Ollie L. Jefferson

Professional Track Faculty

Ph.D., Howard University

2130 Skinner Building
Professional Interests: 

Ollie L. Jefferson, Ph.D., is a multimedia veteran who started her television career as the Assistant to the Vice President of Fox Affiliate News Stations and Attorney of News Corp. As an industry professional, Dr. Jefferson’s scholarly research confronts negative portrayals of race and gender groups by examining representations on-screen and behindthe-scenes for social change. She is conducting research on marginalized groups as media owners, creators, showrunners, directors, writers, producers, performers, and executives. Individual and collective case study approaches are used to combat issues of racism, sexism, classism, ageism and other intersecting identities.

Dr. Jefferson's dissertation titled, "The Oprah Winfrey Network's Queen Sugar Television Series: African American Women Exemplary Representations On-Screen and Behind-the-Scenes," provides a case study of how representations of women's characters and story narratives change when socially conscious women are employed in creative positions. The Queen Sugar show creator-writer-director-producer, Ava DuVernay, requested to read the dissertation the day after she successfully defended. Dr. Jefferson was honored to show how her analysis demonstrates counter-narratives and counter stereotypes vis-a-vis those of traditional mainstream media programming.

Dr. Jefferson will present the research at the National Communication Association Annual Conference. Dr. Jefferson earned her Ph.D. in Communication, Culture and Media Studies at Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Communications. She also earned Howard University graduate-level certifications in Women’s Studies as well as College and University Faculty Preparations. Dr. Jefferson’s Master of Arts degree in Communication: Producing Films & Videos was earned at the American University, and she studied Education at Notre Dame of Maryland Graduate School. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Johnson C. Smith University Honors College.