Alumni Accolades, September 2022

Julia Jordan-Zachery, IRT ‘91
Jordan-Zachery has assumed the role of Professor and Chair of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Wake Forest University. The following books from Jordan-Zachery are available or will be available soon – Eat the Meat and Spit out the Bones (poetry from Main Street Rag); Erotic Testimonies: Black Women Daring to be Wild and Free (SUNY Press); Lavender Fields: Black Women Experiencing fear, agency and hope in the time of COVID-19 (Univ. of Arizona Press).

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IRT Alumni Mentor Phillips Academy’s Students of Color and Participate in MLK Workshop

by Leislie Godo-Solo, IRT ’91


Since November of 2020, Leislie Godo-Solo, IRT ’91 has served as one of the faculty advisors for the Af-Lat-Am Mentoring Program (AMP) at Phillips Academy which has a membership of 104 students of color.  Leislie, along with the input of six student coordinators creates and plans programming that benefits students’ personal and academic growth.  During the current academic year, Leislie and the coordinators hosted Ms. Warner and Mr. Coy of the Academic Skills Center who discussed study strategies and, more recently, during the MLK Jr. holiday weekend, IRT alumna, Kelicia Hollis Jessie ‘11 was invited by the organization and held a workshop titled AMP Mentoring Reset:  Going Back to Basics, an interactive session in which the mentors learned ways to be more intentional and effective in their interactions with their mentees.  Additionally, Aleena Kibria, one of IRT’s Student Advisory Board Leaders conducted a MLK Jr. Workshop titled “What Is a Bad Hair Day?  In this presentation, Aleena and her peers discussed how often students think about their hair, Eurocentric beauty standards, the politics of hair, hair discrimination, and legal efforts to rectify hair discrimination in schools and the workplace.  Aleena went a step further for her presentation and interviewed Phillips Academy and IRT students Kevin Pajaro-Mariñez, IRT’15 LaKisha Simmons, IRT ’02 and Elyx Desloover, IRT’ 21 about their feelings regarding their hair. Check out their discussion on YouTube.    

Congratulations Aleena on a dynamic and well-received MLK Workshop!

Relieving Winter Stress & Staying Healthy

IRT staff share go-to-activities for stress free ways to endure the cold weather months!

Winter in New England is long and after the holidays it can be a little dreary. IRT staff are finding ways to enjoy these months each in their own way. An outside holiday gathering and doggie play date with Basil, Millie & Henry in a fun, outside setting started the early winter months off right!

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Alumni Accolades – February 2021

~1991 Cohort~

Leislie Godo-Solo, IRT ’91
Leislie initiated a special project that made a huge difference to a number of IRT students this holiday season. She coordinated and purchased a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, hand wipes and a hand-written note complete with candy and organized other family members and friends to contribute items that were sent to IRT students around the world. Leislie is also the IRT Education Programs Specialist and we would like to thank her for her kindness and generosity. If you know of a student who may be in need, please contact the IRT.

According to Leislie, “this project came about because of a current IRT student who informed me that they were teaching a group of elementary students in person and she mentioned that the school was not providing any PPE to teachers. I was alarmed and believed that these materials are basic supplies. I shared my concern with my Daddy (I am a Daddy’s girl, lol!) and unbeknownst to me, my parents sent me a Nike shoe box full of cloth masks. A former Andover colleague heard me discussing the matter in an affinity group and texted me right on the spot to say that he wanted to send disposable masks to help in my cause; I was off and running. Providing PPE was such a small gesture and one that was easy enough to do. I am pleased that we have been able to assist IRT students in this concrete way.”  As a result of this project, Leislie’s motto in 2021 is “Onward and upward, doing what we can in our little part of the world!”

“I am very grateful for Leislie’s work. She was my IRT advisor. I admire her work. Also, I appreciate all the assistance of the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) has provided to us. I feel honored I was selected to participate in the 2020-2021 IRT Associate Program in the field of Linguistics. This program impacted me positively. It could change my life. Especially thanks to Leislie Godo-Solo, Rachel Weissler, Monica Reum, Brittany Zorn, LaShawnda Brooks, Janelle Bonasera, Sara Cerretani, and thanks to all the alumni.” Zahaira Cruz Aponte, IRT  ’20

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