Xavier University of Louisiana

Xavier University of Louisiana
Department of Mass Communication

1 Drexel Drive

Campus Box 93

New Orleans, LA 70125

504-520-5092 phone

504-520-7919 fax



Tia Smith, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Bellsouth Professor of Mass Communication
Department Head, Mass Communication


Ph.D., Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication
Mass Communication
M.A., Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication
International Telecommunications, Women Studies concentration
B.A., Bennett College - Mass Communication, Speech, Theatre

  • Introduction to Mass Communication (MSCM 1100)
  • Principles of Visual Media (MSCM 1200)
  • Introduction to Converged Media Writing (MSCM 2222)
  • Introduction to Mass Communication Research (MSCM 3600)
  • Media Criticism (MSCM 3500)
  • Media Law and Ethics (MSCM 4430)
  • Seminar in Mass Communication (MSCM 4520)

Media representations including gender, race and sexuality; international media literacy; media diversity; media history; international media systems with an emphasis on Latin America, the Caribbean, and the African diaspora.


Dr. Tia L. Smith joined the Mass Communication Department at Xavier University in 2015 as Department Head. Dr. Smith received her Bachelors in Mass Communication, Speech and Theater from Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina where she graduated with highest honors having earned Summa Cum Laude. After graduation, she worked as a freelance journalist and travel writer while pursuing graduate studies at Ohio University’s coveted Scripps College of Communication in Athens, Ohio. She earned a Masters of Arts in International Telecommunications with a Concentration in Women’s Studies, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Mass Communication from the Scripps College of Communication. During her tenure at Ohio University, Dr. Smith was awarded the prestigious Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) and received top honors including: Syracuse University Graduate Student Fellowship for research in Southern Africa, where she took part in the “Women in the Bush” project, interviewing South African women freedom fighters. 

Following her formal education, Dr. Smith worked as a corporate communications consultant, where she focused on communication campaigns, media relations and international communication education.  Dr. Smith has collaborated and consulted with her colleagues on many research projects, conferences, films and academic papers. She trained journalists and media professionals in throughout the Caribbean and Latin American on covering taboo topics such as Child Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking.  Her research interests focuses on intersections of gender, media and sexual culture.  Dr. Smith has lived and worked in diverse cultural and learning environments in the United States, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago giving her first-hand knowledge of the sensitive nature and challenges associated with issues of media, diversity and inclusiveness. 

Dr. Smith’s first book, Contradictions in A Hip-Hop World: An Auto-ethnography of Black Women’s Lived Experiences comprises narratives of black women about their experiences as hip-hop fans and how they negotiate identity and sexuality in a culture that oftentimes pushes them to the margins.  Dr. Smith’s has published book chapters and journal articles that explore research issues of sexuality, sexual cultures, and representation in mass media.

Contact Information

Office Location: Xavier South 110B
Mailing Address: 1 Drevel Drive,
PO Box 299, New Orleans, La 70125 Direct Line: 504-520-5092
Fax Number: 504-520-7919
Email Address: tsmith46@xula.edu