A Big Congratulations to the 2019 IRT Cohort!

We are proud to share the matriculation decisions of 100 students from the 2019 Cohort and happy to celebrate 25 students who have other plans for the upcoming year. Each one of these scholar-practitioners has achieved a lot since joining the IRT last June, and we are confident that everyone will go on and continue to achieve great things in graduate school and beyond. Thank you all for your hard work and passion. The IRT office hopes to see each one of you return to work with future cohorts of IRT students, and we hope you stay in touch with us here in the office and with your IRT colleagues all over!

~IRT 2019 Cohort Matriculation Decisions~

Adriana Aguilar – MS, School Counseling, San Francisco State University
Teresa Alvarado-Patlán – PhD, History, Northwestern University
Francesco Asano – PhD, American Studies, New York University
Marnay Avant – PhD, Sociology, University of Michigan

Natalie Barraza
– MSW, School Social Work, University of California, Berkeley
Mercy Bourdet – MA, Anthropology: Socio Cultural, Columbia University (deferring one year)
Damali Britton – PhD, Political Science, Brown University
Jacqueline Brown-Gaines – PhD, History, University of California, Santa Cruz
Alan Burnett Valverde – PhD, English, Stanford University

Asha Canady – PhD, Curriculum & Instruction/Ed Policy, Vanderbilt University
Rachael Clifford – PhD, English, Princeton University
Aliyah Collins – MA, Theological Studies, Harvard Divinity School
Stephanie Contreras – PhD, School Psychology/Applied Development, Purdue University
Emma Cordova – PhD, Chicanx Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Eric Crawford – PhD, Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Yanil De La Rosa-Walcott – PhD, Curriculum & Instruction/Ed Leadership/Urban Ed, University of Pennsylvania

Carmen Ervin – PhD, Anthropology, Stanford University
Jamila Espinosa – PhD, Human Development, University of California, Davis

Sharon Figueroa Argueta – EdM, Arts in Education, Harvard University
Desmond Fonseca – PhD, History, University of California, Los Angeles

Elizabeth Galvan – MA, School Counseling, Seattle University
Kimberly Gan – PhD, Sociology, SUNY Albany
Marielle Gardner – PhD, Mathematics, University of Kansas
Katelyn Gethchel – MA, History, University of Rochester
Miguel Giron – PhD, History, Northwestern University
Antoinette Gonzalez-Ramirez – EdS, School Psychology, California State University, Long Beach
Carl Greer – PhD, Educational Leadership, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dalia Griñan – PhD, History, Rutgers University
Dorcas Gyekye – MAT, Secondary Education: History, Duke University

LaShanda Harbin – MA, Ed Policy, Brown University/University of Wisconsin
Akire Hawkins – MEd, Secondary Education: Social Studies or Spanish, Boston College

Kristen Jackson – PhD, Education, Stanford University
Jhoneidy Javier – PhD, Comparative Literature, New York University
Ramon Johnson – PhD, Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, University of Washington
Tenisha Jones – PhD, School Psychology, Howard University

Zuri Kent-Smith – PhD, Africana Studies, Brown University
Woohee Kim – PhD, Education, Culture, Institutions & Society, Harvard University
Andrew Kiser – PhD, English, University of California, Berkeley

Stephen Lampkin – PhD, Curriculum and Instruction/Ed Studies, Michigan State University
Gabriella Lee – PhD, Religion, Columbia University
Janaya Little – MEd, Learning, Diversity & Urban Studies, Vanderbilt University
Nikki Locklear – PhD, History, Duke University
Leslie Luqueno – PhD, Sociology of Education, Stanford University
Howard Ly – MEd, School Counseling, University of Maryland

Aqil MacMood – MAT, Secondary Education: Math, University of Pennsylvania
Gloria Marquez – PhD, Clinical Psychology, Central Michigan University
Armando Martinez – MA, Higher Education, The Ohio State
Alejandra Mejia – PhD, American Culture, University of Michigan
Sasha Mejia – PhD, Human Development, University of Pennsylvania
Stephanie Milton – PhD, Religious Studies, University of California, Davis
Leroy Mitchell – MA, Higher Education & Post-Secondary Education, University of Michigan
Trott Montina – MFA, Documentary Media, Northwestern University
Hannah Mott – MEd, Elementary Education, Boston College
Jabril Muhammad – PhD, Theater & Performance Studies, Brown University
Mehr Mumtaz – PhD, Sociology, The Ohio State
Jamaica Murphy – PhD, Education: Human, Development, Learning & Teaching, Harvard University

Thierry Michel Nda – PhD, French, City University of New York

Priscilla Odinmah – MEd, Elementary Education, Boston College (Deferring for one year)
Chelsea Osademe – PhD, African American Studies, University of Minnesota
Nina Owolabi – PhD, Education, Policy, Organization & Leadership: Higher Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Itzel Padron Zuniga – MAT, Secondary Education: History, Brown University
JaBrea Patterson-West – PhD, History of Art, New York University
Katherine Ponds – PhD, American Studies and African American Studies, Yale University
Racheal Popoola – PhD, Teaching, Learning & Development, University of Rhode Island
Frangy Pozo – PhD, Sociology, University of California, Davis
Gabriela Puche – PhD, Philosophy, Emory University

Vanessa Ramirez – PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Vermont
Elizabeth Rangel – PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of California, San Diego/San Diego State University (joint program)
Bryonna Reed – MA/PhD, American Studies, Purdue University
Sherline Renodo – MS, Special Education, University of Rochester, Warner School
Rosalie Reyes – PhD, Cultural Studies & Social Thought in Education, Washington State University
Isabelle Rios-Colon – MEd, Higher Education, University of Maine
Karla Rodriguez Beltran – PhD, Sociology University of California, Davis
Charles Ross – PhD, American Studies, Washington State University

Alice Santana – PhD, Ethnic Studies/Anthropology, University of Maryland
Romuald Santiago – MA, Higher & Post-Secondary Education, Teacher’s College, Columbia University
Rosed Serrano – PhD, English, University of Pennsylvania
Talia Sharpp – PhD, English, University of California, Davis
Hae Rim Shin – PhD, Higher Education & Organizational Change, University of California, Los Angeles
Peter Simpson – MA, International Education Development, Teachers College, Columbia University
Jarell Skinner-Roy – PhD, Higher Education, University of Michigan
Kayla Smith – PhD, History, Columbia University
Da’Quallon Smith – PhD, Urban Policy Planning/Interdisciplinary Studies, London School of Economics
Laura (Laura Lee) Smith – PhD, Higher Education, University of Michigan
Andrew Suarez – PhD, American Studies, Harvard University
Mahir Syed – MA, Teaching of Social Studies, Teacher’s College, Columbia University

Eric Thai – PhD, Political Science, University of California, San Diego
Demontea Thompson – PhD, Urban Schooling, University of California, Los Angeles
Jatawn Tickles – PhD, Counseling Psychology, University of Georgia

Alexis Umeh – MA, School Counseling, Boston University Wheelock College of Education

Ivan Valdovinos Gutierrez – PhD, Education, University of California, San Diego
Catherine Ventura – PhD, English and Education, University of Michigan
Seanna Viechweg – PhD, English, University of Virginia
Minh Vu  – PhD, American Studies, Yale University

Darion Wallace – PhD, Education, Stanford University
Vallaire Wallace – PhD, English, University of Virginia
Kayla Williams – MA, Mental Health Counseling, George Washington University
Tavia Williams – PhD, Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University
Julia Wong – PhD, Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University

Iliana Zepeda – MA, Higher Education, University of Maryland

~Celebrate Success!~

IRT students pursuing other plans this fall

Mario Alvarado Cifuentes  • Seferine Baez
Diana Barajas •
Sonya Brooks
Valeska Castaneda Puerto • Saulo Castillo
Nancy Chen
Sheena Crenshaw
Victor Diaz • Angelica Hernandez
Christelle Jasmin
Kednel Jean • Katrina LoperlNichola Metzger
Angie Nunez Rodríguez • Christian Ortiz Gonzalez
Emely Paulino •
Brittney Pemberton • Isaiah Rivera
Mayumi Sato
Ashleigh Smith  • Mahal Stevens
Damani Warren
Sarah Yerima  • Dongqian Zhang







Executive Letter, April 2020

Brooks photoNow, more than ever, relationships matter.

During the last few weeks, we have witnessed an unprecedented acceleration towards the unknown. Even still, I remain inspired and calmed by the radical spirit of educators and our students. Throughout the last few weeks, I listened excitedly as IRT Scholars reported admissions offers and funding awards. I am enthusiastic as you inch closer to your matriculation decisions.

We encourage you to reach out to us and connect. We are grateful for those of you that are convening on Facebook, Almabase, and reaching out to us via email. With campuses closed for revisits, more IRT students are seeking additional resources as they make their final decisions. Please consider reaching out via Almabase, especially if you would like to advocate for your alma mater.
Continue reading “Executive Letter, April 2020”

When Inclusion and Access Converge

When Inclusion and Access Converge: Imagining a College Space Where the Work Actually Happens –  by Chelsea Osademe, IRT ’19

Chelsea Osademe, IRT ’19

I was scrolling through Facebook, a few weeks ago, when I came across a reposted TED Talk titled “On Diversity: Access Ain’t Inclusion” by Dr. Anthony Jack. Dr. Jack argues that, “getting in [college] is only half the battle. Colleges and Institutions invest millions into diversity and equity recruitment, but don’t think about what to do once [students] get there. Access ain’t inclusion”. During his talk he addressed what it means to be a first-generation student navigating the politics and unspoken rules of college, what it means to truly feel included, and how exclusion can impact an individual’s ability to achieve success and college matriculation. As a first-generation Nigerian-American and first-generation college graduate, Jack’s interest in what it means to feel and be included on college campuses, in the midst of access to a college education, as well as the resources these institutions provide, really stuck with me. Dr. Jack’s talk affirmed my own experience as a minoritized individual traversing college campuses, as well as the current mundane battles I’ve faced as a prior student, now staff member, at a predominately white institution (PWI).

Continue reading “When Inclusion and Access Converge”

IRT Alum Podcast, Kat Stephens, IRT ’13

Kat, a second year doctoral student in the higher education program at UMass Amherst, shares her thoughts in being a Caribbean scholar and woman of color academic in her regular podcast Caribbean Scholar Tings.


Her research interests include high-achieving community college students and their transfer choices, and higher education choices of Afro-Guyanese women in Guyana, desiring to study in the United States. Further interests include bi-cultural socialization of Afro-Caribbean descendant students as they navigate American graduate programs.


Alumni Accolades – April 2020

~2018 Cohort~

(L-R) Christopher Perez, Program Director, Office of Graduate Diversity & Inclusion at the University of Maryland and Briceno Bowrey, IRT ’18 currently in his first year of doctoral studies in History at the University of Maryland. #IamIRT

~2017 Cohort~

Mariahadesse Tallie, IRT ’17
Mariahadesse wrote her first children’s book entitled, “Layla’s Happiness,” published by Enchanted Lion Books. She is currently a Ph.D. student at Brown University.






Continue reading “Alumni Accolades – April 2020”