The statement of purpose (SOP) is a significant component of any graduate school application. For IRT Scholars, who apply to upwards of seven graduate programs, writing and refining 7+ school-specific statements of purpose is a demanding process. Each year, the IRT provides the opportunity to a group of External (i.e. outside of the IRT office) SOP Advisors to assist current students in drafting, revising, and finalizing all of their SOPs, in addition to providing support on other written application materials such as the writing sample, resume/CV, personal history statement, diversity essay, and so on. External SOP Advisors are often IRT alumni, but also come from the Phillips Academy faculty pool and other partner organizations. External SOP Advisors work closely with IRT Scholars through the Fall SOP Advising period, which spans 8 weeks in September and October, hold weekly meetings with their advisees, review SOP drafts uploaded to Canvas on a weekly basis, and provide support for finalizing other written application materials.
IRT seeks External SOP Advisors from a variety of graduate disciplines and professional fields, but we especially welcome applications from folks with expertise in African Diaspora and African American Studies, Anthropology, Education, Philosophy, Political Science, and Psychology.
Kevin Pajaro-Mariñez, IRT ’15 shares his journey with the IRT community in this interview with Brittany Zorn, IRT ’13, Arts and Sciences Programs Specialist, IRT
In an era when there is so much demand on our time, attention, and energy, nothing soothes the soul like returning to the simple pleasures life has to offer, like celebrating our community. Despite an endless and unprecedented amount of challenges this past year, there has also been an endless amount of accomplishments across the IRT alumni network. More broadly, there has also been an unprecedented amount of interest in issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in this country since the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmad Aubrey sparked a series of protests for racial justice last spring.
Stay connected to the IRT community and help keep our records current by completing the alumni survey informing us about any updates to your name, contact, degree or employment information. This will help insure that you receive any relevant communications from the IRT.
This survey should only take about five minutes to complete – thank you for your time!
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.