University of Maryland, College Park Office of Graduate Diversity & Inclusion Host IRT Alumni Event



photoby 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.

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University of Maryland Hosts the IRT’s Annual Holiday Dinner

The University of Maryland Graduate School’s Office of Graduate Diversity and Inclusion (OGDI) welcomed IRT alumni to a special dinner this past December. Many thanks to Christopher Pérez, OGDI program director, for coordinating the event and providing the opportunity to extend networks and reconnect IRT alumni, faculty, staff, and other professionals.

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Program highlights included two keynote addresses by IRT alumnae:

photoBrittany Zorn, IRT ’13
M.Ed., Arts & Sciences Programs Specialist, Institute for Recruitment of Teachers

Brittany graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2013 with a B.A. degree in psychology and women’s studies and a minor in Africana studies. That same summer, Brittany participated in the IRT Summer Workshop as she prepared to pursue her master’s degree. In 2016, Brittany graduated from the University of Maine, earning an M.Ed. in student development in higher education. Leading up to graduation, Brittany learned of an opening at the IRT office and enthusiastically applied; the opportunity to help future generations of students successfully apply and matriculate into graduate programs on their paths to careers as educators was not one Brittany was willing to pass up. She eagerly accepted the role of arts & sciences programs specialist with the IRT in May 2016. A clip of Brittany’s speech is included below.

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Intentionally Digital Black Conference

The first national conference of the African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities department at the University of Maryland was held this past fall in October.  A few IRT alumni ran into each other at the event!

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Dominique Young, IRT ’15, (left) a Ph.D. student in English Literature currently at the University of Maryland, Aria Halliday, IRT ’11, (center) Assistant Professor of Africana Feminisms in Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire and Hazim Abdullah-Smith,  IRT ’15 (far right) a Ph.D. student in American Studies also at the University of Maryland.