Haitian Studies Association

Board and Advisory Council

2017 Board of Directors

Carolle Charles

President

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.

Lois Wilcken

Board Member

Lois Wilcken, a native New Yorker, has had the pleasure of researching traditional music and dance in Haiti and her diaspora. As executive director of La Troupe Makandal, Dr. Wilcken develops education and performance programs for the public. White Cliffs Media Company published her book, The Drums of Vodou, and one may visit French and English versions of her Vodou Music in Haiti exhibit at www.lameca.org. She is currently annotating a collection from her field recordings for publication on the web-based Ethnographic Video for Instruction and Analysis Digital Archive based at Indiana University, and is documenting the life and legacy of the late master drummer Frisner Augustin for a web archive and a biography.

Florence Sergile

Board Member

Josiane Hudicourt Barnes

Board Member

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.

Jhon Picard Byron

Board Member

Mark Schuller

Board Member

Mark Schuller is Associate Professor of Anthropology and NGO Leadership and Development 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 over thirty book chapters and peer-reviewed articles as well as public media, including a column in Huffington Post. He is the author of two monographs, including Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti (Rutgers, 2016) and co-editor of five volumes, including Tectonic Shifts: Haiti since the Earthquake (Kumarian Press, 2012). 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 NGOs. Recipient of the Margaret Mead Award, he is board chair of the Lambi Fund of Haiti and active in several solidarity efforts.

Narcisse Fievre

Board Member

Professeur Narcisse Fièvre, PhD (scol) est licencié en sciences économiques de la Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Économiques de l’Université d’État d’Haïti et diplômé du Centre de Formation des Statisticiens. Il réalisa ses études graduées à l’Université de Montréal où il compléta une maîtrise et une scolarité de doctorat en sciences économiques (examens de synthèse en microéconomie et en macroéconomie réussis, examen de spécialisation en économie du développement réussi), un DESS en Administration des Systèmes d’Éducation et de Formation et une maîtrise en éducation.Il a été pendant environ vingt ans un cadre supérieur du Ministère de la Planification en tant que Chef de Service puis Directeur de la Direction d’Aménagement du Territoire, Chargé de Mission à la Direction Générale et Conseiller au Cabinet du Ministre. Il a été également Consultant au Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances.

Nathalie Pierre

Board Member

Nathalie Pierre is a doctoral candidate in the department of History at New York University. Her dissertation “The Vessel of Independence….Must Save Itself: Haitian Statecraft, 1803-1820” is a political history of the construction of a Black state in an era characterized by racial slavery and turbulent revolution. Her main interest is Africana community formation at the local and state level. Her first publication is “Ti Dife Boule sou Istwa Ayiti as Haitian Civic Education.”

Pierre Minn

Board Member

Pierre Minn’s research focuses on international medical aid to Haiti, where he has been involved in a variety of research and health projects since 1997. Specific interests include the roles of Haitian health professionals in international aid, global health education, and the moral economies of transnational health interventions. Pierre received his BA in anthropology from Yale University and his MA and PhD in medical anthropology from McGill University. His work has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Fonds Québécois de Recherche en Santé. He teaches courses in medical and socio-cultural anthropology, Haitian studies and Haitian Creole.

Robert Fatton

Board Member

Robert Fatton Jr. is the Julia A. Cooper Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. He also served as Chair of the Department of Politics from 1997 to 2004; and Associate-Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Virginia from 2010 to 2012. He is the author of several books and a large number of scholarly articles. His publications include: Black Consciousness in South Africa (1986); The Making of a Liberal Democracy: Senegal’s Passive Revolution, 1975-1985 (1987); Predatory Rule: State and Civil Society in Africa (1992); Haiti’s Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy (2002); The Roots of Haitian Despotism (2007); and Haiti: Trapped in the Outer Periphery (2014). He is also co-editor with R. K. Ramazani of The Future of Liberal Democracy: Thomas Jefferson and the Contemporary World (2004); and Religion, State, and Society (2009). He is the recipient of the 2011 “Award for Excellence” of the Haitian Studies Association for his “commitment and contribution to the emerging field of Haitian Studies for close to a quarter of a century.”

Executive Directors

Claudine Michel

Co-Executive Director

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.

Marc Prou

Co-Executive Director

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

(Photo by Tequila Minski)

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.