Episode 25: Institute for Recruitment of Teachers

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Jessica Acosta-Chavez ’06 and IRT Executive Director LaShawnda Brooks

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.

Episode 24: Architect Peter Chermayeff ’53

You may not recognize the name Peter Chermayeff, but if you’ve ever lived in, or visited Boston you’ve probably experienced his work. Have you been to the Boston Aquarium and walked the spiral ramp along the central tank? Did you ride the T to get there and wonder why each line is colored the way it is? Well, Peter designed both of these Bay State projects and are just two of the topics he gets into on this very special episode of Every Quarter. He’s joined by his niece—filmmaker Maro Chermayeff, Class of 1980—and they discuss Peter’s early years at Andover, his circuitous career path, and how he became the preeminent aquarium architect in the world.

Episode 23: Tamar Szabó Gendler ’83

In this episode of Every Quarter, educator and alumna Tamar Szabó Gendler speaks with Andrew Housiaux, Currie Family Director of the Tang Institute, about the changing face of higher education and the responsibility institutions have in owning their histories. They also discuss Gendler’s experience with the Mellon Foundation’s New Directions program, wherein Gendler essentially became a full-time student at Yale during the 2009–2010 academic year, completing coursework in psychology, neuroscience, and statistics.

Tamar Gendler

Gendler, Andover Class of 1983, also shares moments of nostalgia, recounting memories with the Jewish Students Union in Cochran Chapel, growing up as a faculty child, and how changing her focus from math to social sciences lead her to the path she is currently on. During her visit to campus in November, she was presented with the Andover Alumni Award of Distinction.

Continue reading “Episode 23: Tamar Szabó Gendler ’83”

Episode 22: Navy Pilot Jake Bean ’08

Jake Bean, Class of 2008, as raised with a deep respect for those who served their country. He knew he wanted to join the Navy and live a life of service. He comes from a military family and clearly saw his future in the armed forces. But growing up in Idaho, he had no clue about Andover or the path in which he’d take to become a Navy helicopter pilot.

In this episode of Every Quarter, Lieutenant Bean talks with Director of Communications Tracy Sweet about how he applied to Andover without his parents’ permission, the tough decision between Georgetown’s School of Foreign Services and the Naval Academy, and his deployments overseas, where he flies missions to support aircraft carriers, tactical operations, and at-sea medical rescues.

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Pictured: MH-60 Sea Hawks, the aircraft that LTJG Bean pilots.

Episode 21: Carrie St. Louis ’08

Talking Broadway musicals, her dream role, and who she’d invite to an Andover dinner party.

Never in her wildest dreams did Carrie St. Louis imagine that she would be attending her 10-year PA Reunion with three Broadway musicals under her belt.

Even as a child, St. Louis was a natural on stage, performing musical theater in a variety of classic roles in productions like Annie, The Wizard of Oz, and The Sound of Music. A background in opera helped the hard-working actress find her way to the big stage remarkably fast. In 2014, just a couple years out of college, St. Louis auditioned for the original Las-Vegas based production of Rock of Ages, and landed the lead role of Sherrie Christian. From there, she scored what she excitedly calls a “dream role,” playing Glinda in the smash hit Wicked.

We caught up with St. Louis on campus while she was reconnecting with friends and Andover family at her 10th Reunion. She recounted her time spent at PA, shared some valuable lessons learned, and a bit of insight along her journey in carving out a spotlight on Broadway. This year, she can be seen stepping into the role of Lauren in the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots. She is a member of Andover’s Class of 2008.

Reunion 2018 Bonus Episodes

Episode 19: Corinne T. Field ’83

corinne-t.-field_photo-by-tony-rinaldo_373px2020 marks the 100-year anniversary of the 19th amendment, and yet still voting and voter’s rights remain one of the most vital issues facing our democracy. As a newly appointed Mellon-Schlesinger Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, Corinne T. Field is looking at the intersectionality between this historical milestone and women in America by exploring the closely intertwined roots of race and age segregation in American feminism.

Field is an assistant professor of women, gender, and sexuality at the University of Virginia and a member of Andover’s Class of 1983.

Episode 20: George Smith, Jr. ’83

George Smith Jr. '83For the past three decades, George Smith Jr., Class of 1983, has specialized in covering the intersection of sports and society. While at ESPN in the 2000’s Smith was the go-to reporter on breaking stories like Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case, Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring, and the Duke Lacrosse investigation.

In this episode of Every Quarter, Smith looks back on his broadcast journalism career and the evolution of the business with Director of Communication Tracy Sweet. He recounts how he started off in the field, why social media has changed the game and theorizes an approach to a potential on-camera interview with elusive fellow alum and New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick ’71.

Episode 18: From The Phillipian to Fallon

Jonathan Adler ’08 reflects on how crafting many, many bad jokes ultimately leads to finding laughs.

Jonathan Adler, Class of 2008, is unnecessarily humble, completely self-deprecating, and while he’d never admit it, a hilarious talent. As a staff writer for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Adler is part of the team that—as he describes it—makes people laugh and feel good every night before they go to bed.

On this episode of Every Quarter, Adler traces his comic roots from writing for The Phillpian to the Harvard Lampoon to late-night TV in New York. He talks his first on-air pitch, how he ended up on camera in a recurring bit, and one controversial features satire that had the PA administration knocking at his door. While he admits Andover initially wasn’t where he wanted to be, 10 years later, he credits his burgeoning comedy writing career to his time spent telling jokes and finding his voice in the basement of Morse Hall.