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CCAC faculty member and student recognized by Northeast Regional Honors Council

CCAC adjunct Cody McDevitt with bookPITTSBURGH—Community College of Allegheny County adjunct faculty member Cody McDevitt and CCAC Honors student Marilyn Green were recognized by the Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC) at its annual conference, held virtually earlier this month. McDevitt, a journalism instructor and an award-winning investigative journalist and historian, was named the NRHC’s 2021 Distinguished Author for his 2018 book “Banished from Johnstown: Racist backlash in Pennsylvania.” The book details one of the worst civil rights injustices in Western Pennsylvania history. In 1923, in response to the fatal shooting of four policemen, the mayor of Johnstown ordered every African American and every Mexican immigrant who had lived in the city for less than seven years to leave. They were given less than a day to move or they would face crippling fines or jail time. An estimated two thousand people were forced out at gunpoint and had their lives uprooted as a result of this racist edict. 

The NRHC held a Common Read of his book for conference attendees. During an “author talk,” McDevitt spoke about the subject of his book and the importance of local investigative journalism. Green won the Common Read essay contest, for which she received a $100 prize. Students were encouraged to submit essays in response to the following prompts: Why do you feel that this event has, up to this point, not been better remembered within the greater narrative of American history, even by the citizens of Johnstown? Compare and contrast the historical events leading up to Mayor Cauffiel’s order in September of 1923 to the current cultural and political landscape of the United States today. 

The NRHC, an organization of students, faculty, and administrators dedicated to the encouragement and support of undergraduate honors learning, is comprised of almost 200 member colleges and universities located in 11 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. 

To learn more about CCAC’s Honors program visit ccac.edu/honors/index.php. To learn more about the Northeast Regional Honors Council visit nrhchonors.com.