Remembering The Impact, Influence of a Media Management Giant– Mary Alice Shaver

Time to remember one of the giants in advertising and the field of media management and economics, Mary Alice Shaver, who passed away, this week.

Just learned that one of the giants in the field of media management and economics– Dr. Mary Alice Shaver– passed away this week.

Even though I won’t be able to attend her memorial service tomorrow in Fearrington Village, North Carolina, I can use the same mass communication that Mary Alice researched and taught thousands of students to use to celebrate her life and the impact that she had on up-and-coming media management scholars like me.

“Media Management and Economics, as well as the academy at large, has lost a star,”  said Ken Killibrew, the current head of the Media Management and Economics Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

I remember first talking to Mary Alice when she was on the faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and I was considering doctoral programs in mass communication.

While I didn’t end up at Chapel Hill, I certainly ran into Mary Alice again and again as I presented research projects in media management at regional and national conferences.

I vividly remember sitting in on a panel one year at the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium (in Chapel Hill, NC) where Mary Alice talked about what one needed to do to get published in academic journals.

In his statement this evening, Killibrew remembered Mary Alice as “a tough scholar with extraordinary standards who challenged each of us to do our best.”

I would definitely agree.

I will always treasure this photo where Mary Alice Shaver presented me an award for “Third Place Student Paper” in the Media Management and Economics Division at the AEJMC National Conference in 2000 in Phoenix, Arizona.

When news of Mary Alice’s passing came tonight, I immediately thought back to one of those cheesy grip-and-grin photos that we’re never supposed to take in journalism.  (The ones we tell our students to avoid)

I was in one of those grip-and-grin photos in August 2000 as Mary Alice presented me a research award for a paper written from data collected for my master’s thesis at The University of Georgia.

Despite the cliche nature of the photograph,  it now has special meaning as it’s a way for me to visually reflect the link I had as a graduate student to one who had such an influence on our field.

When I see “Mary Alice Shaver” in an academic journal or book, I know she was not just another author or researcher.   She’s a standout who had an influence on the field that I have come to love.

She’s one of the giants in the field who actually knew me by name.     As I continue to make contributions to media management,  I do so with a mandate to be excellent and to follow the example that Mary Alice Shaver set for so many of us.

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

One thought on “Remembering The Impact, Influence of a Media Management Giant– Mary Alice Shaver”

  1. What a lovely tribute. It brought back memories for me, too. Mary Alice was instrumental in my getting a doctorate and I’m forever grateful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s