GIS @ ASU News Archive 2018-2019

July 9, 2019
By Michelle Torbit

In celebration of Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) Alumni Week, the Scottsdale GIS Alumni Chapter held a “Bring Your Own Intern” happy hour on the evening of June 28 at Wasted Grain in Scottsdale. KW Specialty Insurance Company, Mercer, and IAT Insurance Group sponsored the event allowing Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU) students and prominent industry professionals to mingle and strengthen professional relationships.

The night was a huge success filled with chatter, laughs, and excitement. Recent Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) designee, Lydia Tolman of BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona, shared her career insight and exam taking experiences with committee member Michelle Torbit. This type of advice can be crucial to students currently taking their exams who may feel overwhelmed or discouraged. Support of any kind is invaluable to a growing GIS @ ASU member. Terry Fuller of Mercer, and GIS @ ASU senior advisor Emma Terry, talked of summer plans and the importance of interoffice team building activities, potentially laying the groundwork for a chapter softball league. Any takers?

Networking events are pivotal for budding and tenured professionals alike. GIS @ ASU is proud to be a part of the growing insurance community and is indefinitely grateful for the wealth of mentors willing to share their industry expertise. GIS @ ASU extends a huge thank you to Gary Romay, Stacey Betz, Kelsi Knoles, and Caleb Hardee for organizing the event. We look forward to future happy hours and events bringing our chapters together.

July 5, 2019
By Sean Kratsch and Kinsey Turk

Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) encourages its members to learn about and experience both sides of the insurance industry. For this reason, members of GIS @ ASU were excited to attend the Casualty Actuaries of Desert States (CADS) spring meeting on June 27 at Nationwide’s Scottsdale campus. Former club officers Hailey Walters and Emma Terry, and current committee members Fernando Correa Chavez and Sean Kratsch represented GIS @ ASU, along with other club members. With extra seating needed to accommodate a large turnout, the CADS event provided insight into many different facets of the property and casualty (P&C) field of insurance.

The session began with a networking lunch that offered students and CADS members a diverse mix of local, as well as out of state, perspectives on not only insurance and work but also life stories and advice. The first presentation by Kay Wakeman, research analyst at the Highway Loss Data Institute (HIDL), discussed a recent study of the effect of collision avoidance technology on insurance losses. The conference explored whether recent car safety technology had a positive effect on accident rates.

Another presentation discussed actuarial professionalism and its impact on the workplace. This served as a helpful update for the already credentialed actuaries, and a glimpse into the future for those still working on building their careers. The final presentation focused on the growing realm of Loan Default insurance. This insight into a unique new field helped students and professionals expand their perceptions about the diversity of the insurance world.

The spring meeting brought students and CADS members together to create lasting connections as they learned about the state of the insurance industry. Overall, the day was incredibly informative and provided students with a better understanding of the P&C field.

July 1, 2019
by Fernando Correa Chavez

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) annual health meeting, hosted in Phoenix, spanned several days and was attended by actuaries from across the country. One of the many opportunities offered was Candidate Connect, designed to assist in the professional development of pre-ASA candidates. On June 24, Dylan Ketcham, President of Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU), and two committee members, Sean Kratsch and Fernando Correa Chavez, had the opportunity to attend Candidate Connect. The conference provided deep insight into the health profession of actuarial science and was an excellent opportunity for GIS @ ASU to network with students and professionals from across the country.

James M. Glickman, SOA president, described the SOA’s current strategic plan and current activities. He was followed by a presentation from a frequent keynote speaker, health consultant, and physician, Dr. Joel Selanikio, who presentated on upcoming potential impacts of “big data”, artificial intelligence, and innovation on the healthcare industry. His presentation helped listeners to imagine the future of healthcare and the impact it will have on insurance.

The day included many informational sessions, covering a variety of topics, ranging from Medicare to impacts of improving the medical loss ratio. As part of Candidate Connect, the three GIS members attended an event evaluating the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nearly a decade after it was signed into law. The event described how the ACA has changed due to different congressional legislation in recent years and how upcoming legislation can change the healthcare industry. Later in the day, SOA hosted a networking luncheon with a trivia session covering different SOA topics. This allowed GIS @ ASU to connect with other SOA actuaries while having a fun experience.

The event also included a speed networking session paneled by a group of health actuaries. GIS members learned about current industry trends in the health market and it provided insight on how to achieve a successful actuarial career. Students also got to meet established professionals, as well as students from other universities. The day ended with a networking reception hosted by the SOA.

The 2019 SOA Health Meeting provided a wealth of information to our members. The GIS attendees were able to increase their knowledge of the health insurance industry not only through the different sessions, but also through the expertise of the many health actuaries from across the country.

May 31, 2019
By Kinsey Turk

Throughout the year, the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) hosts multiple conferences across the country in order to further develop the actuarial profession. These conferences often include a day of student sessions run by CAS Student Central and the university engagement team. On May 21, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU’s (GIS @ ASU) former president and treasurer, Hailey Walters and Emma Terry, as well as current vice president and CAS student ambassador, Kinsey Turk, had the opportunity to attend the student program at the CAS Spring Meeting in New Orleans. Along with partaking in the different events organized throughout the day, the three GIS @ ASU students presented “Be CAReful: An Auto Insurance Simulation.” The conference was incredibly informative and was an excellent opportunity for GIS @ ASU to connect with other schools and business professionals from all over the country.

The university engagement team was faced with a unique challenge to create sessions that would cater to the attending students who all had quite diverse backgrounds; while some had already passed three exams and had several internships, others were just beginning their actuarial science journey. Regardless of experience, the team ensured that there was something for everybody. The day started with a brief overview of what property and casualty insurance is and how actuaries play a role in this industry. Students then took a break to network with several volunteer mentors, whom they also ate lunch and participated in a speed networking event with. These interactions with industry professionals allowed students to gain a better insight into the work that actuaries do day-to-day as well providing them with the opportunity to practice their interview and communication skills.

Later in the day, students were allowed to choose from a list of general sessions to attend. GIS @ ASU went to “The Predictive Modeling Cooking Show” held by Traveler’s Insurance. In just an hour, two teams walked through how they each created a model to predict whether passengers on the Titanic survived or perished. They even achieved audience participation by assigning each person a Titanic passenger and having them predict their own survivability through interactive polls. The session was an absolute hit and connected to many of the concepts that the GIS @ ASU members had learned in their courses at school.

To end the day, the three GIS @ ASU students held their “Be CAReful” session. The simulation was designed to replicate the auto insurance marketplace and have students act as insurance companies and policyholders. Essential concepts such as premiums, deductibles, and policy limits were taught, and students gained insight into the decisions that underwriters and claims departments make every day. The attendees all expressed how much fun they had during the simulation and how they did not want it to come to an end.

In summary, the CAS Spring Meeting was exceedingly successful. Students increased their knowledge of the property and casualty insurance industry both through the incredible expertise of the mentors as well as the well-organized educational sessions. GIS @ ASU would like to thank Tamar Gertner, CAS University Engagement Manager, for putting together such a great event and allowing GIS @ ASU the opportunity to be a part of it in a big way. GIS @ ASU can’t wait to see what is in store for the next CAS meeting.

May 27, 2019
By Fernando Correa Chavez

Fernando Correa Chavez participates in New York Life’s OLA Super Day in New York CityOn May 20, Fernando Correa Chavez, Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU) committee member, attended New York Life’s OLA Super Day in New York City. The trip was sponsored by the Organization of Latino Actuaries, a group dedicated to the professional development of Latino and Latina members of the actuarial industry. Correa Chavez was able to access a part of the insurance world which other club members are not currently exposed to, which also allowed GIS @ ASU to grow and learn.

The New York Life OLA Super Day was attended by a total of 12 students coming from different areas of the United States, from California to Puerto Rico. The event, organized by Erica Sharpe of New York Life, consisted of several presentations on how students can expand their reach into the actuarial profession.

The day started with a brief overview of the life insurance industry, and the actuarial department at New York Life. This was followed by an actuarial science panel providing students insight to the real-life experiences of actuaries at New York Life. The panelists stressed that in the current job market, “soft skills” such as presenting and effective communication are becoming more important. The panel discussed how the job market is continually changing and what skills students need to develop to be competitive. The group was also introduced to Elizabeth Brill, chief actuary at New York Life..

The students had three one-on-one interviews with actuaries and individuals who are directly involved with the hiring process at New York Life. The experience gave students invaluable feedback on their interview skills, as they were given a chance to practice in a real-world setting.

The day ended with a pricing activity, where students were given a simulated product and product margin, and had to use information from competitors to help make decisions on how to price the product. The activity provided students a glimpse of what work actuaries in the life insurance industry do on a daily basis.

The event was an invaluable experience learning about the life insurance field of actuarial science, providing Correa Chavez the opportunity to connect with students and professionals from across the United States. Continued travel to events, such as the New York Life OLA Super Day, allows students to gather new experiences and knowledge that not only assists in their own professional development, but also benefits their larger community. Attending these events helps to make GIS @ ASU a better community, as well as a better organization for its students.

May 9, 2019
By Michelle Torbit

12th Annual CPCU Golf Tournament FundraiserThe Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU) is committed to fostering relations with industry professionals and serving the local community. On May 2, the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) Society held their 12th Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser at the Ocotillo Golf Club in Chandler. Leading CPCU professionals Lamont Boyd and April Horned organized the event to raise proceeds for the society, and also to help students succeed in the insurance profession through scholarship funding. GIS @ ASU volunteers included graduating club president, Hailey Walters, and incoming committee member Michelle Torbit.

The tournament was packed with activities, including a putting competition designed and run by the volunteering members, a full 18-hole round of golf, and a Vegas hole where competitors placed their bets on both individual and team member skills to make a single drive into a 15-foot diameter target. The day ended with a barbecue-style lunch and awards for participating golfers.

The fundraiser was a huge success, raising over $5,000 that will be used solely towards student scholarships. GIS @ ASU is grateful for the CPCU Society’s passion for student involvement and achievement and we are excited to take part in more events that spread our love of insurance and the community.

May 8, 2019
By Kinsey Turk

As ASU’s 2018-2019 academic year was wrapping up and students were studying hard for their finals, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) took some time to celebrate all the accomplishments that its members, officers, and faculty have achieved. On April 30, GIS @ ASU held its annual social to commemorate everyone’s hard work and celebrate its fifth birthday. Students, professors, alumni, and local companies were all invited to enjoy some good food and company in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) building. The social was a great way to end a fantastic year and a perfect start to the summer.

Alumni Caleb Hardee (Markel), Emily Stampfel (CBIZ), Bo Swoverland (Allstate), Steven Locke (Nationwide E&S/Specialty), Zachary Broermann (UnitedHealthcare), and Zach Hutson (Nautilus Insurance Group) were among those in attendance.The night started with food and refreshments, alongside a delicious ice cream bar. Attendees were free to mingle with one another as well as play some outdoor games of cornhole and giant Jenga. GIS @ ASU was glad to see alumni return to ASU to support the organization as well as reconnect with current students and their former professors. After a busy year of networking between students and insurance professionals, both parties had the opportunity to interact and connect in a more casual setting. Alumni Caleb Hardee (Markel), Emily Stampfel (CBIZ), Bo Swoverland (Allstate), Steven Locke (Nationwide E&S/Specialty), Zachary Broermann (UnitedHealthcare), and Zach Hutson (Nautilus Insurance Group) were among those in attendance.

The night also featured a short presentation from Lydia Tolman from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona with the topic of “What to expect from your first internship.” Many of GIS @ ASU members will be beginning their first internships this coming summer and fall, and it is important that they are prepared. Tolman gave some great advice such as the importance of never being late and not being afraid to say “I don’t know.” GIS @ ASU is confident that all its members will thrive in their new positions.

Previous and new GIS @ ASU officers and committee membersThe main attraction of the night was the announcement of the new GIS @ ASU officers and committee members. First, the previous officers, Hailey Walters (President), Leo Austin (Vice President), Emma Terry (Treasurer), and Ainsley Ramsey (Public Relations), were recognized for their commitment and leadership that they have shown throughout the 2018-2019 school year, along with committee members Garrett Deimund, Dylan Ketcham, Jonathan Kiperman, Alex Rabine, Brendan Sturm, and Kinsey Turk.

After much anticipation, GIS @ ASU’s new officers for the 2019-2020 school year were announced to be Dylan Ketcham (President), Kinsey Turk (Vice President), and Jonathan Kiperman (Treasurer). Alongside the three new officers are the following committee members: Fernando Correa Chavez, Devon Haycock, Sean Kratsch, Sarah Lemme, Michelle Torbit, and Katie Wholley. Previous officers Hailey Walters and Emma Terry have taken on senior advisor roles and are looking forward to assisting current officers with the work that comes with running an organization. Congratulations to all new officers and committee members!

This year has been incredibly busy but also rewarding. GIS @ ASU has had the pleasure of seeing its members obtain internships, receive scholarships, pass exams, graduate, secure full-time jobs, and so much more. While this social officially marks the year coming to a close, it also provides a glimpse as to what next year will hold with a newly elected group of students.

April 17, 2019
By Brendan Sturm

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) has a focus on networking and in the digital age, Linkedin is the ideal tool for networking online. On April 10, GIS @ ASU committee member Brendan Sturm and five club members had the opportunity to attend a LinkedIn workshop at Chubb Insurance as part of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Southwest Chapter event.

The session was hosted by Shannon DeSouza, a Connect Top 40 Under 40 award-winning sales and marketing professional. The theme of the event was “How to Build and Maximize your Brand with LinkedIn”. DeSouza emphasized the importance of LinkedIn as a place for first impressions. A well-branded profile includes: a summary of the individual, their experience, and their skills.

DeSouza made the point that networking is all about giving to other people. Sharing job postings with friends, endorsing colleagues, and commenting on posts are all examples of actions that make LinkedIn more useful for everyone. The bulk of the presentation discussed how to create a personal brand and tell the world a story. In addition to the workshop, students had opportunities to network with underwriters from insurance companies all over the valley.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank PLUS for hosting its members at this educational and entertaining event. The GIS @ ASU members attending this event benefitted greatly from the networking knowledge and advice from Shannon DeSouza, and are looking forward to stepping up their LinkedIn game.

April 15, 2019
By Jonathan Kiperman

Earlier in the year, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) hosted a diversity and inclusion workshop to help educate club members about the LGBTQIA+ community. After such a positive response to the first event, GIS @ ASU wanted to continue its efforts in becoming an ally. On April 2, GIS @ ASU got the incredible opportunity to host a panel of six industry professionals who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. This meeting was held to discuss the struggles and triumphs that members of the community have had in their professional careers, and how it has molded them into the people they are today.

After a brief dinner and networking between club members and industry professionals, the professionals found their way to the front of the room to form an introductory panel. To start the night off, GIS @ ASU’s Diversity and Inclusion officer, Dylan Ketcham, posed questions to the panelists about their experiences in the insurance field and how their sexual orientation affected their careers. After some interesting anecdotes, the panel questions concluded, and the speakers dispersed among four groups of meeting attendees. Club members were able to have more in-depth discussions with the guest speakers, who rotated between each group. Students were eager to ask questions, and the industry professionals had the chance to explain how vital tolerance and acceptance in a workplace is.

This meeting was an excellent opportunity for members to hear the experiences and advice of LGBTQIA+ members in similar careers. GIS @ ASU is incredibly grateful for these six professionals volunteering their time to educate and spark discussion with the members of the club. It was insightful and thought-provoking, and was altogether another great night for GIS @ ASU’s continued path towards diversity and inclusion education.

April 1, 2019
By Leo Austin

On March 21, two Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) members attended the fifth annual Jonathan D. and Helen Wexler Mathematical Sciences Senior Dinner. As attendees, Hailey Walters (President) and Leo Austin (Vice President) exchanged knowledge and ideas with other School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SOMSS) seniors, as well as selected faculty.

The dinner began with an introduction by Al Boggess, director of the school, about the history of the Wexler Math Senior Dinner and Charles Wexler himself, the founding father of mathematics at Arizona State University. The event is financed by an endowment made by Jonathan Wexler, the son of Charles. Following the introduction speech, the students and faculty had a fantastic meal with lots of lively discussion. The students at the dinner represented all degrees in the school and gave different perspectives on what it meant to be a student in the school. Following dinner, the students shuffled to different tables to allow for more discussion.

GIS @ ASU is appreciative that two officers represented the actuarial science program at the Wexler Math Senior Dinner, and would like to thank Jonathan Wexler and the organizers of the event for an enjoyable evening. GIS @ ASU also hopes to see more representation at this event in future years and looks forward to the great times that future attendees will have.

March 25, 2019
By Kinsey Turk

The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) hosted its 4th Annual Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) Case Study Competition on March 18. Unlike past events where ASU teams competed against only one another, this year ASU’s two teams competed against special guests from Brigham Young University (BYU). The BYU faculty and two student teams made the 10-hour trip down to Tempe to participate in the exciting case study and network with students and faculty from ASU.

The focus of the CAS Case Study was to utilize Microsoft Excel to present information to a panel of judges about a commercial property book of business in catastrophe-prone areas. Some of the challenges included cleaning spotty data, creating a dynamic underwriting report, and finding creative and clear ways to present vast amounts of data. Each of the four teams had a unique and fresh take on the data and provided fantastic graphics. After all of the talented groups presented, the panel of judges deliberated and chose the winning team: BYU’s team consisting of Brandon Allen, Jason Colgrove, Courtney Jolley, Abby Walker, and Cason Wight. Along with the prestige of winning, the team was awarded $2,500, generously provided jointly by the ASU School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and the CAS.

Aside from the amazing work each of the students contributed to their presentations, the night was an excellent opportunity for fellow actuarial science students and faculty to mingle while building connections across state lines. Interacting with outside universities is a rare and gratifying experience for all involved and made the CAS Case Study an absolute success. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the panel of judges for taking the time to volunteer and BYU for journeying out to Arizona to participate in the competition. GIS @ ASU is looking forward to having a potential rematch in the coming year and to further connect with students in the actuarial science field in the Southwest.

March 22, 2019
By Dylan Ketcham

On March 12, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU) hosted an evening with Dr. Marvin L. Bittinger, a renowned author and professor emeritus of mathematics at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. Bittinger led a discussion on mathematics in popular culture and posed interesting mathematical problems. This presentation helped the members of GIS @ ASU not only learn more about Dr. Bittinger and his work, but also helped them to expand their awareness of mathematics beyond that of statistics and probabilities used often in actuarial science. This look into other realms of math helps the members of GIS @ ASU become more well-rounded students.

Dr. Bittinger’s presentation was centered around Gifted, a 2017 film about a seven-year-old math prodigy. The movie featured several difficult and unique math problems, including the Millennium Problems. Dr. Bittinger explained that the Millennium Problems are seven advanced math problems, only one solved, whose solutions would have wide-reaching implications for math as well as related fields like physics and fluid dynamics. If a mathematician can solve one of these problems, they earn one million dollars. Specifically, Dr. Bittinger gave special focus to the Riemann hypothesis, which involves the location of the zeros of a specific function whose results exist in the complex plane. Dr. Bittinger explained some of the basics of the problem, and some of the difficulties that exist with it. He also discussed a new method by which the problem may be solved, called analytic continuation, and some of the strange implications that the problem might have on string theory.

GIS @ ASU is extremely thankful to Dr. Marvin Bittinger for presenting to the students of ASU and helping them to explore new mathematical concepts. As both students and members of a mathematically-focused industry, it is important for GIS @ ASU members to explore various different concepts and questions posed in math. With these new concepts available to them, the students of Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa at Arizona State University are more informed about the interesting world of advanced mathematics and perhaps reminded of why they chose the field of actuarial science in the first place.

March 15, 2019
By Kinsey Turk

As members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU), students get many opportunities to expand their education outside of the classroom and gain real-world experience. On March 1, GIS @ ASU had the opportunity to send faculty and students to the Workers Compensation Research Institute’s (WRCI) 35th Annual Issues and Research Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona. Among those who attended were two officers, Ainsley Ramsey and Kinsey Turk, as well as two members, Justin Fink and Sarah Lemme. The event was a huge success and allowed students to access a part of the insurance world to which they currently do not receive much exposure.

The symposium included several presentations on recent findings regarding workers compensation, the most interesting was on the growing use of telemedicine. When workers get injured, instead of going to the emergency room, they can use their phones or computers to video-chat with a doctor and receive the necessary care. The hope is that this will lower the costs of claims for companies and increase efficiency. The discussion included a panel of regulators, doctors, and other professionals who were each able to provide their perspectives on telemedicine from their different job positions and experiences. The presentation did a great job of showing students how the insurance field is continually changing and what their future work could include.

In between sessions, students also had the opportunity to meet other actuaries and professionals that work with workers compensation and ask what drew them to this sector of insurance. Both the seasoned officers and new members alike enjoyed getting to hear more of what workers compensation can entail and what progress is being made within the field. GIS @ ASU is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to attend symposiums like these and cannot wait until the next one!

March 7, 2019
By Ainsley Ramsey

On February 26, the ASU School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SOMSS) hosted their second annual Jonathan D. and Helen Wexler Mathematical Sciences Junior Dinner, an event designed to honor the top junior students in the school. Two officers of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) were honored at this event: Emma Terry, the treasurer, and Ainsley Ramsey, the public relations officer, along with 12 other students. Additionally, one of the actuarial science faculty, Hongjuan Zhou, attended the dinner alongside seven other faculty members.

The night was filled with lively conversation and prime networking opportunities for students and faculty alike. Al Boggess, director of the school, kicked off the event with a speech that described how the Wexler Junior and Senior Dinners are funded by Jonathan Wexler, the son of Charles Wexler, after whom Charles Wexler Hall is named. Jonathan has fond memories of his father inviting math students and faculty over to his home for dinner once a year. In honor of these memories and his father, Jonathan endowed an account to fund the annual dinners. After the introduction, dinner was served, and the attendees seated at each table got to know each other better. Just before dessert was served, attendees shuffled to different tables to meet more of the students and faculty before the conclusion of the night. After dessert, attendees left the event with gifts from the school.

The event was a great way not only to recognize top junior students and provide networking opportunities, but to carry on the legacy of Charles Wexler, whose passion for mathematics has contributed immensely to the success of the school today. The room was incredibly diverse, and each student and faculty member had a different background, impressive accomplishments, and unique goals. GIS @ ASU is grateful that two officers and one faculty member represented the actuarial science program so well at the event. GIS @ ASU extends their thanks to Jonathan Wexler and the school for their dedication to facilitating the exchange of knowledge and ideas between students and faculty.

March 4, 2019
By Kinsey Turk

Once a year, Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa at ASU (GIS @ ASU) has the opportunity to volunteer at ASU’s Open Door Event. On February 23, the university opened its doors to families and the community to share the work of faculty and students. and show what makes ASU a great place to learn. GIS @ ASU helped out the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and got to express how critical, and fun, math can be.

The school hosted a number of math-related activities perfect for all ages. The fan favorite was the balloon station where volunteers were making different geometric shapes, some as simple as a prism and others as complex as a dodecahedron. Of course, there were some balloon dogs and swords made for the younger attendees, but all visitors left the station with smiles on their faces. Some of the other activities included sidewalk chalk Sudoku, building shapes with gumdrops and toothpicks, and a math swami who can guess the number someone is thinking in their head using a set of magic number cards. All the activities helped show the younger generation how math can be a fun subject, and how it is used in everyday scenarios.

ASU’s Open Door event is always loved by GIS @ ASU students since often times their love of math did not begin in college, but rather during their youth and continued to grow over the years. This event allowed club members to be a part of this process for younger attendees, and maybe even help create future actuarial science students. GIS @ ASU cannot wait for the next chance to volunteer and interact with the community in a long-lasting and impactful way.

March 1, 2019
By Jonathan Kiperman

Special interests, abundant technical skills, and a strong resume are all vital for a job candidate, but one aspect that can truly make or break the path to employment is the interview. The interview is the time one sells themselves to the employer, and vice versa. The unfortunate truth about interviewing is that there is no one formula for a perfect interaction every time. Company cultures and interviewer personalities vary, and no matter how many times one has heard all the typical interview questions, there are bound to be surprises. As a result, if different companies are looking for different things and there is an infinite amount of potential questions that can be asked, there is only one way to consistently succeed in an interview: practice.

On February 19, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) hosted their annual Mock Interview Night, where representatives from 16 different companies around the valley and throughout the nation volunteered their time to provide some one-on-one interviews and feedback for up-and-coming actuarial students. The 50 students in attendance were assigned up to two mock interviews for the night. The evening began with a short networking session, and then the professionals and students were dispersed among a variety of rooms for personal interviews. Worked into each interaction was 30 minutes of interview and question time, and a final 10 minutes for feedback and advice. This was an opportunity for members to improve their skills, make strong impressions, and become more comfortable in an interview setting.

GIS @ ASU cannot thank all the business professionals enough who donated their time and expertise for the growth of actuarial students at Arizona State University. The night proved to be a priceless learning experience for new and senior members alike. Interviewing well is not an exact science, but there are many methods and techniques that can separate a good interview from a great one. Nothing prepares someone more than practice, and GIS @ ASU’s Mock Interview Night provided exactly that.

February 22, 2019
By Dylan Ketcham

Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU) is dedicated to helping its members set themselves up for success in every possible way. In order to prepare students for GIS @ ASU’s Mock Interview night on February 19, GIS hosted a presentation on February 12 discussing how to prepare for any interview scenario. Working with ASU’s Career and Professional Development Services (CPDS), GIS’s members learned many techniques for success in the world of interviewing.

The presentation, delivered by CPDS Assistant Director Amanda Butkiewicz, focused on the preparation strategies for a strong interview, no matter the position. The presentation covered several helpful topics of discussion. Butkiewicz discussed how to answer the question “describe yourself” by summarizing your individual goals and strengths. The presentation also outlined how to make a great first impression, from dressing for success to communicating clearly and effectively. Additionally, the presentation discussed common types of questions asked during an interview and the best ways to answer them; thus, allowing students to feel confident tackling any question asked. Butkiewicz also provided students with a number of resources around the ASU campus that CPDS offers, allowing the members of GIS @ ASU to seek out more assistance and information if need be.

With the GIS @ ASU Mock Interview night approaching quickly, members were happy to learn as much as they could about the techniques and strategies necessary for a successful interview. With the help of ASU Career and Professional Development Services, students became better candidates and gained the invaluable skill of communicating in an interview setting. With these new skills at their disposal, GIS @ ASU members are more prepared than ever to begin building their careers.

February 11, 2019
By Kinsey Turk

On February 5, several Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) members had the honor of attending the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Hearts and Scholars Scholarship Dinner. The event was designed to acknowledge the achievements of CLAS students who received scholarships in 2018, as well as the donors whose philanthropy creates a lasting impact on the students’ lives. Recipients were able to sit across from those who invested their time and money into the success of others and give their thanks. With the support of donors, actuarial science students are able to become their best selves, professionally and personally. Instead of being burdened by financial strain, students can pass their exams, participate in extracurricular activities, and enter into the workforce confidently. However, the resources that the donors provide are more than just financial aid; both parties form lasting connections that will continue on long past graduation.

These donors ranged from former alumni to passionate professionals, and also included professors who already provide priceless time and opportunities to students. Altogether, $895,000 in scholarships was awarded to CLAS students. GIS @ ASU would like to congratulate all recipients and thank donors for their incredible acts of selflessness. With a new round of 2019 scholarship applications coming to a close, GIS @ ASU is looking forward to seeing the success of its members and the relationships that form as a result!

February 5, 2019
By Jonathan Kiperman

A diverse workplace, classroom, or overall community is one that is full of collaboration and unique ideas. Not only are inclusion and diversity important in a professional setting for cultivating ideas and seeing different perspectives on problem-solving, but also in day-to-day life. On January 29, Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter (GIS @ ASU) hosted a presentation called “Navigating the Rainbow of Inclusion,” delivered by Arizona State University’s SafeZone group.

This event boasted an attendance of over 50 students and faculty members from all corners of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SOMSS). The session began with an “ice-breaker” to get the audience comfortable with one another and with the SafeZone speakers, Armani Jackson and Rohini Nott. The opening of the presentation stressed that the room was a “brave space,” where thoughts, questions, and opinions could be openly exchanged and considered. Jackson and Nott continued by providing an overview of the LGBTQIA+ acronym. With the terms defined and the distinctions explained, the speakers gave a more in-depth look into the world of the LGBTQIA+ community: the struggle with personal acceptance and external points of view, the intersectionality of identity, and strategies to tolerate and accept its members. Attendees learned about the importance of the TARA (Tolerance, Acceptance, Respect, and Advocacy) continuum model and brainstormed ways in which GIS @ ASU, the school, and the ASU campus as a whole could become more inclusive environments. Audience participation was encouraged and allowed the conversation to be more open, informative, and meaningful.

GIS @ ASU’s Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Dylan Ketcham, worked with the ASU SafeZone Workshop Program to put on this session that welcomed not only the actuarial community at ASU, but the entire school community. The members who attended this SafeZone workshop enjoyed the educational session and also saw it as a celebration of uniqueness. It is essential for anyone, professionally and personally, to have a proper understanding of the importance of a diverse and inclusive environment. This kind of understanding can be developed by asking questions, voicing opinions, listening to the opinions of others, and educating oneself through workshops such as “Navigating the Rainbow of Inclusion.” GIS @ ASU is very grateful to have had the opportunity to host this session, and looks forward to continuing to promote diversity and inclusion through similar events in the future.

January 29, 2019
By Ainsley Ramsey and Hailey Walters

On January 8, members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) attended a kick-off event for an actuarial case study, created and hosted by Mercer. At the kick-off meeting held at Mercer’s Phoenix office, each member got assigned to one of five teams to work on the case study, with each team mentored by a Mercer associate. Participants were allotted two weeks to analyze the given data and Medicaid-related information, collaborate on a creative solution to the question-at-hand, and create a presentation containing their results, recommendations, and justifications.

Two weeks later, GIS @ ASU members and Mercer associates met at Wexler Hall for the final presentations. Each team was tasked with delivering a 10-12 minute presentation to a panel of judges and other audience members. The panel of judges included Kevin Russell, Jim Meulemans, and Lisa Deyer, all senior leaders at Mercer. The judges used their experience and deep understanding of Medicaid to judge the presentations based on content, creativity, and each team’s ability to defend their methodologies through a round of questioning.

The content of each presentation was unique in its approach and demonstrated that the teams thoughtfully analyzed the prompt, data, and context of the project. After all five presentations were delivered, the judges were off to deliberate, and dinner was served. During dinner, GIS @ ASU members were able to mingle with other Mercer representatives who were also in the audience. This opportunity to network was great for students considering a career in healthcare consulting, seeking to learn more, and also for students new to the actuarial science program at ASU who were able to meet industry professionals for the first time.

Following deliberation, first and second place teams were recognized and awarded prizes. The first place team consisted of Leo Austin, Dylan Ketcham, Sarah Lemme, Connor Simpson, and Kinsey Turk, and was led by Mercer mentor Sanket Shah. The second place team consisted of Justin Fink, Luis Hernandez, Alex Rabine, Michelle Torbit, and Hailey Walters, and was led by Mercer mentor Terry Fuller. Both teams were given gift cards to reward them for their hard work over the past couple weeks.

GIS @ ASU congratulates the winning teams, thanks all members who participated, and extends the utmost gratitude to Mercer for putting on such a fantastic, fun event. This case study provided incredibly valuable experience and insight into “real-world” industry work for members. GIS @ ASU will continue to participate in similar types of case studies throughout the spring semester and coming years.

January 25, 2019
By Dylan Ketcham

The Arizona State University School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) offers a total of 15 scholarships to stellar students, with 10 being focused specifically on the actuarial science career path. These financial resources are invaluable to students pursuing this difficult degree, by providing them with the stability they need to have a positive experience throughout their studies. On January 15, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU) gathered its members to discuss the best methods and techniques they could use to apply to these scholarships. The officers of the club shared their personal experiences and successes, which resulted in the members of GIS @ ASU becoming more prepared to apply to receive the financial aid they need.

GIS @ ASU’s president, Hailey Walters, began the night with a discussion of which scholarships the SoMSS offers to actuarial students. Members were encouraged to apply for as many scholarships as possible, and also to nominate their favorite professor for the Charles Wexler Teaching Award. The members then divided into four groups, each led by officers and committee members, where informative discussions were held about the best ways to structure a personal statement. Members focused on techniques to create a personal statement that both tells the story of the applicant and also answers the questions that a scholarship may ask. The groups analyzed and edited an example essay, and then had open discussions to start the process of writing their own personal statements. Officers also encouraged the members to bring in drafts of their own personal statements to be reviewed during the upcoming tutoring sessions that GIS @ ASU will hold this semester.

Students who attended this event discovered the staggering amount of financial aid available to them, and were given the advice and the resources needed to apply. GIS @ ASU hopes that workshops like this one are providing members with all the insight they need to succeed in their college experience, as well as in the industry they see ahead of them. GIS @ ASU will continue to offer workshops in the future to cover more skills that students are urged to develop in order to make the best of their academic and professional journeys.

January 16, 2019
By Hailey Walters and Jared Paulus

The relationships between alumni and current students are essential for both professional and personal development. Networking events, such as happy hours, give students the opportunity to socialize while learning about the real-world situations that the alumni experience on a daily basis. To celebrate the new year, the Scottsdale GIS Alumni Council hosted a Happy Hour on January 11. The event was executed due to the efforts made by the co-directors of the council: Kelsi Knoles (IAT Specialty), Zach Hutson (Nautilus Insurance), and Caleb Hardee (Markel). Alumni, students, actuaries, underwriters, and other industry professionals gathered to socialize and network at the first event of 2019. Among those in attendance were members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU).

The New Year Happy Hour was held at Scottsdale Beer Company, which provided a casual and laid-back environment for the after-work event. The event was a great opportunity for everyone to catch up after the holidays and reflect on a successful year. The trendy restaurant allowed for the participants to mingle while enjoying the cool Arizona weather, the latest NFL playoff games, and a packed house of good-spirited people kicking off their weekend. Appetizers, drinks, and food were generously sponsored by Markel and Nautilus Insurance Company, who display a consistent commitment to their local insurance community.

GIS @ ASU members had a great evening talking real-time and face-to-face with professionals in careers that they are interested in pursuing, while the professionals were enthusiastic about sharing their experience and wisdom with the driven and attentive students. The Scottsdale GIS Alumni Council continues to promote and demonstrate their commitment to GIS @ ASU members by providing opportunities, such as this happy hour, for students to network and build relationships with industry professionals. GIS @ ASU members are eagerly looking forward to another year of hard work and relationship-building in 2019!

December 4, 2018
By Dylan Ketcham

On November 30, the Casualty Actuaries of the Desert States (CADS) hosted their Fall 2018 meeting at Arizona State University. CADS, an organization dedicated to supporting and educating actuaries in the southwest United States, brought together a group of engaging speakers to present to the attendees. Members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) attended this meeting to learn more about the state of property and casualty insurance and discuss what changes are visible on the horizon. Through the presentations, GIS @ ASU members picked up on the pulse of a changing industry and learned valuable lessons about how to adapt.

The first goal of the meeting was to update members and attendees about current events involving CADS and the Casualty Actuary Society (CAS). The presentation touched on many important topics, including new ventures into online and innovative education. Additionally, data from CAS was shared on the growth that the society has seen, as well as new figures on the steady and important growth of diversity within the actuarial profession. Of significant importance was discussion involving the proposed merger of the CAS with the Society of Actuaries (SOA), which board members of the CAS voted not to continue pursuing. CAS Board Director James Lynch explained the reasoning behind the decision, and assured listeners that the CAS would continue to provide specialized and widespread support to its members.

Additionally, presenters shared their unique perspectives on topics related to property and casualty insurance. Lynn Gehant and Matt Roller from Allstate Insurance presented a discussion of factors that have the potential to affect frequencies of car insurance claims. They emphasized the importance of context when looking at what might affect claims and made clear that sometimes, one may not know the whole story. Gehant and Roller also shared a variety of aspects in modern society that should change how actuaries look at the factors that increase the frequency of automobile claims.

Following this, Kevin Vesel led audience members in an interactive presentation on various cognitive biases that can affect the ways that both consumers and professionals view insurance. This presentation encouraged viewers to start thinking about the subtle ways their natural thought processes could affect how they conduct business. These presentations helped attendees learn new, interesting facts about the insurance field and better prepare themselves for future challenges.

The CADS Fall 2018 meeting provided the insurance professionals and students with the opportunity to learn more and connect over shared experiences. Both aspiring and established actuaries gathered together to strengthen their knowledge of this ever-changing industry, and in the process they forged important and lasting connections. With this meeting, CADS has successfully motivated its members to continue their hard work and create an even better future.

November 27, 2018
By Kinsey Turk

The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) held its annual meeting from November 11-14 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Property and casualty actuaries from all over the world gathered to learn about advances in the industry and continue their education. This was the first year that the CAS student ambassadors were invited to attend the meeting and learn how they could help spread awareness of the profession at their university campuses. As ASU’s CAS Student Ambassador, Kinsey Turk, a GIS @ ASU committee member, had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas and learn more about what she can do for ASU, all while making lasting connections with the other ambassadors.

On the first day, the ambassadors were introduced to each other, as well as to the fantastic CAS volunteers who ran the entire program. Students traveled from universities located all over the Midwest, East Coast, and even Canada. During many of the sessions, they compared and brainstormed ideas for events that their campuses could sponsor to best benefit students. Since many ambassadors were also officers of their school’s chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, they had tons of advice on events to help members develop communication skills, which Turk hopes to implement in the Kappa Chapter at ASU. Lastly, the most anticipated part of the conference was learning more about the “Stronger As One” initiative with the Society of Actuaries (SOA). The ambassadors were among the first to hear the news that the CAS board voted against the plans to merge the two organizations. Although the organizations won’t become one, the students are still looking forward to diligently working across organizational lines to benefit the insurance community as a whole.

On Monday, the ambassadors sat in on some of the general sessions, such as Talithia Williams’ presentation on diversity within the industry. This was especially relevant since GIS @ ASU is currently directing a focus onto its diversity and inclusion efforts. They also heard from data scientists and actuaries about their take on the similarities and differences between the two professions. One interesting comment was that data scientists lack a governing body, due to the belief that it could stifle progress. These sessions helped to give the ambassadors a more comprehensive view of property and casualty insurance outside of just the university.

Inviting the CAS student ambassadors to the annual meeting was an incredible opportunity, allowing each student to walk away with increased knowledge and inspiration. Furthermore, the connections that Turk made with the other ambassadors, as well as the student mentors, are ones that she plans to keep and continue to foster. Turk and the other ambassadors cannot thank Tamar Gertner and all the volunteers enough for putting together such an impactful event. In the future, GIS @ ASU hopes that the CAS continues to invite student ambassadors to the annual meeting, so that more GIS @ ASU students can have similar incredible experiences.

November 21, 2018
By Joshua Callahan and Dylan Ketcham

CPCU I-DayEvery year the Arizona Chapter of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) organizes “I-Day”, a celebration of insurance and its impact. The goal of this event is to celebrate both the insurance industry and to learn more about the changing realm of insurance. I-Day also strives to connect established and aspiring professionals throughout the insurance field to build lasting relationships. Members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ASU) attended the event to show their support for CPCU and to learn more about the industry as a whole.

Organized by I-Day Director Rich Pudleiner and AZ CPCU President Jeremy Vick, the event brought together dozens of representatives from different companies and backgrounds, including agents, underwriters, and actuaries. This year’s I-Day theme, “Building your Legacy in Learning and Leadership,” was driven home with informative presentations, including a panel of insurance executives who shared their experiences and advice on being a leader in the competitive and always-changing world of insurance. There was even a conferment of honors to those who had completed their certification with CPCU, marking them as leaders in the industry.

Throughout the day, attendants broke out into informative sessions to gain new perspectives and learn new lessons about insurance. One session discussed the importance of ethics in insurance and how to make sure the response to an insurance claim is ethical. Participants examined real-life situations and made cases for the ethical or unethical nature of the response from agents, learning how to analyze the moral quandaries embedded in the insurance system and make the best decisions.

I-Day attendeesAnother session discussed how satellite imaging and aerial drones would affect how claims are written. These technologies would make it easier and faster to see if damages are severe enough to justify a claim. This would make the insurance industry more efficient and change the way we think about the time separation between the claim and payment. Other sessions included more topics on leadership, as well as an interesting segment on using new telematics technologies to reduce risk for drivers. Each session taught new facets of the industry and highlighted the complexity and uniqueness of the profession.

Overall the I-Day event was packed with informative talks and networking opportunities that helped shine a light on the insurance industry for attendees. GIS @ ASU would like to extend their sincerest thank-you to the Arizona Chapter of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters for organizing the event. Special thanks go to Lamont Boyd, CPCU Director of Career/Candidate Development, for personally reaching out to the GIS @ ASU team and inviting them to the event. The members learned valuable lessons that they will undoubtedly use going into their respective careers.

November 15, 2018
By Ainsley Ramsey

On November 10, three officers from the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU) traveled to Austin, Texas to attend the chartering of the new GIS Gamma Zeta Chapter at the University of Texas at Austin. Hailey Walters (President), Emma Terry (Treasurer), and Ainsley Ramsey (Public Relations) represented the Kappa Chapter at the UT Austin McCombs School of Business. This was an excellent opportunity for these officers to bring attention to GIS @ ASU, to act as role models for UT Austin students, and to network with faculty and officers from other schools including Temple University and St. John’s University.

The event began with networking, followed by a brief welcome and introduction by Sanjeet Hattarki, president of the Gamma Zeta Chapter at UT Austin. Next was a series of presentations, the first by Dr. Alisa Walch, a faculty member and GIS advisor at UT Austin, about the future impact of autonomous vehicles on the insurance industry. The second presentation, delivered by the three GIS @ ASU officers, focused on Gamma Iota Sigma through the lenses of the school, the industry, and the members. This presentation allowed GIS @ ASU officers to improve presentation skills, positively market ASU, and act as examples of students who have succeeded with the help of an organization like Gamma Iota Sigma. The final speaker was a second UT Austin faculty member, Dr. Patrick Brockett, who talked about the history of risk management, insurance, and actuarial science as they are known today. Following the three presentations, attendees were treated to an hour of dinner and networking.

During the chartering ceremony, a handful of leaders from different GIS chapters across the country played the roles of officers on a ship, because the origins of insurance can be traced back to ancient times when merchant ships were raided. The officers, including GIS @ ASU President Hailey Walters, spoke about the values, benefits, and the true meaning of Gamma Iota Sigma as a fraternity. Following the speeches, new members of the Gamma Zeta chapter officially signed their charter and received certificates commemorating the ceremony.

This event was an excellent way for GIS @ ASU officers to network with other students and GIS leadership from a variety of different universities. Through their presentation, the officers also were able to market the ASU School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and actuarial science program as strong, successful, and well-rounded. GIS @ ASU would like to thank the UT Austin McCombs School of Business for hosting such an exciting event and wishes the best of luck to the newly-chartered Gamma Zeta Chapter.

November 9, 2018
By Dylan Ketcham

On November 3, organizations at Arizona State University came together to celebrate its homecoming week with a festive block party and parade. Various groups and units within the university set up booths to entertain the members of the community who had gathered for the exciting homecoming game and share more about the work that they do. Members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) joined the booth for the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SOMSS). GIS @ ASU members had a fantastic time while collaborating on various activities to make the celebration fun for the participants, many of whom were young children.

The block party booth for SOMSS included many different attractions hosted by volunteers for the homecoming guests. Volunteers passed out math-on-a-stick lollipops with stories of ASU SOMSS alumni who are doing great things and making a difference in their communities with their math degrees. Volunteers also made balloon animals and geometric shapes and handed them out to people who passed by. The balloons were a huge hit with kids and adults alike! Other volunteers performed magic, mind-reading tricks that were built on mathematical concepts, wowing the crowd and sparking an interest in the subject.

ASU’s Homecoming Block Party was a smashing success, with an abundance of people coming to enjoy what the organizations of ASU have to offer. GIS @ ASU was just one of the many groups that volunteered their time to help ensure that activities ran smoothly, and in doing so, members were able to share their enthusiasm for ASU with the attendees. Giving back to the community is an essential part of every organization, and GIS @ ASU is proud to have volunteered, and help bring joy to the people of the community.

November 5, 2018
By Jonathan Kiperman

Women in Actuarial Science PanelOn October 30, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) hosted its first-ever “Women in Actuarial Science” Panel. This event was not limited to members of the actuarial science degree program; students of all majors were welcomed and encouraged to attend. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the issue of the underrepresentation of women not only in actuarial science, but all STEM fields. Is there a way to fix, or at least diminish. this lack of representation? And if so, what steps can be taken to help?

The meeting began with the introduction of the panelists: Lydia Tolman (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona), Nura Patani (Segal Consulting), Katherine Long (Mercer), and Julie Tang (Optumas). For the next half hour, the panel was moderated by GIS @ ASU’s newly-appointed Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Dylan Ketcham. The professionals discussed their personal experiences as women in the actuarial field and how they have found their way through a male-dominated profession.

The panelists were then split among several tables to facilitate more personal and smaller-scale discussions with attendees. After the four actuaries rotated through each table, the meeting ended with some final words of wisdom from the speakers and a resounding and appreciative round of applause from the students. The night was insightful and educational for members as well as faculty.

GIS @ ASU would like to sincerely thank all of the panelists for taking the time out of their busy schedules to discuss their professional journeys as women in a male dominated field. This event marks the beginning of the chapter’s mission of increasing awareness of under-representation of women and other under-serviced groups in actuarial science and other STEM fields.

October 29, 2018
By Dylan Ketcham

GIS @ ASU study sessionOn October 16, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University (GIS @ ASU) hosted a study session for their introductory class, as well as for the courses designed to prepare students for their first set of actuarial exams. This study session drew dozens of students, all ready and excited to improve their skills in financial mathematics, probability, and even long-term actuarial mathematics. These students connected while learning and solidifying the lessons they had learned in classes.

The study session was especially helpful as students prepare for upcoming exams in their actuarial classes. GIS @ ASU officers who had already passed the courses that students were studying for provided assistance as the newer members worked through practice problems and examples. This extra practice helped many students feel more confident about the concepts that would appear on the future tests and create a line of communication with the officers. The students will still study on their own after the study session, but the organized resources that GIS @ ASU provided was a significant help to those that may have been struggling.

Though the event focused on the academic side of GIS @ ASU, it also provided members with the opportunity to connect. The more casual structure of the event let students feel relaxed with each other as they studied, which led to students becoming better friends. Additionally, the students in earlier classes were able to talk with the upperclassmen as they provided tutoring. The students who are further ahead in the program had the opportunity to learn more about the new generation of actuarial students and offer invaluable advice. All-in-all, the study session was a great event for both academic and personal growth.

October 18, 2018
By Joshua Callahan

Members of GIS @ ASU and Scottsdale GIS Alumni Council volunteer at St. Mary's Food BankKeeping in stride with the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s “Week of Giving”, Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) gathered at St. Mary's Food Bank on October 13 to help provide food for hungry families. Alongside GIS alumni, GIS @ ASU officers and members packed food boxes for the elderly. The event was a huge success and a great way to build teamwork while helping the community.

The GIS @ ASU group eagerly entered the warehouse of St. Mary’s Food Bank and lined up along an assembly line. After some detailed instructions, volunteers were off filling boxes to be distributed throughout the community. Each person had to synchronize with the flow of the group, creating a great feeling of camaraderie. The room was filled with excellent throwback music, building momentum and inspiring quite a few sing-alongs.

During a break it was time for some friendly competition. A representative from GIS @ ASU and each of the other volunteer groups was challenged to move a cookie from their forehead into their mouth using only their facial muscles. Each group cheered for their representative as they attempted the impossible. While a GIS volunteer did not win, it was a great bonding experience before it was time to get back to work.

The assembly line was moving like a well-oiled machine. Boxes were folded and assembled by the first group of volunteers, pushed down the line to be filled with food, and then packaged for later distribution. The efficiency of the assembly line was made even more evident by those who moved the product from the stacks to the front line.

GIS Alumni volunteer at St. Mary's Food BankGIS @ ASU members also had the pleasure of working alongside GIS alumni from the Scottsdale GIS Alumni Council. Alumni members Zachary Broermann (UnitedHealthCare), Caleb Hardee (Markel), Zachary Hutson (Nautilus), Riley Joyce (Risk Placement Services), and Lily Alexander (Risk Placement Services) demonstrated their commitment to giving back to the community by volunteering their time on Saturday morning.

At the end of the two hours, the volunteers left the warehouse tired yet full of pride. During their time on the assembly line, they packed 720 boxes, which amounted to over 20,000 pounds of food that will feed those in need. Each GIS @ ASU member knows that a few hours out of their day is a small price to pay to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

October 17, 2018
By Kinsey Turk

2018 Arizona CPCU Society Scholarship winners (L-R): Emma Terry, Hailey Walters, Diane Scheidt - AZ CPCU director of education, Kinsey Turk, and Leo AustinFour members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) were awarded 2018 Arizona CPCU Society Scholarships. Recipients Leo Austin, Emma Terry, Kinsey Turk, and Hailey Walters were invited to CPCU’s October 10th Luncheon held at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort. The scholarship winners had the opportunity to give thanks to many people who were involved in the selection process, especially Diane Scheidt, the director of education for the Arizona CPCU Society Chapter. All parties enjoyed getting to meet the faces behind the names and create lasting connections.

The Arizona CPCU Society Scholarship recognizes students pursuing degrees within the insurance industry for their academic and personal achievements. To be eligible, students must be enrolled full-time in college with a minimum 2.5 GPA. In addition, applicants were required to submit a 500-word essay on their future career plans and why they deserve the award, as well as a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.

Each winner received $1,000 to be applied towards tuition, textbooks, and other school-related fees. All four of the GIS @ ASU members surpassed expectations and submitted incredibly well-written essays demonstrating both their passion and determination for actuarial science and insurance as a whole. Receiving recognition for their hard work was incredibly gratifying and demonstrates the success that GIS @ ASU fosters.

Special presentation given by Sandra K. Little, director of enterprise risk for Bar-S Foods Co.After the scholarship recipients were recognized at the luncheon, a special presentation titled "Risk Management and Technology - for the Technologically Challenged” was given by Sandra K. Little, the director of enterprise risk for Bar-S Foods Co. Little discussed the basics of the risk management process and then demonstrated how technology and data fall into each of these steps. She closed her presentation by showing where and how technology will change the insurance industry, specifically with blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The presentation highlighted the growing importance of technology within the risk management industry.

The CPCU Luncheon was an incredible opportunity for GIS @ ASU members. Not only did they receive scholarships, but also they had the chance to sincerely thank the Arizona CPCU Society for its generosity.

October 14, 2018
By Joshua Callahan and Dylan Ketcham

GIS @ ASU attends international conference in ChicagoJust a week after ASU’s Actuarial Science Career Day, officers and committee members of the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) were again given the opportunity to network and find new career opportunities at the 47th Annual International Gamma Iota Sigma Conference held October 4 - 6 in Chicago, Illinois,

Nautilus Insurance sponsored the trip for ASU’s Kappa Chapter and helped eight members attend. The annual conference saw its highest recorded turnout with nearly 600 students in attendance, representing over 70 different GIS chapters across the country.

The event was filled with informative sessions related to insurance topics, diversity in the workplace, chapter management, and fundraising, as well as technological changes in the industry and how to get ahead of the curve. These sessions were complemented by a career fair held in an adjacent ballroom featuring many of the most influential employers in insurance on the east coast. Throughout the sessions and career fair, students had the opportunity to connect with established professionals, as well as fellow students from the other chapters. These interactions proved especially beneficial for GIS @ ASU since Arizona was one of the farthest chapters attending, thus giving students exposure to groups they otherwise might never meet.

During mealtimes each day, the students were treated to delicious Chicago cuisine in the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. Attendees were able to look at the fantastic view of Lake Michigan featured through the ballroom windows. During meals, many panels and individual speakers presented compelling and informative talks addressing some of the most pressing issues that the insurance industry is experiencing today. The topics included disruption throughout the industry and its effects on future professionals, overcoming bias to create diversity in the workplace, and maintaining safety standards with driving both as individuals and professional employees.

GIS @ ASU recognized as well-rounded chapter at international conferenceDuring the event many individuals and students were recognized for their hard work and leadership in the field of risk management and insurance. GIS @ ASU received five international chapter awards praising their commitment to the Gamma Iota Sigma core values: alumni relations, chapter management, community service, membership development, and public relations. GIS @ ASU was also awarded the well-rounded chapter award, achieved by maintaining continuous activity and alumni involvement throughout the academic year.

Many other hard-working chapters were recognized for their diligence and dedication. The 47th Annual GIS International Conference was a unique and rewarding experience, providing insight into an amazing career as well as fostering relationships that will reap rewards for years to come.

October 9, 2018
By Jonathan Kiperman

Allstate hosts auto insurance challenge with GIS @ ASUFollowing the Actuarial Science Career Day, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) held its final company-hosted visit of the fall. Allstate put together an action-packed event on October 2, featuring Samuel Scheele, Keith Quigley, and GIS @ ASU’s very own alumni, Jeff Durham and Bo Swoverland.

Durham wasted little time introducing the activity for the night. Four small groups of upperclassmen were formed to represent insurance companies. They were each given a certain amount of money and were left to design an auto policy that included a premium, a deductible, a limit, or any combination of the three.

The rest of the participants received a toy car and a smaller sum of money that could be spent on an auto policy at their choice of insurer. At each insurer’s table, a small array of targets were set up at one end and labeled with a hidden dollar amount. After the insureds selected their insurance policies of choice, they launched their cars from the opposite side of the table, attempting to avoid the targets. Whether or not the insureds hit a target would determine their losses.

Winners of Allstate's auto insurance challengeAfter everyone had a turn and “claims” were settled, insurers were given the opportunity to revise their rates and adjust their policies. Each insured was given the option to remain with their current employer or shop around. After several rounds of this, the winning “insurance company” was the one that made the most profit, and the winning “driver” was the one who paid the least in damages.

After the meeting, Allstate’s commitment to help students was not over. The next day Allstate held on-campus interviews for summer internship positions. The members of GIS @ ASU are grateful for Allstate’s many contributions including hosting an engaging and educational meeting, participating in career day, and offering many opportunities for internships and employment. After a successful fall season of company-hosted meetings, expectations are high for next year.

October 7, 2018
By Joshua Callahan and Dylan Ketcham

ASU Actuarial Science Career DayOn September 27, Arizona State University’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences hosted their annual Actuarial Science Career Day for the first time during the fall semester. Designed to connect actuarial and risk management students with employers, the event drew companies from across the country. Representatives from 25 companies and organizations were seeking bright and hard-working students for both internships and full-time opportunities. They were met with dozens of eager students not only from Arizona State, but also from the University of Arizona, as the mathematics and actuarial programs from both schools continue to foster a collaborative relationship.

The career day began with an introduction from the director of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Al Boggess, who extended a welcome to the employers and students in attendance, as well as thanked the staff who organized the event. Jeff Durham, the first student to earn a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science from ASU and now a senior actuarial consultant at Allstate, moderated a panel consisting of ASU alumni. Durham led a discussion with the panelists: Steven Locke (Nationwide), Grace Kennedy (USAA), Kelsi Knoles (IAT Specialty), Zach Broermann (UnitedHealthCare), and Jacob Langerman (Mercer). The panelists shared their experiences of balancing life with a demanding career, as well as other valuable lessons for students to consider.

The career day also featured a panel of senior actuaries, who provided the wisdom gathered from years of study and experience. The panel was moderated by Melissa Tomita (Nationwide), and included Bob Bessen (Bessen Actuarial Services), Laura Lenzer (Centene), Tim Doyle (Optumas), Lynn Gehant (Allstate), and Lydia Tolman (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona). The senior actuaries shared stories of how they have seen the industry change over time, and also provided engaging advice on how to view the trajectory of one’s career and gain new and useful skills to become a more valuable employee.

25 companies participated in ASU Actuarial Science Career DayBetween panels, companies participated in both one-on-one interviews and networking. During the short interviews, company representatives connected with students, sharing information on both the unique aspects of their company and the many opportunities available. During networking time, representatives were open to all students for answering questions and having entertaining and enlightening conversations.

Over 85% of the attending employers offered full-time or internship positions, providing the students with opportunities to gain critical workplace experience, and providing the employers the chance to get to know the next generation of actuarial professionals. The event was a huge success, with students and employers alike forging new and lasting connections.

September 26, 2018
By Jonathan Kiperman

GIS @ ASU members compete in a game of Quaffle, hosted by UHC.On September 25, UnitedHealth Group visited the GIS @ ASU members. As a Fortune 4 company, they are industry leaders that specialize in three main categories of health insurance: employer and individual, Medicare and retirement, and community and state (Medicaid). The meeting they planned proved to be very engaging, informative, and competitive.

After some networking time with company representatives and GIS @ ASU members, UnitedHealthcare speakers Chris Maxedon and Nettie Meier began their presentation. Joining them were Chris Dunker, the mind behind several unique and entertaining prior club meetings, and GIS @ ASU alumnus Zachary Broermann. The team began with an overview of UnitedHealthcare (UHC), its values, the expanding responsibilities of its actuaries, and the upcoming summer internship. Then the real fun began — the Harry Potter-themed activities.

Team Ravenclaw is crowned champion in a Harry Potter themed competition night hosted by UHC.Attendees were split into four academic “houses” from the Harry Potter series: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff. As two groups went outside to play a game of quaffle (shooting a ball into a basket), the other two groups remained indoors to compete in UnitedHealthcare trivia. The groups then switched activities and eventually came together for a game of “Guess the Muggle,” where the teams had to blindly match a description to one of the company representatives. After adding up the scores from all the games, the team with the most points was declared the winner.

Members of Team Ravenclaw were crowned champions, and each were given a trophy to represent the “Triwizard Cup.” Over fifty members attended this meeting and were rewarded with another engaging and successful experience. The ideal combination of presentation, activity, and alumni engagement, led to an exciting final meeting before the Career Day.

September 15, 2018
By Dylan Ketcham

Humana presents internship opportunities to GIS @ ASU membersOn September 11, Humana gave an informative presentation about internship opportunities during the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) club meeting.

Humana representatives Matt Coles and Mike Webb began with a discussion of what makes their company culture special. They explained some of Humana’s unique programs, such as the social outreach program known as the “Bold Goal.” Special emphasis was placed on the way Humana works to create a culture that is willing to evolve, and the welcoming and supportive community within Humana for all of its employees.

Humana presents internship opportunities to GIS @ ASU membersThe presentation also detailed several internship and educational opportunities that Humana offers to students in risk management programs. These opportunities include summer internships, full time positions for graduating seniors, and a summer educational program for freshman in fields related to actuarial science.

After the presentation, the speakers were open to questions from the attendees. The remainder of the evening involved engaging conversations with both the representatives of Humana as well as fellow members of GIS @ ASU.

With another successful event complete, GIS @ ASU has kept its momentum moving forward in the Fall 2018 semester. With new knowledge of Humana and their internship opportunities, students are more prepared than ever for the coming Actuarial Science Career Fair on September 27.

September 28, 2018
By Joshua Callahan

Blindfolded GIS members navigate through minefield of red cupsOn September 18, Mercer visited the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) for a night full of fun activities, competition, and networking. Stacey Betz, Mercer’s Phoenix operations manager, began the night with a presentation about the company, its values, and its presence in the valley. The session was very valuable to students who were eagerly looking for summer internships, and provided a glimpse of what it’s like working for the human resources consulting firm. When the presentation concluded, students were ready to begin the great Mercer race.

After some quick instructions, the members of GIS @ ASU were divided into six groups and sent off to their first challenge. Each group developed teamwork and communication skills in this first event, which involved navigating blindfolded members through a “minefield” of plastic cups using only verbal instructions. The challenge was particularly difficult because the field was inundated with the shouting of directions by all the groups at once. Once completed, each group moved onto the second and third tasks: a speedy game of corn hole and a riddle-solving activity that led to a secret location and mission.

Winning team of Mercer Race

Winning team (L-R): Zaynab Alzahir, Leo Austin, Taylor Cerchie, Devon Haycock, Abdul Al Yahyaei, Brendan Sturm, Fernando Correa Chavez, Connor Simpson, Brady Lybarger

After all three challenges were completed, it was time to race to the finish line. Participants, faculty, and Mercer representatives met at Postino’s for a dinner networking event to close the evening. The first team to arrive was crowned the champion of the race, and received prizes provided by Mercer. However, everybody that participated went home a victor. Face-time with industry members is a valuable resource to students, especially this close to the Actuarial Science Career Fair. Meeting potential employers can often be seen as intimidating, but Mercer was able to provide a stress-free, fun-filled night.

The Mercer representatives moved from table to table connecting with students, answering questions, establishing relationships, and highlighting their company. Former GIS @ ASU club member, Jacob Langerman, attended the event and shared his stories and knowledge with current students. Since graduating in May of 2017, Langerman has been working full-time at Mercer. GIS @ ASU deeply appreciates the alumni support and involvement that it receives. GIS @ ASU is also very thankful to Mercer for their generous visit and are eager to see them at the quickly-approaching Actuarial Science Career Fair.

September 26, 2018
By Garrett Deimund

GIS Officers Test Their Skills at Flagstaff ExtremeBuilding meaningful connections with peers, whether it be in the workplace or in a student organization, is a great way to improve engagement. Teamwork and collaboration are important throughout one’s professional career and developing these skills early is critical for success.

On September 15, officers from the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, for a team-building retreat. This fun-filled weekend encouraged GIS officers to learn more about one another and how to better work together through the next academic year.

Officers began the trip with an exciting adventure at Flagstaff Extreme, which consisted of climbing and balancing on obstacles of all shapes and sizes while suspended in the trees, at times up to 60 feet in the air. After a long day at the obstacle course, officers enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant, relaxing in the cooler weather.

GIS Officers Relax After Challenging Day at Flagstaff ExtremeWhether officers were testing their limits on the obstacle course or getting to know each other over meals, it was clear that this retreat was instrumental in bringing the group closer together. Stronger relationships will bring efficiency and productivity to the everyday tasks of the GIS officers, resulting in a better experience for all GIS members.

GIS @ ASU would like to thank Ken and Sarah Levine for generously giving students the use of their Flagstaff cabin, encouraging students to build and foster lasting relationships.

September 11, 2018
By Jonathan Kiperman

Nationwide Night with GIS@ASUAs the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) approaches the Actuarial Science Career Day, opportunities for networking and positive first impressions serve as great practice for all new and returning members. On September 4, Nationwide hosted the first company-sponsored meeting of the fall semester, and it turned out to be a successful experience for students of all academic levels.

The large turnout at the GIS @ ASU meeting allowed for a variety of skill-levels, ages, and educational backgrounds to be on display during Nationwide’s presentation and planned activity. After a small networking session where the members had a chance to meet and talk with the Nationwide representatives, everyone settled in and listened intently as the hosts began to introduce the night’s activities.

Nationwide Night with GIS@ASUAfter students were divided into eight groups, they were dispersed among three rooms. The object of the activity was to imagine that each group was the owner of a hockey team and stadium in Phoenix. The groups were provided with a list of coverage options including general liability, workers’ compensation, product liability, and several others. Each possible risk had its respective frequency and severity, and the coverage options (varying premiums, deductibles, etc.). After some time and deliberation, the teams recorded their decisions and congregated back to the original room to share their decisions based on sound logic or “gut-feelings”. A “pong-simulation” the followed to determine what the hockey team and stadium would have endured. The winning team was the one who spent the least amount of money through the hypothetical disasters! The winners were left to right: Sarah Lemme, Joseph Hoffman, Brent Porter, Fernando Correa Chavez, Leo Austin, Emma Terry, and Zhenghong (Luca) Chen.

Nationwide Night with GIS@ASUThis exercise was a great opportunity for members to meet new people, collaborate, and hear differing viewpoints. At its simplest, it was fun and informative, but a deeper dive can unveil the fact that it was a way to get members out of their comfort zone, to voice their opinions and strategies, and to show how interesting actuarial science and insurance can really be. Thus came an end of an incredibly strong start to the GIS @ ASU fall semester, courtesy of Nationwide.

September 3, 2018
By Ainsley Ramsey

On August 28, the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) held its first meeting of the semester, Resume Review Night. The meeting was a prime opportunity for new members to familiarize themselves with the organization and its leadership, and for both new and returning members to polish their resumes in preparation for the upcoming Actuarial Science Career Day.

After effective advertising at the Fall Welcome and Passport to ASU events, GIS @ ASU is proud to have recruited students from the business and engineering schools. The Resume Review Night was full of students from many different academic backgrounds, but they all had one thing in common: a desire to learn about the opportunities available in the insurance industry.

The room was set up with eight different small table discussions, each led by a GIS @ ASU officer. After professors Jelena Milovanovic, John Zicarelli and Hongjuan Zhou and club officers introduced themselves, each table broke off into separate group review sessions. The leading officer at each table gave an overview of the resume structure and provided insight about effective resume-writing strategies. The groups then peer-reviewed each member’s resume one at a time, allowing members to improve their own work and to gain peer-review experience. Attendees were encouraged to move from table to table, receiving feedback on their resumes from other officers, and meeting as many peers as possible.

With record attendance at almost 60 students, the event was an excellent start to the semester. Students who attended the meeting gained more knowledge about resumes and the benefits of peer-review, and as a result, will be better prepared for the upcoming Actuarial Science Career Day on September 27.

August 31, 2018
By Hailey Walters

As the Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) begins the school year with new leadership and ideas, GIS chapters all across the country do the same. No two chapters are alike, but they all have similar goals for their chapter: connect with students, build relationships, sharpen skills, and make known the ample opportunities available in the insurance and risk-management industries.

Each year, the Grand Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma hosts a Leadership Symposium in Columbus, Ohio and invites the leadership from every chapter to attend. Officers from a multitude of colleges and universities are able to come together and exchange ideas, tips, advice, and stories. GIS @ ASU president Hailey Walters attended this year’s Leadership Symposium and had the privilege of meeting and interacting with officers from all over the country.

The three-day symposium kicked off to an enthusiastic start on August 24, with a group breakfast and introductions from the symposium planning committee. Its members included current students from various universities and recent alumni from many insurance companies –a perfect mix of experience and ideas.

The rest of the day was full of networking opportunities. The GIS leaders participated in “speed networking” with industry leaders, enabling them to ask all kinds of questions about making their events engaging for attendees. In return, the members of industry benefited from the conversations by hearing college students’ perspectives on their recruiting and marketing techniques.

Next on the agenda was the career fair, to learn about various internship and full-time job opportunities available to students in the insurance industry. This served as a unique tool for the GIS officers, as they could bring back the information they learned and share with their respective chapters.

As important as learning about the industry is, learning the ins-and-outs of running a GIS chapter is equally as important. The second day of the conference was spent in dynamic break-out sessions, each one dedicated to a specific topic that relates to the organization and management of a successful chapter. The break-out sessions covered fundraising, public relations, planning member events, engaging the industry and alumni, and more.

The leadership skills acquired when one participates in the administration of a school club are extremely valuable. This symposium was designed to make sure officers absorbed as many different aspects of club management as possible, so they could head home and share the ideas with their chapters.

GIS @ ASU is excited for Walters to share what she has learned and is looking forward to growing the chapter, preparing its members for success, and having a great school year.

August 28, 2018
By Kinsey Turk

With the start of a new academic year, student clubs and organizations are looking to add new members to their growing communities. Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) was among the many academic clubs that participated in the Passport to ASU event on August 15 at Sun Devil Fitness Center.

Passport to ASU was a perfect place for students of all years to find ways to become more involved on campus. GIS @ ASU officers and committee members spoke with potential new members, presenting some of the club’s benefits and opportunities. Club members also provided easy registration so that students who were interested in the first club meeting, Resume Review Night, could sign up with their email address to receive more information.

GIS @ ASU’s table was positioned next to ASU’s Math Club, a sister club within the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. The two organizations joined forces in recruiting new members and sharing the benefits of joining the organizations. Both clubs mutually benefited from working together and created new connections in the process.

GIS @ ASU members enticed potential new members by sharing snapshots about what makes a career in actuarial science or risk management so worthwhile. They asked students questions like, “Are you interested in obtaining paid internships?”, “Does finding a satisfying job with only a bachelor's degree appeal to you?”, and “Do you want a career with high job growth and salary?” Many had never considered insurance as a career and showed genuine interest in learning more.

By the end of the event, every sign-up sheet was full of student names who were excited to see what GIS @ ASU has to offer. This year’s Passport to ASU event was an unparalleled success.

August 17, 2018
By Hailey Walters

It’s that time of year again! The Gamma Iota Sigma Kappa Chapter at ASU (GIS @ ASU) is excited to welcome first year students to the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, and more importantly: the first year of their college experience. GIS @ ASU dedicates itself to its members’ development and helping them best prepare for their careers, and that’s why we enjoy getting to know mew incoming students. We believe that when students get exposure to the insurance industry early on, they will build relationships and have more opportunities upon graduation.

On August 14, the school hosted Fall Welcome. With the start of the fall semester just two days away, students and faculty were eager to get to know each other. The GIS @ ASU officers gave a brief presentation about the club and its benefits to the room packed with enthusiastic first year students. After the main presentation from the school, GIS @ ASU officers engaged with the students about current academic and long-term career plans.

This event was also an opportunity for GIS @ ASU to reach out to students who were unfamiliar with the club or the plethora of career opportunities in insurance. As the semester begins, the GIS @ ASU looks forward to getting to know the new first year students.