C&IS MA Student Wins AEJMC Thesis Award

Apr 22, 2020

Mark Mayfield, a Journalism Master of Arts student in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, was recently awarded the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC) Hazel Dicken-Garcia Award for his thesis, “At Home: Shelter Magazines and the American Life, 1890 to 1930.”

Mayfield, who will be joining the faculty of the department of journalism and creative media for the Fall semester, was advised in his thesis by Drs. Chris Roberts and Diane Bragg, as well as Dr. Rich Megraw from the University’s department of American studies.

“This thesis offers a rich look at a largely untouched medium, the shelter magazine, and it provides a solid foundation for future study,” AEJMC Thesis Committee Chairwoman Amy Lauters said. “Judges were particularly impressed with its originality and its contribution to the field of media history.”

A shelter publication is characterized by a focus on interior design, gardening and other home design elements. Mayfield comes from a background of shelter publications, having previously served as an editor-in-chief of three different publications – “House Beautiful,” “Traditional Home” and “Southern Accents.” At Bragg’s urging, he expanded a paper written in class to focus on the history of these publications.

“I wanted to try and add to the historical record, and also learn this history for myself,” Mayfield said. “Although I worked at shelter magazines in the past, I had little time in those days to go back and see what editors long before me had accomplished or how these magazines had influenced American life.”

The Hazel Dicken-Garcia Award is presented annually by AEJMC’s History Division and awards a master’s student for an outstanding thesis on a topic in mass communication history. Mayfield, Bragg and Roberts will be honored at the AEJMC Annual Conference in San Francisco on August 7.