Associate Director & Manager of Programs Update, March 2023

Dear IRT Community,

As IRT enters the Spring season, we are continuing to advise scholars as they manage their graduate school acceptances and financial packages. We are encouraging them to savor the joy and acknowledge their efforts in this milestone. We are so very proud of them. As we well know, keeping up with coursework, working multiple jobs, participating in campus activities and applying to graduate schools is a fine balancing act. 

We are also in the midst of reviewing applications for our next IRT scholar cohort who will begin their programming year with a 4 week virtual Summer Institute beginning in late June. By remaining virtual, all accepted scholars will have access to IRT faculty, College and University Consortium partners and all programming content. As with other organizations and institutions in service of diversifying the teaching profession, pivoting to increase opportunity and center equity remains the core of IRT’s work. 

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Melvin Villaver, IRT ’18: Right Here Right Now

It is Tuesday, January 31, 2023, and as I begin to write this piece, it is 8:12 PM. I am currently at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the Delta A terminal awaiting my flight back to my home near Indianapolis, Indiana. The specificity of my location and the timing of all of this is important because ten years ago, I could have never imagined being right here right now. 

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Admission Season Perspectives

IRT Arts & Sciences Specialist Brittany Zorn, IRT ’13 and Education Specialist Leislie Godo-Solo, IRT ’91 share their thoughts with IRT Scholars.

The first couple months of the New Year is always my favorite time of year- and no, it’s not because I’m an Aquarius Sun or because New England winters are the prettiest of anywhere (ok not JUST because of these things). The start of the New Year is my favorite time of year because it is admissions season!

For IRT scholars, the first six months of their IRT engagement is rigorous and time consuming; conducting school list research, making connections with graduate school folks, curating application materials, and crafting close to a dozen quality statements of purpose keeps scholars busy from June through December. Admissions season is the time when all that hard work pays off and scholars begin to see the fruits of their labor in the form of invitations to interview or visit campus and offers of admission. It’s always a season of some uncertainty and great celebration. The shock, joy, and relief that students often feel when the offers (and the dollars!) start to roll in is something I am grateful to share in each year.

While admissions season brings lots of exciting news, it also comes with a new set of stressors. Through the pre-application season, scholars are often most concerned with packaging themselves legibly to graduate programs- the emphasis is always on the scholar seeking approval (admission) from these graduate programs- but the post-application season introduces a new dynamic. Once an offer has been extended the power of approval (accepting an offer or not) is shifted into the hands of the scholar. After months of scrutinizing program websites, scouring faculty profiles, and drawing insight from one-to-one conversations so that they might be judged worthy of entry into a program, scholars are now faced with determining whether these institutions are in fact worthy of THEM.

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PA Giving Day – March 29, 2023

We extend heartfelt thanks to the many members of the IRT donor community who continue to advance this critical work through their annual gift. Our program is possible because of your support! For the past several years, PA Giving Day has served as an exciting and powerful day for the IRT, and we are excited to continue this momentum! Several members of the IRT Advisory Board are offering match funds to inspire participation. Every one of the first 79 gifts to the program, regardless of size, will be matched with a $1,000 gift, unlocking up to $79,000 in funds for the IRT!

Please help us to ensure success on Giving Day. The official event runs from 9am EDT on March 29th to 12pm EDT on March 30th, but you can help jump start this amazing day and make your gift now; simply select “IRT” from the “Designation” drop-down menu.

IRT Alumni Committee Update, March 2023

On a monthly basis, the Alumni Committee meets to spearhead initiatives for cultivating community and building a more connected alumni network. Committee updates on upcoming events and any news related to this group is posted on the IRT Alumni Network – join today if you haven’t already to stay informed!

Gather & Grow: April 12th – 5:00 – 7:00pm EDT
This informal social event is hosted over Zoom where alumni can intentionally come together for networking, giving or receiving advice, celebrating achievements, lamenting challenges, and otherwise continuing to be in community together. You can hop in and leave whenever you need to, log in details are posted to the IRT Alumni Network or you can email the IRT to receive the Zoom link to join in!

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