Alumni Advisors Contribute to 2021 Cohort Success

by Brittany Zorn, IRT ’13, Arts and Sciences Specialist, IRT

One of IRT’s greatest assets is by far our expansive network of alumni. Since joining the IRT team in 2016, I have had the pleasure of meeting, celebrating, and working alongside so many incredible scholars, educators, leaders, and artists through the IRT alumni family. Engaging with alumni on social media, alumni who serve as Summer Faculty for our Summer Workshop, alumni who sit on the Advisory Board, and alumni who reach back out to the program for one reason or another has always been an enriching part of my experience as a staff-member-who-is-also-an-alum. In 2021, I had the opportunity to work with our alumni in a new way, through the External SOP Advisor role. We sent out an invitation to serve as an SOP Advisor in our blog, on the IRT Alumni Network, and on social media (FB, IG), and I was heartened to say we received responses from more than two dozen alumni with an interest in the role!

Alumni service continues to be a huge part of the success of IRT year after year. What’s more, students every year ask about opportunities to connect with alumni from within their intended graduate school disciplines. Alumni SOP advisors is one of the most intimate ways for a current IRT scholar to connect with alumni of the program. IRT staff are incredibly grateful for the service of 26 alumni in the Advisor role in 2021; you help make this program possible! From panelists and guest speakers, to Summer Faculty, to advisory board members, to consortium representatives, to SOP Advisors, our alumni most significantly enrich and bolster the program.

Meet some of our 2021 Alumni Statement of Purpose Advisors

“I’m an SOP advisor because I wouldn’t be where I am without mine and without the little office that could.”
Joe Baez, IRT ‘18

Baez is a Ph.D. student in the Department of American Studies at the George Washington University.

“I’m inspired by my IRT advisees who exhibit vulnerability, perseverance and have entrusted me with such an important part of their academic journey.”
Angela Crumdy, IRT ‘13

Crumdy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

“IRT was a major part of how and why I was able to apply to graduate school and find a program that would help me earn a PhD. Now as a tenured professor I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help students doing inspiring work and demystify the application process.”
Andrew Flachs, IRT ‘10

Flachs is an associate professor at Purdue University in the Anthropology department.

“I remember how nerve-wracking the grad school application process was. And then how reassuring it was to have IRT advisors in my corner. Now that I’m a doctoral candidate, I’m thrilled to be able to support a new generation of phenomenal scholars as an SOP advisor. Onward!” 
Lissette Lorenz, IRT ‘16

Lorenz is a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University in the Department of Science and Technology Studies.

“I mentor through IRT because it’s so gratifying to work with, support, and uplift the next generation of rising scholars.” 
-Elizabeth Rule, IRT ‘12

Rule is assistant professor of Critical Race, Gender and Culture Studies at American University.

Kelli Moore, IRT ’99

Moore is a scholar, teacher and researcher. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florida and is currently a Survey Statistician for the Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.

“More than a decade ago, IRT changed the trajectory of my life in one single summer. When presented with the opportunity to be an IRT advisor, I couldn’t resist jumping at the chance to “pay it forward” and connect with an amazing group of talented individuals!”
-Charmaine P. Giles, IRT ‘09

Giles is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education.

“I am thrilled to once again pay-it-forward for all that IRT did for me, although still, I find the experience of mentoring future teachers and academics to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my year.” 
Stephanie Flores-Koulish, IRT ‘97

Flores-Koulish is Professor and Director of the Curriculum and Instruction for Social Justice Master’s Program at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore.

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