Notable Awards Honoring Two African Americans in Higher Education

Geffrey Davis, an assistant professor of English who teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Arkansas, has won a Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship from the Whiting Foundation. Davis is being honored for his touring performance entitled “On the Row: The Prison Story Project.” The staged reading offers the views of 10 inmates on death row in Arkansas. Dr. Davis will receive a $50,000 award.

A native of Seattle, Dr. Davis is a graduate of Oregon State University. He holds a master’s degree in English, a master of fine arts degree in poetry, and a Ph.D. in English from Pennsylvania State University. His most recent poetry collection is Night Angler (BOA Editions, 2019). Dr. Davis is also the poetry editor of the Iron Horse Literary Review, published by Texas Tech University Press.

Bette Simmons, vice president of student development and enrollment management at County College of Morris in Randolph, New Jersey, has received the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award. She was honored for her leadership skills and commitment to the mission of community colleges.

Dr. Simmons is a graduate of Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania, where she double majored in Spanish and French. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from Montclair State University in New Jersey and a doctorate in higher education administration from Seton Hall University in New Jersey.


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