Alumni Accolades – February 2021

~1991 Cohort~

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

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IRT Alum Podcast, Kat Stephens, IRT ’13

Kat, a second year doctoral student in the higher education program at UMass Amherst, shares her thoughts in being a Caribbean scholar and woman of color academic in her regular podcast Caribbean Scholar Tings.

PODCAST LINK

Her research interests include high-achieving community college students and their transfer choices, and higher education choices of Afro-Guyanese women in Guyana, desiring to study in the United States. Further interests include bi-cultural socialization of Afro-Caribbean descendant students as they navigate American graduate programs.

 

IRT featured on Every Quarter Podcast

 

How do we educate our society as it continually evolves?

The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers seeks to answer this question. Founded in 1990 by Kelly Wise, the IRT has a nearly 30-year history of producing social justice–minded educators in both  K–12 and the professoriate.

In this episode of Every Quarter, we sit down with the LaShawnda Brooks, the new executive director of the IRT, and Jessica Acosta–Chavez ’06, IRT ’12, Phillips Academy’s associate director of admission and outreach. As an alumna of both the IRT and Phillips Academy, Acosta–Chavez is uniquely positioned to speak with Brooks around the history of the IRT, current needs in educating diverse populations, and new possibilities for the IRT.

As American demographics change, so does our need for educators. According to the Learning Policy Institute, people of color constitute nearly 40 percent of the population and 50 percent of our students.

Since the IRT’s founding in 1990, the percentage of K–12 educators of color has increased from 12 percent to 20 percent. Currently, more than 2,000 IRT alumni have received a Master’s degree and more than 330 IRT alumni have earned doctoral degrees.