Assistant Prof. Tracy Lucht Receives Four Awards from American Journalism Historians Association


Assistant Professor [Tracy Lucht](/directory/tracy-lucht/) has been honored with four awards from the American Journalism Historians Association.

Lucht was selected for the AJHA’s 2015 National Award for Excellence in Teaching and Rising Scholar awards earlier this year and learned at last week’s AJHA convention in Oklahoma City that a research paper she submitted won two additional awards.

“I’m very humbled, and I’m very honored,” Lucht said about receiving the awards.

The National Award for Excellence in Teaching “honors a college or university teacher who excels at teaching in the area of journalism and mass communication history, makes a positive impact on student learning, and offers an outstanding example for other educators,” according to a release from AJHA.

“I don’t want [students] to do things the way they’ve always been done,” Lucht said about the core of her teaching philosophy.

Instead, she said she wants them to do better.

The teaching award is distinctive because it is uncommon for it to be awarded to a junior scholar.

“I try to teach the why alongside the how and the how alongside the why,” Lucht said.

Lucht was chosen for the Rising Scholar Award for her research proposal titled, “Soloists or Members of the Choir? Professional Networks in the Careers of Midwestern Women Broadcasters.” The question Lucht is trying to answer was whether there is a history of women working together in the field of journalism. Lucht was drawn to a research focus in broadcast because its visual nature requires a certain outspokenness that is not necessarily needed for print.

"This study is part of my larger project investigating women’s methods of exercising agency in an industry that did not always welcome their participation,” Lucht said.

Her Rising Scholar Award is accompanied by $2,000 in research funding, which Lucht says will allow her to extend her research on women broadcasters in the Midwest through an examination of the role that professional networks played in their careers.

“The Midwest gets left out of a lot of the scholarship,” Lucht also said. “We’re fly-over country, even in the literature.”

Lucht’s research paper titled, "From Sob Sister to Society Editor: Dorothy Ashby Pownall’s ‘Feel for the Game’ of Journalism," earned her two top paper distinctions at the 2015 AJHA convention in Oklahoma City last week. Her paper is a biographical study of Pownall’s career in journalism, identified in four phases—sob sister, literary lady, advice columnist, and society editor—which describes how one woman successfully navigated the gendered terrain of print journalism, exercising individual agency within industry structures.

In addition to her awards, Lucht was also elected to the AJHA Board of Directors at last week’s convention.

Prior to teaching at the Greenlee School, Lucht taught at Simpson College. She has held positions at The Des Moines Register, Washington Post and USA Today.