Newswise — Aurora, IL, April 6, 2017 – The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) Board of Trustees honored four Alumni at a ceremony March 30, 2017 in recognition of their accomplishments and contributions to their fields of endeavor, to IMSA, and to the citizens of Illinois, our nation and the world.
“This is a day each year that I look forward to with great anticipation—to have the opportunity to hear from our Alumni as they share their professional stories with us and we recognize their accomplishments in pursuit of excellence,” remarked Sheila MB Griffin, Chair of the IMSA Board of Trustees.
Ms. Claudia Flores, J.D., ’93 received the Alumni Trailblazer Award honoring alumni who have earned national or international prominence for a groundbreaking initiative that has redefined and improved the way significant numbers of citizens live, learn or work. Flores, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) at The University of Chicago Law School, works to promote and protect the human rights of individuals and communities globally. Additionally, she served as constitutional and legal advisor for the United Nations in East Timor and Zimbabwe. She also managed a program to combat human trafficking in Indonesia and was a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation in the Women’s Rights Project. She earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law and received her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago.
Jessica Droste Yagan, ’95 received the Alumni Titan Award honoring alumni who through outstanding service to IMSA, advance the institution’s mission and work. Droste Yagan has given back generously to the IMSA as a volunteer and donor. She has served as a thought and action partner for IMSA, particularly in the area of innovation and social entrepreneurship including the design and launch of IN2, IMSA’s first of its kind innovation center. Droste Yagan is currently Partner and CEO of Impact Engine, a venture fund that invests financial and human capital in early stage, for profit social technology businesses. She earned a Master of Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Haverford College.
Two alumni were honored in abstention with the Distinguished Leadership Award for their achievements and leadership contributions in their professional fields. Dr. Julie (Julia) Comerford, ’98 is Assistant Professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she works on observations of kpcscale separation dual supermassive black holes in merger remnant galaxies. Additionally, she has been working to improve equity and inclusion at University of Colorado, working with the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance. Dr. Comerford graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University, her Masters of Arts in Astrophysics from University of California, Berkeley and her Ph.D.
Major Vincent Enriquez, ’99, also a Distinguished Leadership Award recipient, served as part of Operation Enduring Freedom with deployments in Afghanistan and PACOM Theater. A few of the many numerous awards and decorations he received include the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal. An Army Ranger and Special Forces “Green Beret," Major Vincent Enriquez graduated from the United States Military Academy with a Commission as an Engineer Officer. HA Downing Scholar at the Military Academy at West Point, Enriquez completed his Master in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School and completed a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts.
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)
Recognized as the #2 best public high school in the US, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), is a tuition-free, residential public high school in Aurora, IL for talented Illinois 10th-12th graders. Its accelerated coursework, engagement in real-world problem solving and a first of its kind tech innovation center prepares students for global leadership that can change the world. Graduates are leaders in the business, education, scientific, and civic sectors. IMSA is among the top 40 public and private college preparatory institutions in the world by The Wall Street Journal and has been profiled by NBC-TV's Dateline, CNN's Science and Technology News, USA Today, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.