University of Pittsburgh
June 1, 2009

PhD Dissertation-"Selling Soldiering to Consumers"-Earns Pitt Graduate Student an AAUW Fellowship for 2009-10

Jessica Ghilani was among 64 fellows selected to receive the award from a pool of 1,175 applicants
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Jessica Ghilani, a doctoral candidate in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Communication, has won a full-year fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to complete her dissertation, "Selling Soldiering to Consumers: Advertising, Media, and the All-Volunteer Army."

An AAUW Dissertation Fellowship awardee, Ghilani was among 64 individuals selected from a pool of 1,175 applicants for the 2009-10 class of AAUW Educational Foundation American Fellows.

In addition to Dissertation Fellowships, the AAUW American Fellow awards include Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowships and Summer/Short-Term Research Publication Grants. According to the AAUW, the selected fellows are a group of exceptional women whose work promises to enhance such diverse disciplines as biology, philosophy, and anthropology.

Ghilani's advisor is Ronald J. Zboray, director of graduate studies, director of public speaking, and professor in Pitt's Department of Communication in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Ghilani is currently completing a Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. Among her honors are a 2006 Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library Research Grant; a Pitt 2006 Women's Studies Program Student Research Fund Grant; and a 2004 Pitt Book Center Scholarship.

As an invited lecturer, Ghilani has given several talks, including "Selling Soldiering: How N.W. Ayer and Son Advertised the All-Volunteer Army in the 1970s and '80s," at the National Museum of American History Colloquium in 2008; and in 2006, "A Few Good (Wo)Men: All-Volunteer Military Advertising and Gender," at a Pitt Women's Studies Program luncheon, and "Post-Conscription Military Advertising and the U.S. Marine Corps," at the Duke University John W. Hartman Center.

Ghilani is the author of "Review of "Beyond Barbie and Mortal Combat,"" which is scheduled to appear in the Spring 2010 issue of "Signs Journal of Women and Culture."

At Pitt, Ghilani earned a BA in communication, cum laude, and a Women's Studies Certificate in 2002 and an MA in communication in 2005. In addition to working toward her PhD, Ghilani is a doctoral certificate candidate in Pitt's Women's Studies and Cultural Studies programs.

She is the daughter of Ramon and Jean Ghilani of New Eagle, Pa., and is engaged to Chris Belasco, a doctoral student in Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.