Janice Hume, the Carolyn McKenzie and Don E. Carter Chair for Excellence in Journalism and incoming associate dean of academic affairs at Grady College, is the recipient of the 2022 Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement by the American Journalism Historians Association. It is AJHA’s highest honor.
The chair of the Service Awards Committee, Professor Emeritus Thomas A. Mascaro of Bowling Green State University, announced the decision.
“The nominating and support letters for Dr. Janice Hume reflect widespread admiration and appreciation for Janice’s excellence, mentorship, teaching and research contributions,” Mascaro said, “and for reflecting the tradition of this esteemed award.”
The rich number of tributes from support letters speak to the sweep of Hume’s record of achievement during a lifetime of service to journalism history.
“Dr. Hume most deserves recognition because she has mentored dozens upon dozens of graduate students, colleagues, and friends,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College. “It’s the quiet counsel, often unheralded and unheard by others, that gives a graduate student the confidence to move forward.”
Hume has “an exemplary record of sustained achievements through teaching, research, professional activities, or other contributions to the field of journalism history,” said award committee member Carolyn Kitch of Temple University. “She has contributed to the field in all of these categories, and in a very sustained way for decades. Her own scholarship importantly situates journalism history within American cultural history. And she has steadily worked to mentor and support other journalism historians’ research and teaching, expanding her impact on the field’s present and future.”
Erika Pribanic-Smith of the University of Texas Arlington praised Hume’s stalwart participation as an AJHA and AEJMC History Division member, and credited her with “amassing a record of teaching, research, and service that makes her more than worthy of AJHA’s highest honor.”
Jason Lee Guthrie (PhD ’18) of Clayton State University was one of several scholars who thanked Hume for her mentorship.
“I gravitated toward history first and foremost because of who Dr. Hume is as a person, her kindness and her generosity,” he said.
Alexia “Lexie” C. Little (MA ’21) of Vanderbilt University said Hume “approaches our field with a ferocious curiosity made apparent by her wide and readily accessible internal archive of scholarship read, networks fostered, mistakes made, achievements earned, topics explored, and mentor guidance committed to heart.”
Teri Finneman of the University of Kansas noted that Hume is known for her research on collective memory and obituaries. “She was interviewed on NPR about her research into 8,000 obituaries, and her commentary was fascinating,” said Finneman.
Hume has earned more than 15 awards and recognitions, including AJHA’s President’s Award for Service, National Award for Excellence in Teaching, the McKerns Research Grant, and multiple top paper or article awards from both AJHA and the AEJMC History Division. She was named a Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program Fellow and to the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy, and has provided leadership as a long-time department chair within the Department of Journalism at Grady College.
“The award’s namesake, Sidney Kobre, fused his love of journalism and history to make an enduring legacy within the field of history,” said M. Cayce Myers (MA ’06, Ph.D. ’14) of Virginia Tech. “Janice Hume’s career is in that same tradition.”
Hume studied at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, earning her Bachelor’s in Journalism as a magazine major, a Master of Arts in Journalism, writing about characteristics of heroic women in magazines, and a doctorate in Journalism.
She has authored three books, including her most recent, “Popular Media and the American Revolution: Shaping Collective Memory.”
Hume’s dissertation, “Private Lives, Public Virtues: Historic Newspaper Obituaries in a Changing American Culture,” launched her lifelong research agenda. She taught at Kansas State University before going to the University of Georgia in 2001. Prior to entering academe, Hume worked at the Mobile (Alabama) Register and Florence (Alabama) Times, Tri-Cities Daily.
Founded in 1981, the American Journalism Historians Association seeks to advance education and research in mass communication history. Members work to raise historical standards and ensure that all scholars and students recognize the vast importance of media history and apply this knowledge to the advancement of society.