Haitian Studies Association

Board and Advisory Council

2024 Board of Directors


Cécile Accilien

President

Cécile Accilien is Professor of French and Francophone Studies in the School of Language, Literatures and Cultures. Her area of studies are Francophone African and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures and Film & Media Studies.  She is the co-editor (with Valerie Orlando) of Teaching Haiti: Strategies for Creating New Narratives  and the co-author (with Krishauna Hines Gaither) of The Antiracism World Language Classroom. She recently published a monograph Bay lodyansHaitian Popular Film Culture  with SUNY Press.  She is the 2023 president of the Haitian Studies Association. She has written for Truthout and Latin American Commentator.


April Mayes

Vice President

The Haitian Studies Association has become an intellectual home to me since I started attending conferences regularly in 2012. I am trained in the history of the Dominican Republic, but in 2010, I co-founded an intellectual, artistic, and social movement network called, Transnational Hispaniola (TH). TH pays homage to and builds upon the efforts of previous generations of scholars, most notably Rubén Silié, María Filomena González, Sabine Manigat, Michel Henri, and Jean Casimir, who collaborated in order to create new histories of the island that featured its non-elite majority. With TH, I have written and managed grants and organized conferences (including logistics, reviewing panel and paper submissions, organizing keynote presentations, designing programs, scheduling etc.).

I am interested in building bridges between Latin American and Haitian Studies, something I feel is both timely and urgent given the fact that countries such as Brazil, Chile, Mexico, let alone the Dominican Republic, are home to significant Haitian migrant populations and to generations of their descendants. I have also been challenged by students who wish to see a space for Haiti and Haitians in Latinx Studies. There are a number of Haitian and Haitian-descended scholars in Latin America, publishing in Spanish and Portuguese, in addition to community organizers and heads of organizations advocating for Haitians. The Haitian Studies Association can reach out and incorporate these new populations. Working in bi-lingual, bi-cultural, and bi-national organizations and settings for the last few years has taught me a great deal. I look forward to bringing these lessons to lead efforts to bring the Latin American Haitian diaspora into HSA.


Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken

Board Member

Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken is University Docent at the University of Amsterdam’s Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. Alessandra is co-Book Reviews Editor for the Journal of Haitian Studies with Marie-José Nzegou-Tayo. She also worked closely with Cécile Accilien and Carlo A. Célius on the initiative https://www.istwart.com/, which launched in 2020. From 2018-22, she was Series Editor for Brill’s Caribbean Series stewarding the publication of six books, including Marie Vieux Chauvet’s Theaters, co-edited by Christian Flaugh and Lena Taub Robles and she remains on its Advisory Board. She is author of: a monograph titled Spirit Possession in French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought: An Intellectual History (2015); the co-edited “Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet,” a special issue of Yale French Studies (2016), with Kaiama L. Glover, and also the co-edited The Haiti Exception: Anthropology and the Predicament of Narrative (2016), with Kaiama L. Glover, Mark Schuller, and Jhon Picard Byron. Since moving to the Netherlands, she has sought to make more prevalent (along with colleagues Sony Jean Joseph, Esther Captain, Rachel Gillett, Wayne Modest, and resonating with René Koekkoek’s recent books) the often forgotten role Haiti has played in shaping northern European public life since the Enlightenment, through engaging history and pedagogy in a recent article co-authored with Darren Staloff on the legacy of the John Adams’ and John Quincy Adams’ presidencies, published as part Cécile Accilien and Valérie K. Orlando’s Teaching Haiti: Strategies for Creating New Narratives. Over the past two decades, she has maintained a double-career: one in Academe and the other in the cultural sector. Most recently, she served as Research Coordinator and Senior Researcher at the Research Center for Material Culture at the Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen in the Netherlands (2019-22), where she remains a Research Associate. Founded and headed by Wayne Modest, the role of the RCMC is to critically interrogate the historical legacies of ‘the ethnographic museum.’  She is a member of Villa Albertine selection committee.


Irene Brisson

Board Member

I am a scholar of the built environment whose work centers historically marginalized narratives architecture and design practices of Haitians and African diasporic communities in the Americas. Having completed my PhD at the University of Michigan, I began as an assistant professor of architecture at Louisiana State University this fall. My current book project theorizes Kreyòl architecture as a design process which has continuously emerged from the interlacing of liberatory, (neo)colonial, vernacular, industrial, and diasporic spatial practices. It exceeds a fixed historical creole style. It is based on my ethnography of architects, bòsmason, NGOs, and residents involved in housebuilding in Leyogann. I consider how intimate desires, global influences, and collective politics of domestic environments reproduce and challenge the status quo of building culture.


Alexandra Cenatus

Board Member

Alexandra Cenatus, Director of Programs at Maryland Humanities, works to make the humanities accessible and engaging for diverse audiences. In her research, she examines Haiti’s social changes and their impact on Haitian Vodou practices, as well as other aspects of Haitian culture. Cenatus and her collaborators (Margarita Vargas-Betancourt and Ivanna Moreno) produced the Haitian American Dream Timeline in 2021, a digital humanities project aimed at highlighting Haitian immigration to the United States. Cenatus extends her research and programming skills to various communities by advocating for language access and serving as a board member of the Haitian Studies Association (HSA), WeaveTales, and the Washington State Coalition for Language Access (WASCLA).


Dasha Chapman

Board Member

Dasha A. Chapman is an interdisciplinary dancer-scholar whose research, teaching, curation, and performances engage a nexus of African diaspora and Caribbean theory, critical dance and performance studies, ethnography, and queer/gender studies. Dasha’s current monograph, Grounding Practice: Dancing Haiti on Tè Glise, centers the community-[re]building work of Haitian dancers following the 2010 earthquake. Her other writing appears in The Black Scholar, Journal of Haitian Studies, The Dancer-Citizen, Dance Chronicle, Theatre Journal, and in “Nou Mache Ansanm: Queer Haiti Performance and Affiliation,” a special issue of Women & Performance she co-edited with Erin Durban and Mario LaMothe. Dasha co-convenes the following transdisciplinary initiatives: Haitian Sexualities Working Group, Afro-Feminist Performance Routes, and Un/Commoning Pedagogies Collective. In her artistic work, Dasha collaboratively develops place-based performances with Haitian and American artists that activate histories, spaces, and dis/orientations. She holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies and an M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. Currently, Dasha is Assistant Professor of Dance Studies at Kennesaw State University, and previously taught at Davidson College, Five College Dance/Hampshire College, and Duke University.


Lewis Ampidu Clormeus

Board Member

Lewis A. Clorméus is a sociology professor at Université d’État d’Haïti. He is  secretary of the Société Haïtienne d’Histoire, de Géographie et de Géologie (SHHGG) and a member of the Haitian Council of the International Museum Council (ICOM Haïti). He is also the foreign correspondent of the  Centre d’Études en Sciences Sociales du Religieux (CéSor) of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). His main areas of studies are:

  • State relation/Religions in Haiti
  • History of  Religions in Haiti
  • Cultural Heritage preservation and promotion of Cultural Heritage
  • Haitian Intellectual History


Donaldson Conserve, Jr.

Board Member

Dr. Donaldson F. Conserve is an Associate Professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. His research focuses on evidence-based HIV prevention, care, and treatment interventions. Building on his experience in Tanzania, he has expanded his research on HIVST to his native country of Haiti.

Conserve received his BA from Queens College in New York and his MS and PhD in Biobehavioral Health from the Pennsylvania State University. He completed his postdoctoral training in the Department of Health Behavior at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining George Washington University in October 2020, he was an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina.


Darlène Dubuisson

Board Member

Darlène Dubuisson is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests and teaching span political and legal anthropology, activist and engaged anthropology, Black feminist anthropology, Black intellectual histories, migration and transnational studies, and speculative fiction and visual culture.

Her work combines analyses of Black radicalism, feminism, social and political movements, imagination, migration and diaspora, and crises and futures. Her primary geographic focus is Haiti, the wider Caribbean and Latin American region.


Crystal Felima

Board Member

My research interests and areas include ecological crises, governance, and neoliberalism in the Caribbean, specifically in Haiti. As a cultural anthropologist and feminist scholar in disaster studies, I survey the ways humans shape their environment and explore the complexity and dimensions of risk and vulnerability.

Essential to my research is highlighting the individual and collective voices of vulnerable populations and communities. I believe it is necessary to promote and advocate for local perspectives and strategies to address ecological issues. As a result, narrative research is an essential component to my research agenda. My book project highlights disaster narrative experiences to explore discussions on social inequality, vulnerability, and development in Haiti. With my continued research on disasters in Haiti, I consider how Haitians and other groups negotiate and articulate their lives in ecological crises and socio-economic and political conflicts perpetuated by the State and the global capitalist system.

I am also co-series editor for the Berghahn Books’ Catastrophes in Context Series.


Natasha Joseph

Board Member

My research interests include indigenous knowledge systems, ecological challenges, women’s agency, and spatial injustice in Haiti, with a focus on rural areas. My academic experiences and educational background (Bachelor’s in Agricultural Engineering; Master’s in Tropical Conservation and Development) uniquely underscore my commitment to socioeconomic inequalities, environmental sustainability, and the Caribbean (African) diaspora, specifically within a Haitian context.

As a doctoral candidate studying Geography, Environmental Science, and Policy at the University of South Florida, my current research seeks to ascertain what, if any, is the complex relationship between spatial injustice, environmental degradation, and the lived experiences of rural women in Northern Haiti. By integrating insights from Black and Caribbean feminist geographies, my research utilizes GIS to spatially analyze and visualize the distribution of environmental degradation, resources, and disparities, ultimately informing evidence-based policy recommendations.

My goal is to continue to tackle Haiti’s environmental crises centering rural women as my point of departure.


Alex Lenoble

Board Member

I am currently an assistant professor of French at the University of South Florida, specializing in contemporary postcolonial literatures with a special focus on
Haiti.

Since 2010, I have been an active participant in the Haitian Studies Association, regularly presenting papers at conferences. As a Professor of French and Francophone literature and culture, I integrate my scholarly knowledge into my teaching, exposing students to the vibrant culture and literature of Haiti.

My vision for the Board is to foster innovative research and collaboration, emphasizing interdisciplinary approaches that bridge literary analysis with cultural studies and other disciplines. I am particularly passionate about amplifying the diverse voices and narratives within Haitian Studies, bringing awareness to the impressive quality of Haitian intellectual and artistic production.


Laura Wagner

Board Member

My research interests include humanitarianism in post-earthquake Haiti, human rights, everyday life, disaster and displacement, and, more recently, radio, memory, and archives.

From 2015 to 2019, I was the full-time Radio Haiti Project Archivist at Duke University, where I processed the archive of Radio Haïti-Inter. Today, the fully-digitized digital archive, with trilingual metadata, is available online.

My public scholarship includes the exhibition Radio Haiti: Three Decades of Resistance and working as the dramaturg for Leyla McCalla’s Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever, a piece inspired by the Radio Haiti collection and commissioned by Duke Performances’ “From the Archives Series.” I am committed to ensuring that as many people as possible in Haiti and the diaspora have access to the Radio Haiti Archive.

I have published about Radio Haiti, the earthquake, and other topics in both scholarly and popular venues, including sx archipelagos, Salon, Slate, the Haitian literary magazine Revue Trois/Cent/Soixante, Responsible Statecraft, Public Books, and several edited volumes. I have also translated selections from the Radio Haiti Archive for The Haiti Reader (Duke University Press, 2020) and the forthcoming Michel-Rolph Trouillot reader, Trouillot Remixed (Duke University Press, 2021). I am also the author of a young adult novel about the 2010 earthquake, ‘Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go‘ (Amulet, 2015).


Executive Director

Claudine Michel

Claudine Michel served for many years as Director of the Center for Black Studies Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is currently Professor of Black Studies and Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs. She received a BA in education from the École Normale Supérieure; studied at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, Université d’État d’Haïti; and earned a PhD in international education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research has appeared in many scholarly venues and she is the author and co-editor of a number of volumes on education, Black studies, and Haitian Vodou. Her current work re-conceptualizes alternative modes of knowledge production and models of pedagogical interventions grounded in both education and religion. She is a former president of the Haitian Studies Association and the long-time editor of the only peer-reviewed journal on Haiti, The Journal of Haitian Studies, published by the UCSB Center for Black Studies Research for the Haitian Studies Association. Dr. Michel is founding member of KOSANBA, A Scholarly Association for the Studies of Haitian Vodou and Culture and a founding editor of Kalfou, A Journal of Comparative Ethnic and Relational Studies, both housed at the UCSB Center for Black Studies Research. After the 2010 earthquake, she served as consultant for Direct Relief International on its Haiti community projects and is a member of the Haiti Soleil Board of Directors. Recent awards include an excellence and service award from the Haitian Studies Association and the prestigious Jean-Price Mars Medal from the Faculté d’Ethnologie, Université d’État d’Haïti.



Past Executive Director

Marc Prou

Marc Prou, associate professor and former chair of the Africana Studies Department, is currently the director of the Haitian Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His teaching and research address New World slaves societies, Caribbean social and cultural history, Caribbean literatures, Urban Education and Kreyòl linguistics. Through his interdisciplinary pedagogy, he has developed and led various study abroad programs to Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba. The author of numerous books, and peer-reviewed articles, essay reviews, and book chapters, including Introduction to Africana Studies: Multidisciplinary Perspectives of the African Experience (2013); “Haiti’s Condemnation: History and Culture at the Crossroads,” in Latin American Research Review (2005); “Attempts at Reforms: Mending the Tapestry of Haiti’s Education System, 1979-2004” in Journal of Haitian Studies (2009). Professor Marc Prou is a prominent Haitianist scholar activist and a keen public intellectual. He has cast a wide net of influence across generations with a variety of publications, combined with frequent public appearances in both academic and non academic circles, advancing Haitian history, language and cultural studies. Professor Prou is a co-founder of the Haitian Studies Association (HSA), he continues to relentlessly push the envelope of Haitian Studies in the academic canon.


Past Presidents

Regine Jackson

Past President 2022

Dr. Regine O. Jackson is currently the Dean of the Humanities, Social Sciences, Media, and Arts Division and Professor of Sociology at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the 2022 President of HSA, Chair of the 33th Annual Conference Program Committee in 2021, Chair of the HSA Biennial Book Prize in 2017, and HSA Board Secretary from 2014 – 2016. Jackson specializes in Haitian migration and diaspora studies, sociology of race and place; American immigration, and spatial inequality. She is the editor of Geographies of the Haitian Diaspora (Routledge, 2011) and The Context of Black Lives: Race and Space in Two American Cities; and author of Boston Haitians: Navigating Race, Place and Belonging in a Majority-Minority City. Other work has been published in interdisciplinary journals and edited volumes. She has received grants and awards from the American Sociological Association, Social Science Research Council, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Ford Foundation, Spencer Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Before joining the leadership team in Academic Affairs at Morehouse, she taught at Agnes Scott College, Emory University, and the University of Richmond. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, but was raised in the Boston Haitian community in the late 1970s and 1980s. She is a proud mother of three who currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

A member since 1999, Jackson continues to serve HSA as the 35th Annual Conference Site Committee Chair for HSA 2023 at Morehouse.


Mark Schuller

Past President 2020-2021

Mark Schuller is Professor of Anthropology and Nonprofit and NGO Studies at Northern Illinois University and affiliate at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, l’Université d’État d’Haïti. Supported by the National Science Foundation Senior and CAREER Grant, Bellagio Center, and others, Schuller’s research on NGOs, globalization, disasters, and gender in Haiti has been published in fifty book chapters and peer-reviewed articles as well as public mediaHe authored or coedited eight books including Humanity’s Last Stand: Confronting Global Catastrophe. He is co-director / co-producer of documentary Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy (2009). Schuller is co-editor of Berghahn Books’ Catastrophes in Context: a Series in Engaged Social Science on Disasters and University of Alabama Press’ NGOgraphies: a Series of Ethnographic Reflections of NGOsRecipient of the Margaret Mead Award and the Anthropology in Media Award, he is active in several solidarity efforts.


Florence Sergile

Past President 2019



Josiane Hudicourt Barnes

Past-President President 2018

Josiane Hudicourt-Barnes has been a teacher, teacher trainer, administrator, and researcher in the field of bilingual education and language development. She studied psychology at the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico in San German, Creole Linguistics at Indiana University in Bloomington, and Language Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge. She is one of the founding members of the Haitian Studies Association. Her research is about the type of thinking and language skills students from diverse cultural backgrounds bring to learning situations. Her scholarly publications center on connecting classrooms work to funds of knowledge students bring from their home and culture. Her work with the Chèche Konnen Center at TERC has been published in the Harvard Educational Review, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and several edited volumes on science discourse and assessment. In Haiti she has been a consultant on education at Fokal and the Open Society Foundation, and an advisor to Prime Minister Michele D. Pierre-Louis and to the USAID education office. She is currently and independent consultant and researcher.


Carolle Charles

Past-President 2017

Dr. Carolle Charles is an associate professor of sociology at Baruch College. As a scholar, her research and work concentrate on processes and agencies both in Haitian society and within the Haitian immigrant communities of North America. Dr. Charles’s present scholarly work focuses on three interconnected areas of research: Labor Migration and Transnational Pattern of Migrants’ Identities; the Dynamic of Race, Culture, and History; and Gender and Empowerment. Her work is contributing to the ongoing debate on feminist studies that attempts to redefine the very meaning of feminism. She is also a past president of the Caribbean Studies Association.



LeGrace Benson

Past-President 2016

LeGrace Benson holds an interdisciplinary PhD in visual perception, history of art and philosophy of education from Cornell University; an interdisciplinary MFA in art, philosophy, and education theory from the University of Georgia; and an AB in art and English literature from Meredith College. She also did studies in theology, comparative religion, and history of Christianity at the Episcopal Divinity School of Philadelphia’ and special courses in film production and film history in various institutions and museums. She is professor emerita from State University of New York-ESC/Center for Distance Learning. Currently she is director of the Arts of Haiti Research Project, associate editor of the Journal of Haitian Studies, and Past President of the Board of the Haitian Studies Association. Most recent publication is Arts and Religions of Haiti; How the Sun Illuminates Under Cover of Darkness




Patrick Bellegarde-Smith

Past-President 2015

Patrick Bellegarde-Smith is a professor emeritus of Africology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He obtained a PhD in international studies from The American University, and taught in that field, and later in African-American studies and women’s studies. His scholarship presently is in the areas of African and neo-African religious thought and social philosophy, with an emphasis on national and cultural identities. He has authored, edited and co-edited five books on these subjects, and a large number of articles. Some of his work has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and French. He is the recipient of the Medaille Jean Price-Mars, Université d’Etat d’Haiti, and of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Scholarship from the Haitian Studies Association. He is a oungan asogwe, a priest of Vodou.




François Pierre-Louis

Past-President 2014

François Pierre-Louis, PhD, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Queens College, CUNY.  His research interests include immigration, transnationalism and Haitian politics. He has worked as a community organizer in Haiti and the U.S., and served in the private cabinet of President Aristide in 1991 and as an advisor to Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis in 2007-2008. He is the author of Haitians in New York City: Transnationalism and Hometown Associations. His articles have appeared in U.S. Catholics, Wadabagei, the Journal of Haitian Studies, Education and Urban Society, and the Journal of Black Studies. He is currently coordinating the Chancellor initiative to help rebuild higher education in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.




Claudine Michel

Past-President 2013

Claudine Michel served for many years as Director of the Center for Black Studies Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is currently Professor of Black Studies and Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs. She received a BA in education from the École Normale Supérieure; studied at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, Université d’État d’Haïti; and earned a PhD in international education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research has appeared in many scholarly venues and she is the author and co-editor of a number of volumes on education, Black studies, and Haitian Vodou. Her current work re-conceptualizes alternative modes of knowledge production and models of pedagogical interventions grounded in both education and religion. She is a former president of the Haitian Studies Association and the long-time editor of the only peer-reviewed journal on Haiti, The Journal of Haitian Studies, published by the UCSB Center for Black Studies Research for the Haitian Studies Association. Dr. Michel is founding member of KOSANBA, A Scholarly Association for the Studies of Haitian Vodou and Culture and a founding editor of Kalfou, A Journal of Comparative Ethnic and Relational Studies, both housed at the UCSB Center for Black Studies Research. After the 2010 earthquake, she served as consultant for Direct Relief International on its Haiti community projects and is a member of the Haiti Soleil Board of Directors. Recent awards include an excellence and service award from the Haitian Studies Association and the prestigious Jean-Price Mars Medal from the Faculté d’Ethnologie, Université d’État d’Haïti.




Charlene Désir

Past-President 2012

Dr. Charlene Désir received her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a research professor at the Abraham S. Fischler School of Education at Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Désir’s academic interest is in the social and psychological adjustment of immigrant students in public schools, specifically school’s social curriculum, social trauma occurring in schools, and how social issues affect learning. Dr. Désir has presented various papers and presentations on the topic of immigrant students and their adjustment to the U.S. She has also published on the topic of immigrant identity and becoming a reflective researcher. In addition, she co-founded T.E.N. global, an empowerment network for Haitian women and children, was the 2012 president of the Haitian Studies Association, and was also appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Children’s Services Council in Broward County, FL. Dr. Désir has worked as a school psychologist, K-12 school counselor, school administrator in Massachusetts district schools and as an academic advisor and professor.




Matthew Smith

Past-President 2011

Dr. Matthew J. Smith is a senior lecturer in history. His main area of research is Haitian politics and society after the U.S. occupation (1915-1934) and Haitian regional migration in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. He has published several articles and book chapters on various aspects of Haitian history and politics, and the book, Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957 (UNC Press, 2009). He has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship for graduate studies at the University of Florida; an Andrew Mellon Visiting Professorship at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Duke University; and a Dubois-Mandela-Rodney Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Smith teaches undergraduate courses on Haitian history and U.S. history. He is a Board member of the Haitian Studies Association and is the Director the Department’s Social History Project.




Guerda Nicolas

Past-President 2009-2010

Marie Guerda Nicolas joined the EPS faculty in August, 2008. She was an associate professor at Boston College in the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology prior to joining the EPS faculty.
As a multicultural (Haitian American) and multilingual psychologist (Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole), her research is reflective of her background and interests. Her current research centers on partnering with ethnically diverse and immigrant communities to develop culturally effective mental health interventions to combat depression, address issues of racism and racial discrimination stress, enhance the racial and ethnic identity development of children and adolescents, and promote individual, family, and community well-being.



Guitèle Nicoleau

Past-President 2008

Dr. Nicoleau currently serves as FHI 360’s Regional Education Representative for West & Central Africa, Middle East & North Africa, with responsibility for developing and implementing a regional education strategy for FHI 360. She served as the Chief of Party for the USAID/Basic Education Project in Senegal for five years. During that time, Dr. Nicoleau received high praise for her exemplary team leadership and management capabilities and for successfully building sustainability into the project’s implementation. Dr. Nicoleau received her EdD from Harvard University Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2001.




Florence Bellande-Robertson

Past-President 2007

Florence Bellande-Robertson holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a retired university professor of languages and literature. She is a co-founder of Multicultural Women’s Presence, a publishing company dedicated to fostering women’s voices, and also co-founded Foundation Hope for Haiti, an American fundraising organization that supports essential humanitarian programs in the areas of education, health, entrepreneurship, social communications, community development, and democracy building.  She is the author of Perhaps Tomorrow (1983) and The Marassa Concept in Lilas Desquiron’s Reflexions of Loko Miwa (1999) and the co-editor of Brassage (2006), an anthology of poetry by Haitian women.




Marie José N’Zengou-Tayo

Past-President 2005-2006

Marie-José Nzengou-Tayo (PhD.) is Senior Lecturer in French at the University of the West Indies, Mona and the former Chair of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures (2005-2011). She is specialized in the Teaching of French as a Foreign Language and a researcher in the literature and culture of the French-speaking Caribbean. In 2004 she received the French order of the Palmes académiques (Chevalier). She is a past President of the Haitian Studies Association (2005-2006), and the recipient of the 2013 Principal’s Award for Research for her article “The Haitian Short-Story: An Overview” (Journal of Caribbean Literatures, Vol. 6:3).



Kathleen M. Balutansky

Past-President 2000-2003



Carole M. Berotte Joseph

Past-President 1997-2000



Leslie Desmangles

Past-President 1990-1996

Professor Desmangles graduated from Eastern University in 1964 with a BA in music, from Palmer Seminary in Philadelphia with an M. Div. in Theology, and from Temple University in 1975 with a PhD in anthropology of religion, specializing in Caribbean and African Studies. He has taught at Ohio Wesleyan University from 1969-1976, at De Paul University from 1976-1978, and at Trinity since 1978.

A dedicated teacher, Professor Desmangles has two primary pedagogical goals: to encourage his students to understand the importance of religious beliefs in human society; and to teach them to appreciate the drama and pageantry of rituals in the religious traditions of peoples across the world. He has published widely, most notably The Faces of the Gods: Vodou and Roman Catholicism in Haiti, a Choice outstanding academic book for 1994. Moreover, he was also the associate editor for The Encyclopedia of African and African American Religions, also a Choice outstanding reference book for 2003. Professor Desmangles was honored at the meeting of the American Anthropological Association in 2007 for his scholarly contributions to the study of Caribbean religions.