Dr. Seán McCarthy and Dr. Mollie Godfrey Recieve Award for Outstanding College-Community Project

McCarthy, Godfrey, Hodges May 2016 Madison Magazine photo
Photo credit: Madison Magazine, May 2016. L to R: Dr. Seán McCarthy, Dr. Mollie Godfrey and JMU student, Micah Hodges

Dr. McCarthy (WRTC) and Dr. Godfrey (English) were selected as the 2017 recipients of the Conference on Community Writing (CCW) “Outstanding College-Community Project Award” for their Celebrating Simms project.  The CCW award honors high-impact initiatives developed or sustained through university/college-community partnerships that embody a spirit of collaboration and reciprocity.   The Simms project was the result of a year-long interdisciplinary course and was focused on celebrating the life of local African American educator Lucy F. Simms, who was born a slave and who, after obtaining her freedom, went on the be a celebrated teacher in Harrisonburg.  The course project culminated in the April 2016 opening of Celebrating Simms: The Story of the Lucy F. Simms School, a permanent exhibition at the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center, and expanded to include five separate permanent installations (in Harrisonburg High School and all four Rockingham County High Schools), a companion booklet, and a website (, which offers additional tools such as an interactive map and timeline and SOL-aligned curriculum materials for use by elementary, middle, and high school teachers.  Drs. McCarthy and Godfrey will be recognized at the keynote luncheon at the October 2017 CCW conference, and they have been invited to publish an article about their project in the Community Literacy Journal, the flagship journal for community-based projects in rhetoric, composition, and literacy studies.  

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Published: Thursday, July 20, 2017

Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2020

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