Columbia, Mo. (April 14, 2003) — Esther Thorson, PhD, associate dean for research and graduate studies at the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has received an Outstanding Contribution to Research Award from the American Academy of Advertising (AAA) for her 20 years of contributions to the field of advertising research. She is the 11th person to win the award since it began being given in 1992 and the second woman to win it.
Thorson, already a Fellow of the AAA, has published more than 70 journal articles and scholarly papers, written 19 book chapters and edited six books on strategic communications and media studies. Committee members responsible for selecting award recipients noted that Thorson’s research and her mentoring of graduate students impressed them. Since she began directing master’s and doctoral programs at the University of Wisconsin and at Missouri, Thorson has mentored 31 doctoral students, many of whom are teaching at well established journalism and mass communication programs around the country, including Georgia, Alabama, Oregon and Minnesota. She has been instrumental in making the School one of the most productive research units in journalism today.
The first recipient of the award in 1992 was Ivan Preston, PhD, professor of advertising at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Preston was a colleague and mentor to Thorson when she began teaching at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin in 1982 after 10 years as a psychology professor. “She shows an interest in everybody and gets them excited in a way that most of us don’t know how to,” Preston said, commenting on Thorson’s mentoring abilities. “I’m very proud I know her.”
Thorson received the award on March 28 at AAA’s annual meeting in Denver.