As IRT enters the Spring season, we are continuing to advise scholars as they manage their graduate school acceptances and financial packages. We are encouraging them to savor the joy and acknowledge their efforts in this milestone. We are so very proud of them. As we well know, keeping up with coursework, working multiple jobs, participating in campus activities and applying to graduate schools is a fine balancing act.
We are also in the midst of reviewing applications for our next IRT scholar cohort who will begin their programming year with a 4 week virtual Summer Institute beginning in late June. By remaining virtual, all accepted scholars will have access to IRT faculty, College and University Consortium partners and all programming content. As with other organizations and institutions in service of diversifying the teaching profession, pivoting to increase opportunity and center equity remains the core of IRT’s work.
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.
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
Daniel Peña, IRT ‘09 moderated a special virtual Fulbright event, Roger Rosenblatt: The Writing Life, on May 14th. The event highlighted the literary career of Roger Rosenblatt, writer, author, professor, Emmy Award winner, Peabody Award winner, and 1965 Fulbright U.S. Student to Ireland.
Peña is a Pushcart Prize-winning writer, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston- Downtown and author of Bang: A Novel. He received an MFA from Cornell University. More information on Peña is available on his website.
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