Dr. Jeffrey Margolis Departs IMSA

Ex-Vice President of External Engagement Dr. Jeffrey Margolis at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Assembly in February. Photo Credits: ISP.

Contributing authors:
Rebecca Lisk (’17), IMSA News.
Alexis Giff (’17), IMSA News.

On May 15, an email was sent from Dr. Torres’s office alerting IMSA staff of a change within the administrative structure: Dr. Margolis is stepping down from his position as Vice President of External Engagement, effective immediately.

After graduating from IMSA in 2000, Dr. Margolis spent over a decade involved in entrepreneurship and educational endeavors. He earned a Ph. D. from the Stanford University School of Medicine, developed White House and State Department STEM partnerships, and worked with nonprofit CollegeSpring to improve educational opportunities for low-income opportunities and the Illinois Science & Technology Coalitions.

When Dr. Margolis returned to IMSA in 2015, he used this extensive background to develop the academy by chairing IMSA committees, increasing alumni engagement, and even working directly with students through the Mentor Matching Engine.

When asked the reasoning behind Dr. Margolis’s departure, Ms. Ellyn Heinz from the Principal’s Office said, “We don’t know why he left.” The same response was echoed throughout Student Life and the President’s Office.

Traci Ellis, head of Human Resources at IMSA, describes the email Dr. Torres sent to staff and faculty. The email said that Dr. Margolis left suddenly to “pursue other opportunities,” and that a group of staff members would meet soon to determine a new administrative structure to adjust to the change.

In the meantime, those that reported to Dr. Margolis will now report to Dr. Torres as Dr. Margolis works remotely to tie up loose ends.

News of Dr. Margolis’s termination of his employment at IMSA has yet to spread around campus– even some staff that worked with Dr. Margolis outside of the president’s office were not aware of his departure. Jim Gerry, IMSA’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director, had no idea, saying “Oh, that’s just terrible!” in response to the news. He mentioned he’d interacted with Dr. Margolis just days ago. He also commented that he had “always believed that IMSA should have an alumnus as president and Dr. Margolis had the best shot and most qualifications. I always teased him about it.”

Though his departure was sudden and unexpected, the work Dr. Margolis did to improve IMSA has not gone unnoticed. Whether or not every student is fully aware of the impact he made on the academy, he left our school as a better place than it was to begin with. Best of luck to Dr. Margolis in his future endeavors!

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