Interview with Jennifer Dixon-McKnight


Abby B. Hieber



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This interview was conducted by Abby B. Hieber with Dr. O. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight as part of Project 2020: A Collaborative Oral History. Dr. Dixon-McKnight offers insight into the challenges she faced as an educator, parent, and American amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the pivotal year 2020. She details her experiences in terms of the evolution of higher education, particularly virtual learning. She also discusses the personal and professional hurdles she faced due to the lack of social interaction with students, colleagues, and friends. Her interview sheds light on the Winthrop experience amid the pandemic, especially as a faculty member.

Otha Jennifer Dixon-McKnight, Ph.D. is a native of Burgaw, NC but now residents in Rock Hill, SC. She is an Assistant Professor of History & African American Studies and serves as Program Coordinator for the African American Studies minor at Winthrop University. She holds several degrees including a Ph.D. in History from UNC-Chapel Hill, specializing in Women’s and Gender history, U.S. history, and African American studies. She is a former Faculty Advisor for the Council of Student Leaders at Winthrop. In 2023, Dr. Dixon-McKnight was awarded the Outstanding Junior Professor Award and the Student Affairs Faculty Student Life Award. Dr. Dixon-McKnight is the director of Project 2020.

Spearheaded by Dr. Dixon-McKnight, Project 2020 is best summarized in her words: “The goal was to conduct interviews that explored the various ways in which Americans were experiencing and being impacted by the various watershed moments that emerged during 2020 (the global pandemic, social unrest, financial challenges, issues with healthcare, etc.)."

Publication Date


Unique Identifier

OH 729


MP4; MP3




This interview is open for use.




COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020, Parenting, Education, Virtual Learning, Higher Education, Winthrop University

Interview with Jennifer Dixon-McKnight