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  • Welcome: Robert Hernandez, Ph.D., Treasurer, Executive Director of Student Affairs
  • Pledge of Allegiance: Madison Dong, Student Council President
  • Opening Remarks: José M. Torres, Ph.D., President
  • Opening Remarks: Marie Dillon Dahleh, Ph.D., Principal
  • Featured Musical Selection Cello: Emily Camras, Class of 2013
  • Keynote Address: Yuanxia Ding, Class of 2000, Senior Policy Advisor to the Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education
  • Closing Remarks: Marie Dillon Dahleh, Ph.D., Principal

Guest Biographies

Yuanxia Ding '00

Yuanxia Ding is a Senior Policy Advisor to the Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education. She leads a portfolio of work at the Department focused on promoting innovation in higher education with federal financial aid. She has spoken about innovation in higher education to groups of superintendents, college presidents, funders, and entrepreneurs, including at The White House. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Ms. Ding led consulting projects in the Education practice of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, where she advised CEOs and executive leadership teams of foundations and non-profit organizations. She also previously worked on the management staff of Teach For America, as well as at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, B Lab, Oliver Wyman, and Goldman Sachs. She serves on the Board of Trustees for D.C. International Public Charter School. Ms. Ding holds a B.A. in Economics and International Studies from Northwestern University, and an M.B.A. in Strategic Management and Social Impact from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Ding's dedication to improving access to high quality education for all students stems from her experience at IMSA. Prior to attending IMSA, Ms. Ding had attended five different schools in four different states, and witnessed firsthand wide-ranging differences in educational quality and resources. After attending IMSA, Ms. Ding herself and several friends struggled to afford college. Ms. Ding began tutoring in Chicago Public Schools while in college and in public charter schools in New York after college. These experiences ingrained in her how important a high quality education can be, and also how hard it is for many students to obtain one. She aspires to make sure that every student, regardless of socioeconomic background, is able to access a high quality education.

Emily Camras '13

As an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, Emily Camras enjoys a developing musical career. She has performed solo at the University Musical Society Ford Gala, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Meadowmount School of Music. She won awards in the MTNA Senior Strings National Finals and Midwest Young Artists' Walgreens Concerto Competition, and was named a 2014 Luminarts Fellow in Classical Music by the Union League Club of Chicago. During a recent semester in Israel, Emily performed works by Israeli composers in Har Nof, Har Hatsofim, Ein Karem, and Givatayim while studying at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

Emily is a substitute cellist in the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and also performed in Israel's Netanya Chamber Orchestra. She received fellowships to the Chautauqua Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Texas Music Festival, and the National Youth Orchestra of the United States, performing in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and at the BBC Proms under Valery Gergiev. For four years in high-school, she was co-principal cello of the Midwest Young Artists' Symphony in Highwood, IL.

Emily began cello at age ten, and studied with Tanya Carey while attending the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Her other mentors include Andrea LaFranzo, Zvi Plesser, and Charles Pikler. She currently studies with Richard Aaron at the University of Michigan, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance and Bachelor of Science in physics as a merit scholarship recipient.

MadisonDongFY17Convocation.pdf (54 kB)
Madison Dong Convocation Remarks

JoséMTorresFY17Convocation.pdf (177 kB)
José M. Torres, Ph.D. Convocation Remarks

MarieDahlehFY17Convocation.pdf (41 kB)
Marie Dillon Dahleh, Ph.D. Convocation Remarks

YuanxiaDingFY17Convocation.pdf (147 kB)
Xuanxia Ding '00 Keynote Address

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