Mary Grace B Hebert

 Mary Grace Hebert

Contact Information

4070 Lincoln Hall
702 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Graduate Student
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Mary Grace B Hebert recently earned her PhD in communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her dissertation research examined General Motors’ advertising, public relations, and media relations from 1990 to 2009. She analyzed thousands of corporate documents to craft a narrative about GM’s PR and advertising during this period. Her book-length study identified the tactics that GM used to promote General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) financial products and SUVs. In particular, her research explored how GM used corporate social responsibility and lobbying to advance corporate interests.

Research Interests

  • Political Economy of Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Lobbying
  • Financialization
  • Journalism

Research Description

Grace researches professional communication, such as public relations and advertising, from a critical perspective with particular attention to the impact of the commercial media system on policymaking in the U.S. She is particularly interested in the relationship between PR, advertising, and journalism.


  • M.A., Communication, University of Illinois, Urbana-Chamoaign
  • B.S., Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas, Austin

Distinctions / Awards

  • Department of Communication Summer Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2018)
  • Honorable Mention Paper Award (2017) - “The Military-Industrial Complex and Professional Communication: Developing Ethics for Peace,” Paper presented at the National Communication Association Conference, Communication Ethics Division
  • Graduate College Conference Travel Award (2016)
  • Elizabeth Winter Fellowship (2014-2015)
  • Top Paper Award (2014) - “The Rebirth of Democratic Knowledge: Digitization, the Postal Service, and the Newspaper Industry,” Paper presented at the National Communication Association Conference, Communication and the Future Division
  • Recognized on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, University of Illinois (2012-Present)


  • CMN 377: “Propaganda and Modern Society” (Fall 2018)
  • CMN 275: “Money, Media, and Power” (Fall 2018)
  • CMN 396: “Media and Youth Culture”
  • CMN 375: “Popular Media and Culture”
  • CMN 210: “Public Communication in Everyday Life” (Online)
  • CMN 102: “Introduction to Communication Research and Theory”
  • CMN 101: "Public Speaking"

Selected Publications

Book Contributions

"Who Owns the Media?" Communication 102 Textbook "Who Owns the Media?" Champaign, IL Stipes Publishing 2017, p. 57-63.

Website Articles

Everyone Should Care About Graduate Student Tuition Waivers Inside Higher Ed 2017.
Grad Students Need Unions Slate 2016.
The NLRB Got It Right Inside Higher Ed 2016.


Hebert, Mary Grace B Political Marketing in the United States edited by Jennifer Lees-Marshment, edited by Brian Conley, edited by Kenneth Cosgrove. Communication Booknotes Quarterly 46 3 Edited by Jennifer Lees-Marshment, Edited by Brian Conley, Edited by Kenneth Cosgrove, 2015, p. 90-91. Journal.
Hebert, Mary Grace B Agency and Participation in Childhood and Youth edited by C. Hart, edited by M. Biggeri, edited by B. Babic. Education Review Edited by C. Hart, Edited by M. Biggeri, Edited by B. Babic, 2015.