The Katie School of Insurance and Risk Management attracts some of the best and brightest students from around the country. Throughout their terms at Illinois State University and within the Katie School of Insurance, these students are often recognized for their outstanding achievements. Many former students attribute the Katie School with a major role in their successes by providing students with opportunities to build their professional skills, leadership experience, and exposure within the industry.
Five Illinois State University College of Business undergraduates are currently participating in the first ever PriSim Agency Management Competition. Michael Cappel (junior in Risk Management and Insurance and Finance), Alec Diab (senior in Business Administration), Kyle Meihofer (senior in Business Administration), Nick Mullinax (junior in Risk Management and Insurance and Finance), and Jeff Nichols (senior in Marketing) comprised the ISU team competing against five other undergraduate teams from universities across the country. Their task involved running a mock brokerage. The students meet for weekly strategy sessions to assess the shared business environment and make decisions in a battle for marketshare against their opponents, providing for an immersive experience of running their own agency. The competition lasts throughout the month of February 2017.
The competition is an initiative of InVEST, a school-to-work insurance program that works with high school and college educators to create insurance curriculum for their students. InVEST is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arm of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc. and is dedicated to improving insurance literacy in students and attracting new talent to the industry.
Read more about the PriSim Agency Management Competition here.
Michael Paradiso, an Illinois State University actuarial science student, has been identified as one of the top actuarial science students in the world by the Actuarial Foundation.
Paradiso, member of the class of 2016 and current president of the Actuarial Club, has been awarded a 2015 Curtis E. Huntington Memorial Scholarship by the foundation. Scholarship recipients are graduating students in actuarial science at any university worldwide, recognized for being among the best students in the world. Approximately 10 or 12 students are recognized each year.
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Allison Slater is a senior insurance and finance major graduating in May 2016. Allison has been a member of Gamma Iota Sigma since her sophomore year. Due to her involvement in Gamma, she was elected to serve as the Vice President of Student Affairs during her senior year.
Allison has participated in many events offered through the Katie School and Gamma, including the NAPSLO Symposium, guest speakers, lunch-and-learns, conferences, company visits, and volunteer events. Throughout all of these activities, Allison has developed numerous professional skills and has been able to experience valuable networking opportunities. Being an active member of Gamma and the Katie School has benefited Allison tremendously. She was awarded the Spencer Education Award, Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW) Scholarship, Mid-IL Chapter of RIMS Scholarship, and the Insurance Accounting & Systems Association (IASA) Scholarship.
One of the most valuable opportunities that was introduced to Allison through the Katie School was her internship with Travelers Insurance Operations Leadership Development Program (IOLDP) in Hartford, CT. She focused within the Business Insurance Strategic Planning and Execution area, helping to improve a capacity forecasting model, recommend value-add opportunities within the team, and contribute to a current state analysis of the company's diversity strategy. This internship allowed Allison to further develop her technical, professional, and leadership skills within the insurance industry.
Outside of her involvement with Gamma, Allison is actively involved in Beta Gamma Sigma, an international business honors society, where she previously held the position of secretary. She also spends a great amount of time volunteering and fundraising for St. Jude, Easter Seals, Hope for Heroes, and the local community through a service and leadership sorority, Epsilon Sigma Alpha.
Allison would like to thank Debbie Babcock, Jim Jones, and the rest of the Katie School for everything they have done throughout the years. They have helped prepare upcoming insurance professionals by giving the Katie School students the necessary resources, guidance, and opportunities to be successful in their future careers.
Tanner Schultz is a senior insurance major graduating in May 2016. He currently holds the position of Treasurer for Gamma Iota Sigma for the 2015-2016 school year after previously serving as the Historian in his junior year.
Tanner recently completed a Katie School International Internship with the Lloyd's of London. Upon his return from across the pond, he participated in the 2015 NAPLSO Summer Internship Program with Great American Insurance Group in Cincinnati, Ohio and Burns & Wilcox in Chicago, Illinois.
Through the Katie School and Gamma Iota Sigma, Tanner has been given the opportunity to participate in numerous events. He attended the 2015 RIMS Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana as a representative for the Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program Scholarship. He also attended the 2014 Katie School Executive Forum and 2014 Katie School Hall of Fame Dinner in Chicago, Illinois.
Tanner has received scholarship awards from the Spencer Educational Foundation, Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, and Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Outside of the classroom, Tanner has done extensive volunteer work for the Children's Miracle Network and Midwest Food Bank. He also formerly served as an Executive Board Member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. During his senior year, Tanner plans to continue pursuing industry designations. He has completed the ARM 54, CPCU 551, and CPCU 552 exams.
Jake is a senior insurance major graduating May 2016. An active member of Gamma Iota Sigma, Jake joined the fraternity during the spring semester of his freshman year, advancing to the role of Director of Recruiting during as a junior and culminating in his current role as President. He is especially looking forward to this leadership role among his peers in Gamma Iota Sigma. Additionally, Jake is a 2015 Spencer Educational Foundation Scholar and was also awarded a Katie School scholarship.
Throughout his collegiate career, Jake has strived for real world experience to supplement his education. He has interned consecutive summers with AIG Chicago, working in commercial property underwriting. He has attended the NAPSLO Symposium in Chicago the past two years and the 2015 RIMS Conference in New Orleans. He has helped coordinate and attend many industry info sessions, job shadowing opportunities, and networking events with fellow Gamma Iota Sigma members.
Jake would like to extend his thanks and gratitude to Jim Jones, Debbie Babcock, Lesley Sauder, and Mike Firmand at the Katie School for all of their hard work. He also sincerely appreciates all of the great insurance companies and members of the Katie School Advisory Board for all of their support in helping provide great experiences for himself and his peers.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a senior Finance and Insurance double major graduating in May 2016. Ryan has been actively involved on campus in leadership roles since his freshman year and heavily involved with the Katie School of Insurance during his junior and senior years. Ryan is presently serving as the Director of Recruitment for Gamma Iota Sigma and has been an active member since August of 2014. Between his time in the Katie School and Gamma, Ryan developed many technical and communication skills to adequately prepare him for an insurance career.
During his sophomore year, Ryan earned a prestigious internship opportunity with GE Capital in Norwalk, Connecticut. He served as a tax intern and worked on streamlining the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) reporting for all of General Electric Capital Americas. After completing his junior year, Ryan had an amazing internship experience with Caterpillar Financial in Nashville, Tennessee.
Outside of the classroom, Ryan presently serves as the Alumni and Housing Director of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity and a mentee in the CPCU Mentoring Program. He has been involved with the following registered student organizations: College of Business Student Ambassador, University Program Board Director of Operations, Business Week Mentee, Mentor, and Transition Seminars Team Leader. Ryan is devoted to helping others by tutoring students for the Julia N. Visor Academic Center and taking an active stance in the community. He is proud to help raise money for St. Jude in their annual Washington-to-Peoria Run.
Ryan's experience with the Katie School has been nothing short of excellent. The faculty, staff, and fellow insurance students have only solidified his decision to pursue a career in brokerage. Ryan is pursuing his CPCU designation. He has completed the 551 and 552. He is currently studying for the 500 and 520 and hopes to graduate with half of the exams completed.
Ryan has been awarded several scholarships including the Spencer Educational Foundation - Liberty Mutual, 2015 ISU Finance Initiative Award, Connor & Gallagher, Mid-IL RIMS, St. Louis RIMS, Swiss Re, and Redbird Academic Scholarship.
Finally, Ryan would like to sincerely thank Jim Jones, Debbie Babcock, Lesley Sauder, and Mike Firmand of the Katie School for their constant guidance and support to all insurance students. Their efforts to make the Katie School of Insurance one of the best places in the country to study insurance has certainly made an impact.
Michelle Godbey is a senior insurance major graduating in May 2015. Michelle has been a member of Gamma Iota Sigma and a Katie School student since her freshman year. Through her involvement in Gamma, she was elected as the Vice President of Student Affairs for the 2014-2015 school year, and previously served as the Director of Community Service for the 2013-2014 school year.
Michelle has participated in many different conferences and activities offered through the Katie School and Gamma such as the NAPSLO Symposium in Chicago, the 2014 RIMS Conference in Denver, the 2014 Gamma Iota Sigma International Conference in Dallas, various lunch and learns, company info sessions, etiquette dinners, and volunteer events.
Being an active member of Gamma and the Katie School has benefited Michelle greatly. She was awarded the Outstanding Junior in Insurance Award, the Spencer Education Award, the Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW) Scholarship, and Mid-IL Chapter of RIMS Scholarship.
Michelle is pursuing her CPCU designation. She has completed CPCU 500, 551, and 552. She is currently studying for 520 and will be starting to study for 540 soon.
Outside of Gamma, Michelle was named a Liberty Mutual Leadership Scholar in 2013. She, along with many other students from across the country, visited Liberty Mutual's headquarters in Boston, MA and participated in different team building exercises, networked with industry professionals, and gained leadership skills. She has also had two great internship experiences. During the spring and summer of 2013, she interned with State Farm Insurance in their P&C Actuarial Competitive Research Unit. Currently, Michelle is an Underwriting Audit Intern at COUNTRY Financial. At COUNTRY, she has audited many different underwriting tasks and will be conducting a heatmap study of the overall P&C insurance industry.
Lastly, Michelle would like to thank Debbie Babcock, Jim Jones, and the rest of the Katie School for everything they have done for her over the years. They have helped prepare the next generation of insurance professionals by giving the Katie School students the necessary recourses, guidance, and opportunities to be successful in their future careers.
Ryan Curran is a senior insurance and finance major set to graduate in May 2015. Ryan has been actively involved on campus and with the Katie School of Insurance during his four years at Illinois State. Within Insurance, Ryan is currently acting as Director of Publicity for Gamma Iota Sigma Insurance Fraternity of which he has been a member since August of 2013. Through his time in Gamma, Ryan has developed many professional skills and had invaluable networking opportunities that he is thankful to have had while still in school.
One of the biggest opportunities Ryan has received through the Katie School is his International Internship in Bermuda during June and July of 2014. During that trip, he spent three weeks there visiting 21 companies while learning about various aspects of insurance including reinsurance, brokerage, underwriting, claims, finance, regulatory, captive, investment and law. Ryan believes this was his best opportunity to date due to the unique nature of the Bermuda market. Other activities include various company days on campus, attending on campus speeches, many community involvement activities such as working the blood drive and working with Habitat for Humanity, and much more. Beyond that he has also attended many conferences such as the Bermuda Captive Conference while in Bermuda, NAPSLO in Chicago, Gamma Nationals, and a Lloyd's Meet the Market event in Chicago.
After returning from Bermuda, Ryan was able to have a great internship as a Commercial Underwriting Intern with Liberty Mutual Insurance in Warrenville, IL. He was most thankful for their ability to expose interns to various aspects of insurance while also challenging interns with several high level projects. In the past, Ryan has also been a Personal Lines Underwriting Services Intern at COUNTRY Financial. Ryan credits this internship with really giving him a working knowledge of insurance as it was before he began his insurance coursework. Similarly, Ryan believes this internship laid the foundation for his future career in insurance. Other activities Ryan has participated in include being a Business Week Mentor, being the Redbird Challenge Camp Counselor, and being the Treasurer of Phi Sigma Pi National Honors Fraternity.
Ryan has also been fortunate enough to have been recognized during his time with the Katie School and ISU through honors such as being a Katie School Award Recipient, a Spencer Scholar, being on the Dean's List multiple times, and being granted membership into Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and the Honors Program at ISU.
Lastly, Ryan would like to thank Jim Jones, Debbie Babcock, Sue Stombaugh, and Lesley Sauder of the Katie School for helping make all of this possible. Additionally, he would like to thank all of the companies who have supported and kept relationships with the Katie School as he knows how important they are to helping students build a career in insurance.
Brianna Gatto is a senior insurance and finance major graduating in May 2014. She has been a member of Gamma Iota Sigma since her sophomore year. Due to her involvement with Gamma, she was elected to serve as secretary for the executive board her senior year.
Brianna has participated in several opportunities offered by the Katie School, including etiquette dinners, conferences, guest speakers and symposiums. One of the most valuable experiences the Katie School of Insurance has provided Brianna was her four-week international internship in Zurich, Switzerland. This internship gave her exposure to all the facets of insurance and the European insurance market as a whole.
Outside her involvement in Gamma Iota Sigma, Brianna is actively involved in Delta Sigma Pi, a professional co-ed business fraternity. She has previously held the positions of Senior Vice President and Vice President of Pledge Education for Delta Sigma Pi.
Brianna has had two great internship opportunities apart from her international internship. She previously interned at Esser Hayes Insurance group, an independent agency in Naperville, IL, after her sophomore year. As an intern there, Brianna shadowed commercial line producers and worked in the claims department.
Brianna was a NAPSLO intern in the excess and surplus industry after returning from her international internship in the summer of 2014. As a NAPSLO intern she worked at Golden Bear Insurance Group in Stockton, CA for five weeks to explore the underwriting side of the industry. She then spent four weeks interning at Bliss and Glennon in Redondo Beach, CA to learn more about the broker and managing general agent side of insurance.
Brianna would like to thank the Katie School of Insurance for all the opportunities they present to students and their dedication to every student's success. Through the Katie School and Gamma, the opportunities can be endless.
Thomas Fitzgerald is a Katie School senior double majoring in Insurance and Finance. This year Thomas has been elected to the Gamma Iota Sigma Executive Board to the position of Treasurer. He is looking forward to a successful year for the Alpha Kappa Chapter at Illinois State University.
Thomas became very involved with Gamma over his junior year. He has attended events such as the Katie School Golf Outing, NAPLSO Surplus Lines Symposium in Birmingham, Alabama and in Chicago, The Hall of Fame Dinner, and many other events. The most beneficial and rewarding experience that Thomas has had through the Katie School, however, has been his international internship in London, UK with Lloyd's of London.
When he returned from abroad, Thomas continued his summer with General Re Corp. as a Global Property Facultative Intern in their Chicago office. Throughout this experience, he gained a great deal of hands on experience and developed a true passion for the insurance industry. On top of the client interaction, professional development, and interactive webinars, he solidified that insurance was the direction he wanted to take his career.
Outside of Gamma Iota Sigma, Thomas is involved with The Vidette Publication Board, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, and Delta Sigma Pi. In the co-ed professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, he has held the positions of Chancellor and President.
Thomas was awarded the Spencer Education Award, the Andrew T. Nappi International Study Grant, and was named the Outstanding Junior in Finance in the spring of 2014. He is pursing the CPCU professional designation.
After graduation, Thomas will begin his career at Munich Re America as a part of their International Graduate Training Program in Princeton, New Jersey. He is very thankful and excited to start his career in the insurance industry.
Finally, Thomas would like to thank Jim Jones, Debbie Babcock, Sue Stombaugh, and Lesley Sauder of the Katie School for all the guidance and support they have offered over the years to him as well as all the students in the Katie School. Their personal attention coupled with the amazing support from various companies in the industry really makes the Katie School one of the best places in the country to study insurance.
Frank Busch is a junior double majoring in insurance and finance. He has been a member of Gamma Iota Sigma and a Katie School of Insurance student since the end of his freshmen year. With his passion for Gamma and yearning to get more involved, he ran and was selected as the Alpha Kappa Chapter Director of Recruiting for the 2013-2014 academic school year. Frank has been actively involved in Gamma since he joined the organization. He has participated in several events ranging from RIMS and company "Lunch and Learns" to company visits and tours to volunteer efforts at the local food bank or shelter building effort. In the past, he has been selected to attend Katie School sponsored events with a few being the Chicago NAPSLO Symposium and the REBEX Conference in Wheeling, IL. Outside of Gamma, Frank also continues to be an active member of the Toastmasters Club in order to continually refine his public speaking skills. Some awards that Frank has received are the Spencer Educational Scholarship as well as the Foundation for Agency Management Excellence Scholarship.
Frank has experienced two great internship opportunities since his involvement with the Katie School and Gamma Iota Sigma. During the summer of 2012, Frank was an intern at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network out of Milwaukee, WI. This was his first exposure to the insurance industry and a key factor in his decision to major in insurance and finance. His roles included front line selling of life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care protection, and retirement financial products to actual consumers. During the summer of 2013, he served as a sales intern at Arthur J Gallagher in their broker services division in Itasca, IL. In his time at AJG, Frank worked closely with producers from the public, commercial, and captive AJG divisions in order to gain an overall perspective of the possible broker sales opportunities. Through job shadowing and mock sales presentations, Frank gained hands-on experience of the sales and marketing processes within the insurance industry. He also developed his public speaking and presentation skills during Arthur J Gallagher's weekly "Monday Morning Meetings" during the 9 week intern program.
Outside of his participation in Gamma, Frank was named a Liberty Mutual National Leadership Scholar in 2012. Frank, along with 70 other students from across the nation visited Liberty Mutual's headquarters in Boston, MA. While attending the forum, he participated in several team building exercises, learned about the culture of the company, and networked with several industry professionals as well as other aspiring insurance students. Frank also had the opportunity to work with Liberty Mutual in their Community Project. 10 students including Frank traveled to Los Angeles National Forrest and helped with sustainability and environmental work in January of 2013.
Frank would finally like to thank Debbie Babcock, Jim Jones, Sue Stombaugh, and Lesley Sauder for everything they have done for him thus far. They are wonderful advisors, directors, and Katie School assistants that act as continual reassurances that the Insurance industry is the right Career path for Frank. The Katie School is one of the finest in the nation because of their work and Frank is lucky to have such a resource to use.