This past October, IRT alumni welcomed about 20 prospective applicants during an information session at the University of Michigan. IRT alumni shared their perspectives and insight into the program.
The IRT panel included the following:
Aesha Mustafa, IRT ’16—Aesha is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in Higher Education at Michigan State University. Her research interests explore higher education’s role in promoting students to develop a propensity toward civic engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Aesha hopes that higher education institutions can impart all students, regardless of academic discipline, with the tools to respectively and critically engage in an increasingly multicultural world.
Denise Galarza Sepúlveda, IRT ’91—Denise is the Director of the University’s office of Community-Engaged Academic Learning (CEAL) where she works with faculty to create transformative learning opportunities for undergrads and trains future faculty in community-based learning. Prior, she was a professor of Latin American Literature for over 10 years at Lafayette College in PA. She has received national and university awards for her research, her teaching and her mentorship of underrepresented students. She also volunteers every Saturday, teaching Latino children in the ENL literacy program.
The University of Maryland Graduate School’s Office of Graduate Diversity and Inclusion (OGDI) welcomed IRT alumni to a special dinner this past December. Many thanks to Christopher Pérez, OGDI program director, for coordinating the event and providing the opportunity to extend networks and reconnect IRT alumni, faculty, staff, and other professionals.
Program highlights included two keynote addresses by IRT alumnae:
Brittany Zorn, IRT ’13
M.Ed., Arts & Sciences Programs Specialist, Institute for Recruitment of Teachers
Brittany graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2013 with a B.A. degree in psychology and women’s studies and a minor in Africana studies. That same summer, Brittany participated in the IRT Summer Workshop as she prepared to pursue her master’s degree. In 2016, Brittany graduated from the University of Maine, earning an M.Ed. in student development in higher education. Leading up to graduation, Brittany learned of an opening at the IRT office and enthusiastically applied; the opportunity to help future generations of students successfully apply and matriculate into graduate programs on their paths to careers as educators was not one Brittany was willing to pass up. She eagerly accepted the role of arts & sciences programs specialist with the IRT in May 2016. A clip of Brittany’s speech is included below.
Please take a few minutes to answer some questions about your professional path since you left the IRT and matriculated to a graduate program. Our goal is to develop a holistic understanding of where our alumni are, where they are working, and use this data as a tool in our future programming. Thank you for your time.
Congratulations to Aaron Benavidez, IRT ’11, one of the recipients of the 2018 Derek C. Bok Award.
The 2018 Derek C. Bok Award is given to five of the most outstanding teaching fellows, who have been nominated by their departments, throughout Harvard University and includes a monetary prize. Benavidez is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of sociology at Harvard University and an Inequality and Social Policy Doctoral Fellow.
The first national conference of the African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities department at the University of Maryland was held this past fall in October. A few IRT alumni ran into each other at the event!
Dominique Young, IRT ’15, (left) a Ph.D. student in English Literature currently at the University of Maryland, Aria Halliday, IRT ’11, (center) Assistant Professor of Africana Feminisms in Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire and Hazim Abdullah-Smith, IRT ’15 (far right) a Ph.D. student in American Studies also at the University of Maryland.