2022 IRT Summer Workshop Faculty

As we head into July, the IRT virtual Summer Workshop Faculty and staff are busy finalizing curriculum, organizing alumni and professional panels, consortium liaison meetings and other events throughout the upcoming month. Join us in welcoming this year’s summer faculty!

Renée Wilmot, IRT ’12, ’17

My name is Renée Wilmot, I use she/her pronouns. Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University in the Teacher Education program. My research interests include (1) the historical legacy of Black women as educators and activists in the Black community and (2) Black girls’ practices of thriving and resisting in white supremacist schooling structures. I am originally from Virginia and I am a former secondary English/Language Arts teacher.

Advice for the current cohort
Do your best to commit 100% of yourself. Take advantage of this opportunity – take risks and push yourself.

Suggested Reading

  • Ebony & Ivy by Craig Steven Wilder
  • White Architects of Black Education by William H. Watkins
  • White Rage by Carol Anderson 
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde 
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • Black Feminism in Qualitative Inquiry by Venus E. Evans-Winters


My biggest takeaway from my IRT experience was that this is a safe space for me to push myself, risk failure, and then get up to try again. I had never been in a space where I could “mess up” academically, experiment with time management and reading strategies, and take risks. 


My grounding quote for this year: “We protect and nurture our collective well-being. We strive to make our home place a positive environment for everyone. We all agree that integrity and care enhance all our lives.” (hooks, ,p. 101) 

My current favorite song: “Dim All the Lights” by Donna Summer 

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Alumni Accolades, March 2022

Rachel Ansong, IRT ’14

Rachel’s poetry collection, BLACK BALLAD, published by Bull City Press will be available in Summer 2022. You can preorder a copy or find out more about the author and the collection on Rachel’s website.


Yasmin Elgoharry, IRT ‘14, ’20
Yasmin is a recipient of the University of Connecticut’s (UCONN) Neag School 2022 Alumni Board Scholarship. Yasmin is a doctoral student at UCONN in Leading, Learning & Educational Policy with a concentration in higher education racial justice and decolonization.

Yasmin Elgoharry, IRT ’14, ’20


Elizabeth Gill, IRT ‘11 and Ashley Johnson, IRT ’06
Congratulations to AERA Ed Change SIG members Elizabeth Gill and Ashley Johnson on the recent publication of their paper: “We, as parents, do have a voice”: Learning from community-based programs effectively engaging parents in urban communities. Urban Education.

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The Importance of Self-Care

Jennifer López, IRT ’10, ’20

Teaching during the pandemic has not been an easy feat. With more demands than ever, educators have had to face challenges like never before.

As I write this article, I cannot help but think about all the planning, grading, calls, make-up work, data analysis, meetings, etc. I need to prepare for the upcoming week. The immense expectations placed on teachers has left many, including myself, overwhelmed and disillusioned. However, my students deserve the absolute best, and so I show up every day and give it my 110%. As I reflect on how I am surviving this school year, I am reminded about the importance of making sure I am filling my cup in some way every day. While I understand the structural educational inequities that currently exist need to be transformed in order to ensure teacher sustainability long-term, finding ways on a day to day basis to help me stay afloat are just as critical. 

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IRT Alumni Committee Inaugural Members

Renée Wilmot and LaShawnda Brooks are excited to announce the inaugural members of the IRT Alumni Committee. 

Karina Fernandez (she/her) 
Roles: Curriculum & Summer Workshop Consultant, Events Manager  
IRT Class of 2006

Helen Gong (she/her)
Role: 2020 Cohort Representative 
IRT Class of 2020

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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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