By: Tiffany King
August 28, 2023

If you ever find yourself having fun on a guided tour around Jekyll Island or special programming at the Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum you may be enjoying the work of College of Coastal Georgia alumni. Coastal alums Patrick Carmody and Lucy Hatcher—both graduates of the Class of 2020—are using their love of history and creative skills to educate the public about Jekyll Island as museum educators.

Patrick Carmody

Patrick Carmody1

Carmody was raised in Carlinville, Illinois, and around 2001, his family moved to Canton, Georgia. For college, he wanted to get away from all the Atlanta traffic, and liked the feel of Coastal when he visited.

“It felt vibrant on every tour,” he said. “The weather up there (Atlanta) doesn’t feel as nice as it does down here. Plus, who doesn’t want to go to college by the beach? I also liked the smaller classrooms.”

Carmody majored in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on communication, and a minor in history. He said interdisciplinary studies gave him the opportunity to craft his own major.

“Originally, I went into that major with the intent of going into film. I hadn’t considered getting into history. I was good in history in high school, but I didn’t think about it as a career,” Carmody said. “Dr. Robert Bleil (professor of English) was my advisor and he pointed me to Dr. Hector Montford’s (assistant professor of history) first public history course. It was the first time he ever taught it. I thought I’d give it a shot. After that, I was hooked.”

He enjoyed his history classes so much that he wanted to take as many as possible, and decided to earn a minor in history.

After graduating, Carmody pursued a career in film for some time. When he realized it wasn’t the right fit, he went to graduate school at the University of West Georgia to follow his love of history.

“West Georgia has a really good public history center that does a lot of outreach to different museum organizations. I did two years in that program and got a degree in public history and a certificate in museum studies through the Atlanta History Center,” he said.

Through the Atlanta History Center, Carmody took classes in education, museum administration, exhibit design, and did a virtual study abroad to South Africa to redesign a nature park. In graduate school, he did research for professors, graded papers for undergrads, and even worked on a podcast. He also did an internship with Jekyll Island to archive the McCash Research Papers. Carmody reached out to Montford to inquire if any local organizations were interested in having an archival intern. Montford connected Carmody with Faith Plazarin, archivist and records manager for the Jekyll Island Authority. She felt that the McCash Research Papers would be a great project for an intern.

Patrick Carmody2

Carmody started working at the Mosaic Museum in June, and has hit the ground running. He’s been managing the museum’s social media pages and is in charge of adult programming.

“The most recent one we just completed was the mid-century modern tour. It’s a tour throughout the island of different historic homes that were built in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I did that alongside our preservationist,” he said. “Soon, we’ll have our living history tour that I wrote, as well. It explores the lives of Kate Brown and Ernest Grob in 1917. This is a great place to work. There is a lot of flexibility and emphasis on being creative.”

Lucy Hatcher

Lucy Hatcher1

Hatcher raised in Atlanta. She often vacationed on Saint Simons and continued to visit the area every summer while she was attending college in Virginia. That soon changed.

“The big school atmosphere wasn’t too great for my education. The classes were too big and it didn’t work for me. I felt like I didn’t have enough one-on-one experiences with my professors,” Hatcher said. “My mom suggested I come to Coastal because it was smaller and I get to live by the beach, so, why not? It ended up being the best decision I made. The classes were smaller, and I still have good relationships with my professors. It was the best experience.”

Hatcher majored in American studies, history and political science.

“I loved my major. The professors were incredible. I’ve never had professors who’ve had so much passion for what they teach. It really resonated with you,” she said.

Like Carmody, Hatcher didn’t always see herself with a career in history—although she loved the subject in middle and high school. She was an athlete, and originally wanted to pursue sports management. Hatcher ended up switching her major twice while studying in Virginia. She came to Coastal wanting a fresh start, and decided to pursue her old love of history.

“I told myself, ‘I like history. Let’s see where this goes.’ I fell in love with it again. It was wonderful,” she said. “Dr. Michael Morris (professor of history) is the reason I fell back in love with history. I took his class my first semester, and it changed the game. Then, I had Montford right after, and that was great. Native American studies is my focus, but I’ve also done work with Pre-Colonization through the Age of Jackson and the Trail of Tears.”

Three weeks after graduating from Coastal, Hatcher started graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University. She enjoyed her time there, as she had classes of eight to 10 people, and formed great relationships with her professors. Hatcher earned a graduate certificate in public history.

While in Virginia, Hatcher started an archival internship with the Rappahannock Tribe under Chief Anne Richardson. No one had ever worked on their archives before.

“I looked through papers and letters from 1812 to the present day. I found some really cool photographs that no one in the tribe had ever seen before, because they were tucked in a box underneath a dresser in someone’s house,” she said. “It was a lot of fun, and I got a chance to meet some really cool people. I got so much out of going to grad school and doing that internship.”

Hatcher attended powwows, talked with the National Park Service, and did some archival work in Washington, D.C.

Lucy Hatcher2

She’s been working for the Mosaic Museum for only a short time, and, like Carmody, has immediately jumped right into her work. Her role as a museum educator is specifically with youth programming—something out of her comfort zone that Hatcher gladly welcomes. She is currently planning a tour for school groups that is expected to start in January. Hatcher has a lot of ideas she’s excited about, including an activity that explores how technology has changed on the island.

“I’m working on an archaeological activity, and I’m planning a Native American bike tour across Jekyll that I’m really excited about,” she said. “It will not just cover our history on the island, but also the general Georgia history of Native Americans.”

Life at the Museum

Carmody and Hatcher commended the Mosaic Museum staff for creating a very welcoming and friendly environment.

 “We go to lunches and hang out after work sometimes. I like the community aspect of it. Soon, we’re all going over to the director’s house for hamburgers and hotdogs. We can hang out and be casual with each other,” Carmody said.

“It’s definitely a family,” Hatcher said. “It felt like a family as soon as I walked in the door. I’ve never worked with a group of people that actually want to spend time together outside of work. It’s really exciting.”

Hatcher said that the staff works very hard on the programming they provide for visitors to the museum and around the island. Carmody wishes that more people knew about all the secret spots on the island, such as a hidden amphitheater and the Wandered Memory Trail.

“I didn’t know it existed before. It’s not a long trail, but it has a lot of interactives on it, along with audio documenting survivors’ lives,” Carmody said. “We have a lot of cool history on the island, and I hope we can bring more of that to the forefront.”

“We are also very inclusive to everyone. The island’s history covers everyone,” Hatcher said. “It is really important to us that we show everyone’s story, and our upcoming programming will have even more of that. That’s the joy that I have in sharing knowledge with people.”

Career Preparation

Hatcher and Carmody both agree that their time at Coastal Georgia prepped them for their careers—not only in knowledge, but also in work habits. For Carmody, he learned how to overcome procrastination.

“In high school, I was procrastinator-supreme. Coastal gave me a way of figuring out what my work schedule needs to be, and how I need to get things done in an orderly fashion,” Carmody said.

Because Hatcher transferred to Coastal, she had to take a lot of classes to catch up so she could graduate on time.

“I was often taking 21 credits a semester, so working really hard at Coastal prepared me for graduate school work,” she said. “I have no problem getting things done in a timely manner because it wasn’t an option when you took so many classes at the same time. The way the professors taught us and the internships that I did really shaped me for success.”

Hatcher did an internship with the Marshes of Glynn Libraries, where she worked on the J.A. Jones Collection and the Brunswick Marine Collection. Both collections cover World War II history in Brunswick. Carmody interned with the Coastal Georgia Historical Society. He worked at both the WWII Homefront Museum and the Lighthouse Museum.

Fond Memories of Coastal

Carmody and Hatcher talked about some of their favorite professors and fondest memories from their time at the College. Hatcher described Dr. Bleil as the best advisor who would listen to all of her worries.

“He just sat there, listened and said, ‘You’re going to do fine. We’re still proud of you.’ He’s a great support system for students,” Hatcher said. “He has all the answers. I don’t know how he does it.”

Carmody recalled how great his history professors were and how much he enjoyed Professor of Communication Tyler Bagwell’s classes as well. He often uses Bagwell’s books about Jekyll to help with his research.

One of Hatcher’s favorite memoires is when she met her closest friends. It was the summer before her second year at the College, and because of her busy schedule, she still didn’t have any friends. Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Dr. James Deemy encouraged her to do a Maymester trip. Little did she know, that was where she would meet her closest friends.

“That was a 12-day camping trip across all four corners of Georgia. It was amazing. I was one of the only non-science majors on the trip. Everyone was wondering who the weird girl was that they didn’t know,” she said. “It ended up being the best thing. It was too fun. That was my favorite part of being at Coastal—all those trips.”

Even after graduating, Hatcher was invited by Deemy to join in on a trip to Sapelo Island where she could do some alumni engagement. She jumped at the idea and went on the trip, sharing her experiences with students.

Hatcher also recalled how she and her friends would spend late nights studying for finals in a computer lab with blankets and sleeping bags.

Like Hatcher, Carmody’s favorite memory revolves around meeting his closest friends.

“There was one day in particular where we came to Jekyll for a surprise birthday for a friend. We just had fun grilling out, going to the beach and hanging out,” he said. “I also enjoyed doing stuff with them on campus, like hanging out in the SAC (Student Activity Center), playing Smash Bros, shooting pool, and walking around Lake Teel. I love walking around the Lake, especially when the sun is going down. That’s the perfect time.”

Outside of working at the Mosaic Museum, Carmody is an avid video game player and enjoys going to the beach. Hatcher loves to spend time with family and friends, and going for walks along the beach as well. She’s also a voracious reader. Her goal is to read 100 books this year, and so far, she’s read 50.

So, the next time you’re taking a tour at the Mosaic Museum, you may be in the company of a College of Coastal Georgia alum who is more than excited to share their love of history with the community.

Mosaic, Jekyll Island

Words of Advice from our Coastal Georgia Alums:

Lucy Hatcher

  • Go on every trip offered—whether or not it’s in your major.
  • Make as many friends as possible.
  • Do an internship that you really enjoy.
  • Find something you love and talk with your professors about it. They will help you.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Remember, your professors want you to succeed.
  • Enjoy your time while you’re in college, because you’ll miss it when you’re gone.
  • Don’t stress about what comes after graduation.

Patrick Carmody

  • No matter how bad things may get, you can always turn it around.
  • Always be open to do things you never thought you could do.
  • Put yourself out there. Try it. You just might like it.
  • Your professors want you to graduate and go on to do great things—no matter what it is.
  • Take the opportunity to travel. If you can’t travel abroad, go on road trips or explore the area around you.