Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy Announces 2018 Alumni Award Winners | Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy Announces 2018 Alumni Award Winners

Aurora, IL, May 15, 2018 – The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) announces three alumni award winners, two Distinguished Leadership Awardees and one Titan Awardee, who are innovators in biomedical engineering, extreme environment robotics and science fiction and fantasy writing.

Dr. Princess Imoukhuede, a 1998 graduate of IMSA, is a 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award winner. Her award winning research has the potential to effectively treat and cure more than 70 diseases, including breast cancer. Imoukhuede is Assistant Professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her PhD from Cal-Tech in BioEngineering and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Also receiving the 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award is Dr. Aaron Parness ’00, Group Leader, Extreme Environment Robots at NASA. Parness’s research in extreme terrain mobility is enabling humankind to explore new worlds. His YouTube channel is providing the next generation of roboticists and innovators with phenomenal examples of the possibilities.

Michael Damian Thomas ’92, is the 2018 Alumni Titan Award Winner. Thomas, co-editor and publisher of award winning Uncanny Magazine, is an enthusiastic and energetic champion who has invested significantly in the IMSA community with thought leadership and selflessly enables a much richer learning experience for all students in Speculative Fiction Studies.

The IMSA Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award is bestowed upon alumni who have made distinguished achievements or leadership contributions in their professional fields of endeavor consistent with IMSA’s mission. The IMSA Alumni Titan Award honors alumni who, through outstanding service to IMSA, advance the institution’s mission and work. The honoree dedicates significant time and talent to endeavors that help the Academy to fulfill its role in developing talent and leadership in mathematics, science, engineering and technology for our state, nation and the world.

The honorees will be recognized at a ceremony on IMSA’s campus on Friday, May 25 at 1:15 pm.


Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12), in its advanced residential college preparatory program. Additionally, IMSA serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry. IMSA advances education through research, groundbreaking ventures and strategic partnerships. To learn more about IMSA and its programs, visit