UCA lecturer Donna Lampkin Stephens last month received the Robert Lance Memorial Award for Outstanding Student Paper at the The American Journalism Historians Association’s national convention in Seattle.
Stephens won the award for her paper, “The Conscience of the Arkansas Gazette: J.N. Heiskell Faces the Storm of Little Rock,” which was submitted as part of a seminar on media research taught by Dr. David Davies as part of her Ph.D. study at The University of Southern Mississippi.
“Her provocative research is a fine example of history research at its best, using a plethora of primary sources as well as in-depth interviews,” Davies said. “The paper was well-written, well-researched, and well-argued. I was pleased that it won the AJHA’s top-student award. The award shows what I knew all along about Donna, that she is capable of top-flight research that will illuminate some of the most important questions surrounding media history.”For her paper, Stephens researched the background of J.N. Heiskell, longtime owner and editor of the Arkansas Gazette. Stephens explored how Heiskell, 85 and the son of a Civil War veteran, came to endorse the Gazette’s editorial stance during the integration crisis at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The Gazette won two Pulitzer Prizes in 1958, marking the first time for a newspaper to win two Pulitzers in the same year. Stephens argues that the Gazette