Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

IMSA Class of 2007 Graduate Named Rhodes Scholar

IMSA Class of 2007 graduate Rhiana Gunn-Wright was named a Rhodes Scholar, one of only two to be named from the State of Illinois.

IMSA President Dr. Glenn W. "Max" McGee said the IMSA community is very proud of Rhiana's accomplishments since graduating from IMSA.

"The IMSA community is thrilled beyond words and so proud that Rhiana will be joining the ranks of other IMSA alumni who have received this prestigious honor in the past," said IMSA President Dr. Glenn W. "Max" McGee.  "Rhianna is an exemplary role model for IMSA students and others who are using their talents and gifts to, in the words of our mission statement, 'advance the human condition.'"

During an interview with IMSA, Rhiana thanked the Academy for helping her to hone her academic talents and gifts, and using them for the benefit of mankind.

Rhodes Scholar and IMSA Class of 2007 Graduate Rhiana Gunn-Wright

"IMSA was an incredibly formative experience for me," said Gunn-Wright. "IMSA taught me to question, to analyze, and, most importantly, to work to change the things in the world that I thought were unjust," she added.

"Every time that I got nervous during my interview this weekend, I thought of (former IMSA Principal) Dr. McLaren telling us: 'Don't just be good. Be good for something.'"

At IMSA, staff and faculty members who knew Rhiana said they are not surprised to learn of her latest accomplishment.

"At IMSA, I know that Rhiana began to find her voice while participating in BELLAs (Beautiful Empowered Ladies Leading All)," said former IMSA World Languages Faculty Member Willa Shultz.  "IMSA provided her with the opportunity to attend the Empowering Women of Color conference at Berkley. Upon her return, she wrote and performed her story in the very first Tales from the Home Front,"  added Shultz.

"Rhiana encouraged other young women to become leaders in the IMSA community, went on to have a powerful impact on the Yale University campus, and hasn't slowed down since," said Shultz. "She is a wonderful example of what we have learned to expect from IMSA graduates."

In talking with IMSA Science Faculty Member Aracelys Rios, Rhiana said "my path would look different if it wasn't for BELLA's. BELLA's is clearly all over my decision to work for the institute for women's policy research."

The mission of the IMSA BELLAs group is to "transform young women into self-motivated, dynamic leaders, who challenge themselves and others to learn about social, racial, and gender issues, in order to embrace diversity."

To view some of the Chicagoland media coverage of Rhiana, including television and radio excerpts, follow the links below:,0,4924145.story,0,5841792.story

Gunn-Wright is the fourth IMSA graduate to be named a Rhodes Scholar.

For information contact