2021 Candidates


Annual Meeting

July 17, 2021, 1:00pm

Virtual Meeting held on Zoom

Chicago, Illinois


During the IMSA Alumni Association Annual Meeting, the association is to elect Officers and At-Large Members for the upcoming service year. At our 2021 meeting, the following positions are up for election, along with statements from each candidate:

1. President (2-year term: August 31, 2021-August 31, 2023) [select up to one]


Most of us have one or more people in our lives that, no matter how long it has been since leaving IMSA, happens to seem to know a tiny bit about what's going on on campus, to still be connected to IMSA, and to still want to help out. At least for my group of friends, I'm one of those people. Graduating in 1996, and having been in Champaign County ever since, I've met many fellow alumni either from the olden days of the internet, through many return visits to campus, and by helping out and attending many reunions - my own and many others. I want to continue establishing internal structure to help ensure IAA leadership and its relationship with IMSA is stable and can last through any challenges that may present themselves in the future.

2. Secretary (2-year term: August 31, 2021-August 31, 2023) [select up to one]


I would like to continue giving back to IMSA through service of my time and energies as an active member of IAA. Helping create stronger connections with the alum and current students is a top priority. My work at the academy the past 3 years has continued to reinforce my passion for IMSA and desire to aid in the evolution and growth of the culture and sense of community (and family).

3. At-Large Member (up to eleven may be elected; 1-year term: August 31, 2021-August 31, 2022) [select up to eleven]


IMSA has been instrumental in helping lay the foundation of the person I am today, I want the opportunity to give back and contribute to being a positive force in the lives of current and future students. I have been active in advocating for issues of equity and excellence in education and look to IMSA for inspiration, while finding ways to give back. I work with several outreach programs, volunteered at IMSA career events, and serve as an advisor to past and current IMSA SIR students. Serving as an at-large cabinet member will allow me to bring my perspectives of having been a low-income student of color who is now a scientist.


My name is Brittney Andres-Rossi and as a 2004 graduate, I understand how critical and influential IMSA can be. IMSA is the institution to which I owe most everything, considering I received not only a world-class education but also met my spouse there. My husband, his four siblings and I all graduated from IMSA and our experience there majorly influenced the rest of our lives.

As parents of three now ourselves, IMSA played a role in our decision to move back to Illinois. Like other alumni, I am passionate about helping IMSA and seeking a way to become involved, which is why I am running for the IAA cabinet.

My background is in hospitality and as an event coordinator (and small business owner) with marketing and non-profit experience, I am interested in organizing opportunities for alumni to connect with one another and re-connect with IMSA.

Last spring I worked with IMSA administration to coordinate regional alumni events in Dallas and Houston for March 2020, with plans for California and New York events in the summer and fall. Though these events were canceled due to COVID-19 we now have a process that allows us to reschedule these events and easily plan future alumni gatherings as soon as allowed.

At the same time, I was in the beginning stages of planning an alumni and current student social on-campus (such as a Milk & Cookies Night or Boba Tea Break) in partnership with IAA, and I would continue this work as an At-Large Member.

Increasing awareness about IMSA to prospective students is a particular interest of mine. I am open to helping organize informational sessions throughout the state if useful. And if there is interest from alumni, current students, faculty, staff and parents, I would like to arrange select spiritwear items to show IMSA pride and help spread the word about the school.

These projects would be my priorities as a first-time IAA cabinet member, in addition to learning about IAA’s structure and role and hearing suggestions from other alumni about high-priority issues.


My name is Amber Reck Atwater, from the IMSA class of 1994. My education at IMSA was vital to my personal and professional development, and I want to give back to our community. In my opinion, the biggest issues that IMSA must address are those related to diversity and inclusion, getting back to in-person classes in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic, and continued financial and educational sustainability of our school. My previous experiences as a dermatology residency program director, where we instituted a Diversity and Community Engagement (DCE) residency position and department-wide DCE curriculum, and as a prior Board Member and President of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, make me well suited for a role as an IAA at-large member. Thank you for your consideration!


I've always been proud of my experience at IMSA and humbled from the great people I have met there. I moved away from Chicago during my senior year at IMSA but just moved back two years ago and I am glad to be a part of the community again, having served as an At-Large Cabinet member the last two years and presenting during the 2019 Intersession. IMSA was truly was a unique experience and I look forward to continuing to contribute.


Much has changed in the six years since I graduated from IMSA. Personally, I completed four degrees (two bachelor’s and two master’s) at two different schools (Boston University and Johns Hopkins University). Nationally, the U.S. weathered two contentious elections, faces a long-overdue racial reckoning, and remains in the throes of a deadly pandemic. Locally, Illinois wrestled with a calamitous budget crisis and elected a new governor. And institutionally, IMSA witnessed its faculty and staff unionize and prepares to welcome a new president.

While it is tempting, in light of this, to look back on my three years at IMSA with unearned nostalgia, such rose-colored glasses would diffuse a similarly unsettled period in our alma mater’s history. My class was the first in decades to go without Dr. Eric McLaren’s invaluable guidance. My sophomore year concluded with Dr. Max McGee’s sudden departure. And we commenced my senior year by welcoming Dr. José Torres to our community. My main objective in running for the position of At-Large Cabinet Member, then, is clarity. Nearly a decade of tumult has obscured IMSA’s core principles, led to unprecedented turnover, and scattered a passionate alumni community to the wind. As an At-Large Cabinet Member, I would attempt to open a window into IMSA’s innerworkings, creating a two-way channel through which alumni could keep abreast of recent developments while sharing their collective wisdom with students and administrators.

My background, which has straddled the fine arts (music composition) and sciences (physics) since my first days at IMSA, ideally suits me for this role, as I am accustomed to distilling vast quantities of information and examining situations from multiple perspectives. Moreover, I have remained dedicated to and engaged with IMSA since graduating, regularly teaching Intersession courses on topics ranging from music to satire and maintaining connections with faculty members across the academic spectrum. I am excited by the prospect of strengthening my bonds with IMSA through IAA and hope you will consider supporting my candidacy.


In the event that I am not elected to continue to serve as IAA President, I always wish to be able to contribute to the organization in any manner by utilizing my experience, connections, time, and (IMSA and IAA) institutional knowledge. I would gladly accept this role if it is asked of me.


Hello! My name is Rowan Eggert and I am an alum from the class of 2021. I am running because I really enjoyed my time at IMSA and feel strongly about being able to give back to the community that helped me become who I am today. As an At-Large cabinet member, I would like to learn more about the IAA as well as connect current students with alumni to provide more opportunity for students and gain interest in the association. As a student, I was not very aware of the things alumni were doing and the impact it had on student life and the campus as a whole. I want to be able to inform current students of what alumni are up to as well as preparing them to be a successful member of the IAA.


IMSA was a transformative experience for me and I appreciate this opportunity to give back to our Alumni community. I have been serving as an At-Large Cabinet Member of the IAA for the past few years, during which I have volunteered as an assistant with class reunions, helped to coordinate Yare replica fundraising, and consulted on alumni networking platforms. I consistently show up when there is work to be done. I would like to continue contributing my time and efforts as an At-Large Cabinet Member for the upcoming year.


One of my goals upon joining the Cabinet in 2019 was to make better use of technology to improve communication with alumni. While the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to require the curtailment of alumni activities this year, IAA outreach remains critical. I have recently been involved in the evaluation and selection of a vendor for a new alumni networking platform. I work at Fermilab and live in Naperville, so proximity to IMSA has allowed me to volunteer for past on-campus activities, including attending Board of Trustees meetings as the IAA representative as needed. I look forward to returning to campus in the near future as pandemic-related restrictions ease. While this has been a challenging time for the IMSA community for many reasons, progress is being made on the goals set by the Cabinet, and I wish to continue assisting in accomplishing those goals. I would be privileged to serve another term as an at-large representative, and I ask for your vote.


I am Andrew Ritchie, Class of 2008. I served on IAA's board last year as an At-Large Cabinet Member and engaged in a few committees and assisted IMSA with connecting with alumni for panels on mental health and related topics during the school year. I would like to continue serving on IAA as IMSA moves out of the pandemic and into the new school year with a new President. I hope that I can continue to provide a voice for alumni and help to connect IMSA and Alumni in a meaningful way.


I would like to continue giving back to IMSA through service of my time and energies as an active member of IAA. Helping create stronger connections with the alum and current students is a top priority. My work at the academy the past 3 years has continued to reinforce my passion for IMSA and desire to aid in the evolution and growth of the culture and sense of community (and family).


I am seeking reelection as an at-large cabinet member. While my involvement has been limited over the past year, I would like support + advance initiatives that increase our outreach to alumni. Additionally, I want to push for increased support for current students and events/opportunities to connect students to alumni (via mentorship programs, social gatherings, etc.).

Please direct any questions to Michael (Bo) Driscoll, Class of 2007, of the 2021 IAA Elections Committee. These should be emailed to election@imsaalum.org.