Gamma Iota Sigma Newsletter                           
July 2014 
In This Issue
ACORD Student Scholarship 2014
NEW! GIS Career Resources Hub
GIS Career Center
43rd Annual Conference
2014 Conference Sponsors to Date
CAS Puzzler
Spotlight: Sarah Shelton, Alpha Lambda
Spotlight: Jean Celestin, Alpha Kappa
Spotlight: Ali Rosenberg, Beta Alpha
Spotlight: Logan Mendenhall, Alpha Epsilon
Calling All Graduates and GIS Alumni
Featured Jobs
Free Subscription to Best's Review Magazine!
Quick Links

Mark Your Calendar!


Angus Robinson, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Deadline

September 5, 2014


ACORD AIF Student Scholarship Deadline

September 15, 2014


DW Simpson Actuarial Science Scholarship Program Deadline

October 31, 2014


Ezra Penland Actuarial Scholarship Deadline

November 1, 2014


View all scholarship deadlines and events.

Executive Committee
 John Hammond



Meg Allwein

Executive Vice President


Jason Warden

Vice President


Alan Hoffmann

Vice President

(Past President)


Jeffery W. Lamb

Vice President

(Immediate Past President)


Jake Timmins



Brian Bowerman



Josh Hart

Alumni Representative


Christopher Place

Industry Representative


Dr. RB Drennan

Faculty Representative


Dr. Karen Epermanis

Faculty Representative


Alyssa Bouchard

Student Representative


Mike Kelly

Student Representative


Noelle Codispoti 

Executive Director


Dear Students,
How is the summer treating you? We were excited to catch up with several GIS members to hear how they are spending the months following graduation or in between academic years, and we are pleased to feature them in this month's newsletter. Keeping the Grand Chapter busy are the fast approaching Presidents' Leadership Conference and the Annual International Conference, as well as other exciting initiatives underway. Read on for conference updates, student spotlights and other opportunities.

Fraternally yours,

Noelle Codispoti, ARM
Executive Director, Gamma Iota Sigma
ACORD Student Scholarship 2014
Calling All Students!

You've heard the saying time and time again how important it is to make the industry accessible to the next generation of insurance professionals, and ACORD is proud to put our proverbial money where our mouth is. The ACORD Student Scholarship is designed to give future members of the insurance industry a chance to attend the ACORD Implementation Forum (AIF), where they can draw upon the knowledge, advice and contacts of the ACORD community. Registration has been waived for students. That's right, FREE registration!

Stipends for hotel and food are available on a first come, first served basis... so apply TODAY by clicking here! Contact Johnell Johnson at for more information.


AIF will take place October 26-29, 2014 at the Marriott Harbor Beach in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Unlike other events geared only towards domains such as underwriting, claims and actuarial, AIF covers that AND technology, operations. Plus, you have the potential to network with:

  • CIOs
  • COOs
  • Technology research analysts
  • System vendors in the insurance space
  • Agents
  • Analysts
  • Architects

"Being able to hear a variety of speakers at the Forum resulted in invaluable takeaways," said Stephen Isar, one of the 2013 Young Professional Scholarship recipients. "The outside-the-box conceptual thinking gives me a new perspective to look at the industry as a whole, and I'm hoping to share that with my colleagues and co-workers."


"Education is so important," said Whitney Malone, another of last year's young professional winners. "This is just one way that you can not only grow yourself as a professional, but also network and get to know other people in the industry."


Visit to see program topics.



  • A "behind-the-curtain" look at the insurance industry
  • The opportunity to learn all about ACORD and our position in the industry 
  • Student-only Q&A with industry analysts & experts
  • A chance to rub elbows with tomorrow's boss: informal internship and recruitment opportunities
  • Evening social activities to get to know your peers from other schools!

To apply, click here and complete the online application by September 15, or contact Johnell Johnson at for more information. Again, stipends for hotel and food are available on a first come, first served basis... so apply TODAY!

NEW Career Resources Hub!
#GammaIS Insuring Your Future

Interested in a career in insurance? Not sure how or where to start, or what the right fit for you might be?
Be sure to check out the new Career Resources Hub, a widely collaborative effort spearheaded by GIS in partnership with trade groups and professional associations to avail the industry's collective resources to YOU, the next generation of insurance professionals!
Through a combination of dedicated career path pages, career tools, roadmaps, surveys, and quizzes, the new Career Resources section will introduce you to many different insurance industry careers and provide you with resources to help you find your fit. Not only can you access valuable career planning and professional development resources, you can also learn about the organizations offering these resources.
Read the full press release here.
GIS Career Center: the Industry Awaits You!
Have you signed up for the GIS Career Center? There are currently over 20 postings from companies offering internships and entry-level jobs, including the AIG, Liberty Mutual, Starr Companies, Wells Fargo and more. These employers are also able to search through student profiles, so if your resume is not on there you are missing out! It's easy:
  1. Go to the Career Center website
  2. Upload your resume
  3. Check out the posted jobs and internships
This is an exclusive benefit for Gamma Iota Sigma members to be seen by companies and organizations who are actively recruiting and to apply for internships and jobs. Don't miss out!
43rd Annual International Conference
Mark Your Calendars!

Gamma Iota Sigma's 43rd Annual International Conference, co-hosted by Beta Zeta Chapter at the University of north Texas, will take place October 2-4, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. The agenda includes a two-day career fair, educational sessions and keynote addresses, in addition to valuable leadership seminars and plenty of networking opportunities. We have been working hard to make this the most robust event yet, and we have an impressive slate of sponsors committed - see below. Save the date!

Please note: attendance is at the sole discretion of your chapter's faculty advisor. Registration links for students and faculty are sent to schools directly and will be made available over the summer.

2014 Sponsors Committed to Date



Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers





Atlantic Specialty Lines, Inc.

Brown & Brown

The Hartford

Hull & Company

Liberty Mutual Group

Lockton Companies

Markel Corporation



A.M. Best Company

Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company

Assurex Global

Buurns & Wilcox

Casualty Actuarial Society

CNA Insurance

Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation

Munich Re

RIMS Student Advisory Council

RT Specialty

Spencer Educational Foundation

Swiss Re


Wells Fargo Insurance Services




American Association of Managing General Agents


The Insurance Institute of Canada

The Institutes

Lloyd's America

The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research

National Interstate Insurance Company

Professional Liability Underwriting Society

The Surety & Fidelity Association of America

The Surety Foundation

Towers Watson

Westfield Insurance


Zurich Insurance



All Risks, Ltd.

Arthur J. Gallagher

The Cincinnati Insurance Companies

Ezra Penland Actuarial Recruitment

General Re



Accident Fund Holdings, Inc.

Boyden World Corporation

EMC Insurance Companies

GAINSCO Auto Insurance


Gibson Insurance

Hoffman & Associates Insurance

Regional Excess Underwriters


Sponsor Listing as of July 18, 2014
Conquer the CAS Monthly Puzzler:
Paranormal Logic


Dr. Pons Vallee Martin, of The Institute for the New Age Enlightened Reform of the Scientific Method, has come to the following conclusions:


a) Everyone who saw Elvis last year has seen Bigfoot.

b) If someone cannot levitate, that person cannot produce cold fusion.

c) If someone has ESP, that person can produce cold fusion.

d) If someone saw Elvis last year, that person does not have ESP.

e) Everyone who can levitate and also has seen Bigfoot has either not been abducted by a UFO or cannot produce cold fusion.

f) Everyone who has not been abducted by a UFO has not seen Bigfoot.


Is it possible, according to Dr. Martin's conclusions, that there are people who have been abducted by a UFO and can levitate but have not seen Bigfoot and cannot produce cold fusion? Could anyone who has seen Bigfoot produce cold fusion?



Submit your solutions to


Courtesy of the Casualty Actuarial Society.
Summer Spotlight: Sarah Shelton '14
Alpha Lambda Chapter



Sarah Shelton

Missouri State University

Alpha Lambda Chapter

Majors: Finance, Risk Mgmt. & Insurance

Graduation: May 2014


You just graduated, what is next for you?

I have accepted a Risk Management Analyst position at Willis in Overland Park, KS to begin at the end of July. I am excited to begin my career with Willis, because the structure of the training program fit really well with my career goals; the Willis Cause and culture seems to fit well with my values; and the people I met along the interview process were all extremely welcoming. At Willis, I hope to learn about everything from current trends and the latest risk management tools to how to build relationships with corporate clients. Having completed two very different corporate risk management internships, I am excited to learn the other side of the business and gain a new perspective.


What are your summer plans besides work?

So far, this summer has been one big whirlwind. As a graduation gift, I went on a weeklong lighthouse trip to Cape Cod and Maine. Since then, I have been busy with family, weddings, and Royals games. After a two-month break from school and work, I have now moved into my own place and will be starting work in less than one week.


What do you hope to accomplish personally in the next year?

My goals for this year all involve trying to make the infamous transition from college life to the real world. This includes learning to make something other than Easy Mac for dinner, getting on a schedule that does not involve pulling all-nighters, and reading books that do not have McGraw Hill written on the front cover.


What was a pivotal moment in deciding to pursue a career in insurance?

I do not know if there was one pivotal moment that led me to a career in insurance; it was more of a culmination of many events. When the 2008 housing bubble killed my dream of being a real estate agent, my family doctor starting talking to me about actuarial science as a career. As I started looking into taking actuarial exams, I landed a Risk Management Internship at O'Reilly Automotive. This internship opened my eyes to the corporate side of risk management, and I realized that my place in the industry was not in actuarial science. Two weeks later, I switched my major to Risk Management and Insurance.


How has GIS helped prepare you for where you are now?

GIS has helped prepare me for a career in risk management and insurance in many ways. Since joining GIS my sophomore year, I have learned about the industry through educational sessions held at conferences, practiced my networking and interviewing skills at countless GIS events, and made connections that I will be able keep throughout my career.


What would you say to students considering a career in insurance?

To students interested in pursuing a career in insurance, I would say to try to get involved outside of the classroom in any way possible, as early as possible. Joining a professional organization, such as GIS, or getting internship experience will do two things. First, you will be able to practice skills you learn in the classroom and get hands on experience. Second, you will inadvertently start to network with people of the industry, and those connections will prove invaluable in the future.


Did you benefit from scholarships or other resources from any of Gamma Iota Sigma's partner organizations?

I am grateful to have received multiple scholarships and resources from GIS's partnerships. I have been a Spencer Scholar for the past two years, and am currently pursuing my ARM designation through the Institutes. I have also received multiple scholarships from the Ozarks Area chapter of RIMS, who has worked very hard to include the students in the organization. I have worked with them over the past two years to create and maintain their chapter website and have enjoyed countless dinners and networking events with their members.


What is your hometown?

Kansas City, MO


What is your favorite hobby?

In my spare time, I really enjoy attending sporting events with my friends and family. I love the competitive atmosphere surrounding sports, and the company is always great. 


A city where you would love to work...

Chicago or Kansas City (of course!)


A place you would most like to visit...



Summer Spotlight: Jean Celestin II '14
Alpha Kappa Chapter


Jean Celestin II

Illinois State University

Alpha Kappa Chapter

Major: Insurance

Graduation: May 2014


You just graduated, what is next for you?

Mid-June, I started as an Underwriting Trainee at Chubb in Chicago in their Department of Financial Institutions. The exciting part in this new chapter is using the knowledge I gained in college (and prior) to the real world and benefit of my company. My education continues every day, and I hope to grow into the best professional I can possibly be.


What are your summer plans besides work?

I generally don't make plans. I like to go with the flow and see what life throws my way. Some exciting things that have happened so far are the start of an insurance softball league and the signing of my first real apartment in downtown Chicago!


What do you hope to accomplish personally in the next year?

I am a basketball fanatic and have always been interested in being a referee. I am currently looking into obtaining my license to ref basketball games in Chicagoland!


What was a pivotal moment in deciding to pursue a career in insurance?

My decision was made when I met Jim Jones and Debbie Babcock from the Katie School of Insurance. Jim did a great job of explaining what a career in insurance looked like, as well as providing many workshops to develop the skill set future employers were looking for. Debbie was my go-to person for anything and everything. She is like a second mother to me, and I can't thank her enough for all the amazing opportunities she has presented to me, and to so many other Katie School students.


How has GIS helped prepare you for where you are now?

Gamma does a wonderful job educating and connecting its members. With respect to education, there are so many opportunities within the insurance industry that I would not be aware of without attending different GIS sponsored events. We didn't cover topics such as the excess and surplus lines in our insurance curriculum; however, Gamma sponsors the NAPSLO Symposium in Chicago to expose us to that side of the business. In terms of connecting members, you think of networking; it's a term that seems to be overused, but is so vital to the industry. Networking is the exact reason I was able to acquire internships and secure a job right after college. There are so many great people in the industry with great advice to offer. I had a binder full of business cards I acquired over the years of attending different on-campus events and GIS conferences. Even in my short time at Chubb, I found myself referring to that binder to contact old mentors or ask questions of experienced professionals.


What would you say to students considering a career as an underwriter?

The role of an underwriter seems to be evolving. From my time in school and short tenure in the real world, I can see how underwriting is moving away from being a full-time analyst, to a combination of analyst, marketer, and consultant. In my opinion, that is exciting because I enjoy the interaction with brokers and adding value to the transaction. There is no right or wrong path, but starting on the carrier side is a great way to begin your career.


Did you benefit from scholarships or other resources from any of Gamma Iota Sigma's partner organizations?

I was a recipient of scholarships from the Angus Robinson, Jr. Memorial Foundation, FAME, Spencer Educational Foundation, and various Katie School Awards and Programs. Each award or program I was associated with helped in my professional development. Financial awards gave me peace of mind and the opportunity to focus on my studies while being a full-time student. Programs run through the Katie School of Insurance and other opportunities at RIMS got me prepared for the insurance industry. The Katie School exposed me to different sectors of the industry while providing countless opportunities to learn and network. Other organizations such as RIMS and Spencer provided the Risk Management Challenge, which allowed students from Risk Management schools across the nation to showcase their knowledge, teamwork, and collaboration. During the process I grew my knowledge base, polished public presentation skills, and built the courage to speak about Insurance and Risk Management strategies in front of a room full of brilliant professionals.


What is your hometown?

Crystal Lake, IL


What is your favorite hobby?

Playing and watching collegiate or professional basketball. GO BULLS!


A city where you would love to work...

Southern California


A place you would most like to visit...

Sydney, Australia


Summer Spotlight: Ali Rosenberg '15
Beta Alpha Chapter


Ali Rosenberg

The University of Iowa

Beta Alpha Chapter

Major: Finance & Management,

Risk Mgmt. & Insurance Certificate

Graduation: May 2015


You have one more year before graduation; how are you spending the summer?

This summer I was selected for the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO) Internship Program, where I will be spending four weeks with a wholesaler brokerage firm and five weeks at a surplus lines insurance carrier. I am eager to participate in this rotational program exploring a variety of operations and different lines of coverage. After this summer, I hope to find where my talents will best fit for a career after graduation. 


What are your summer plans besides work?

I have been exploring new cities and meeting many people thanks to my NAPSLO Internship. I love being outdoors as much as possible and enjoy biking, running or attending cookouts with family and friends. This August I will also be participating in Leadership Iowa University, which is a weeklong program designed for aspiring leaders.


What do you hope to accomplish personally in the next year?

I have had a great three years at The University of Iowa and am looking forward to an amazing senior year. I know time will fly, so I want to make sure I enjoy the times spent with my friends and show my school pride. This academic year I will be the Executive Vice President for GIS and President of Women in Business. My goal within both of these organizations is to lead them on the right path to success that will continue after I graduate. I want to leave the University of Iowa with a lasting impact and unforgettable memories.


What was a pivotal moment in deciding to pursue a career in insurance?

After attending the 42nd Annual International Gamma Iota Sigma Conference in Charlotte, NC, I knew insurance would lead me to a successful and rewarding career. At the conference I was able to meet other Gamma students, attend educational sessions on topics not taught in the classroom, and interview with potential employers. The conference further displayed how devoted the industry is in educating and obtaining young talent. 


How has GIS helped prepare you for where you are now?

Gamma Iota Sigma increased my knowledge and exposure to all the opportunities within the risk management and insurance industry. Thanks to GIS, I have been able to define my passion and am on the successful track to finding a rewarding career.


What would you say to students considering a career in E&S?

A career in the excess and surplus lines industry will provide you with an exciting, rewarding and prosperous career that will push you to your fullest professional potential. There are numerous opportunities that will suit a variety of skill sets and personalities. E&S lines are fast-paced, innovative, and a competitive segment of the insurance industry that is eager to find talented students.


Did you benefit from scholarships or other resources from any of Gamma Iota Sigma's partner organizations?

I was awarded the Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program Scholarship, which afforded me the opportunity to attend the Risk Management Society (RIMS) Conference in Denver this past April. Being an Anita Benedetti Scholar was a true honor and a spectacular opportunity. I attended many insightful, educational sessions that covered topics outside my risk management and insurance coursework. I was also able to connect with many ambitious students and influential professionals.


I have been fortunate to receive multiple scholarships due to my academic achievements within my risk management and insurance studies. I was a Spencer Educational Foundation Scholar and have also been awarded scholarships through the Greater Quad Cities RIMS Chapter, Iowa Insurance & Financial Services Education Foundation, and the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa. This financial support has allowed me to continue to excel in my studies and reach my goals.


What is your hometown?

Des Moines, IA


What is the most meaningful way to spend your time?

Time spent with my family and close friends is most meaningful to me. Nothing is better than surrounding myself with people I love and support.


A city where you would love to work...

After spending the majority of my summer in Kansas City, MO, I know it would be a place I would love to work. I am also interested in exploring new cities.


A place you would most like to visit...

Lloyd's of London or the Greek Islands!


Summer Spotlight: Logan Mendenhall '14
Alpha Epsilon Chapter 

Logan Mendenhall

Indiana State University

Alpha Epsilon Chapter

Major: Insurance and Risk Management

Graduation: May 2014


You just graduated, what is next for you?

I will be working for All Risks, a wholesale excess and surplus lines brokerage, in their Phoenix, AZ office. I'm excited because this is the exact job I saw myself doing once I learned about all the sides of the insurance industry. As the middleman in the transaction, I hope to learn about the retail and the carrier side of the E&S market while developing my own skills as a broker.


What are your summer plans besides work?

I had four weeks from the time I graduated until I had to report to All Risks' home office in Baltimore for training, so I just spent as much time with my friends and family as I could since I will be moving so far away from the Midwest.


What do you hope to accomplish personally in the next year?

I picked up the game of golf around two years ago since it's a valuable skill to have in the insurance industry, so being in Phoenix with nice weather essentially all year, I would like to improve my golf game.


What was a pivotal moment in deciding to pursue a career in insurance?

For me personally, it was receiving the Gongaware Scholarship from Indiana State University, which is specifically for insurance and risk management, but my pitch to others when trying to convince them that insurance is a great career path is the quite simply variety within the industry. No matter what someone's personality is, there is a position within the industry for them. Analytical types might try underwriting or becoming an actuary; those who love people or sales can be on the retail side; and if someone enjoys both sides then they might find a career they enjoy as a broker.


How has GIS helped prepare you for where you are now?

Coming into college, my only real knowledge of the industry was essentially just that of local agents. GIS introduced me to a whole new world of insurance, and a sense of where everything fits and how it all works together. Gaining this understanding early on helped me explore the different areas of the industry in-depth and figure out what I wanted in a career, while developing countless relationships with insurance professionals and other GIS students.


What would you say to students considering a career in E&S?

Plain and simple: do it!  E&S gives you something new and different each day, so it keeps your job exciting throughout your career. Marcus Payne always says, "I never knew how bored I was until I got into excess and surplus lines insurance." Luckily for me, I won't have to experience the boredom!


Did you benefit from scholarships or other resources from any of Gamma Iota Sigma's partner organizations?

I was a Spencer Scholar and an Anita Benedetti Scholar. Beyond the obvious financial benefits, the Benedetti scholarship allowed me to attend the RIMS Conference this past year, which was an unbelievable experience.


What is your hometown?

Oblong, IL (pop. 1,466)


What is your favorite hobby?

I don't necessarily have one thing I do regularly, but I enjoy any outdoor activity.


A city where you would love to work...

The city I will actually be working in, Phoenix.  Beyond that, I would love to work in London.


A place you would most like to visit...

I was fortunate enough to be able to study abroad in college so I have seen a lot of Europe, but I would love to visit Cape Town, South Africa or Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Calling all GIS graduates!
Stay in touch - update your contact info!

Shield Only
Help us keep your contact information current! GIS boasts an alumni base of over 21,000 individuals from our 60 chapters and we need your help in updating our current records. Alumni and soon-to-be-Alumni, please use the link below to update your information, and pass it on to as many fellow graduates as you can.

Featured Jobs from the GIS Career Center

Hanover Excess & Surplus:
FREE Subscription to Best's Review!

Be sure you are taking advantage of the special offer from our partner company A.M. Best! Students and faculty can access a FREE subscription to Best's Review magazine - digital version. Link to the registration page here! Best's Review is the premier insurance industry monthly magazine, providing the latest global news and trends, plus industry analysis and featured articles.                                       View our profile on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook