Gamma Iota Sigma Newsletter                           
August 2014 
In This Issue
NEW! GIS Resources Hub
GIS Career Center
ACORD Student Scholarship 2014
43rd Annual Conference
2014 Conference Sponsors to Date
Spotlight: Rogelio Hernandez
Spotlight: Brittany Sakson
Calling All Graduates and GIS Alumni
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,
We have just concluded a wildly successful Presidents' Leadership Conference, which brought together 70 students from current, prospective, and soon-to-reactivate chapters, 7 GIS alumni, and GIS staff for 3 packed days of team-building and preparing for an exciting academic year ahead. Thank you to the Westfield Agents Association for their support of this initiative! The Grand Chapter has worked to provide you all with valuable new tools and resources, which will be rolled out by your chapter presidents and available online.

We are now full speed ahead for Dallas and the Annual International Conference! Read on for conference updates, student spotlights, and other resources and opportunities. As always, please keep your chapter news and updates coming so we can share them with the membership at large!

Fraternally yours,

Noelle Codispoti, ARM
Executive Director, Gamma Iota Sigma
NEW GIS Resources!
#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 Wants You!
Have you signed up for the GIS Career Center? It is the only centralized location for you to search through and apply for internship and entry-level opportunities across the industry. We have actively been reaching out to each of our sponsoring companies and partner organizations to bolster the number of postings. Employers can also search through student profiles, so be sure to get your resume on there! 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!
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!

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

Society of Actuaries

Spencer Educational Foundation

Swiss Re


Wells Fargo Insurance Services



ACE Group


American Association of Managing General Agents


CPCU Society

The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation

The Insurance Institute of Canada

The Institutes

International Association of Insurance Professionals

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

Auto-Owners Insurance Company

The Cincinnati Insurance Companies

Ezra Penland Actuarial Recruitment

Nautilus Insurance

United States Liability Insurance Group (USLI)



Accident Fund Holdings, Inc.

ACTEX Publications

AmWINS Group

Argo Group

Boyden World Corporation

EMC Insurance Companies

GAINSCO Auto Insurance


General Re

Gibson Insurance

Hoffman & Associates Insurance


Regional Excess Underwriters

State Auto Insurance Companies


Sponsor Listing as of August 28, 2014
Summer Spotlight: Rogelio Hernandez '15
St. Mary's University, Applicant Chapter

Rogelio Hernandez

St. Mary's University

Major: Financial Services and

Risk Management

Graduation: May 2015


You are fresh out of this year's Leadership Conference, which serves as a kickoff to a new academic year. What is your greatest takeaway?

I learned that every member in this organization is willing to help and provide the necessary support to help each chapter succeed. It is a fraternity that will be of great value for the students at St. Mary's.


What do you hope your soon-to-be chapter will accomplish this year?

I am confident that with our advisor, Dr. David Sommer, and student leadership we will be able to successfully establish a GIS chapter. Students who might not have originally considered a career in risk management or insurance will be able to see the vast opportunities available.


What was your highlight of the summer?

Through my on-going internship with Marsh, I was fortunate to visit the headquarters in New York and office in Philadelphia. The visit included individual meetings with several colleagues from numerous areas within the company. I truly had an amazing time getting to know everyone and learning about the different types of risk solutions.


What is something personal that you hope to accomplish this academic year?

I am planning on taking a course next semester on business environment and public policy in the United Arab Emirates, which includes a trip to Dubai. Before the trip I would like to learn a basic level of Arabic.


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

The thought occurred through discussions with Dr. Sommer, but my internship with Marsh affirmed my appreciation and passion for this industry.


What would you say to students considering joining GIS?

I would tell students about the many benefits of GIS, including opportunities for internships, scholarships, and conferences. 


Have you benefitted from scholarships or other resources from any GIS partner organizations?

I have received scholarships and awards from Spencer Education Foundation, Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program, South Texas RIMS Chapter, Dallas/Fort Worth RIMS Chapter, Insurance Council of Texas, and Houston Marine Insurance.


What is your hometown?

I was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. This city is filled with friendly people and great food.


A city where you would love to work...

Last year I studied a semester in Madrid and fell in love with the city. I could see my workdays ending with a nice scenic run through Parque del Retiro.


A place you would most like to visit...

It would be a great experience to visit Mexico City and embrace its history and culture.


Little-known fact about you...

I know the full lyrics to every song on The Killer's Hot Fuss album.


Summer Spotlight: Brittany Sakson '15
Alpha Iota Chapter

Brittany Sakson

St. John's University

Alpha Iota Chapter

Executive Vice President

Major: Finance & Management,

Risk Mgmt. & Insurance Certificate

Graduation: May 2015


What is your greatest takeaway from the Leadership Conference?

My greatest take away was definitely the network I created within those three short days. I listened to so many discussions and heard so many point of views that I now see GIS in a whole new light and not only having tunnel vision on my own chapter. There were so many great events and ideas shared that I definitely would want Alpha Iota to follow after. It is amazing that there are so many people who are willing to help each other to succeed, and I believe I now have an endless network.


What do you hope your chapter will accomplish this year?

After coming back to St. John's University from the Leadership Conference, I hope that we will take our chapter to new heights and limits. Being selected as a Superior Chapter for the first time builds much hype and excitement with many returning executive board members. I hope that we now have more confidence that we can accomplish many feats no matter how daunting, even capturing the Bower's Award at the National Conference in Dallas. Our chapter continues to grow and I hope some new members can really grow much interest in GIS and take this organization to new level of greatness.


What was your highlight of the summer?

The highlight of my summer was definitely traveling to Europe with a select group from St. John's School of Risk Management as a part of a Global Destination Leadership Class. We visited Germany, Switzerland, and ended on our Rome Campus. During our trip we visited Munich Re, Zurich Insurance, and Partner Re, where we saw and learned about their companies along with hearing how to become leaders in the insurance industry. This experience gave me the desire to finish my last year of college strong and to then strive to one day work abroad.  


What is something personal that you hope to accomplish this academic year?

I truly hope to enjoy my senior year. As most people can relate, I spent most of my college career trying to do everything and anything. This year I hope to have fun while supporting St. John's Basketball team at Madison Square Garden, attend several Broadway Shows, and experience as many new things as possible, especially in New York City.


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

In high school, I chose a career in Actuarial Science out of a love for math; I had no interest in dealing with insurance. However, last summer, I interned in Downtown Manhattan in Zurich's Global Corporate Department, and I realized that this is the industry I belong in. Until you see something in person and deal with it on a daily basis, you have no idea how you will feel about it. I never wanted that summer or for that matter, my career in insurance to end.


What would you say to students considering joining GIS?

My 30 second elevator pitch to someone who is considering GIS is where else can you make friends that could potentially be your classmates, best friends, and professional network for life! In addition to that, these relationships do not stop at your own school. I love that I can go to a job interview and GIS is something everyone knows about. GIS and the skill sets learned in it will be something I carry with me forever.


Have you benefitted from scholarships or other resources from any GIS partner organizations?

I am happy to say that I benefit from the Spencer Educational Foundation Scholarship and also the GEICO, Angus Robinson, and NJ CPCU Society Scholarship. I attended RIMS in Denver, Colorado, which was absolutely amazing.


What is your hometown?

Olyphant, PA (Near Scranton)


A city where you would love to work...

New York City :)


A place you would most like to visit...

After visiting parts of Europe, I would love to visit Lloyd's of London to build on my insurance visits and Paris for enjoyment.


Little-known fact about you...

I am only 5'2", but in high school, I lived for playing basketball and shooting 3 pointers. My school even made it to the Final 4 in the state of Pennsylvania my senior year!


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.

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