VANESSA CHAMPAGNE '13
LADY DOAK COLLEGE '15-'17
Vanessa Champagne graduated in 2013 with a major in Africana Studies. Vanessa emigrated to the U.S. from Haiti at the age of eleven, and she is fluent in French, Haitian Creole, and, of course, English. Her experiences growing up in America with her family have influenced her life as both a traveler and an educator, and she looks “for similar bridges and common attributes that bring people together rather than differences that pull people apart.” While at Oberlin, Vanessa was an integral part of Dance Diaspora, a West African and Afro-Diasporic dance troupe that performed on campus and conducted workshops in primary schools in Ohio and Kentucky. She was a member of Ilu Aiye, a drumming orchestra, and SOCA (Students of Caribbean Ancestry). When an earthquake devastated Haiti in January 2010, Vanessa co-founded Oberlin Students For Haiti, mobilizing resources to assist the communities there. Currently, Vanessa is teaching English in French Guiana. Though she has traveled extensively, she has never been to Asia and looks forward to her position at Lady Doak College because it gives her a chance to grow as a community organizer and teach self-designed subjects. Her life experience promises to help make her a sensitive intercultural ambassador and an active and engaging Director of the Lady Doak’s International Studies Center. She is also an artist drawn to afrosurealism and afrofuturist conceptions of selfhood.