EDITED_CROPPPED PORTRAITI am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My dissertation research examines General Motors’ advertising, public relations, and media relations from 1990 to 2009. I analyzed thousands of corporate documents to craft a narrative about GM’s PR and advertising during this period. My book-length study identified the tactics that GM used to promote General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) financial products and SUVs. In particular, my research explores how GM used corporate social responsibility and lobbying to advance corporate interests. Through my research, I have gained expertise in promotional communication.

Outside of my doctoral work, I’ve volunteered my communication expertise to non-profits in the Urbana-Champaign area. Since 2013, I’ve volunteered as a Steward for the Department of Communication within the Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO), the labor union representing teaching assistants and graduate assistants at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. As a Steward, I used my communication expertise to contribute to GEO campaigns in a variety of ways, from creating fact sheets to publicizing events in local media. I also wrote op-ed articles on graduate tuition waivers that were featured in Inside Higher Ed and Slate. These are on the publications section of this site.

In addition to research and teaching, I enjoy playing Magic the Gathering and baking. You can check out some of my Magic the Gathering card alters and baking projects in the “Hobbies” section of my site.

You can contact me via email at gracehebert@gmail.com

You can also follow me on Academia.edu and LinkedIn.