Scholarships in Action: Michelle Diemer '08 Builds Library in Gambia

Michelle Diemer ’08 works with Operations Crossroads Africa, thanks to the Reginald Simmons Memorial Award.

Communications management and design major Michelle Diemer ’08 traveled to Gambia, West Africa, last summer as one of the first two recipients of the Reginald Simmons Memorial Award, established by Simmons’s friend Bob Iger ’73. (The second student, Krystal Maughan ’08, is a film, photography, and visual arts major.)

Reggie Simmons ’75 passed away in 2003 at age 50 after a life of service work in Africa. The award sends two IC students a year to work six weeks with Operation Crossroads Africa.

Diemer built a community library with Gambian counterparts in Jambanjelly Village, then returned to Ithaca to launch a fund-raising drive for books. This summer she’ll return to Jambanjelly with the books she and fellow IC students collected. This year’s recipients are television-radio major Jeff Goodwin ’10 and journalism major Jen Nevins ’09.