Paula Hunt Wins MU Distinguished Dissertation Award

Paula Hunt and Earnest Perry

The Honor Recognizes Exceptional Original Scholarship and Research at the Doctoral Level

Columbia, Mo. (May 30, 2017) — Paula Hunt, MA ’10, PhD ’16, is the recipient of the University of Missouri Distinguished Dissertation Award, which recognizes exceptional original scholarship and research at the doctoral level. She received a $1,000 honorarium.

Hunt is the second Missouri School of Journalism student to receive the award since its inception in 2001. Seow Ting Lee, MA ’99, PhD’ 02, now an associate professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, won in 2003.

Paula Hunt and Earnest Perry
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Earnest Perry congratulates Paula Hunt on receiving the MU Distinguished Dissertation Award.

Hunt was recognized during the third annual Graduate Awards Banquet, which was co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Association, Graduate Professional Council and the Office of Graduate Studies. The event marked the close an academic year filled with research, teaching, creative and scholarly accomplishments.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies Leona Rubin and Assistant Vice-Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs Jeni Hart presented Hunt and the other winners with their awards.

Hunt’s dissertation examined the publishing enterprise of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist group active in the 1830s. Her research examines the cultural history of America and been published in Journalism History and the New England Quarterly.

Hunt was a veteran health reporter from the San Antonio News Express in Texas when she was selected as the School’s first Smith/Patterson Science Fellow. She studied convergence journalism in her master’s program. The Smith/Patterson Fellowship and accompanying lecture series were made possible through a $100,000 gift from Russell G. Smith II and Gail Smith in honor of former MU Professor Joye Patterson, who was Russell’s mentor throughout college. Patterson taught science writing at the Journalism School from 1966 to 1988.

Last fall, Hunt received the MU Preparing Future Faculty Postdoctoral Fellowship award. The program provided her with teaching and professional development opportunities for the 2016-17 academic year.

Missouri journalism professors Earnest Perry (chair), Yong Volz and Tim Vos; history Professor Emerita LeeAnn Whites; and Professor Ronald Walters from The Johns Hopkins University were her doctoral committee members.

Before beginning her graduate degrees, Hunt worked as a journalist in New York City and Texas.

Updated: August 15, 2019

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