I have the honor of serving as the co-editor of Black Perspectives, the award-winning digital platform of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) along with Dr. Sasha Turner. Dr. Keisha Blain founded the site in 2017 with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi serving as associate editor. Black Perspectives emerged as an outgrowth of the original AAIHS blog founded by Dr. Chris Cameron in 2014 as part of his efforts to build AAIHS. I began writing for the platform in 2017, in 2018 I became an associate editor, and in January 2019, I assumed the role of senior editor.
IRT’s Associate Director and Manager of Programs Kate Slater shares her insights on time management.
Over the course of the past few years, I’ve been working full-time while also enrolled as a full-time doctoral student, and I’ve learned a thing or two about time management over those years. In 2016, it felt like a near-impossible undertaking to be advising a cohort of 45 students at the IRT, going on the road to recruit, and also attending three hour seminars three days a week at the University of New Hampshire. I floundered for a few months as I came to terms with a new piece of my identity, and as a super Type-A human being, it was a profoundly humbling experience to realize that, quite frankly, I couldn’t do it all.
It was my final year studying and taking only honors courses in English through the Honors College at Michigan State University. I was looking into graduate study and came across one K. Kelly Wise and the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT). Accepted into their 2005 cohort, I remember attending the college fair at IRT on the campus of Phillips Academy, Andover and being told to stop by the Purdue University table by then Mr. Wise. Why? It was his alma mater and I had the intellectual DNA to become a Boilermaker. That was in 2005, and in 2007 and 2013, respectively I obtained my Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University! En route, I have received literary and teaching awards, grants and stipends, the distinguished Purdue Doctoral Fellowship and even published a book: The Position of Magic In Selected Medieval Spanish Texts as a Master’s student through Cambridge Scholars Publishing. I do not share these accomplishments to boast in my own strength and erudition but to boast in the guidance and advising of now Dr. (Hon.) K. Kelly Wise and his team.
With the IRT’s mission and dedication of it’s programs to assist minorities with high intelligence and high intellectual promise, the IRT has flourished and my story is both witness and testament to that! I owe the IRT a lifetime of thanks.
The IRT 2020 Cohort Is Underway
By Monica Reum, IRT Recruitment and Admission Programs Specialist
This year, we focused on transparency when explaining the IRT application components to prospective students. Knowing that some applicants were unclear and sometimes even overwhelmed by the application process, I hosted monthly webinars to serve as a support to prospective students. Research shows that often, first-generation college students tend not to reach out for help; therefore, my strategy was to provide an alternative avenue to answer student questions if they were hesitant to call or email directly. The webinar series covers application topics such as how to secure recommendations or how to have a successful interview. The sessions have helped to demystify the intricacies of the application process, expose students to some best practices and give them an inside look at the IRT application process.
by Brittany Zorn, IRT ‘13
IRT Arts and Sciences Programs Specialist
Once again, I had the honor of attending the Annual IRT Alumni Holiday Dinner hosted by the Office of Graduate Diversity & Inclusion (OGDI) at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) on December 3, 2019. This was the third annual dinner organized by OGDI and my second time in attendance, and each year the event has gotten bigger and better! I was proud to observe that IRT alumni from all stages of their graduate school journeys attended: Xahn Tran, IRT ‘17, Arman Liwanag, IRT ‘17, and Dominique Young, IRT ‘15, all current UMD graduate students, made an appearance. Current IRT student and UMD applicant Frangy Pozo, IRT ’19 brought her parents with her to the dinner, which made for a delightful contribution to the feeling that we were all dining with family. However, the greatest treat, for me personally, was getting the chance to reconnect with three of my own IRT cohort mates, Sharon Edwards, IRT ‘13, Amber Montgomery, IRT ‘13, and Kathy Vu IRT ‘13, who have all earned their Master’s degrees and entered the workforce. Surrounded by IRT alum who are all at different phases in their professional/graduate school journeys, reconnecting with former advisees and fellow Summer Interns from my IRT class, and meeting IRT friends, family, and peers was genuine soul food.