IMSA 1990

Class of 1990 at the Illinois Math & Science Academy (IMSA)

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[Imsaenewsbriefs-l] e-Newsbriefs for Friends of IMSA October 2009

October 7th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

e-Newsbriefs for Friends of IMSA
October 2009

We are happy to bring you the latest news and information from IMSA. Please share this with friends or colleagues and encourage them to sign up now for future editions by registering at

(l-to-r) IMSA President Dr. Max McGee, U.S. Congressman Bill Foster, IMSA Coordinator of Student Inquiry and Research and Director, Grainger Center for Imagination and Inquiry Dr. Judy Scheppler, IMSA Principal and Vice President for Academic Programs Dr. Eric McLaren and IMSA Board of Trustees Chairman Steven Isoye visit Congressman Foster’s office following the Intel awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

IMSA® Wins Top National Intel Star Innovator Award

IMSA has been named the nationwide winner of the Intel Star Innovator Award.  This award is presented annually to one school that has a “comprehensive program incorporating innovative and effective use of technology, engaging parents and the community in students’ education, fostering professional development and teamwork, and delivering consistent achievement of high academic standards.” From an applicant pool of more than 700 schools, IMSA was named one of the six 2009 Intel Schools of Distinction Award recipients last May.  From these six, Intel selected IMSA to receive the top honor as Star Innovator during an awards reception in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Congressman Bill Foster, parent of an IMSA alumna, congratulated IMSA’s staff. “I am pleased to congratulate the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy for being named Star Innovator in the 2009 Intel Schools of Distinction awards program,” Foster said.  “As the parent of an IMSA graduate and as the school’s congressional representative, I have seen firsthand the school’s commitment to educational excellence. This award is a testament to IMSA’s status as one of our nation’s premier institutions of math and science education.”  To see the full story, photos and video, click here.

IMSA President Featured in National and Regional Publications on STEM Education

IMSA President Dr. Max McGee is featured in publications by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and The Council of State Governments focusing on IMSA and improving STEM education throughout the Midwest. Read more.

Staff Member Deb Gerdes Co-authors Article in ASCD’s Educational Leadership

Deb Gerdes, Professional Development Leader for Problem-Based Learning at IMSA and ASCD’s PBL Network Facilitator, is the co-author of “The Students Have the Answers,” an article featured in the September 2009 issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership. The article features the Illinois Innovation Talent Program (ILIT), a statewide public/private partnership to promote innovation-centered education and increase student achievement in math, science and technology. In the program, educators and students from 29 Illinois high schools worked as teams alongside industry, government and community experts from 29 business/organization partners to solve real-world problems.  Gerdes and co-author Ellen Jo Ljung, Facilitator of IMSA’s PBL Initiatives, and Jane Seidel and Karen Lindebrekke, IMSA Professional Development Specialists in PBL, delivered professional development in Problem-Based Learning (PBL) to educators involved in the project.  Read the article here.

Emeriti News

IMSA Alumni Faculty Members Susan Eddins and Ed Goebel Named Honorary Emeriti

At the September 16, 2009 IMSA Board of Trustees meeting, the Executive Committee recommended that alumni faculty members Susan Eddins and Dr. Ed Goebel be conferred the honorary Emeritus/a designation by the full Board.  Brief profiles of Eddins and Goebel are available here.   Alumni staff  who are recommended for Emeriti status must meet all of the Board’s criteria including:

* have retired from IMSA in good standing, with 10 or more years of full-time service;

* have demonstrated exemplary professional competence and made significant meritorious contributions to IMSA throughout one’s service, both within and beyond the scope of the duties of one’s compensated position(s), contributions that have had an extraordinary impact on IMSA’s capacity and success; and

* be positioned, by virtue of one’s personal willingness and recognized professional expertise, reputation, skills and connections, to continue to advance IMSA in significant ways post-retirement.

Eddins and Goebel now join other alumni staff who were previously named Honorary Emeriti including Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall (2007), Dr. David Barr (2008) and Dr. David Workman (2008).  Read more about recent Emerti Faculty and Staff Contributions here.

Emerita Mathematics Faculty Member Susan Eddins Selected for National Core Standards Team

Educational Consultant and former IMSA mathematics faculty member Susan Eddins was selected to serve on the Common Core Standards Development Work Group a national initiative of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  Forty-nine states and territories have joined the Common Core State Standards Initiative. It builds directly on recent efforts of leading organizations and states that have focused on developing college-and career-ready standards and ensures that these standards can be internationally benchmarked to top-performing countries around the world. “This initiative is a significant and historic opportunity for states to collectively accelerate and drive education reform so that all children graduate from high school ready for college, work and success in the global economy,” said Dane Linn, director of the NGA Center’s Education Division. More information on the Common Core Standards Development Work Group and Feedback Group is available at

Academic Year Kicks Off With Programs That Inspire and Promote Stewardship and Community Spirit

Pictured (l-to-r) are IMSA President Dr. Max McGee, IMSA Senior and Student Council President Sid Sapru, Dr Tuwanda Williamson ’91, Laura O’Neal ’06, Faculty Member and Pianist Jonathan Besancon, and IMSA Principal and Vice President for Academic Programs Dr. Eric McLaren

Dr. Tuwanda Williamson ’91 Presents 2009 IMSA Convocation Address

Dr. Tuwanda Williamson ’91 presented the keynote address during the 2009 IMSA Convocation ceremony.  Dr. Williamson works as a family medicine physician at PCC Salud Community Wellness Center on Chicago’s west side and also serves as a faculty clinical instructor for the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  In addition, she is the medical director for the Bolingbrook Christian Community Clinic.  Williamson is also a 2007 recipient of the IMSA Board of Trustees Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award.  Read more about her past accomplishments here. The Convocation program also featured Laura O’Neal ’06 who gave a moving performance as the vocal soloist.

New Sophomore Class Participates in Second Annual Day of Service

The new sophomore class, the Class of 2012, donated nearly 800 hours of service to 13 organizations throughout Kane and DuPage Counties during the second annual Sophomore Navigation Team Building and Day of Service, held on Friday, August 14.  Organizations served included Aurora West Forest Preserve, Dick Young Forest Preserve/Nelson Lake, Feed My Starving Children in Aurora, Fran’s Fox River Clean Up, Garfield Farm Museum, Hope Wall School in Aurora, Living Well Cancer Resource Center, Suicide Prevention Services and Visiting Nurses Association of Fox Valley, among others. As one IMSA staff member said, “We take our mission very seriously and I believe our new sophomores now understand better what their responsibility is as a student at IMSA.” Read more here.

IMSA Community Flips for Fourth Annual IMSA Carnival

On Saturday, August 22, thrill seekers including IMSA students, parents, staff and their extended families lined up for the Bonsai Bikes, Dixie Twister, Gyro Extreme (pictured) and other rides during the Fourth Annual IMSA Carnival.  Thanks to the hard work of the IMSA Residential Life staff, parents, alumni and other staff members, the carnival has become a much-anticipated IMSA tradition that brings together staff, faculty, parents and alumni to celebrate the beginning of another academic year.  Volunteers that day gave out at least 500 2-liter soda bottles in the Ring Toss game, presented homemade goodies to at least 150 winners in the Cake Walk, and assisted all those who stood in line at the carnival rides, inflatables, games, airbrush tattoos, obstacle course race and food booths.  In all, at least 90 volunteers spent their Saturday at IMSA helping to make sure the IMSA Carnival was another success.  IMSA Resident Counselor Tammy Larson said the end of the day was bittersweet.  “It is always sad to see the booths come down, the rides and inflatables packed up and driven off the grounds, and the small games back in their bins.  With this said, it is great to hear IMSA students say, “Thanks!  We had a blast today!’  or ‘Guess how many cakes I won today!’”

2009 IMSA Board of Trustees Alumni Award winners (l-to-r) Dr. Thandeka Chapman ’89, Dr. Rebecca Willett ’96, Sendhil Revuluri ’90, Pooja Agarwal ’01 and Joshua Gerlick ’99.

IMSA Honors 2009 Alumni Award Winners

The IMSA community recently honored five extraordinary IMSA alumni who are the recipients of the Third Annual IMSA Board of Trustees Alumni Award during IMSA Homecoming.  These awards are the highest honors given to alumni in recognition of their accomplishments and contributions to their professions, to IMSA and to the citizens of Illinois, our nation and the world. For complete profiles of the 2009 IMSA Board of Trustees Alumni Award winners click here.

IMSA Graduate Leads Team in Discovery of Therapy to Combat Cancer Stem Cells

IMSA Class of 1995 Graduate Piyush Gupta, a researcher at the Broad Institute, is co-first author of a study recently published in the journal Cell showcasing the discovery of a chemical that can kill cancer stem cells.  Read the story here.

Nomination Forms Now Online for Alumni Awards Program: Deadline Is January 31, 2010

Online nominations are now being accepted for the IMSA Board of Trustees Alumni Awards program.  The award categories include The Alumni Trailblazer Award (bestowed when merited), The Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award and The Alumni Titan Award (both awarded annually).  To nominate fellow alumni for any of these awards, visit (self nominations are welcome).  Alumni award recipients will be honored at a special event during Homecoming 2010. These awards are the highest honors bestowed to alumni in recognition of their accomplishments and contributions to their field of endeavor, to IMSA, and to the citizens of Illinois, our nation and the world.

Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Opening of Metro East Field Office

The Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting of IMSA’s New Metro-East Field Office located at Lindenwood University – Belleville Campus, was held on Thursday, September 17, 2009.  Speakers included IMSA President Dr. Max McGee, Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert and Ann Reinhardt, District Office Manager to Illinois State Representative Thomas Holbrook.  In addition, East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. voiced support for IMSA’s new Metro Field Office. The event also featured a live science demonstration conducted by students from the IMSA Kids Institute® (KI) for students from Cahokia School of Choice.

Through its new Metro-East Field Office, IMSA will deliver professional development in mathematics and science instruction that focuses on inquiry and discovery; provide afterschool, weekend and summer mathematics and science programs for students; and build sustainable relationships with community constituents and stakeholders and coordinate mathematics and science programs with local organizations.

IMSA Serves Illinois Teachers and Students in Summer Programs

IMSA served 1,007 students and 373 teachers throughout Illinois this summer in a variety of professional development workshops and residential and day programs, including several new programs in Edwardsville.  The programs attracted media coverage from the Chicago Tribune, The Southern, and The Beacon-News.  See photos from IMSA’s Science@IMSA for Girls camp here.

View the story in The Southern featuring IMSA’s Summer Sleuths program in Carbondale here.

Follow IMSA on Facebook!

IMSA now has an official site on Facebook!  If you are a member of  Facebook already, locate Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) Official Site to become a fan and receive the latest news and information from IMSA.

If you are not a member of  Facebook, you will need to first create an account in order to become a fan.  Join the more than 1,000 alumni, former staff, current staff and friends who already have become fans!

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