Haitian Studies Association

Emerging Scholars Fund

HSA established the Student and Emerging Scholars’ fund during the 2006 conference. Since 2008 the HSA board has earmarked $1000 annually to support student research and participation in our annual conference.  Two scholarships ($500 each) may be applied toward travel and accommodation expenses incurred for attending an HSA conference and/or presenting a specific research project concerning Haiti and/or the Haitian diaspora.

If you wish to donate and support the Fund, you can do so here.



Ayanna Legros is an interdisciplinary historian of 20th century Caribbean and Latin America at Duke University. Her dissertation project, “Echoes in Exile: Haitian Radio Activism in New York City,” spans the fields of political history, sound studies, immigration, Black diaspora studies, and histories of technology. “Echoes in Exile” closely examines the mutation of radio as tool of surveillance by marines during the U.S. Occupation of Haiti (1915-1935) into a tool of resistance by Haitian exiles seeking to overthrow the Duvalier dictatorship (1957-1986). In conversation with scholars in the field of Haitian Studies, Legros uses innovative archives such as oral histories, radio show transcripts, cassette tapes, and songs to craft a nuanced history of the Haitians peoples’ usage of radio to inform and empower new political visions for the nation. Legros is the recipient of fellowships from Davis Foundation 100 Projects for Peace (Batey Lechería, Dominican Republic), and Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (Harlem, New York). She has taught at Dominican Academy, Loyola School, Success Academy, and City University of New York. Legros holds a master’s degree in Africana Studies at New York University, where she also co-founded Basquiat: Still Fly @ 55, a yearlong initiative celebrating the life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat through educational programming at Modern Museum of Art, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and NYU. She also co-edited North American Congress on Latin America’s special edition #Blacklivesmatter in Latin America alongside Larnies Bowen, Dr. Juliet Hooker, Dr. Tianna Paschel, Dr. Geisa Matos, and Kleaver Cruz.

Wood-Mark Pierre. Diplômé en philosophie et en sociologie à l’Université d’État d’Haïti, est membre actif du comité exécutif du Réseau des Jeunes Bénévoles des Classiques des sciences sociales en Haïti (REJEBECSS-Haïti). Depuis 2016, interpellé sur l’état des structures du champ de production et de circulation du savoir scientifique en Haïti, au sein du REJEBECSS-Haïti et de l’Association pour la Science Ouverte en Haïti et en Afrique (APSOHA), il milite contre les injustices cognitives et en faveur de la diffusion en libre accès du patrimoine scientifique haïtien sur le web. Il est co-auteur de l’article « La coopération entre Les Classiques des sciences sociales et le REJEBECSS-Haïti : un modèle de transfert de technologie, de compétences et de connaissances » et de « Une autre science est possible ». Il est également co-auteur de deux communications : « Pensons la diversification des archives, bibliothèques et plateformes numériques à l’aune des langues maternelles : la traduction comme arme pour démocratiser le Web scientifique dans les pays des ‘Suds’ » et « L’invisibilité de la science endogène dans l’espace public et l’extraversion vers le Nord. » M. Pierre vient d’être admis dans le programme de maitrise « Histoires des sciences, des techniques et des savoirs » de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). À travers ce programme de formation, il souhaite travailler sur les mutations des structures de formation universitaire en Haïti.


Sageene Francis: Sageene Francis is an undergraduate student at Boston College in the esteemed Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program. She is majoring in International Studies and minoring in Medical Humanities. Her current scholarly interests include global health equity and disparities, as well as public health issues among populations of color in the United States, Latin-America, and the Caribbean. Raised in Miami by Haitian immigrants, Sageene was exposed and committed to the global Haitian community at an early age. Her commitment is evidenced by her ongoing social and scholarly engagements through her work with the Haiti Initiative, NHELP, and “Association Haïtienne” at Boston College. Sageene is currently serving as a Research Fellow for Professor Régine Michelle Jean-Charles and plans to pursue graduate studies with a focus on Haiti.

Jocelyn Sutton Franklin: Jocelyn Sutton Franklin is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder. In her dissertation, “Haunted by Slavery: The Work of Memory in 21st Century Haitian Literature,” she questions how transgenerational traumas that inform cultural identity affect those experienced in the flesh. Arguing that the experiences of the Middle Passage are constitutive of contemporary trauma and loss in Haiti, she examines the impact of slavery on the experience of time, memory, and identity as represented in 21st century Haitian literature. She reads four Haitian authors – Yannick Lahens, Emmelie Prophète, James Noël, Makenzy Orcel – who mobilize collective memory, embodied remembrance, and Haitian folklore to yoke the experiences of contemporary traumas such as the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince or the Cholera epidemic, with that of chattel slavery. Her article, “The Danger of the Extended Hand: A Critique of Humanitarian Aid in Makenzy Orcel’s L’Ombre animale” will be published in Karib: A Nordic Journal of Caribbean Studies in the fall of 2018.


Sophonie Milande Joseph: Sophonie Milande Joseph is a Ph.D. Candidate in Urban Planning at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) in New York City.

Her current research agenda centers on environmental justice, transnational planning and intersectional feminism. Her doctoral research is focused on the diffusion of traveling planning ideas in Haiti with an intersectional feminism lens.

For two-years, she lived and worked in rural and urban Haiti as she completed her ethnographic and mixed-method, dissertation field research’s data collection. Her dissertation thesis analyzes the international aid system’s influence on decentralization planning since the 1987 constitution; the political economy of race; and rural infrastructure planning in small island developing states (SIDs) and least developed countries (LDCs).

Extensive field research informs her co-authored, article: “Trust and Hometown Associations in Haitian Post-Earthquake Reconstruction,” previously published in the peer-reviewed Journal of International Migration. She also continues to use her Gender Specialist and applied research skills to co-write articles such as “Haitian Women’s Experiences of Recovery from Hurricane Matthew” for the Brazilian Igarapé Institute.

She has over 10 years’ experience as an applied researcher with a focus on community development; diaspora’s collective remittances; and environmental justice. A proven ability to evaluate, aggregate, and synthesize data and information about programs and policies while identifying areas in need of improvement. Sophonie is proactive, flexible and a self-reliant individual with superior writing and editing skills. Possessing an in-depth understanding of public policy needs in the areas of environmental justice and diversity in higher education. Extensive experience preparing reports in tabular, graphic, or narrative formats, and presenting information at conferences and in public forums. Knowledge of best practices, processes, and operations.

Her objective is to provide Scholarship in Service to Society.

Irene Brisson: Irene Brisson is a designer, researcher, and educator invested in the study and implementation of more equitable design processes. Her current research investigates communicative practices used in tacit and explicit design of Haitian residential architecture. Her ethnographic fieldwork is focused on three significant producers of Haitian houses: general contractors/bosmason, architects, and non-governmental organizations. Considering speech, gesture, drawing, and building as inclusive categories of communication, Irene explores how they vary in complex relationships of class, education, language, race, and nationality to reproduce and challenge the status quo.

After the 2010 earthquake, Irene worked on architectural design projects sited in southern Haiti as a co-founder of FAARM (Focus on Architecture, Research & Making), and consulted for Port-au-Prince-based urban planning firm, SODADE. This post-disaster work informed her co-edited book, Architectural Reader: Ground Rules for Humanitarian Design. Other on-going research interests include the intersections of movement practices with architecture, site specific performance, meaning making and gesture, and gender and racial politics in public space, most recently explored in a collaborative art piece presented at the Ghetto Biennale 2017 in Port-au-Prince. Irene holds a S.B. in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters of Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation & Planning. She has taught at Parsons the New School for Design and Bowling Green State University.


Manuelle Alix-Surprenant: After 10 years of professional experience in the fields of immigration, board diversity, youth policies and communication, Manuelle Alix-Surprenant is now a master’s student in anthropology at the Université de Montréal, Canada. Her research focuses on international adoption in countries of origin, focusing on family structures in Haiti. Manuelle Alix-Surprenant is the cofounder and president of L’Hybridé, a Quebec-based organization for international adoptees. She is currently co-writing La couleur de l’adoption, a book that presents 30 portraits of international adoptees. She is the first adoptee on the consultation board of the Quebec government’s Secrétariat à l’adoption internationale, and she sits on the organizational committee of the next ICAR (International Conference on Adoption Research). Manuelle Alix-Surprenant advocates for adoptees to reclaim their narratives and unite their diverse voices in order to be heard by international adoption decision-making bodies.

Apre plis pase 10 lane eksperyans profesyonèl nan kesyon kominikasyon, divesitè, travay ak jenn ak gesyon jere pwojè, Manuelle Alix-Surprenant jodi a espesyalize l nan kesyon adopsyon entènasyonal. L ap fè yon metriz nan Université de Montréal, Kanada. Sije rechèch li konsantre sou kesyon fanmi byolojik, espesyalman chapant fanmi ann Ayiti. Manuelle Alix-Surprenant se prezidan ak yon manm fondatè yon òganizasyon ki rele l’Hybriditè, yon OBNL (organization à but non-lucratif) pou moun yo adopte nan nivo entènasyonal. Lap ko édité yon liv ki rele La Couleur de l’Adoption, ki prezante 30 potre moun ki adopte k ap viv nan Kebèk. Li se premye moun yo adopte ki chita nan komite sekretarya adopsyon entènasyonal, e li se manm komite k ap oganize rankont entènasyonal nan rechèch sou adopsyon. Manuelle Alix-Surprenant ap milite pou ede moun ki adpote repran vwa yo, konsa yo ka mete tèt yo ansanm pou enfliyanse desizyon ka p pran sou kesyon adopsyon entènasyonal.

Hadassah St. Hubert: Hadassah St. Hubert is currently a Ph.D. Candidate and McKnight Doctoral fellow at the University of Miami. Hadassah earned her B.A (2009) and M.A. (2010) degrees in American History from St. John’s University in New York. Her dissertation focuses on Haiti’s participation in World’s Fairs and Expositions in the twentieth century. Presently, she serves as the Assistant Editor for Haiti: An Island Luminous, a site dedicated entirely to Haitian history and Haitian studies.

Hadassah St. Hubert se yon kandida nan program doktora ak yon McKnight Doctoral fellow nan University of Miami. Hadassah te fè yon lisans (2009) ak metriz (2010) nan istwa ameriken nan St. John’s University in New York. Tèz doktora li chita sou patisipasyon Ayiti nan Fwa ak Ekspozisyon mondyal nan 20e syèk la. Kounye a li se asistan editè pou Haiti: An Island Luminous yon sit entènèt dedye sou istwa dAyiti ak etid Ayisyen.


Kasia Mika: Kasia Mika is currently completing a PhD at the School of English at the University of Leeds (UK) (funded by the University of Leeds Research Scholarship) entitled Narrative and Its Limits: Literary Responses to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake (planned submission October 2015). The project is bilingual in focus (French and English) and interdisciplinary in nature. It points to the ways in which imaginative writing can enrich our understanding of the 2010 Haitian earthquake in the light of narrative theory and in the context of postcolonial disaster studies. Kasia has published articles in Aspeers, Journal of Haitian Studies, and Moving Worlds. She is also the current Web Officer for the Postcolonial Studies Association, Elections Intern for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (Boston), and a member of Haiti Support Group.

Wideline Seraphin: Wideline Seraphin is a Phd candidate and BuntonWaller Fellow at The Pennsylvania State University studying Language, Culture and Society within the department of Curriculum and Instruction. She holds an MA in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington. She has worked as an out-of-school literacy instructor and school teacher for the last five years and is interested in studying the schooling experiences, literacy practices, and racial and ethnic development of Haitian youth. Wideline will be presenting, “When the Police Stop Us, They’re Not Gonna Say, ‘There Goes That Haitian Kid’: Understanding the Racial and Ethnic Positioning of 21st Century Haitian Adolescent Youth through the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.


Guertie Dorcil: Étudiante en master 1 en sciences du langage (Linguistique théorique et
descriptive) à la Faculté de Linguistique Appliquée de l’université d’Etat d’Haïti, “Je suis très intéressée aux études haïtiennes en général et créoles en particulier. Ainsi, dans le cadre de ce colloque autour du thème « migration, frontière, traverses, marchons vers l’avenir » je présente, en collaboration avec le professeur Renauld Govain, une communication sur la cohabitation du créole et de l’espagnol à Bombita, Barahona, République dominicaine) titrée « Cohabitation harmonieuse du créole et de l’espagnol à Bombita, en République dominicaine ». C’est d’ailleurs la toile de fond de mon mémoire de licence en linguistique appliquée.”

Vanessa Henry: Student in Social Work and Psychology at Enstiti Travay Sosyal ak Syans Sosyal Ms. Henry is interested in psychology, specifically – pregnancy education for women. She and her team developed a psycho-education program to help educate pregnant women about how to care for themselves and their unborn children during pregnancy.


Marie Lily Cerat: Marie Lily Cerat is a doctoral student in the Urban Education Program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Cerat currently serves as an Adjunct Lecturer with the Hunter College of CUNY, School of Education. Prior to graduate school, Cerat worked for nearly two decades in the New York public education system, starting her educational career as a Haitian bilingual teacher at PS 189 – the Bilingual Center in Brooklyn. Later, she would join the Haitian Bilingual Education Technical Assistance Center (HABETAC), a New York State Education Department project, where she spent a combined nine years as a staff developer. One of her key responsibilities at the HABETAC was assisting New York’s school districts and schools in complying and implementing the state’s language policies and designing programmatic services to meet the needs of Haitian Bilingual learners.

In 1992 Cerat co-founded with Ninaj Raoul, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (HWHR), a New York community-based organization, to respond to the human and social needs of Haitian parolees and refugees arriving from the US Naval Base in Guantanamo, Cuba, after the 1991 coup d’état against former President Jean Bertrand Aristide. The 20 year-old organization remains an important grassroots group in New York, continuing to provide adult literacy in Haitian Creole, English as a Second Language (ESL), immigration services and Worker’s rights training to Haitian immigrants and refugees, while also working on numerous social justice issues and projects impacting Haitians in the diaspora and at home.

Célia Romulus: Célia Romulus est une doctorante de 2eme année du département d’études politiques de Queen’s University (Canada) et se spécialise en Genre et Politique. L’actuel projet de recherche de Célia tente de générer un dialogue entre différents corpus littéraires traitant du genre et de l’état-nation, d’études sur les migrations et de la transmission intergénérationnelle du traumatisme/de narratifs. Cette recherche vise a offrir des clefs de compréhension de la systématisation de la violence étatique gérée, de la manière dont ces formes de violence influent sur les flux migratoires et sur la citoyenneté telle que vécue par différentes générations de migrant-e-s.

Avant d’intégrer Queen`s University, Célia a travaillé pendant 6 ans sur des projets visant a promouvoir l`équité de genre, notamment au sein d`ONU FEMMES, son travail a plus spécifiquement porte sur la lutte contre la violence basée sur le genre et la participation des femmes dans les processus de décision locaux. Célia est également détentrice d’un master en Etudes du Développement et Sciences Politiques de SciencesPo Bordeaux (France) et est actuellement assistante d enseignement a Queen`s University en Politique Comparée