Q&A with André Douglas
“Q&A with…” is a series dedicated to introducing staff members to the Oberlin community. Is there someone you’d like to nominate? Please get in touch.
André Douglas, area coordinator for multicultural and identity-based communities, works in Residential Education and Dining Services. In the role, he leads a staff of resident assistants in fostering a sense of community and creating an inclusive environment in all of the campus Program Houses. He is also an advisor to the Program House Hall Council and works with academic departments and resource centers to provide programming and support for students. Douglas began his role in September 2019.
Get to know more about Douglas in this Q&A.
Describe your role in six words.
Supporting communities from bedroom doors.
What’s the best advice someone has given you?
When I was a college and career counselor at a high school, my supervisor told me to always come to our meetings with solutions to problems that frustrated me. It taught me not only perspective, but forced me to consider all angles when it comes to situations at work.
Where did you grow up?
My family moved around a lot, so I grew up all over New Jersey and Delaware.
What did you want to be when you were eight years old?
When I was eight, all I wanted to be was a dad. I thought being a dad was a full-time position that would pay my bills and get me food.
What’s something that not many people know about you?
Most people can't guess that I am Filipino and Jamaican. Both my parents moved to the United States to go to college in New Jersey. To top it off, I definitely caught the cooking bug from them and cook a wide array of cuisines.
What was your favorite class in college?
My favorite undergraduate class was my senior year literature seminar that focused on Toni Morrison. Every week for four hours, we did a deep dive not only into the literary genius of Toni Morrison, but we applied it to the scope of her life, the current state of race in America, and the lack of representation when it comes to mainstream media.
What is your favorite concert?
Definitely the On the Run II Tour! I flew to San Francisco to see it with my friends from college.
What was the last book you read?
American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, written by Lisa Wade