Student Researchers

Maddie Yu, Class of 2025

Maddie Yu is currently a second-year art history major at Grinnell College. She joined the HADC project in the fall of 2022 as a student research assistant. With Claire Burns ’23, Maddie has worked to produce metadata for works from the Waterloo Center for the Arts’ Haitian art collection, as well as compile biographical information for artists within the collection. She greatly enjoys working with Dr. Petrouchka Moïse and learning more about digital projects and Haitian art.

Claire Burns, Class of 2023

Claire Tan Burns is a fourth-year English and Mathematics major graduating in May 2023. Alongside Maddie Yu ’25, her work for the HADC project has been to cultivate metadata for pieces from the Waterloo’s Haitian art collection.

Working on digital projects has been the most formative experience of Claire’s time at Grinnell. In addition to her position with the HADC, she has been a Vivero Digital Fellow since 2021. Through the fellowship, she built and maintains the Grinnell Multicultural Alumni Archive and also assists the Vivero Fellowship Co-leads with course design work. Claire feels lucky to have had the opportunity to explore how digital projects can serve multicultural communities–and to have learned from such excellent digital practitioners. She is hopeful for a future career involving digital scholarship.

Haruko Okada, Class of 2023

Haruko Okada is currently in her fourth year at Grinnell College as a Computer Science major with a Statistics concentration. She has been working at the college’s Data Analysis and Social Inquiry Lab (DASIL) as a student researcher and a mentor for 2 years. She was introduced to the HADC project through DASIL and have worked with the team to create the project’s sandbox. This is her first project and she loves working with Professor Moise and her team to learn more about Haitian art history. Outside of college, she enjoys creating iOS mobile applications using Swift. Next year, she will be pursuing a Masters degree in Computer Science at the University of Iowa.

Hyein Cho, Class of 2023

Hyein Cho is a fourth year majoring Sociology and Economics at Grinnell College. She is working as a Vivero Fellow and as a student mentor at DASIL(Data Analysis and Social Inquiry Lab). She is working on the HADC project as a Vivero Fellow. Her work involves updating the HADC WordPress site so that it portrays images and information in a way that aligns with the project’s mission. She has also worked on the ArcGIS map following the work of Madelyn to embed it on the site. She loves working with Dr. Moïse & the team and is excited to see the project continue.

Past Student Researchers

Madeline Matsubara, Class of 2022

Madelyn Matsubara graduated Grinnell College as an English and French double major. She was introduced to the HADC project through the Vivero program that she has been a part of for three years now. Her role on the project focuses mainly on the redesign of the HADC website as well as ArcGIS map representations. As a French and English double major, she became interested in the project through the multilingual nature of the metadata. She appreciates the intersection of language, art, and digital softwares that this project includes. She was incredibly grateful to be a part of this team working toward decolonized access to symbols of Haitian culture and history.

Madelyn is currently pursuing her PhD in English literature at the University of Iowa. 

Annika Little, Class of 2022

Annika Little graduated Grinnell College as a Chinese language and Chemistry double major and worked as a student research assistant on the HADC project. Having previously worked in the Grinnell College libraries, Annika wanted to bring her cataloguing and researching skills to the HADC project. Annika also wanted to work on the HADC project because one of the focuses of the project is looking beyond the provenance of the Haitian artworks found in the Waterloo Center of the Art’s collection. This connected to her interests in Chinese language and history because many Chinese artworks and artifacts were looted, stolen, or extorted from China during the early 1900s. Annika hopes to learn more about Haitian art, and to apply her interests in history to help explore and contextualize the history of the Haitian artworks in the Waterloo collection.

Annika is from West Hartford, Connecticut. After graduating Grinnell, she will pursue a PhD in Organic Chemistry.

Kaya Matsuura, Class of 2023

Kaya Matsuura is currently a fourth-year at Grinnell College majoring in Art History. Before arriving in Iowa she lived across the east coast while moving back-and-forth to Tokyo, Japan. She also works as a photographer for The Scarlet and Black college newspaper and has a longstanding interest in camerawork and filming. In her free time she hosts a radio show/podcast with friends at the college radio station, KDIC. As a student research assistant for the HADC project, she worked in the Data Redesign team in the fall and the Website Redesign team in the spring. Her main objectives were researching accessibility and research tools and finding features to expand the website audience beyond academicians. She also retouched, updated, and organized the website to include new information and record the process of the project. Some lasting key features in the website will be quadrilingual translations (Creole, Spanish, French, English) and the Beyond Provenance Summaries. As a student team, they have discussed methods on how to decolonize the Western canon of Haitian art and dismantle some of the power dynamics associated within the collection and project itself. While there is still a great deal of work to be done, in condensing summaries and writings, she has taken her own liberties in rewording and adjusting sentences to be more inclusive, actively revising to decentralize colonial language and powers to further try and decolonize the collection and information.​

Chloe Alexis Gonzalez, Class of 2023

I, Chloe Alexis Gonzalez, am currently a Fourth year at Grinnell College, majoring in Art History. I joined the HADC project during the 2020-2021 year as a student research assistant. Within the fall semester, I worked on the scholars-cross walk team, researching potential future collaborators for the project to expand investigated potential future collaborators for the Haitian Art Digital Crossroads Project to expand and grow as an initiative to make Haitian art accessible beyond academia. During the spring semester, I worked with the Website Redesign team, helping to retouch and update the website on new information and recording the process of the project. During the fall work session, the scholars’ crosswalk team (Chloe Gonzalez and Sophie Doddimeade) investigated future collaborators for the HADC project. The team focused on the Haitian Studies Association (HSA) and the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) as a starting point to find individuals and institutions. By reviewing these websites and crafting a list of future contributors, I understood better the magnitude of the Caribbean and Haitian studies around the world. As an art history major this was extremely valuable as many studies focus on European art. Breaking away from the Western Canon was refreshing and a way for me to question my own ideas of the definition of art. The design team (Chloe Gonzalez and Kaya Matsuura) worked to redesign and update the website within the spring work session. In doing this, I learned more about accessibility within website content and condensing information for conciseness. In addition to this, I was tasked to gather information from others on the team to help reach deadlines. In doing this, I learned the value of communication and navigational skills in assisting in project managing. Within the spring and fall work terms, I have gained many valuable skills, including time management, communication, and how to use art as a catalyst for change. As I continue my academic career; I am confident that the skills and lessons learned within this project will guide me. And I am more than elated to see how the project unfolds in the future!

Cinthia Romo, Class of 2021
Cinthia Romo

I, Cinthia Romo, am a first-generation Mexican American born in Jalisco, Mexico and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. I am also a first-generation low-income college student, and a Sociology and French major from the class of 2021. I joined the HADC project as a student research assistant in the Fall of 2020. During the Fall 2020 semester I was a part of the website redesign team with Kaya Matsuura, and on the citation research team alongside Annika Little. Throughout Spring 2021 semester, I worked on the metadata team and worked on helping to set up Airtable for record keeping. During the Spring, I was also responsible for the secretary role, taking meeting notes and communicating important information to the rest of the team. My French major introduced me to Haiti’s history and art, but I became particularly interested in the HADC project after having taken a semester off college in the Spring of 2020 to volunteer as a paralegal at the Texas/Mexico border helping asylum seekers through the asylum process. During my time at the border, I realized there were many Haitian asylum seekers, and became motivated to learn more about Haiti. The following semester, I decided to take a guided reading with Professor Rivera on Haitian art and joined the HADC project. Although I have little background in art history, I have found huge value in the project since the beginning. As a Sociology major, I found the decolonization work that the project is engaging in powerful, and as a French major and native Spanish speaker the language component of the project was particularly meaningful to me because I understood that a multi-lingual platform means inclusion across cultures, countries, and academic disciplines. As my contribution to the project has grown however, I have found many new ways to appreciate the project due to the lessons it has taught me. In fact, as a member of the website redesign team, I have learned that decolonization and inclusion work lie not just in the big gestures and changes, but also in the details. We discussed the implications behind website color schemes, fonts, tools, and other details and, with intention, we picked the ones we believed would best capture the essence of Haiti and the history behind its artwork. This lesson was once again reaffirmed during my work with the metadata team in the Spring when we worked as a team to decide what metadata to include in the beyond provenance model. This was not an easy task, as metadata can be extremely expansive, and the ways to collect and enter metadata can vary considerably. However, in my opinion, the team did a great job completing this daunting task. Now, as I look towards graduation, I look forward to seeing all the great work the HADC project will complete in the following years. In the Fall of 2021, I will be attending the University of Washington in St. Louis as an Olin Fellow to obtain my PhD in Sociology. I will take the lessons I have learned from the HADC project, and incorporate them into my work as an academic, a researcher, and a Sociologist. The HADC project has taught me that you can find much more in artwork than one may originally believe, and I look forward to incorporating artwork in my research and in the future Sociology classes I hope to teach.

  • TJ Calhoun, Class of 2020
  • Margaret Coleman, Class of 2020
  • Sophie Doddiemead, Class of 2021