Gamma Iota Sigma Student Newsletter                           
August 2016
In This Issue
GIS 45th Annual International Conference
Dive In!
Diversion and Inclusion Survey
Surplus Lines Symposium
Alumni Chapters
CAS Student Portal
Scholarship Opportunities
Industry Internships
AAMGA University West 2016
Chapter Spotlight
Sustaining Partner Spotlight
Student Spotlight
Alumni Spotlight
GIS Resources
GIS Social Media
GIS Career Center
Quick Links

Mark Your Calendar!
September 29 - October 1, 2016

View all  scholarship deadlines  and events.
Executive Committee
  Meg Allwein



Glenn Dorr

Executive Vice President


Jason Warden

Vice President


Jeff Henry

Vice President


John Hammond

(Immediate Past President)


Sabrina Hanitz



Wes Griffiths



Jake Timmins

Alumni Representative


Jacob Galecki

Industry Representative


Dr. RB Drennan

Faculty Representative


Dr. Karen Epermanis

Faculty Representative


Alex Diverde

Student Representative


Sarah Rumon

Student Representative


Noelle Codispoti 

Executive Director


GIS 45th Annual International Conference:  
September 29 through October 1, 2016

Block your calendar from September 29 through October 1! We are just under two months to the 45th Annual International Conference.  Join your GIS peers, alumni, and industry connections in Columbus, Ohio at the Columbus Convention Center. Have fun and find your future employer!

The agenda includes a  career fair where you will meet representatives from organizations across the industry. First round interviews will take place. There will be educational sessions, an awards dinner, keynote addresses, in addition to leadership seminars and ample networking opportunities.  

The Conference is your opportunity to access a broad array of companies and sectors, industry organizations and career paths. 

Take advantage of an incredible opportunity to find your career and knowledge of the industry!
"Dive In" at the GIS Annual International Conference:  
The Festival for Diversity & Inclusion in Insurance

Earlier this year, GIS students created a committee to give themselves a voice on diversity and inclusion. The industry is listening and working on creative ways to show you that these topics are a priority.

The GIS Annual Conference was added as a global Dive In Festival city!  The content is being prepared for the conference this is an opportunity to be involved in something extremely important to the insurance industry. 

For more information about the festival, and to appreciate our excitement about its inclusion in the conference, please visit:

Calling All Millennials!
Participate in an important survey and have a chance to win $500!

This year, millennials surpassed Gen Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, but not enough of these highly educated and tech-savvy individuals are seeking careers in risk management or commercial insurance. To discover how the industry needs to adapt to become more attractive to millennials, the Diversity & Inclusion Institute is fielding a survey of those already working in the industry or who are pursuing a field of study that would prepare them for such careers. The survey findings will be presented in a special report published in the Sept. 26 issue of Business Insurance , as well as during a session at the D&I Institute's "Absolute Inclusion" conference on Sept. 28-29 in Chicago. As an incentive to participate, everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $500 American Express gift card. If you are a member of the millennial generation, born between 1982 and 2000, please click here to complete the survey .

Thank you for your time, and for making diversity and inclusion a priority! The industry needs you!
Register for Surplus Lines Symposium and Career Fair!
A surplus lines insurance symposium, reception, and career fair to inform students of the surplus lines industry and the career opportunities it offers.

Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation
Surplus Lines Symposium
hosted by Troy University

WHAT: A surplus lines insurance symposium, reception, and career fair to inform students of the surplus lines industry and the career opportunities it offers.

WHEN: October 27 at 2 p.m. through October 28 at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: DoubleTree Atlanta Buckhead
Atlanta, GA

HOW TO REGISTER: Register online by October 7 using the links below:
Students register here
Educators register here

Contact Justin Mohn with any questions or issues.

COST TO ATTEND: Registration is $25 for students and includes career fair, t-shirt, inclusion in the symposium resume booklet, Thursday night dinner, Thursday night hotel room, Friday breakfast and lunch. There is no charge for faculty registration.

Please Note: student rooms will include a roommate. Faculty points of contact at the school will be asked to provide guidance on room assignments between October 7 and October 14. On October 14, NAPSLO will assign single or unassigned individuals a roommate.

Students or faculty wishing to reserve a room for Friday should contact the hotel directly to do so by clicking here. Friday night hotel room costs are not included.

NOTE: A resume book of all students attending the symposium will be compiled and an electronic copy will be emailed to employers participating in the Career Fair two weeks prior to the symposium. Only resumes conforming to the specified format will be included; please contact Meredith Durden, by October 13, 2016 to receive the format and submit a resume or with any questions.

For more information regarding the schedule, students and schools attending, or surplus lines companies attending the career fair, please see our informational flyer or visit the symposium webpage.

Alumni Chapters Continue to Expand: 
Join or start a chapter in your area today!

Please consider joining one of our alumni chapters if you are looking to continue your involvement with our organization. Our alumni chapters are growing in current cities and expanding into new cities. We are looking for alumni who would like to be involved in starting new chapters in new locations!  
For more information on the GIS Alumni Council, please contact one of the regional chapter leaders below or Alumni Council President, Jake Timmins at or Vice President, Sabrina Hanitz at for information on starting a chapter in your area!

Chapter Location
Chapter Leader
Ben Robbins
Jon Perry
Kenneth Rawls
Ali Rosenberg
Des Moines
Mike Jennings
Des Moines
Elizabeth Cokel
Ashton Baca
Jonathan Thompson
Sam Weiss
Kansas City
Jeff Sandy
Los Angeles
Dymphna Menedez
Page Hoggle
New York City
Simone Blond
New York City
Brittany Sakson
Chelsea Thorpe
Juliette Bachalany
Geoffrey Bernardo
Joshua Rubin
South Bend
Andrew Graman
St. Paul
Anna Rockers

This photo was taken at a GIS NYC Chapter Happy Hour on Tuesday, July 26th. A great time was had by all. Get excited to become an involved GIS alumni! 
CAS Student Portal:  Connect with a University Liaison!

The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) is the only actuarial organization in the world exclusively focused on property and casualty risks, is the unparalleled gold standard of expertise, credibility and professional integrity for the casualty actuarial profession, known internationally as the field of general insurance.

Are you interested in having a CAS University Liaison visit your school? Submit a request on the CAS Student Central website and they will be in touch -  Request for University Liaison.

Scholarships Available:
Do You Need Money to Pay for School? Apply today!

There are many scholarship opportunities available for stu dents studying risk management and insurance. See below for application and deadline information for upcoming opportunities.

DW Simpson Actuarial Science Scholarship Program
Deadline for Fall: October 31.  
For more information:

The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation Scholarship
Deadline for Fall: November 1
Download an application at:

Westfield Insurance and Westfield Agents Association Scholarship Program
Deadline: November 1

For additional scholarship opportunities visit:
GIS Features Industry Internships:  
Don't miss out on these great opportunities, apply today!
For additional internship opportunities, visit the Career Center described below at

AAMGA University West 2016:  
Your Have the Opportunity to Attend!

GIS members invited to attend AAMGA University West 2016!

Don't miss the opportunity to learn from insurance industry experts and build relationships with more than 300 professionals representing the wholesale insurance marketplace at this two-day educational workshop in Scottsdale, AZ.  Gamma Iota Sigma student members receive a special flat registration rate of $25, which includes registration, classroom materials, and breakfast and lunch August 18-19. 

Please contact  Alyssa Bouchard, CPCU, ASLI ( at AAMGA Headquarters for more information!

Chapter Spotlight: 
Beta Iota - Troy University Goes to London!

This year, 16 students from the Troy University RMI Program participated in a trip to London, and a side trip to Ireland where they visited six organizations, one of which was Lloyd's of London, with the photos from the visit shared here.   Their advisor Ed Duett and other students provided us with some quotes after this amazing experience.
Here is what Ed Duett shared: " Any trip to London is great!  The students gain a bit of international experience and are blown away by the scale and scope of the insurance market in London.  The professionals with the different insurance organizations are always extremely helpful and I continue to be amazed with their knowledge of risk and business in the US. The tour of Lloyds is great from both a business and historical perspective. On the trip in May of this year, we visited with Markel, Chubb, Guy Carpenter, Besso and Beazley, along with a tour of Lloyds."

H annah Vander Hey, a member of GIS stated,  "As a student who has never been to Europe before, this was definitely the only way I would want to have my first European experience. It was a chance for us to learn so much more about the insurance marketplace not only in the United States but internationally as well. We were able to see first hand how business is conducted in Lloyd's and how important relationships are in any type of business setting, especially the broker-underwriter relationship. This trip to London really made me realize how lucky and excited I was to be pursing a degree in insurance. I mean how could you not love the insurance world when you get to experience it in London?"

Meredith Payton Hurden, also a GIS student who participated on the trip said, " The trip to London was incredible. I had the opportunity to witness the European market at work, gain knowledge that I would not have been able to learn within a classroom, and meet many professionals in the industry. Overall, the trip was extremely rewarding and gave me an even greater appreciation of all our program has to offer."
Troy Hidle, Recruitment Chair for Beta Iota said "My first time studying abroad is an experience I'll never forget. Having the opportunity to see the heart of international insurance really broadened my viewpoint and made me realize how many moving parts make up the market. My favorite takeaway from the trip was experiencing Lloyds Market for the first time. From hearing the story of the birth of insurance to experiencing what life is like "inside the box", our trip to Lloyd's made our Study Abroad trip one to remember."

Thank you for sharing this experience with our members, and we are proud to have such a phenomenal group of students representing us abroad!

GIS Sustaining Partners
Thank you to our committed sponsors!

In 2015, GIS implemented a fundraising initiative designed to allow the industry to have a sustaining impact on the development of the next generation of insurance professionals; the Sustaining Partners Program. Because of the support of our Sustaining Partners, GIS has been able to increase the number of strategic initiatives designed to promote the educational and professional development of our students!   This month features The Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation.

The Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation, formed in 1991, is dedicated to encouraging the educational development of all those interested in the excess and surplus lines business, to creating an understanding, and overcoming the misperceptions of the excess and surplus lines market.

In addition to its work to support education within the industry, the Foundation supports 14 scholarships each year, with an application deadline of April 1, 2017. The scholarship application is available online.

The Foundation also sponsors educational symposiums in the spring and fall which introduce students to the industry. The 2016 Troy Symposium October 27 - 28, 2016 in Atlanta, GA and the 2017 Illinois State Symposium will be held March 31 - April 1 in Chicago, IL. You can find more information about those symposiums at the Foundation website.

The Foundation's work is also supported by the National Association of Professional & Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO), a professional trade association representing the surplus lines industry. NAPSLO members are insurance brokers, agents and underwriters who are committed to the wholesale distribution system and the surplus lines industry.

NAPSLO's membership consists of wholesale brokers, companies and associate members operating in over 1,500 offices representing tens of thousands of individual brokers, insurance company professionals, underwriters and other insurance professionals worldwide conducting business in the U.S. surplus lines market. In addition to its work to provide networking, educational, and advocacy opportunities for its member, NAPSLO is also committed to helping students explore the many opportunities in surplus lines through campus presentations and internship opportunities in the fall. Visit to learn more.

The NAPSLO University Bulletin:  
For Educators and Students

Access the link below for great information from NAPSLO regarding internships, seminars, campus visits, online programs and scholarships. Everything NAPSLO that applies to you and your school in one easy click! Thanks to NAPSLO for making this information available to GIS.

Student Spotlight: 
"W ith the aid of my GIS brothers, and GIS's faculty support, I am now able to effectively navigate my own career outlook and I am well positioned to be successful."
Name:  Jonathan Williams
School:  Howard University 
Chapter:  Tau Chapter 
Officer Title:  Director of Alumni Relations 
Major:  Finance Concentration in Actuarial Science 
Graduation: May 2017 
What do you hope to do with your degree in Risk Management, Insurance, or Actuarial Science?
In today's business and economic environments it has become critical to develop skills which allow you to efficiently manage risk . With my degree in Actuarial Science I hope to apply the concepts of modeling , forecasting , and problem solving to be effective in the world of finance.
I hope to combine the management of pure and speculative risks in a form of either enterprise risk management, or actuarial support for the investment arm of an insurance practice.
Why did you choose to major in Risk Management, Insurance, or Actuarial Science?

I chose to major in Actuarial Science simply because I love mathematics and problem solving. More so, the skill sets of most Actuaries emphasize analytics thought processes, risk management skills, and modeling skills. These are the things which I have always wanted to learn more about. Hence, I have dedicated my undergraduate life to learning as much as possible about all analytical components of financial services and markets.

Why did you join Gamma Iota Sigma?

When I joined Gamma Iota Sigma my freshman year, I knew I wanted to be an Actuary, but I didn't have any idea how I was going to actually become one. However, I quickly realized that being affiliated with an organization that offers so much insight on Actuarial Science, and risk management could be extremely beneficial.  As a result, with the aid of my GIS brothers, and GIS's faculty support, I am now able to effectively navigate my own career outlook and I am well positioned to be successful.
How has your participation in Gamma Iota Sigma prepared you for your career?

My participation in Gamma Iota Sigma has given me numerous  opportunities to meet and build relationships with countless people in the insurance industry. Through various GIS sponsored events , I have met several Actuaries and other successful professionals who have been able to offer great advice as to how I should best progress and navigate in my future  endeavors. 

What would you say to a student interested in joining Gamma Iota Sigma?
I would advise any student interested in joining Gamma Iota Sigma to definitely give it a shot. While insurance may not always be the most attractive field, the wide variety of insurance or risk management roles, the need for young talent, and the importance of risk management in today's economy, all make joining GIS a great decision. 

Alumni Spotlight:
The exposure I got to industry professionals was irreplaceable.  
I graduated completely ready to enter the industry.

Name: Chelsea Thorpe, Senior Underwriter - WorldRisk, AIG, Philadelphia, PA
Alma Mater: Temple University, December, 2009
Chapter: Sigma Chapter
Major: Actuarial Science
Grand Chapter Involvement:  Alumni Council Co-Lead, Philadelphia Chapter

Why did you join GIS, and what benefits did you experience through your participation in the organization?

I wanted to get more involved in the insurance industry.  Actuaries are sometimes sheltered from the business world, and I wanted to be sure I was taking full advantage of everything offered to me at Temple

What advice would you give to students considering joining GIS

Do it!  There is no way I would be where I am in my career today if it weren't for GIS.  I knew more CEOs by 19 then most 50 year olds.  I was running 1/3 of the country for Aon Affinity Healthcare by 25.  The opportunities are endless.  

What advice would you give to students wishing to pursue a career in the insurance industry? 

There is more to insurance then people's first impression : Geico and Life Insurance.  There are so many avenues you can travel down.  I think I have one of the coolest insurance jobs.  I place international insurance all over the world; everything from Kidnap & Ransom in Russia, Missionaries in Haiti, Manufacturing in China, and Military Contractors in Afghanistan.

How has your career been impacted by your college and alumni involvement in GIS? 

The exposure I got to industry professionals was irreplaceable.  I graduated completely ready to enter the industry.  I knew the lingo, the lines of business, how to dress, how to network, etc.  I actually got a head start on the rest of my training class because of my involvement with GIS.  Before I graduated, I held 3 insurance internships (1 in actuarial P&C, 1 in actuarial pension consulting, and 1 in wholesale brokerage).  When I started full time in training at ACE, a month in one of the underwriters got called away on military duty.  They were scrambling to fill the hole and said "Chelsea, you have experience, guess're an underwriter now!" and away I went!    

Is there any advice you wished you had before graduating college with regards to the insurance industry, GIS, or your career path? 

Keep in touch!  Don't just collect business cards, put them to good use.  Email or call out of the blue, not just when you need something.  And don't burn any bridges....the insurance industry is VERY small!

Other advice/comments:

You will meet lifelong friends within your own chapter and in outside chapters.  The people you graduate with will be running the insurance industry in a few short years.  The friendships you make will serve you personally and professionally for a lifetime. 
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 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 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.
Your connection to the network is imperative in the future of your career. Connect with the industry by utilizing our Find A Chapter map, where you can find local leaders for the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS),  Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society (CPCU), Insurance Accounting and Systems Association (IASA),  International Association of Insurance Professionals (IAIP), Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS), and Risk Insurance Management Society (RIMS). You can access the map through the following link -
GIS on Social Media:
Please be sure to like, follow, and join! #GammaIS

Did you know that Gamma Iota Sigma is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?
Like our Facebook Page and join in the conversation with other students and alumni just like you as well as employers from all over the world!
Write on our wall and tell us how GIS has been beneficial in your path to becoming a professional or what you are looking forward to in the upcoming academic year. Did you have an internship this semester? Give your employer a shout out on our Page and tell us how your internship went!
Follow us on social media to get updates on upcoming events and information on industry scholarships!
We hope to see you on social media!

Gamma Iota Sigma Grand Chapter on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

GIS Career Center: 
The Industry Wants You!
Check out the GIS Career Center, the only centralized location for you to search through and apply for internship and entry-level opportunities across the industry.  Employers can also search through student profiles, so be sure to get  your resume on there!  It's 

  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!

Noelle Codispoti                                            
Executive Director                                            

Grace Grant
Director of Chapter Services

Alyson Koehler
Director of Marketing & Communications

  View our profile on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter  Like us on Facebook