Begin Your Degree in Full Swing

Advice from Kelicia Hollis, IRT ’11 for the Current IRT Cohort

It’s springtime, and flowers aren’t the only things budding. Likely, you too are abloom with the possibilities this fall presents you as you vet graduate school offers. You might be an undergraduate student going “straight through” to a master’s or doctoral degree, or reentering school after time spent caretaking or in the workforce. Whichever it may be, there are a few tips I’d like to impart to ensure you begin your degree in full swing.

As you navigate springtime, think about lovely spring colors such as pinks and lavenders and teals: T-E-A-L-S.

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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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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!

Alumni Accolades, January 2022

TERESA IRENE GONZALES, IRT ’06

University of Massachusetts Sociology Assistant Professor Teresa Gonzales has won Ford Foundation support for her “Joyful Cities” research in Lawrence, MA. Learn more about Gonzales’ professional experience and education.

Photo Credit: Katherine Webster
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Alumni Accolades, November 2021

~1998 Cohort~

Reginald Wilburn, IRT ’98
Congratulations to Reginald who has been appointed Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Texas Christian University. Wilburn earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in English from the University of Connecticut, and his B.A. in English from the University of the District of Columbia.

~2001 Cohort~

Brighid Dwyer, IRT ’01
Brighid was named Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania beginning in December. Congratulations to Brighid on this appointment.  She received her undergraduate degree in sociology from UCLA and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. 

~2005 Cohort~

Monica Muñoz Martinez, IRT ’05
Monica was named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow. The MacArthur Fellowship is unrestricted and unofficially known as the “Genius Grant.” The MacArthur Foundation considers that the fellowship “is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential.” Congratulations, Monica, on this prestigious award

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