As the Graduate Student Representative to the IRT Advisory Board, I know that alumni support and the IRT network is full of robust and dynamic scholars and professionals across various fields. I believe we are actively pushing for more racially and socially just K-12, higher education, and professional spaces. With this, LaShawnda Brooks and I would like to launch the IRT Alumni Committee.
We would like to invite IRT alum to apply to join the Alumni Committee– a highly motivated and dynamic collaboration of IRT alumni who are committed to supporting, networking, and working with alumni, IRT staff, current IRT students and the Advisory Board. I hope the Alumni Committee can be a collaborative space to problem-solve and support IRT alumni.
In April 2015, like now, I was a resident of Baltimore City. That spring our city was in turmoil following the murder of Freddie Gray at the hands of the police. I lived within a mile of the place where Gray attempted to flee from the police one fateful Sunday morning, yet our worlds couldn’t have been more different. Me, a mom, wife, and college professor living in the so-called, “White-L”* of Baltimore (Geographer, Dr. Lawrence Brown coined that geographic phrase to indicate the area of the city most populated by White people, corresponding with an abundance of resources that the “Black Butterfly,” where Gray lived, lack). Yet, all of the city residents were shook by what we witnessed and experienced. International media flocked to our city sending out media representations of a burning CVS and understandably angry residents gathering in protest over the death of yet another Black man at the hands of police. Continue reading “Reflections: Stephanie Flores-Koulish, IRT ’98”
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
The IRT Alumni Network is an online private network built exclusively for IRT alumni to connect with each other. If you’re an IRT alum looking to build your professional network, or become a mentor, or even just keep in touch with the IRT community – this is THE best place. The entire IRT team is thrilled to be able to offer a space where the global IRT community can stay connected with each other. As we continue to expand the IRT Alumni Network we hope it will be used as an invaluable resource.
Dr. Gill’s research has been supported by the American Association of University Women and the National Endowment of the Humanities. A recipient of the 2010 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award for excellence in undergraduate education, Dr. Gill was named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Organization of American Historians in 2015. In 2018, Diverse Issues in Higher Education recognized her as one of the top 25 women in higher education and serves as a consultant for the global beauty brand Sephora. Professor Gill is currently working on a book manuscript chronicling the promise and peril of African American international leisure travel since World War One.
Gill participated in the IRT Summer Workshop as faculty during 1998 – 2000. She is currently an associate professor of Africana studies and history at the University of Delaware. You can find her on social media @SableVictorian.
Laura Chavez-Moreno, IRT ’02/’10 is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. She will be joining UCLA’s César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/Chicano Studies as a tenure-track assistant professor in Fall 2021.