Gina Carter-Simmers, the general manager of the public radio station operated by Jackson State University in Mississippi, died late last month after a two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 49 years old.
A native of Tuskegee, Alabama, Carter-Simmers graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in public relations. Her first job was as a promotions assistant at WUAL, the public radio station at the University of Alabama. Her boss at that station later transferred to WJSU, the public radio station at Jackson State and he offered her a job there. She later became general manager of the jazz radio station.
After her diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer, Carter-Simmers became a staunch advocate for breast cancer survivors. She organized a museum exhibit entitled “Beauty of Cancer” that featured photographs of women showing their scars from breast cancer surgery and the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. She later organized the Beauty of Cancer Wigs Projects that provided dozens of wigs for women who had lost their hair due to cancer treatments.
Elayne H. Anthony, chair of the department of journalism and media studies at Jackson State University and Carter-Simmers’ immediate supervisor, stated that Carter-Simmers “professionalism was outstanding and her call to duty was legendary. She was always upbeat and positive even on her not-so-good-days.”