2018 At-Large Election

It's time for IMSA Alumni Association elections.  This year, we are electing At-Large Cabinet Members to one-year terms. Officers elected last year are still serving their two-year terms. Candidates biographies are below. 

Name: Abhiudaya Bhalla
Class of 2018

Candidate Statement:
Hey my name is Abhiudaya Bhalla and I'm a member of the class of 2018. I'm running because I truly love interacting with all alumni and sharing experiences. I want that to be more accessible and something experienced by all of our alumni because while we may hear a speech from one of our alumni from time to time during an assembly, we rarely get to actually interact with them (unless they graduated within three years you were there of course). It's so cool hearing about IMSA's history, sharing weird stories and secrets, and even just casually speaking to an alumni as if they're one of your own. I want to be a part of connecting our alumni and I think I would give a very fresh perspective on which events would be able to attract new and older alumni. I have had the opportunity to interact with alumni while I was at IMSA and I want to continue to do so. I know I would excel at this. This is a vote definitely worth giving.
Name: Karin Han
Class of 2015

Candidate Statement:
I'm from IMSA Class of 2015, Vanderbilt Class of 2019, and so excited to be running for At-Large again! Being a part of IAA for the past year has brought me back in touch and up to date with IMSA again, and I'd love to continue in an at-large capacity. My interests are working with fairly recent alumni as well as alumni/current student programming and relationships.
Name: Theresa Hunter (Geiger)
Class of 2007

Candidate Statement:
My name is Theresa Hunter (Geiger, IMSA c/o 2007) and I would like to continue to serve as an at-large member of the IAA. I'm currently an immunologist working at a small company developing new cancer therapies in California. Attending IMSA was very important in my development as a person and as a scientist, and I would like to continue to give back to the community as a member of the IAA. In the past several years as an at-large member I have focused on trying to improve the strength of our alumni network and I would like to continue working on this goal.
Name: Jasmine Kwasa
Class of 2009

Candidate Statement:
My name is Jasmine Kwasa, class of 2009, and originally from Chicago (but I call 06D home!). I am running for an IAA At-Large position so that I can give back to the school that helped get me into biomedical research, science education outreach, and my deepest friendships. On the IAA cabinet, I intend to help implement and improve programs that address and prioritize current students’ interests and concerns (as we all know that the IMSA experience can be tough). Specifically, I’d like to advocate for the interests of students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM—racially, socioeconomically, or on the basis of LGBTQ+ identity. I intend to do this by fostering more alumni-student relationships and, when appropriate, alumni-parent relationships. By targeting the academic and emotional needs of these particular groups, I think we can find strategies that will translate to better serve all students, regardless of identity.
Name: Lauraleigh Lakocy (Heffner)
Class of 2010

Candidate Statement:
While at IMSA, I was involved in the inaugural Student Committee for IMSA Advancement, where I focused on Alumni relations, working with the IAA to development a mentoring program to connect students with alumni. This was a huge passion of mine to "break out of the bubble" and understand what was next. I was an at-large member right out of school, but found a lot of other commitments while I was in college and decided to take a break. I am seeking to get re-involved with the organization not only to further engagement between alumni and current students, but also to connect alumni to each other. I currently live in the Denver area and would love to foster and encourage local groups of alumni, especially outside of Illinois, to have gatherings, bringing alumni together to professionally & socially network and share in their experiences that have helped shape us to the people we are today, even though we may have traveled a few miles from 1500 Sullivan.
Name: Zouyan Lu
Class of 2002

Candidate Statement:
IAA has helped me stay connected with the IMSA community and I wish to continue my service as an at large member of IAA.
Name: Advai Podduturi
Class of 2018

Candidate Statement:
I am Advai Podduturi, a current freshman at UIUC studying Computer Science. Since graduation, I have felt somewhat of a yearning to keep in touch with IMSA, whether it be the teachers, classmates, or alumni. And although I am still very close to, and very much enjoy the company of, the friends I have made at my time here, I want more; I am running for IAA at-large, because I want to maintain this strong connection I have with this community, and if voted, know that I will treasure all the duties, to which I view them as a cherished privilege, for me to execute. One big event that I will look forward to help with is Intercession, as it is one of the things unique to IMSA, and where some of my happiest memories took place.
Name: Marti Shirley
Class of 2000

Candidate Statement:
My name is Marti Shirley and I’ve worked as an educator the past 15 years. My years at IMSA helped spark my passion for education and helping others. As I start working at IMSA this fall, I would like to be on the board to bring insight of the current IMSA climate and help increase alumni involvement.