Note: We recently received a brief note on our website from LaRose Parris, DHS Class of 1983. With some prompting, she has given us a welcome report on her activities and education since graduating. Thank you for getting in touch, LaRose, and best of luck with your teaching. - Winter 2010
I was the first ABC student to graduate from Darien high school back in 1983. I'm writing to give you some updated personal and professional information.
Let's see...I earned my Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York's (CUNY's) Graduate School and University Center in September of 2008. My area of specialization is the literature of the African Diaspora -- African American, Caribbean, African literature, Postcolonial theory, Critical Race theory and Cultural Studies.
Currently, I am an assistant professor of English at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), where I teach courses in African American Literature and College Composition.
In Novemeber of 2008, an excerpt from my unpublished novel, "Territories," was published in Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters. At present, I am seeking literary representation for "Territories."
My journey to the Ph.D. was somewhat unexpected. From 1990 to 1994, I worked as a homelessness prevention advocate for the Legal Action Center for the Homeless, a small non-profit legal advocacy organization. While working there, I also worked as a freelance writer and had numerous articles published in Scribner's Dictionary of American Biography and Encyclopedia of American Lives. I also had a pieces published in Elle and American Visions magazines.
I left Legal Action Center for the homeless in 1994 and decided to apply to MFA programs. From 1996 to 1997, I attended the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College; then I transferred to the MA program at City College (CUNY). After earning my MA in English/Creative Writing in 1999, I worked as an adjunct instructor at New School University and New York Institute of Technology. Since I really enjoyed teaching on the college level, and had several ideas for my own scholarly research, I decided to apply to Ph.D. programs in 2001.
All the Best,
Article on Cielo Irizarry from Columbia University's Newsletter for Latino Alumni "Nuestra Familia Latina"
Cielo Irizarry update.pdf (136k)