Alumni Accolades – June 2019

-2002 Cohort-

Congratulations to Women’s Studies Professor LaKisha Simmons, IRT ’02 who is the recipient of this year’s Black Celebratory Cornerstone Award! Selected annually by graduating students, the award recognizes faculty or staff who enhance the academic and social progress of African American students at the University of Michigan.

-2017 Cohort-

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, IRT ’17 was featured in a spring Ms. Magazine article written by Chivas Sandage, “Ms. Muse: What Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie’s Womanist Poems Tell Us About Love, Language and Race in America.” Mariahadessa is currently a PhD student at Brown University studying theatre and performance studies.

Tashal Brown, IRT ’14  and Eliana Castro, IRT ’15 contributed to the article, The Impossibility of Being “Perfect and White”: Black Girls’ Racialized and Gendered Schooling Experiences, first published in the American Educational Research Journal, May 2019. Read more on Eliana Castro by viewing her guest post.



Sara Mokuria, IRT ’05 was a guest presenter at Next City for an event in their online seminar series this past May. Sara Mokuria, is co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality and a Next City Vanguard and spoke about creating a world without police brutality.

LaKisha Simmons, IRT  ’02 organized an IRT get together at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Change in May. LaKisha is the faculty director at the Institute and is shown below with other IRT alumni:  Aurelis Troncoso, IRT ’16, Chera Reid, IRT ’02.


Marcus Brown, IRT ’93 has accepted a position at the Illinois Community College Board as the Senior Director for Academic Affairs & Student Services. Congratulations!

Diana Burnett, IRT ’10  has accepted a new position as a Postdoctoral Fellow for African American Religion and Culture at the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Howard University School of Divinity. Congratulations!

-IRT Alumni Events and Gatherings-

IRT alumni met up in New York this past spring for an interactive session on American educational policy with IRT’s institutional partner, MDRC.  Several alumni gathered after the session at a mixer hosted by Kevin Maillard, IRT ’94 and Advisory Board Member for food, drink and good company!


IRT Mixer in NYC
MDRC Session

The University of Maryland (UMD) hosted its Annual Society of McNair Fellows and IRT Graduate Student Community End of Year Celebration in May 2019. This is one of the many events the UMD’s Office of Graduate  Diversity and Inclusion organizes throughout the year for the IRT community. Read about UMD’s 2nd Annual Holiday Dinner.

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