Nominees Announced For 2017 AJHA Elections

08 Sep 2017 3:32 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

This year’s call for nominations yielded a diverse pool for leadership positions in our organization. Two AJHA members have been nominated to fill the slot of 2017-2018 2nd VP, and three members were nominated to fill three three-year terms on the Board of Directors.

Here’s a little bit of information about each nominee (listed in alphabetical order, by position).


Donna Lampkin Stephens (University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Ark.) has been nominated for the position of 2nd VP. Stephens joined AJHA as a graduate student in 2008, where she won the Robert Lance Memorial Award for Outstanding Student Paper for one of her assignments in Dave Davies’ Historical Methods class at the University of Southern Mississippi (“The Conscience of the Arkansas Gazette: J.N. Heiskell Faces the Storm of Little Rock.”). Since then, she has attended conferences in Raleigh, New Orleans, St. Paul, Oklahoma City, St. Petersburg and Little Rock. In New Orleans, she presented her dissertation, “’If It Ain’t Broke, Break It’: How Corporate Journalism Killed the Arkansas Gazette,” which earned honorable mention for the Margaret A. Blanchard Dissertation Prize. It was published by the University of Arkansas Press in 2015. She has participated in panel discussions and served on the Public Relations and History in the Curriculum committees and has been a reviewer for American Journalism. Stephens is transitioning off the AJHA board after a three-year term and is one of the local hosts for the Little Rock conference. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in Journalism and English from the University of Arkansas, an M.Ed. in special education (Teaching Visually Impaired Children) from UA-Little Rock, and a Ph.D. in Mass Communication (History and Law) from the University of Southern Mississippi. 


Amber Roessner (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) has been nominated for the position of 2nd VP. Roessner joined AJHA as a graduate student in 2006. In her time with the organization, she has served in numerous roles—as the member and chair of the AJHA Graduate Committee (2007-2011), as the chair of the Elections and Nominations Committee (2011-present), as a conference reviewer (2010-present), as a member of the Blanchard Doctoral Dissertation award committee (2013-2016) and the AJHA Book Award Committee (2011-2014). She also served on the Board of Directors 2013-2016. Roessner has published one book and 12 refereed articles, including three that appeared in American Journalism, where she has served as a manuscript reviewer on numerous occasions. Much of this research was presented at AJHA, where she has been honored with AJHA’s William Snorgrass Memorial Award and honorable mention for the David Sloan Outstanding Faculty Paper Award and the Robert E. Lance Award. Roessner recently was honored with the 2017 AJHA Award for Excellence in Teaching, with American Journalism’s 2014 Rising Scholar Award, and with AJHA’s 2011 Joseph McKerns Research Grant Award. Roessner is an associate professor of journalism and electronic media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; she received her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in 2010. Her research interests include twentieth century U.S. political communications and race and gender politics in American culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


David O. Dowling (University of Iowa, Iowa City) has been nominated to serve on the board of directors. Dowling has been a member of AJHA since 2014. Dowling has served as a referee for Research Paper Submissions for the 2016 and 2017 Annual Conferences and on the American Journalism Editorial Board since 2016. Two of his articles, one on the ideological convergence of Margaret Fuller and Herman Melville in the periodical press, and the other on multimedia approaches to teaching journalism history, have been published (the latter in press) in American Journalism. His presentations on radical nineteenth-century intellectual culture in mainstream press was presented at the 2014 and 2015 AJHA Annual Conferences prior to inclusion in “Emerson’s Newspaperman: Horace Greeley and Radical Intellectual Culture, 1836-1872,” J&C Monographs spring 2017. In 2016, he presented his research on Indian journalist T.G. Narayanan, the figure responsible for publicizing the revolutionary vision of Mahatma Ghandi. This research is currently under review at Modern Asian Studies.  

Dowling, an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa, is the author of six books and numerous articles on digital media and journalism history. His research on publishing industries and cultural production has appeared in Literary Journalism StudiesGenreConvergenceDigital Humanities Quarterly, Journalism & Communication Monographs, and elsewhere. His current book project is titled, Immersed: Narrative Journalism in the Digital Age.


Keith Greenwood (Missouri, Columbia) has been nominated to serve on the board of directors. He has been a member of the American Journalism Historians Association since 2005. He has served AJHA as a member of the Nominations and Elections Committee and as a current member of the Board of Directors.  He also manages the website of the AEJMC history division. 

He is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism where he is part of the photojournalism and journalism studies faculty groups. He teaches History of Photojournalism as well as graduate seminars on photography in society and research methods. His research on the history of photojournalism has included the study of individual photographers. His research also includes visual framing analysis of news photographs and adoption of technology in photojournalism. 

Sonny Rhodes (University of Arkansas, Little Rock) has been nominated to serve on the board of directors. He has been a member of the American Journalism Historians Association since 2005. He has attended a number of AJHA national conferences since then, given that AJHA is, by far, his favorite organization. Having a strong commitment to service, he has served AJHA by reading numerous papers submitted for presentation at annual conferences. He also has served the organization by reviewing papers submitted for publication in American Journalism and by writing book reviews for the journal. Since early 2016 he has aided in planning for the 2017 national conference in Little Rock.

Additional nominations can be made from the floor during the election that will be held during the annual convention in October. Please remember that any nominee must have been a member of AJHA for at least one calendar year immediately preceding the date of the election. No more than one person from an institution can serve on the Board of Directors at one time; individuals from the same institution may serve on the Board of Directors and in the Presidency or Vice-Presidency, concurrently. Dues paying AJHA members unable to attend the conference are eligible to vote. They should send their name, email address, and intent to vote online to AJHA Nominations and Election Committee Chair Amber Roessner (aroessner@utk.edu) no later than midnight Sept. 31. After elections are held on Saturday, October 14, at the 35th annual AJHA convention in Little Rock, current 2nd VP Ross Collins (North Dakota State University) will become 1st VP, and current 1st VP Dianne Bragg (University of Alabama) will become president for 2017-2018.

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