In addition to the Black Excellence on the Hill award, Gretchen is a highly-recognized and awarded higher education and study abroad professional. In her 10 years of experience with IES Abroad alone, Gretchen has formalized the Initiative to Diversify Education Abroad (IDEA) and overseen the creation and implementation of the Take off with IES Abroad andTu Mundo initatives to support students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), respectively, in their pursuit of international education experiences.
To honor Gretchen and others, the Black Excellence on the Hill event was held virtually on February 26th, 2021. The evening began with keynote speaker Sean K. Ellis, whose experience fighting a wrongful conviction while exposing systemic racism and inequities in the justice system is now the subject of the current Netflix documentary seriesTrial 4. More than 280 attendees were present to hear Mr. Ellis' story, learn about his current community work in Boston and his institutional work at Tufts University, and honor this year's nominees.
With nearly 300 people in a Zoom event, of course, comes a very active chat box full of "congratulations" for Gretchen and her fellow honorees, as well as expressions of gratitude ("As a former student of Mr. Cawthorne, Brookline is truly better bc of him!") and encouragement (like "Keep getting involved in 'good trouble.'" to quote the late John Lewis).
Please join us in congratulating Gretchen and her 2021 Black Excellence on the Hill co-nominees!
To learn more about Gretchen and the work of IES Abroad's Diversity Relations team, visit our Diversity Commitment page.