Ollie L. Jefferson

Ollie L. Jefferson

Ollie L. Jefferson

Adjunct Faculty

Media Representations, Race and Gender, Media Ownership, Counter Stereotypes and Narratives, Semiotics, and Black Feminist Thought.

Dr. Ollie L. Jefferson is a Professor, Producer, Playwright, and Founder/President of Timeless Visual Works. As a media industry professional, Dr. Jefferson’s scholarly research confronts negative portrayals of race and gender groups by examining representations on-screen and behind-the-scenes for social change.  She is conducting case studies on marginalized groups as media owners, creators, show runners, directors, writers, producer, performers, and executives. Individual and collective case study approaches are used to combat issues of racism, sexism, classism, ageism and other intersecting identities. 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 women are employed in creative positions. The Queen Sugar show creator-writer-director-producer, Ava DuVernay, requested to read Jefferson’s dissertation the day after she successfully defended. The researcher was honored to show how her analysis demonstrates counter-narratives and counter stereotypes vis-a-vis those of traditional mainstream media programming.

Grants and Fellowships



Howard University, Preparing Future Faculty Fellowship 


The University of Wollongong in Australia, Study Abroad       


Northwestern University, Summer Research Opportunity Program 




Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science for STEM


National Communication Association’s Doctoral Honors Seminar, University of South Florida


University of New Hampshire Writing Academy


Distinguished Dissertation, Oral Defense, Howard University


Howard University Graduate/Teaching Assistants Development Program 


1st Place Award of the Business Plan Competition                                                     Communication Entrepreneurship Resource and Research Center


The Society for Collegiate Leadership & Achievement Nomination


Ph.D., Communication, Culture & Media Studies, Howard University

M.A., Communication: Producing for Film & Video, American University

B.A., Psychology, Johnson C. Smith University



Howard University Board-Approved Graduate School Certificates

Certification:  Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies

Certification:   Graduate Certificate in University Faculty



Recent Presentations

"The Oprah Winfrey Network’s Queen Sugar Television Series: A Case Study on African-American Women Exemplary Representations On-Screen and Behind-the-Scenes" National Communication Association, 105th Annual Convention. Baltimore, MD. November 14-17, 2019. (Paper Presentation Acceptance).


“Preparing Future Faculty Summit: Diversifying the Nation’s Professoriate.”  Howard University Graduate School National Conference. Washington, DC. April 24, 2019. (Master of Ceremony). https://youtu.be/RlOL4D112I0


“The Oprah Winfrey Network’s Queen SugarSeries: A Case Study on African-American Women Exemplary Representations On-Screen and Behind-the-Scenes.” Howard University Research Symposium. Washington, DC. April 12, 2019. (Paper Presentation)


“#MCACommTalk: Communication, Culture and Media Education.” Maryland Communication Association 34thAnnual Conference at Howard University. Washington, DC. September 14-15, 2018. (Conference Coordinator and Master of Ceremony). https://youtu.be/SGz3gMVMjsc


“Institutional Types of Research” and “The Benefits of Postdocs” Sessions. Howard University Center of Excellence for Future Faculty Conference. Washington, DC. March 27, 2018. (Moderator). https://www.facebook.com/TIMELESSVISUALWORKS/videos/10156583637681264/


“Communication in the Digital Age.”Maryland Communication Association 33rdAnnual Conference at the College of Southern Maryland. Prince Fredrick, Maryland. October 14, 2017. (Conference Executive Board, Senior Planning Committee Member, and Master of Ceremony). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQef8bVa6rw&feature=youtu.be


“Technology and Teaching Tools.” SAGE Publication Annual Marketing Conference. Alexandria, VA. May 10, 2017. (Panelist).


“Politics and Entertainment Culture, Communication, and Media.” Maryland Communication Association 32ndAnnual Conference at Community College of Baltimore County. Baltimore, Maryland. October 21-22, 2016. (Conference Executive Board, Senior Planning Committee Member, and Paper Presentation).


“Opportunity: Communication, Culture and Media.” Adjunct Summit: Technology Students Methods Changing to the Next Level at Prince George’s Community College. Largo, Maryland. August 27, 2016. (Conference Executive Board, Planning Committee Member, and Paper Presentation). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHdYPZJ7OL4       


“OpportUNITY: Communication, Culture, and Media.” Maryland Communication Association 31stAnnual Conference at Bowie State University. November 6-7, 2015. (Paper Presentation). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXfXBJaSwaQ&t=1s

In the Media

Jefferson, O.L. (2019). Effective speech communication. In J. Gunn (Ed.) Speech Craft. Sage.