Recruitment in Full Drive

The IRT visited 32 institutions this past fall and will be visiting another seven in the spring in an effort to continue to recruit outstanding students of color looking to become educators. Within just a month of the application opening on November 15, we topped 150 applications.

To date, the top five institutions (listed below) with the most prospective students are minority serving and historically black colleges and universities.

  • Brooklyn College, NY
  • City College, NY
  • Langston University, OK
  • Spelman College, GA
  • University of California, Los Angeles

Did you refer a student to the IRT?
Alumni word of mouth is our biggest source for referrals. Please let your students know about the IRT! The application is live, and we are accepting completed applications through March 1.

If you have a student referral, please email Admissions and Recruitment Program Specialist Monica Reum.

Changes to the application

  • Application is now due March 1!
  • Unofficial transcripts can be submitted with your IRT application. Official transcripts are required upon matriculation to the program.
  • Recommenders will be asked to submit a form instead of writing a letter on behalf of the applicant.


Phillips Academy is Hiring!

Andover now accepting applications for Summer Session and 2019-2020 academic school year

If you are considering a career at Philips Academy, please visit for a full list of current faculty, administrator, and staff positions and teaching fellow opportunities for the upcoming academic year.

Phillips Academy’s Summer Session Overview
Summer Session is an innovative five-week program, conducted on its picturesque campus just 21 miles north of Boston. More than 60 courses are offered, ranging from computer science to marine biology, from ethics and philosophy to economics. Summer Session students bring the world into the classroom by virtue of their enormous diversity of geographic origin, religion, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. With strong academic records and a serious desire to spend the summer in a residential community, our students enjoy challenging themselves and one another through disciplined study.

Every summer Phillips Academy hires a number of visiting teachers to teach, coach, and house counsel in its summer program. A Summer Session faculty member’s experience is rigorous and thoroughly challenging, for Phillips Academy requires superior classroom performance of its teachers, TAs, house counselors, and students alike. The Summer Session is short, intense, and strongly academic.



Summer Workshop Faculty Positions – Apply Now!

We are officially hiring IRT alumni for our Summer Workshop faculty! The 2019 IRT Summer Workshop will run from Friday, June 28, through Saturday, July 27. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 8.

A full description of the positions and program is included below. If you are interested in one of the faculty positions, please apply online.

Continue reading “Summer Workshop Faculty Positions – Apply Now!”

Profile: Alex Serna, IRT ’10

Master’s, Education; University of California, Los Angeles
Executive Director for Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano

photoThe ivory white dice bounced off the classroom wall. “Snake eyes!” I exclaimed as I won another quarter. It was 3rd period Geometry and my friend and I were enveloped in a game of dice while our teacher was talking about theorems in the background. I graduated high school with a 2.1 GPA. I never took the SAT. I never thought I’d ever graduate college. Frankly, I didn’t care. While both my parents, who emigrated from Mexico had high aspirations for my future, I thought college was a waste of time, partly because I thought I wasn’t capable of graduating. Six months from finishing high school I met my now wife and eight months later we found out we were going to be parents. We were both 17. Thirteen years later, Shalee and I have four daughters and I’m now the Executive Director for a college access, education nonprofit tasked with supporting students from backgrounds in underrepresented backgrounds starting in middle school become the first in their families to graduate college. An ironic outcome for someone whose college aspirations at one time were absent. During those internment years, I underwent a defying transformation and my summer at Andover as an intern with IRT dramatically shaped my pathway to graduate college, attain a master’s degree and lead an education nonprofit in the fight for educational equity.

The cool bay area breeze combed my hair as I walked to check the mailbox. We’d been in Berkeley for eight months finishing my junior year, the prospects of post-graduation looming in my mind. We were 21 years old, a family of five with two 1 year old twins and a 3 year old toddler and no idea what the next few years would entail. Shalee and I were the first in our families to attend college, getting to a 4-year university was challenging in itself, so graduate school was an even more elusive and unknown next step. During my undergraduate studies, I came to realize that I wanted to dedicate my life to education, more specifically I aspired to support other students like myself who struggled in school. I turned the mailbox key, discarded the ads and one envelope caught my attention. I could feel my stomach sink, warmth fill my face and my hands tremble holding a letter addressed by Phillips Academy Andover; the moment I realized I was accepted as a summer intern was the moment that I knew my eventual journey as an educator was solidified.

Sitting on the grass by Samuel Philips Hall, the humid summer air enveloping me as I was enveloped in one of our assigned readings preparing for the next day of seminar. The reader looking back at me like Mt. Everest ready to be climbed, the dread I felt thinking it wasn’t possible that I could get through this program in less than a month; but I did, and many had before and since. Besides, the lack of sleep, overwhelming feeling that never went away, thinking that I was chosen by mistake and would be discovered soon, a sense that this experience was all a dream and holding onto the idea that it was all for some future reason. My summer as an IRT intern dragged me outside of my sense of self, forcing me to realize that I belonged- that I was capable. I belonged in graduate school, I was capable of being a college graduate. I belonged in spaces of edification, I was capable of critical inquiry. I belonged and I was capable.

Alex Serna is an Executive Director for Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano, an education nonprofit with the mission to support students become the first in their families to graduate college. He has B.A in American Studies from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in education from UCLA. He’s a 2017 New Leaders Council, Los Angeles fellow currently serving on the Millennial Commission on Education as a Senior Fellow. His thoughts on college access have been published in the Washington Post, The Hill, The Hechinger Report, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, NACAC Journal of College Admissions and the New Leader Journal of Generational Policy and Politics. 

Profile: Rolando Herts, IRT ’94, ’00

Director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University
Executive Director of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area

headshotFinding Place and Authentic Life Purpose Through IRT

When people ask me where I am from, I tell them that I am not from anywhere in particular; that I am a placeless spirit traveling a serpentine path. Thankfully, IRT has guided my traveling spirit to places where it has been able to serve authentically and purposefully.

I wrote about place-seeking in “Sacred Ground, Traveling Light: Personal Reflections of University-Community Tourism Engagement,” which won the Best Treatise prize in IRT’s Impressions, Ruminations, Treatises: Essays on Intersectionality, Praxis, and the Educational Arena. The essay details how the serendipitous discovery of a historic black cemetery inspired meditations on my Rutgers doctoral research journey:

There are places where travelers go to renew their spirits, travelers like me who have stories and lessons of transformation to share. . . . we are fighting to tell the stories of spirits that came before us, stories that live on in places hidden and places found. At Lamington Black Cemetery, I found a reflection of my traveling spirit and the work that it must continue to do to give voice to communities that historically have not been heard. (pp. 65-66)

I did not realize, however, that “Sacred Ground” would transport me to the Mississippi Delta, a culturally rich yet economically impoverished region where heritage-based community empowerment is essential.

I owe much of who and where I am today to IRT. Indeed, IRT amplified my authentic life purpose through Impressions, Ruminations, Treatises. When “Sacred Ground” received the prize, I shared the news with mentors from Morehouse, The University of Chicago, and Rutgers. In addition to extending congratulations, external dissertation committee member, Dr. Luther Brown, confided that he was retiring from The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, an historically white institution in the Mississippi Delta that is now among the state’s most diverse.

The Delta Center is an interdisciplinary center of excellence that promotes greater understanding of the Mississippi Delta’s internationally significant cultural heritage contributions, including music, foodways, literature, and civil rights icons like Emmett Till and Fannie Lou Hamer. The Delta Center fulfills this mission through university-community tourism engagement, including the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area with the National Park Service and the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place on Earth” Institute.

Then came the ultimate surprise: Dr. Brown encouraged me to apply for his job based on my dissertation research and “Sacred Ground.” Months later, I departed Rutgers to become the director of The Delta Center and executive director of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area.

By leading The Delta Center, I am fulfilling the authentic life purpose articulated in “Sacred Ground.” For example, we created the Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership with Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Alysia Burton Steele. This cultural heritage interpretation project has engaged over 1,000 residents and visitors in honoring unsung African American church mothers from the Mississippi Delta who lived through the Jim Crow Era and the Civil Rights Movement. Delta State and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area received National Park Service Centennial Awards for collaboratively implementing this project with regional, statewide, and national partners, like the Smithsonian.

During a recent Delta Regional Authority leadership program at Harvard, my traveling spirit was compelled to visit IRT. Though Kelly Wise is retired and Asabe Poloma is at Brown, their passion for and commitment to IRT’s mission remain intact. This was clear interacting with Kate Slater, who graciously welcomed me back to the source that has connected so many of us to communities where we are fulfilling our authentic life purposes. Congratulations, IRT, for continuing to renew traveling spirits that empower voices in places where we serve.