By Bill Schock
Gay Gibson Cima, of McLean, VA, a distinguished educator and acclaimed author, is the 2017 inductee into the Falls City Public School’s Wall of Fame.
She is a 1966 graduate of Falls City High School. She then graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska, earned her Masters Degree from Northwestern University and received her Ph.D from Cornell University.
Dr. Gibson Cima achieved success in academia as a theatre arts scholar, university professor and arts administrator. Through her scholarship, she revealed how black and white American women, from the 18th through the 21st centuries, used theatrical, religious and political performances to expand women’s rights, fight racism, and forge a broader democracy. Publishing three internationally acclaimed books and many articles while teaching in Georgetown University’s Department of English, Dr. Gibson Cima won Lifetime Achievement and Distinguished Scholar Awards from two national theatre organizations. She published her first book, Performing Women, and then won the American Society for Theatre Researcher’s International Book Award for Early American Women Critics and additional honors for her book, Performing Anti-Slavery.
Dr. Gibson Cima also earned awards for Excellence in University Teaching and Student Advising. At Georgetown University she produced more than 70 student-directed plays and taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses on theatre studies, women’s studies, and African American literature.
In addition, she administered many arts and humanities programs, including one that helped launch Georgetown’s Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. The director of Georgetown’s Critical Race Theory Forum, Dr. Gibson Cima founded the university’s Humanities and Human Rights Initiative. She served as an Advisor for Georgetown’s Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, as an Administrative Officer in the American Council of Learned Societies, and as a Delegate to the National Humanities Alliance.
Dr. Gibson Cima and her husband, Ronald J. Cima, are the parents of a son and daughter.
By Bill Schock