2007 IMSA Board of Trustees Alumni Award Recipients

The First Annual Alumni Awards event was held in conjunction with IMSA's 20th Anniversary celebration on April 20, 2007.  Twelve alumni were recognized for their outstanding contributions during the inaugural event.


Please note: The following alumni award profiles were written for the year in which the awards were presented, and therefore some information may no longer be current.

Rob McCool '91

Rob McCool '91 deserves much of the credit for the initial growth of the World Wide Web and also for the infrastructure that drives most of the world's Internet Web servers. McCool, along with his twin brother and fellow IMSA graduate Mike, served on the team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that created Mosaic, the Internet Browser used to start Netscape. Scholars consider Mosaic to be the Web browser which led to the Internet boom of the 1990s. In addition, McCool is the original creator of the NCSA HTTP Web server which later evolved into the Apache HTTP Web server. The Apache server played a key role in the initial growth of the World Wide Web and continues to be the most popular Web server in use — in fact, recent statistics show that the Apache server now runs approximately two-thirds of the Internet Web servers on the planet. Rob also is the author of various journal and conference articles focusing on semantic search, semantic Web and knowledge provenance. Currently, Rob is a software developer and architect for Yahoo.

Ramez Naam '90

Ramez Naam is an author and "professional technologist" who has spent his career seeking ways to empower people through software.  He helped develop two of the most widely used pieces of software in the world – Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook.  He is currently the group program manager for Windows Live Search, where he leads efforts to develop new and smarter technologies for searching the Internet.  In 2001 and 2002, Naam served as the chief executive officer of Apex NanoTechnologies, developing software for nanotechnology researchers.   Naam also is the author of More than Human: How Technology Will Transform Us and Why We Should Embrace It (Broadway Books, 2004). In the book, Naam explores how new technologies can serve as powerful tools in humans' quest to improve themselves. Naam regularly is invited to speak at software and nanotechnology conferences. He is a fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and the recipient of the 2005 H.G. Wells Award for Contributions to Transhumanism. Naam recently appeared in the PBS television show The 22nd Century and has been profiled or reviewed in The New York Times, Scientific American, Fast Company, DISCOVER magazine, BusinessWeek and numerous other publications.  He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Yu Pan '95

Yu Pan '95 continues to find new ways to revolutionize the way technology drives traffic on the World Wide Web. His first of two breakthrough successes was as one of the six founding team members of PayPal, an eBay company that has revolutionized the way people do business on the Internet. Founded in 1998, PayPal enables any individual or business with an email address to securely and easily send and receive payments online. Pan implemented PayPal's first flagship product that allows secure storage and transmission of funds. In addition, he developed Web technologies that enabled PayPal to dominate auction payments on eBay. Today, PayPal now serves more than 100 million account members worldwide. Today, Pan continues to revolutionize technology working in engineering and product development at the hottest Web site on the Internet, YouTube (www.youtube.com). YouTube receives 100 million hits every day with 65,000 new videos posted to the site daily. Pan was the first employee at YouTube, a consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos worldwide through a Web experience. Pan is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award

This annual award goes to alumni who have made distinguished achievements or leadership contributions in their professional fields of endeavor consistent with IMSA’s mission. The awardees also may be recognized for significant civic or community contributions or for extraordinary courage and selflessness under challenging circumstances.

Ben Chelf '96

Ben Chelf and his colleagues provide state-of-the-art automated source code analysis for customers as varied as NASA, IBM, Sun Microsystems, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Naperville-based Tellabs. Chelf is chief technology officer and a founder of Coverity, Inc. Recently his company (www.coverity.com) was recognized in The Wall Street Journal for The Journal's Technology Awards. This global competition, sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journal Asia and The Wall Street Journal Europe, recognizes "technological breakthroughs in such areas as software, hardware, the Internet, wireless and broadcasting." Coverity's customers include some of the largest development organizations in the world. Oracle, Cisco, Symantec, Samsung, PalmOne, and IBM are a few of the more recognizable names among their more than 100 customers worldwide. The beginnings of the company came out of research that Chelf and other Stanford graduate students were exploring. Chelf is a member of the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education Board of Directors, a donor to the IMSA Fund, and he serves on IMSA's Strategic Planning Team. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

B. Scott Gaudi, Ph.D. '91

Dr. Scott Gaudi already has discovered two planets in his early career. Gaudi was named by DISCOVER magazine as "one of the 20 scientists to watch in the next 20 years." As reported in National Geographic, his most recent discovery is a new, low-mass planet found using a microlensing technique. As an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Gaudi performed extensive data analysis that confirmed the existence of the planet. This newfound world weighs about 13 times the mass of Earth and is probably a mixture of rock and ice. Gaudi received numerous awards and accolades for his research work as an undergraduate and graduate student. In addition, in 2000 he was one of only seven nationwide to be awarded a Hubble post-doctorate fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Gaudi is a referee for Astronomy & Astrophysics, The Astrophysical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Nature and New Astronomy and an external peer reviewer for NASA's Origins of Solar Systems. Today he is an assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy at Ohio State University. Gaudi is a graduate of Michigan State University and Ohio State University.

Noah A. Rosenberg, Ph.D. '93

Dr. Noah Rosenberg is a pioneering, award-winning researcher in the fields of mathematics, evolution and genetics, receiving numerous accolades around the globe. In 2003, Rosenberg's article Genetic structure of human populations was named The Lancet Biomedical Research Paper of the Year. That same year, his article Features of evolution and expansion of modern humans was recognized in DISCOVER magazine as one of the 100 top science stories. Rosenberg has received numerous fellowships and awards for his pioneering research work, including a Sloan Research Fellowship in Computational and Evolutionary Molecular Biology (2006-2008), the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences (2004-2009) and a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biological Informatics (2002-2004), just to name a few. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Human Genetics and the Society for the Study of Evolution. In addition, he has served as a grant reviewer for the German Research Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and is a manuscript reviewer for numerous national and international professional journals. Rosenberg is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Genetics and the Department of Biostatistics, and also an assistant research professor in the Bioinformatics Program and the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan. He is a graduate of Rice University and Stanford University.

Terri L. Willard '89

Terri Willard is a Rhodes Scholar, Henry Luce Scholar, Hearst Senate Youth Program Scholar, Georgetown School of Foreign Service Scholar and a National Merit Scholar. Although her academic credentials are numerous, Willard's untiring devotion and ethical leadership in the field of sustainable development is what truly sets her apart. Willard has worked as a project manager for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in Canada since 1996. Her Master's thesis included the creation of a workbook for Filipino farmers and local organizations on techniques to promote the genetic conservation of indigenous trees in local agroforestry systems. She also co-authored a book on Managing International Knowledge Networks for Sustainable Development based upon IISD's experiences with partnerships and strategic alliances. At IISD, Terri has led numerous global initiatives including the Youth Creating Digital Opportunities Coalition, the Sustainable Development Communications Network, as well as contributed to other organizations such as TakingITGlobal and the Global Teenager Programme. Many of these initiatives build upon Willard's passion for realizing the potential of young people as leaders in using information and communications technologies to achieve more sustainable development in their communities and around the world. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and Oxford University in England.

Tuwanda Williamson, M.D. '91

After delivering health care to indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest, Dr. Tuwanda Williamson now cares for impoverished people in inner-city Chicago. Following graduation from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1999 and the completion of her residency in 2002, Williamson went to work for Direct Relief International as the director of a medical team delivering care to 40,000 isolated villagers along the Rio Beni River in Bolivia. In a tribute to Williamson in one of Direct Relief's news publications, it states "... Under challenging conditions and through countless river and 4-wheel drive trips to conduct clinics, Dr. Williamson displayed an inspiring commitment, tremendous dedication and boundless compassion." Williamson continues to display this "boundless compassion" where she currently works as a physician in inner-city Chicago at a local health center. In addition, Williamson also is the director of a local center in her hometown that provides care through local churches to those most in need. Williamson is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including the Ralph M. Gibson, Ph.D. Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, the Technos International Prize for Outstanding Academic Performance and Commitment to Furthering Education and the Patterson Senior Biology Award. She is a graduate of Hope College and the University of Michigan Medical School.

Alumni Titan Award

This annual award honors alumni, who through outstanding service to IMSA, advance the institution’s mission and work. The honorees are enthusiastic and energetic IMSA champions who dedicate significant time, talent and/or treasure to endeavors that help the Academy fulfill its role in developing talent and leadership in mathematics, science and technology for our state, nation and world.

Michael H. Brody '96

As an active volunteer and a politically-savvy advocate and adviser, Michael Brody gives back to IMSA in countless ways, both visible and behind-the-scenes. He is an active member of the IMSA President's Alumni Advisory Council, participated in the faculty-led Science, Society and the Future Forum on Agroterrorism, greeted and hosted Robert Kennedy Jr. for an IMSA Great Minds Program event, gave a Hollister Memorial Lecture, and assisted with securing funding for and designing a video that enabled IMSA to provide statewide education on homeland security awareness. Brody now serves on the Board of Trustees' Presidential Search Committee. His connections and reputation in Illinois state government circles are most helpful. As assistant to the Transition Director David Wilhelm, he played a key role in inviting IMSA President Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall to serve on Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's Transition Advisory Board. On numerous occasions, he has provided wise and timely counsel on political matters to IMSA leaders. Professionally, Brody is the assistant deputy director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) Homeland Security Market Development Bureau in Chicago. He oversees day-to-day management of the Governor’s effort to grow and attract the homeland security industry in Illinois.  Prior to joining DCEO, he served in the Governor’s Office as senior policy development advisor for homeland security.  He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Illinois College of Law.

Andrea L.  Croll '97

In the IMSA Alumni Association (IAA) and in her field of engineering, Andrea Croll stands as a role model for others. Since 2005, Ande has served as the IMSA Alumni Association president, leading and coordinating IAA volunteer efforts in cooperation with IMSA staff. Under her leadership, the IAA cabinet achieved 100% participation in the IMSA Annual Fund. Ande has served as the alumni liaison to the IMSA Board of Trustees since 2003, participating in bimonthly meetings, using her vacation time from work to attend. Prior to assuming her presidency, Ande was an active volunteer with the IMSA Admissions Office, helping with a number of initiatives including statewide informational meetings and the review committee. In addition to her extensive volunteer duties, Ande also is a donor to the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education and has served as a class agent to help with alumni development efforts. She also helps edit the semi-annual IMSAlum newsletter and helps to advise IMSA staff in reviewing alumni development plans and offering suggestions for improved alumni services. Croll is an engineer with Hamilton Sundstrand in Rockford where she works on the electric power generation system for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, an all-weather, aircraft carrier-based tactical Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft manufactured by Northrop Grumman.  She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

John B. Hoesley '89

John Hoesley serves as treasurer of the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that raises, invests, distributes and administers gifts and grants from the private sector to support IMSA's mission and work. He is the first alumnus to serve as an officer on either Board. As treasurer, he has provided stellar strategic and operational leadership in repositioning the IMSA Fund for a more significant future through modification of the Investment Policy and selection of a new Investment Manager. Hoesley's expert counsel informed the design and start-up of IMSA's TALENT program (Total Applied Learning for Entrepreneurs), and he assisted in interviewing and assessing candidates for the project director role. Hoesley provides helpful guidance and support in alumni relations and development, including recruiting and supporting annual giving class agents. He is a member of the IMSA President's Alumni Advisory Council and a "Vital Voice" adviser to IMSA's Strategic Planning Team. He and his wife Jae are generous donors to the IMSA Fund. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Hoesley is a partner at Prism Capital Corporation in Chicago; he is responsible for sourcing, executing and monitoring investments.

Douglas A. Pratt '97

Doug Pratt is credited with elevating the role and significance of the IMSA Alumni Association and for "pushing," developing and implementing essential infrastructure for IAA communications and operations. Through his efforts, the IAA president now serves as an official liaison to the IMSA Board of Trustees. In addition, he worked closely with IMSA leaders to identify and facilitate the appointment of the first IMSA alumnus to serve as a voting Trustee (Erin Roche). Pratt is the immediate past president of the IAA (2003-2005). He also served on the IAA Cabinet as an at-large member from 2001-2003, and again in 2005-2006. In these leadership roles, Pratt oversaw all class reunion planning and also the production and editing of the IMSAlum newsletter. He now serves on the IMSA President's Alumni Advisory Council (IPAAC) and also as the reunion co-coordinator for his 10-year reunion in 2007. In addition to his extensive volunteer record, including his support of Intersession and the Admissions Office, he also is a generous donor to the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education and has helped to guide IMSA's alumni development plans. Most recently, he contributed to the IMSA Fund to establish a fund for new baseball dugouts, built in memory of fellow IMSA alumnus Javal Shah '04. Professionally, Pratt is the director of communications for the Michigan Education Association and serves as president of the NEA Public Relations Council and vice-chairman of the East Lansing Transportation Commission. Pratt is a graduate of Michigan State University.

Past Alumni Award Honorees

 Click here for complete list of past alumni award recipients.  

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