Dissertation Award

The MCS Division of AEJMC awards excellence in graduate research with the Dissertation Award. Award winners are given a cash prize of $3,000 and an opportunity to publish in the Division’s journal, “Mass Communication and Society.”


An eligible dissertation must have been completed between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. For the purposes of this award, a “completed” work is defined as one which has not only been submitted and defended but also revised and filed in final form at the applicable doctoral-degree-granting university by December 31, 2015. No part of the dissertation can be “under review” at a journal on in a “revise and resubmit” status at at a journal.

The dissertation should address topic(s) that 1) advance mass communication research, especially at the societal or macrosocial level, and 2) emphasize the interaction with society and fit with the division’s mission. Winners of the award must submit an article based on the dissertation to “Mass Communication and Society” within two years of receiving notification of winning the award. Winning the award grants right of first refusal to the journal, but does not necessarily guarantee acceptance into the journal. If an article based on the student’s dissertation has already been submitted to another journal, that dissertation is no longer eligible for the award. The winner will receive half of the award at the annual Mass Communication and Society Awards Luncheon held during AEJMC’s annual conference, with the remaining funds dispersed upon submission to the journal.


To apply for the Dissertation Award, the student must submit, in English: 1) a cover letter officially applying for the award and stating that no other work based on the dissertation has been submitted for publication, 2) a 10-page summary of the dissertation, and 3) a letter of support from the dissertation chair. The cover letter as well as the chair’s letter of support should note the date the dissertation was completed. The materials should be submitted as ONE PDF in the order listed above. The PDF can be sent via the chair, or the chair can submit the letter to the applicant for he/she to include in the PDF. But the entire nomination should be set in one PDF.

The PDF should be submitted electronically to the Awards Chair, Ben LaPoe (benjamin.lapoe@wku.edu), by 11:59 EST on April 30, 2017.


  • Brett Sherrick, “Immersive Mediation: The Roles of Flow and Narrative Engagement in a Persuasive Health Game,” 2016.
    Meredith Clark, “To Tweet Our Own Cause: A Mixed-Methods Study of the Online Phenomenon ‘BlackTwitter’,” 2015.
    Scott Parrott, “An Examination of the Use of Disparagement Humor in Online TV Comedy Clips and the Role of Audience Reaction in its Effects,” 2014.