Grace has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her B.S. in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation focused on General Motors’ lobbying, public relations, and advertising from 1990 to 2009. As a graduate student at the University of Illinois, she worked with non-profit organizations in the Champaign-Urbana area and was active in her labor union, the Graduate Employees’ Organization.