Executive Letter, February 2021

Brooks photoAs we enter the new year, we remember the things we carry with us. For the last year, many of us have worn multiple hats, opening our hearts and homes to the unknown.

Here at the IRT, we find support in our community. Our scholars came to us with their hopes, vulnerabilities, and shared goals of educational transformation. It has not been easy as we all work together to work towards our ideals of socially just educational society.

I’m proud of the opportunity to connect with our alumni and share their stories in our program report. We are excited to continue to solicit and support our alumni through the development of our Alumni Committee. Now more than ever, our alumni play a crucial role in supporting our program. By informing us of your successes, challenges, and processes, we can better support our current scholars.

Throughout all the uncertainty, I am also grateful. Grateful to be in a community that works to support each other. Either through PPE distribution or easing nerves while waiting for admissions decisions, I am inspired by how you have shown up for each other.

LaShawnda

Signature

 

IRT Alumni Committee – application open!

Hi everyone,

Please apply to join the IRT Alumni Committee!

As the Graduate Student Representative to the IRT Advisory Board, I know that alumni support and the IRT network is full of robust and dynamic scholars and professionals across various fields. I believe we are actively pushing for more racially and socially just K-12, higher education, and professional spaces. With this, LaShawnda Brooks and I would like to launch the IRT Alumni Committee.

We would like to invite IRT alum to apply to join the Alumni Committee– a highly motivated and dynamic collaboration of IRT alumni who are committed to supporting, networking, and working with alumni, IRT staff, current IRT students and the Advisory Board. I hope the Alumni Committee can be a collaborative space to problem-solve and support IRT alumni.

Learn more and apply for the IRT Alumni Committee.
Applications are due Friday, February 19.

Best –
Renee Wilmot, IRT ’12/’17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Role for former IRT Associate Director, Kate Slater

It’s been over a month since my last day at the IRT, and truthfully, I’ve missed it every single day. I was employed at the IRT for six years, first as the Coordinator for Recruitment and Admissions (later renamed the Recruitment & Admissions Program Specialist), then as the Associate Director and Manager of Programs, and briefly, as the Interim Director. I’ve seen the IRT go through a host of changes in the relatively short time I’ve been there. But through those changes, the organization has also stayed true to a radical re-envisioning of the American education system.
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Reflections: Stephanie Flores-Koulish, IRT ’98

In April 2015, like now, I was a resident of Baltimore City. That spring our city was in turmoil following the murder of Freddie Gray at the hands of the police. I lived within a mile of the place where Gray attempted to flee from the police one fateful Sunday morning, yet our worlds couldn’t have been more different. Me, a mom, wife, and college professor living in the so-called, “White-L”* of Baltimore (Geographer, Dr. Lawrence Brown coined that geographic phrase to indicate the area of the city most populated by White people, corresponding with an abundance of resources that the “Black Butterfly,” where Gray lived, lack). Yet, all of the city residents were shook by what we witnessed and experienced. International media flocked to our city sending out media representations of a burning CVS and understandably angry residents gathering in protest over the death of yet another Black man at the hands of police.
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Alumni Accolades – February 2021

~1991 Cohort~

Leislie Godo-Solo, IRT ’91
Leislie initiated a special project that made a huge difference to a number of IRT students this holiday season. She coordinated and purchased a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, hand wipes and a hand-written note complete with candy and organized other family members and friends to contribute items that were sent to IRT students around the world. Leislie is also the IRT Education Programs Specialist and we would like to thank her for her kindness and generosity. If you know of a student who may be in need, please contact the IRT.

According to Leislie, “this project came about because of a current IRT student who informed me that they were teaching a group of elementary students in person and she mentioned that the school was not providing any PPE to teachers. I was alarmed and believed that these materials are basic supplies. I shared my concern with my Daddy (I am a Daddy’s girl, lol!) and unbeknownst to me, my parents sent me a Nike shoe box full of cloth masks. A former Andover colleague heard me discussing the matter in an affinity group and texted me right on the spot to say that he wanted to send disposable masks to help in my cause; I was off and running. Providing PPE was such a small gesture and one that was easy enough to do. I am pleased that we have been able to assist IRT students in this concrete way.”  As a result of this project, Leislie’s motto in 2021 is “Onward and upward, doing what we can in our little part of the world!”

“I am very grateful for Leislie’s work. She was my IRT advisor. I admire her work. Also, I appreciate all the assistance of the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) has provided to us. I feel honored I was selected to participate in the 2020-2021 IRT Associate Program in the field of Linguistics. This program impacted me positively. It could change my life. Especially thanks to Leislie Godo-Solo, Rachel Weissler, Monica Reum, Brittany Zorn, LaShawnda Brooks, Janelle Bonasera, Sara Cerretani, and thanks to all the alumni.” Zahaira Cruz Aponte, IRT  ’20

Continue reading “Alumni Accolades – February 2021”