Awards and Honors

Reginald Simmons Memorial Award

Reginald (Reggie) Simmons '75, a thoughtful and respected scholar of political science and African affairs, passed away in 2003 at age 50. Simmons devoted his career to improving the lives of the people of Africa.

In his honor, former classmate Bob Iger has established the Reggie Simmons Memorial Award, which each year will send two students to participate in a program with which Simmons worked for many years: Operation Crossroads Africa (OCA). OCA is America's premier cross-cultural exchange program designed to promote understanding of Africa and its culture.

The 2015 program is scheduled for seven weeks (June 15 to August 10). Operation Crossroads Africa is considering projects in following countries: Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Benin, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

Previous recipients include:
2007: Krystal Maughan ‘08 and Michelle Diemer ’08
2008: Jeff Goodwin '10 and Jen Nevins '09
2009: William Mathewson '10 and Alexander Sharkey '09
2010: Frieda Becker '11 and Katerina Leinhart '11
2011: Chelsea Lawrence '13 and Ranu Nath '12
2012: Shea O'Meara '13 and Jenna Jablonski '13
2013: Shannon Ward '14 and Blaize Hall '15
2014: Sierra Hart '15 and Peter Quandt '15
2015: Lauren McGrath '17 and Shai Ben-Dor '16

Students who are majors in the Park School or in the Politics Department are eligible. Graduating seniors are not eligible.

To apply, submit three 500-word essays answering the following questions:

1) How would others describe you?

2) Doing service work in a small village in Africa is both hugely rewarding and significantly challenging.  What experiences have you had to date that would suggest you would be able to meet those challenges?

3) What impressions come to mind when you hear the word Africa?

Deadline for Summer 2015 applications was Friday, January 30, 2015. Summer 2016 information will be posted during the Fall semester. Submit essays with a cover sheet that includes your name, address, phone, e-mail address, major and student ID number. Please include a copy of your resume that lists your activities and volunteer service. Applications can be delivered to Melissa Gattine in Park 378 or e-mailed to

For more information on the OCA program, visit

Please note: you do not need to fill out the application on the Operation Crossroads Africa website to apply for this scholarship; simply answer the essay questions above.

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