Nominees for Second VP and Board of Directors

11 Aug 2022 2:45 PM | Erika Pribanic-Smith (Administrator)

by Cathy Jackson, Nominations and Elections Chair

It’s that time of the year when AJHA members learn about the candidates for open leadership slots. Two AJHA members were nominated to serve as second vice-president, and four members are vying for three seats on the board of directors. The 2nd VP, under normal circumstances, rises to the presidency in two years, then serves on the Board as ex-officio for an additional two years. Board members serve for three years and are expected to attend board meetings at the annual convention.

Additional nominations can be made from the floor during the election that will take place at the annual member business meeting on Saturday, Oct. 1. The ballot also will include a proposed constitutional amendment.

After elections are held, current Second Vice-President Tracy Lucht (Iowa State University) will become first vice-president for 2022-2023, and First Vice-President Mike Conway (Indiana University) will become president.

Proxy Voting

Dues-paying AJHA members unable to attend the conference are eligible to vote by proxy. They should send their name, email address, and the name of the person who will cast their proxy vote at the conference to AJHA Nominations and Elections Committee Chair Cathy Jackson ( no later than midnight Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. PLEASE CONFIRM IN ADVANCE that the proxy voter will be at the business meeting on Oct. 1 and is willing to cast the proxy vote.


Second Vice-President

Paulette Kilmer (University of Toledo) has been a member of AJHA for almost 30 years, joining as a graduate student in the mid-1980s. She received two President’s Awards: for leadership of the Donna Allen Luncheon and for filling both editor positions on the Intelligencer and American Journalism in the same year. Kilmer served on the Education and Curriculum committees and chaired the Publications Committee. Her research examines newspapers, magazines, and other forms of pop culture in the 19th century as narrative and myth. Her major research theme is the power of factually based stories to shape the way readers see themselves and the world, thus reinforcing stereotypes, hidden privilege, and misinformation.

Debbie van Tuyll (professor emerita, Augusta University) has been a member for about 25 years. She has won the Kobre Award (2019), the Jean Palmegiano Award (2018), a couple of honorable mentions here and there, and the McKerns Award. She served on the Convention Committee when she was a new member and served as a board member twice. She has refereed papers for the convention and for American Journalism. Van Tuyll is an editor of the Southeastern Review of Journalism History, which is co-published by her university department and the Southeastern Symposium of AJHA. For more than 15 years, she helped organize and run the Symposium and supported it by bringing students to present papers. Her research interests are Civil War-era journalism, transnational journalism history, and the earliest Irish American press.

Board of Directors

Mark Bernhardt (professor, Jackson State University) has been a member of the AJHA for six years. He currently serves on the History in the Curriculum Committee and editorial board of Historiography in Mass Communication. In 2020, he was awarded the Joseph McKerns Research Grant and has published in both American Journalism and Journalism History. His research interests include how newspapers, films, and television engage in public discourse about social and cultural issues connected to imperialism and its legacy in the transnational North American West, U.S. involvement in wars, and intersectionality in U.S. society.

Elisabeth Fondren (assistant professor, St. John's University) has been a member of AJHA for six years. She received the Wally Eberhard Award for Outstanding Research in Media and War (2016), the Robert Lance Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper (2016), the Jean Palmegiano Award for Outstanding Paper on International/Transnational Journalism (2021 and 2017), honorable mention for the Blanchard Dissertation Prize (2019), the Joseph McKerns Research Grant (2020), and the Maurine Beasley Award for Outstanding Paper on Woman's History (2021). Her AJHA involvement includes serving on the AJHA Curriculum Committee and the Coordinating Committee for the Joint Journalism and Communication History Conference (JJCHC). She continuously reviews for American Journalism and the AJHA conference. Her research interests focus on the history of international journalism, government propaganda, military-media relations, and freedom of speech during wartime. 

Thomas A. Mascaro (professor emeritus, Bowling Green State University) has been a member for 17 years and is the recipient of an honorable mention for the AJHA Book of the Year Award (2013), American Journalism’s Best Article Award (2018), co-winner of the Wally Eberhard Award for Best Paper on Media and War, honorable mention for the William David Sloan Award for Top Faculty Paper (2020), and co-runner-up for the Maurine Beasley Award for Outstanding Paper on Women’s History (2022). Mascaro has served as the chair the Service Awards Committee, long-time reviewer for American Journalism, judge for the AJHA Book Award competition, and as a referee for the annual convention’s paper selection. He also is an editorial board member for Historiography of Mass Communication, a non-AJHA, online journal that is closely affiliated with AJHA members (since 2019). His research interests include Network News documentary research, broadcast journalism history, Vietnam-era media history, including Southeast Asia, First Amendment history related to broadcast journalism, presidential & media history, and media and culture history.

Ashley Walter (journalism post-doctoral fellow, Utah State University) has been a member of AJHA for six years. She was the recipient of the 2019 Robert Lance Memorial Award for Outstanding Student Paper and the 2022 Maurine Beasley Award for Outstanding Paper on Women’s History, and she has received honorable mentions for the Robert Lance Award (2022) and the Wally Eberhard Award for Outstanding Paper on Media and War (2017). She served for two years as editorial assistant for American Journalism and is a member of the Oral History Committee. Walter’s research interest is media history with a focus on women's labor and magazine research. Her work is published in Journalism History, American Journalism, and The Journal of Magazine Media.

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