McKerns Research Grant awardees named

27 Dec 2019 10:30 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

The American Journalism Historians Association recently awarded three Joseph McKerns Research Grants.

The recipients were Candi S. Carter Olson, Utah State University; Gerry Lanosga, Indiana University; and Teri Finneman, The University of Kansas.

Carter Olson’s grant will go toward her project, “Act Like a Lady.” She is going to use the McKerns grant to return to Washington, D.C., and sift through more of the Washington Women's Press Club's archive at the National Press Club's headquarters. She will also use it to buy transcripts of the oral histories that the Washington Press Club Foundation has not put online from their Women in Journalism oral histories.

“I'm honored to receive the McKerns grant," Carter Olson said. “Archival work is expensive but necessary if we want to tell the full historical story. This kind of research is only possible through the support of organizations like AJHA. Women’s voices are being recovered because this grant will enable them to speak again.”

Lanosga will use his grant for his book on the history of journalism prizes, “A Contest for ‘Craftsmen’ or a Prize for Professionalism? The American Newspaper Guild’s Trailblazing Awards for Local Journalists.”

“It’s a thrill to have been selected for a McKerns grant, my first one as an AJHA member,” Lanosga said. “This award will allow me to make one or two more archive visits to wrap up my research.”

Finneman’s project is “Press Portrayals of ‘Other’ First Ladies,” which is about the sisters, nieces and others who used to perform those duties on behalf of the president, before America became accustomed to only presidents’ wives fulfilling that role in more recent decades.

“I think this will provide some critical context as we look to a future where the role of the 'first lady' at some point will not be filled by a female spouse,” Finneman said. “I look forward to using my grant money to visit archives to learn more about these ‘other’ first ladies who have largely disappeared from American memory but who can provide valuable insight for the future.”

Named for the late Dr. Joseph McKerns, who taught at both The Ohio State University and Southern Illinois University and was AJHA president in 1986-87, the McKerns Grant provides research assistance, while also recognizing and rewarding the winners. Up to four grants for up to $1,250 each are awarded upon review and recommendation of the Research Grant Committee.

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