Catherine Wong (she/her/hers) has been appointed Associate Director and Manager of Programs (ADMP) Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers, an outreach program housed at Phillips Andover Academy, focused on diversifying graduate education and K-12 through higher education professions to include teachers, professors and academic leaders.
Ms. Wong is a lifelong educator focusing on teacher training, educational leadership and youth outreach while centering diversity, equity and inclusion. She is unwavering and uncompromising in her support of educators of color and first generation to college. She has long believed that it should be the norm, not the exception, that our students have well trained teachers, specialists, and school leaders, who are reflections of their lived experiences and communities. For Ms. Wong teaching and learning is not a top-down hierarchical process, but one of co-construction and connectedness. Her accomplishments were honored this past year as the City of Boston’s 2021 EXTRAordinary Woman .
We are so very proud of the work and perseverance the 2021 IRT Cohort has shown over the past year. In the second year of the pandemic, IRT students have encountered many difficult decisions. IRT alumni especially have been so helpful with students navigating these important decisions with keen advice and insight on programs and schools. It takes a village and we are thankful to all alumni who have helped this year’s cohort and continually enhance the connections within the IRT!
Thank you a million times over for your assistance throughout my school application process. I am so grateful to have the incredible support network that I do, and it’s the reason why I pour into others— students, mentees, colleagues, my community. You’ve made all the difference for me during this incredibly difficult year. Thank you.
The 34th National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in Higher Education was held on May 31 – June 4, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. This annual educational event is committed to fostering inclusion and the exchanging of ideas and expertise in higher education. IRT Executive Director LaShawnda Brooks and IRT Associate Director and Manager of Programs Catherine Wong were part of an NCORE-invited interactive panel discussion benefitting educators with anti-racist (AR)/diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) responsibilities.
Sustainable Transformation; Making Progress While Battling Changemaker Fatigue
Advisor, speaker and author Joe-Joe McManus and Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion & Associate Professor of Multicultural Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver Michael Benitez joined Brooks and Wong in this session on what changemaking looks like in higher education, real barriers to progress, and proven strategies for institutional transformation.
The panel engaged in critical dialogue with conference participants on the understanding and successful engagement in transformative work. The discussion revolved around the following questions:
Are you the changemaker you had hoped to be when you became an educator?
Do you feel a disconnect between the change agency called for in your position description and the work you are expected to do in the role?
Are you questioning how to persist in your role given the lack of resources, unrealistic expectations and resistance to change that you encounter on a daily basis?
“I feel fortunate to be both a participant and presenter at NCORE for decades. Through NCORE I have met inspiring and diverse scholars, practitioners and community leaders. The work of diversity, equity and inclusion is not meant to be done in isolation. NCORE provides the vital and brave space to have difficult conversations, to battle back at divisiveness and to center cross racial solidarity. The NCORE community does not settle for the status quo, the way things have always been, instead it is an interdisciplinary community that values reimagining what has not yet been imagined.”
“I was honored to participate in this session with three phenomenal leaders and advocates. Throughout our ongoing pandemic, change-making and community building are essential to establishing a just future. Through this incredible conversation with student leaders and education leaders, I am hopeful we can all own our relative power in the fight for systemic transformation.”
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.
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.
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