Mitchell here.

Amirah Mitchell, photo by Joseph V. Labolito