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2020 Candidates

IMSA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Annual Meeting
July 25, 2020, 1:00pm
Virtual Meeting held on Zoom
Chicago, Illinois

CANDIDATES

During the IMSA Alumni Association Annual Meeting, the association is to elect Officers and At-Large Members for the upcoming service year.  At our 2020 meeting, the following positions are up for election, along with statements from each candidate:

1. Vice President (2-year term: August 31, 2020-August 31, 2022) [select up to one]

MICHAEL (BO) DRISCOLL, 2007

I am running for the IAA Board to provide a greater voice of the Alumni community to IMSA. Some alum may recognize me for my posts on the IMSA Alumni Facebook Group of the summaries of the Board of Trustee meeting minutes. I will continue to post to keep the community informed, and I have noticed that not since September 2017 has the Alumni Liaison submitted a report about activities and concerns of the alumni to the IMSA Board of Trustees. Besides the regular duties of the Vice President (or At-Large) I would like to take on the effort of writing a report to the Board and presenting a louder voice of the Alumni community to IMSA leadership. As some credentials for the past seven years I have served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Engineers’ Foundation and currently serve as the Secretary and Awards Chair, also I am a member of Rotary and work as a software engineer at USG.


MATTHEW ISODA, 2002

After 5 years as an At-Large Member, I've served two terms as Vice President of the IAA. I've enjoyed additional opportunities to get back to campus, and engage with staff, students, and my fellow alumni. I would like to continue to help make connections between alumni and students in the coming year.


2. Treasurer (2-year term: August 31, 2020-August 31, 2022) [select up to one]

STEPHEN PAIGE, 2000

I've been involved with IAA for the past few years and have served as treasurer while IAA has transitioned to a standalone 501(c)(3).  I would like to stay involved with IAA as treasurer for another term, as I think there is a lot that we can do as an organization going forward.


3. At-Large Member (up to eleven may be elected; 1-year term: August 31, 2020-August 31, 2021) [select up to eleven]

RICHARD BERGSTROM, 1994

I moved away from Chicago my senior year at IMSA and I'm excited to be back. I enjoyed participating in my first intersession and my first term as a member-at-large in the IAA cabinet. I do not have any specific activities in mind but I am enjoying contributing ideas to the rest of the group.


THANDEKA K. CHAPMAN, 1989

I believe the IMSA Alumni Association needs to focus on helping underrepresented minority students/families at IMSA to have a positive and supportive high school experience. I'm interested in strengthening our alumni involvement regarding current issues facing low-income students for whom it is a greater struggle and sacrifice to attend IMSA. More specifically, I want the Alumni Association to address IMSA's long-standing issues of racial/ethnic discrimination and marginalization. 


MICHAEL (BO) DRISCOLL, 2007

I am running for the IAA Board to provide a greater voice of the Alumni community to IMSA. Some alum may recognize me for my posts on the IMSA Alumni Facebook Group of the summaries of the Board of Trustee meeting minutes. I will continue to post to keep the community informed, and I have noticed that not since September 2017 has the Alumni Liaison submitted a report about activities and concerns of the alumni to the IMSA Board of Trustees. Besides the regular duties of the Vice President (or At-Large) I would like to take on the effort of writing a report to the Board and presenting a louder voice of the Alumni community to IMSA leadership. As some credentials for the past seven years I have served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Engineers’ Foundation and currently serve as the Secretary and Awards Chair, also I am a member of Rotary and work as a software engineer at USG.


DEREK A. HOUSTON, 1998

I am Derek A. Houston, PhD, IMSA Class of 1998, and Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the University of Oklahoma. I am one of a few IMSA alumni from the southern-most parts of Illinois (read south of Carbondale) and am deeply invested in the structural conditions that impact equity in public education, specifically in Illinois. I am running as a way to engage with the broad network of IMSA alumni in a different way. I have had a number of conversations with alumni from all classes on the alumni Facebook page and have developed long-lasting relationships through these interactions. We welcomed the 31st graduating class to the ranks of IMSA alumni, a world-changing group of individuals, the collection of which is unlikely to be seen from any single high school. I believe we have a collective responsibility to the citizens of the state to continue giving back more than what we have received. I would hope to expand the ongoing engagement of the IMSA alumni association, possibly including engaging with state legislators to improve upon the state’s financial support of the Academy. 


TAMORA KIMMITT, 1991

Attending IMSA provided the formative experience that broadened my perceptions, and I have been grateful ever since. I have regularly volunteered with IMSA and the IMSA Alumni Association, from appearing on career panels to offer advice to current students, to assisting with IAA-organized events. I would be happy to serve another year as an at-large member of the IAA cabinet.


JAMES LICHTENWANG, 2019

Hello, my names is James. I am a member of the IMSA graduating class of 2019 and am applying for At-Large Cabinet Member. I am greatly indebted to IMSA for all of the opportunities the school has given me and want to give back through being a member of the IAA. Since I have recently graduated, I have a current connection to some current students who attend and can easily contact them for certain projects. While I do not know exactly what activities I would wish to lead, I will be sure to give it my all in those areas nonetheless. Vote for me, James, and I will do great things!!


ZOUYAN LU, 2002

I've been an at-large cabinet member for two years and have enjoyed my time on the IAA cabinet. I wish to continue to serve the Alumni community.


TIM MESSER, 2000

One year ago, I was elected to the IAA Cabinet via write-in ballot after being drafted as elections chairperson (independent verification was obtained, so it can be said with certainty that the outcome was not rigged in my favor). One of my goals upon joining the Cabinet was to make better use of technology to improve communication with alumni. While COVID-19 curtailed alumni activities this year, IAA outreach remains critical, and I aim to be involved in the creation of an updated IMSA alumni database. I work at Fermilab and live in Naperville, so proximity to IMSA has allowed me to volunteer for past activities including Admissions Review Committee, and to attend Board of Trustees meetings as the IAA representative as needed. I would be privileged to serve another term as an at-large representative, and this time around, I ask for your vote.


AKHIL NARANG, 2000

Hello everyone. My name is Akhil Narang and I graduated IMSA Class of 2000. I'm currently a cardiologist at Northwestern University. IMSA remains the most pivotal experience in shaping my career - the focus on teaching how to think, problem solving, conducting research, and fostering creativity are life-long lessons I gained from IMSA. I have volunteered almost yearly for several years to meet with IMSA students on campus (and virtually this year) to discuss careers in medicine and healthcare and I'm eager to give back further. As an At-Large Cabinet Member, I would like to focus on several areas: improving engagement between Alumni and current IMSA students including developing virtual mentorships for students interested in a variety of career paths, expand volunteer opportunities for Alumni, and enhance fundraising and philanthropy. I have served in numerous elected leadership positions including in multiple professional societies that give me the right experience to contribute to the betterment of IMSA.


ANDREW RITCHIE, 2008

I am Andrew Ritchie, an alumnus of the Class of 2008. I am running for an At-Large Cabinet Member position. I would like to see the IAA have a larger role in the decision making process of the IMSA cabinet and helping the IAA in holding IMSA administration accountable to the greater IMSA community. I am hopeful that the IAA can become a driving force to help IMSA fulfill its mission!


DANIELA SPENCER, 2008

I'm Daniela Spencer--class of 2008. I'm running because IMSA is important to me, and is honestly one of the most formative experience of my life. If I'm elected, I want to ensure that alumni have a say in how IMSA changes and evolves. Sometimes changes are necessary because IMSA needs to be aware (and modify) of its conscious and unconscious biases. However, the best part of IMSA was its culture, and I want to make sure that never changes.


MATTHEW TENNENHOUSE, 2013

My name is Matt Tennenhouse (Class of 2013) – thank you for taking the time to vote and to read through each candidate’s submission. Admittedly, I have not been as active on the alumni association front as I feel I should have been over the years, but I figure now is the time to take action. Recent conversations on social justice, equity and the oppression of many has had me reflecting on IMSA’s role – or gifted education’s role generally – in these structures and whether or not I believe in the goals / stated outcomes. After many conversations with IMSA folks, I'm convinced of the value of gifted education, only if the mission is clear, concise and communicated to all stakeholders with the intention of continued action.

My goal and interest in joining the Alumni Association is to make sure the Association is helping each and every stakeholder at IMSA – faculty, students, administrators, alumni, etc. – in “advancing the human condition”. IMSA is a great learning laboratory and I think it is on each party to showcase our learnings beyond just IMSA in order to ensure IMSA is not foregoing its social responsibility on an individual or institutional basis to improving the community around us. Whether this is students taking lessons learned into the real world to the companies they work for / start, faculty showcasing lessons to help inspire other teachers or simply for alumni to find ways to give back time, talent and treasure to the IMSA community and their local communities, I want to help ensure all parties are accomplishing the stated mission and have the support to do so. 

Beyond the passion and ability to execute the regularly expected events and functions of the Alumni Association, I believe accountability is my greatest strength. I want to make sure we’re creating a system of accountability for stakeholders to evaluate and monitor impact beyond the scope of IMSA. I want to help implement structure that holds each of us as stakeholders at IMSA accountable to make sure we’re listening, helping inspire change and actually doing what each of us affiliated with IMSA have set out to do – advance the human condition, even just one small step at a time. I appreciate your consideration and am looking forward to learning more about what we can do to hold ourselves accountable for the impact we have.


GUSTAVO ULLOA, 2009

I want to continue learning further about the academy and ways in which I can contribute to the betterment of the IMSA student experience. There are numerous challenges / issues faced by students at IMSA and as an alumnus, I want to be more involved in providing a voice. One area of focus is in developing greater support and investment from the academy in underrepresented students of color through increased programming  and academic support.


Please direct any questions to Brian Cudiamat, Class of 1996, of the 2020 IAA Elections Committee. These should be emailed to election@imsaalum.org.