Nominees for 2nd VP and Board of Directors

16 Aug 2021 2:48 PM | Erika Pribanic-Smith (Administrator)

The American Journalism Historians Association will conduct electronic voting in September to elect a second vice-president and fill three open positions on the Board of Directors. The ballots, which will be emailed to all members, also will include a proposed amendment to the Constitution and Bylaws.

Tracy Lucht and Ken Ward have been nominated for the position of second vice-president. Mark Bernhardt, Erin Coyle, Matthew Pressman, and Yong Volz have been nominated for the board of directors. The electronic ballot will include space for write-in votes.

After elections are held, current Second Vice-President Mike Conway (Indiana University) will become first vice-president for 2021-2022, and First Vice-President Aimee Edmondson (Ohio University) will become president.

Nominees

Second Vice-President

Tracy Lucht is an expert on the history, experiences, and representations of women in the U.S. media. A winner of the National Award for Excellence in Teaching from the American Journalism Historians Association, Lucht teaches courses in writing and reporting for the media, news and feature editing, and journalism history. She has written, co-written or co-edited several books, including The Media in America: A History (Vision Press); Sylvia Porter: America’s Original Personal Finance Columnist (Syracuse University Press); and Mad Men and Working Women: Feminist Perspectives on Historical Power, Resistance, and Otherness (Peter Lang). Her latest research is about Amelia Bloomer and early feminist journalism. Lucht previously worked as a copy editor at USA Today, The Washington Post, and The Des Moines Register.

What AJHA means to me: I owe my professional success to this organization and the people in it, who have given me material and moral support since I joined in 2008. As the overall environment becomes more challenging for us as academics and historians, it will be more important than ever for us to continue to support each other. I am interested in exploring ways to help our group evolve and flourish – and to help our members get the mentoring they need all the way through their careers.”

Ken J. Ward, the 2019 recipient of AJHA's President's Award for Sustained and Exemplary Service, has been involved in AJHA as the Convention Registrar, Graduate Student Chair, and a member of the Board of Directors. He also is chair of AEJMC History Division's teaching committee and co-host of the Journalism History podcast. Ward's research focuses on the journalism history of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. His research has appeared in top academic journals and received accolades such as AJHA's Robert Lance Memorial Award and the AEJMC History Division's Warren Price Award. Before earning his Ph.D. from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ward was a reporter for the McPherson (Kansas) Sentinel and a sports radio producer for 1410 KGSO in Wichita. He recently joined the Pittsburg State University Department of Communication in Kansas after three years on the faculty at Lamar University (Beaumont, Texas). He teaches courses in journalism and production as well as media history and law.

What AJHA means to me: “AJHA has been my academic home since I was working on my Master's, and I treasure the relationships I've built over these years through the organization. I wouldn't be who I am today without the mentorship and inspiration I've received from AJHA's members, and I'm thankful for that. In return, I've sought to give back wherever possible, be that on the board of directors, as registrar, or through committee work, and I'd be honored to continue serving the organization as its second vice-president.”

Board of Directors

Mark Bernhardt is a professor in the History department at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, where he has served for fourteen years. Prior to that he taught at the University of California, Riverside, for the History department and Women’s Studies department. Mark received his B.A. degree in History from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.A. in History from California State University, Sacramento, and his Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Riverside. He has taught courses on late nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. History, the American West, Sexuality in the United States, U.S. Media History, and courses examining how films have engaged with a variety of historical social and political issues. His research examines how newspapers, films, and television engage in public discourse about imperialism and its legacy in the transnational North American West, U.S. involvement in wars, social and cultural issues surrounding crime, and the impact of intersectionality in people’s lives.

What AJHA means to me: “I have been a member of the American Journalism Historians Association for five years and currently serve on the History in the Curriculum Committee and editorial board of Historiography in Mass Communication. I have also published in both American Journalism and Journalism History over the years. What has drawn me into this organization is that it serves as a home for scholars in a variety of fields with different perspectives and methodologies who share the common interest of studying History. As someone who works across disciplines, I value what the AJHA does and want to be a part of helping the organization strengthen and grow. Specifically, I support the ongoing advocacy to include Media History as a requirement in the Mass Communications curriculum and building connections with History departments as one means to accomplish this. It is something I have already been working on for the organization and I will continue to do so should I be elected as a member of the board.”

Erin Coyle researches advocacy for free expression, rights to access government information and government proceedings, and conflicts between free expression and privacy rights. Coyle teaches courses in journalism history, media law and ethics, writing and reporting, and theory. She has written a book, The Press and Rights to Privacy: First Amendment Freedoms Vs. Invasion of Privacy Claims. She also has published articles in American Journalism, Journalism History, Historiography in Mass Communication, and Communication Law & Policy. Her latest research focuses on journalists’ coverage of high-profile trials and American newspaper editors’ international advocacy for press freedom during the Cold War era. She has previously served on the AJHA Board of Directors and as the AJHA Research Committee Chair. 

What AJHA means to me: Erin is grateful that AJHA and the organization’s members have played important roles in her professional life since she joined the organization as a graduate student. She values the mentoring, support for research, and promotion of journalism history education the organization and its members consistently provide to students and faculty. As a member of the board, she would like to explore ways the organization could provide more formal mentoring of students and faculty as well as encourage historical scholarship on diverse topics.

Matthew Pressman is an assistant professor of journalism at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. He is the author of numerous journal and mass-media articles and of On Press: The Liberal Values That Shaped the News (Harvard University Press, 2018). He first joined AJHA as a graduate student in 2013 and currently serves as book review editor for American Journalism and as co-chair of the Joint Journalism and Communication History Conference. He received his Ph.D. in History from Boston University and worked as a journalist at Vanity Fair prior to his academic career.

What AJHA means to me: I would not be where I am in my career today were it not for AJHA. It has provided me, like so many other scholars, with funding opportunities, venues in which to publish and present my work, and access to outstanding research on journalism history and pedagogy. But just as important as those tangible benefits is the sense of belonging to a supportive community of talented scholars. In my experience, AJHA has always been welcoming and inclusive while upholding a commitment to scholarly excellence, and I would be honored to help maintain that tradition as a member of the AJHA board.

Yong Volz (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) is an associate professor and chair of the Journalism Studies faculty at the School of Journalism, University of Missouri. Her research centers on journalists and their place in society and history. Working primarily in the tradition of historical and comparative sociology, her research explores the formation of journalists as a distinctive occupational group, especially concerning gender and social stratification, career path and professional mobility, social movements, and the construction of collective identity. She has examined empirical cases spanning three centuries from both the United States and China. Her oral history project – Herstory – brings to light the experiences of senior women journalists. Volz has received several campus and national awards, including the University of Missouri Alumnae Anniversary Faculty Award, the Outstanding Service Award from Chinese Communication Association, Adviser of the Year from Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society, the University of Missouri’s 2020 Jordan Hoyt Tribute to Women Award, and the 2021 Ann K. Covington Award for Mentoring. She is a former head of the AEJMC History Division and served on the advisory board for the Chinese Association for History of Journalism and Communication. She currently serves as Vice-President/President-Elect of the Chinese Communication Association.

What AJHA means to me: AJHA has been a special part of Volz’s academic career. She joined AJHA as a junior faculty member in the late 2000s and benefited from the many meaningful conversations she had with fellow members at the research panels, receptions, and group dinners during the annual conventions. She would like to be involved with AJHA and contribute to a forward-thinking and sustainable future of the organization. With her continuing involvement with other national or international academic and professional organizations, she hopes to help AJHA expand its partnerships and collaborations, promote and increase AJHA’s visibility and impact, and seek ways to better serve the diverse interests and backgrounds of its members.

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