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OWLympiad_1The Fox School of Business will welcome nearly 250 juniors from Philadelphia-area high schools to Temple University for the 7th annual OWLympiad math competition, to be held May 9 at the Howard Gittis Student Center.

Free to attend, OWLympiad offers cash prizes for 11th-graders who are exploring career possibilities in the actuarial science field. Actuaries leverage high-level numerical skills to assume positions in insurance, consulting, investment banking, government organizations, and more.

“This event creates awareness that actuarial science is an appealing career path for someone who loves math, and it’s a great way for local math-minded students to connect with one another,” said OWLympiad coordinator Dr. Krupa Viswanathan, an Associate Professor and Director of the Fox School’s Actuarial Science program.

OWLympiad will challenge teams of four students to demonstrate their knowledge in a range of math-related subjects, including algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. The competition, which begins at 9 a.m., will consist of a multiple-choice exam, a “24” math cardgame competition, and a Quizzo-style lightning round. The team that accrues the most points will be awarded $400. All participating students will receive a customized T-shirt, lunch, and other items provided by the event’s sponsors.

OWLympiad_2The Fox School’s Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department, as well as the Sigma Chapter of international professional fraternity Gamma Iota Sigma, will host the competition. Travelers Insurance Company and the Casualty Actuarial Society are the event’s sponsors.

Temple University offers one of the most-distinguished Actuarial Science programs in North America, and has been recognized by the Society of Actuaries as a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) – one of only 30 institutions to receive this honor. The Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department has offered engagement opportunities for local high school students for the past 15 years, including OWLympiad.

Email Timothy Ellis (timothy.ellis@temple.edu) or Viswanathan (krupa@temple.edu) for more information about OWLympiad.

Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Michael McCloskey speaks to area high school students on the significance of financial literacy.
Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Michael McCloskey speaks to area high school students on the significance of financial literacy.

It’s not what you make. It’s what you save.

That’s what Michael McCloskey said, as he asked for a student volunteer to share details of his personal finances.

At that moment, a hand shot into the air. The area high school student divulged to McCloskey how much money he earns each month by working his part-time job, and also how much he spends. Then McCloskey asked the student if he owns a car. The student replied yes, but added that his parents manage its related expenses.

“Well, that’s going to change one day,” said McCloskey, Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management at the Fox School of Business, “and it’s important that everyone in this room is prepared for that day.

The Fox School hosted more than 70 high school students from the Philadelphia region April 29 for a first annual Financial Literacy seminar, offering a variety of guest speakers on topics ranging from early investing, credit, and financial aid for college.

Fox School’s Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, a risk and insurance fraternity, organized the four-hour event, to demonstrate the importance of managing one’s personal finances to prevent common financial pitfalls and to encourage better decision-making in regard to money. Reducing student debt is one of six commitments made by Temple University President Neil Theobald, who recently implemented the Fly In 4 program.

The event opened with McCloskey’s discussion on investing for the future. McCloskey, who teaches a general education course on the subject, explained the difference between good credit and bad credit, introduced the students to terms like insolvency and net worth, and encouraged them to jot down their monthly expenditures as a way of tracking their spending.

The students also learned about college admissions and financial aid application procedures from David Kaiser, Director of Undergraduate Enrollment at the Fox School, and Celeste D. Roberts, Temple’s Assistant Bursar of Financial Literacy. Following a lunch break, the students met with Fox senior Francesca Waddington, Sigma’s Vice President of Community Affairs, for a discussion focusing on the college experience.

“Four years ago, I was extremely confused with applying for financial aid and student loans, and had little understanding of what impact this would have on me when I graduated,” said Waddington, who organized the event with the help of Vice Dean Debbie Campbell, Director of Undergraduate Enrollment David Kaiser and Sigma Director of Community Affairs Sean Johnson.

“I think it’s crucial to educate students who plan to attend college on exactly what the financial burden is and, more importantly, how to lessen this burden. I think understanding how to become financially literate is vital to success, which was our inspiration for starting an event like this.”

The Financial Literacy seminar served as just one of many initiatives organized by the Sigma Chapter. In April, Sigma presented a check for $11,200 to its charity of choice, Brave Hearts for Strong Minds. The organization, based in the Philadelphia area, collects educations funds for children who have lost an income-earning parent.

For more information on the Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, visit its website.

Fox School of Business alumni , faculty and students and industry professionals flocked to the Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel Tuesday, April 22, to celebrate and honor students past and present for the 26th Annual Awards for Excellence Dinner.

Co-hosted by the Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management and the Sigma chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, Dean Moshe Porat commented on event’s growth from a small luncheon 25 years ago.

“The idea behind it was to raise the profile of the department, to further connect students to employers, and to attract well-known speakers,” Dr. Porat said. “I think you will agree that we succeeded on all accounts – more people, more illustrious speakers and more successes to celebrate.”

The keynote speaker of the event was J. Hyatt Brown, president and CEO of Brown & Brown, Inc. who had an active career as a Florida state representative in the 1970s, and whom Time Magazine named one of the U.S.’s 50 young leaders in 1979.

Among the more than 30 Fox School students receiving awards were graduating seniors Richard Lee, BBA ’14, and William Thorsson, BBA ’14, who received the G. William Glendenning Award for Excellence in Actuarial Science; Cathleen Gabriel, BBA ’14, and Regina Ross, BBA ’13, recipients of the Joseph E. Boettner Award for Excellence in Risk Management and Insurance; H. Wayne Snider Award in Risk Management winner Martin Leicht, BBA ’14; Allison Cross, CEBS, BBA ’14,, who won the Jerry S. Rosenbloom Award in Employee Benefits; and Nancy Barret, BBA ’14, who was honored with the Baglini Memorial Award for Professionalism and Ethics.

Three Fox alums received the prestigious awards from the department. Cassidy A. Starkey, BBA ’99, manager of the designs Claims Management Programs for The Graham Company – and a Temple University Beasley School of Law grad – received the Norman A. Baglini Distinguished Young Alumni Award in Risk Management and Insurance.

Cigna Global Health Benefits Actuarial Manager Richard Huynh, BBA ’08, was honored with the G. William Glendenning Distinguished Young Alumni Award in Actuarial Science.

John Hannah, BBA ’90, was given the H. Wayne Snider Distinguished Alumni Award in Risk Management and Insurance. Hannah currently serves as senior client executive of Marsh’s Philadelphia Operations.

Associate Professor and Department Chair R.B. Drennan made remarks about the state of the insurance industry’s recruitment and future before awarding students and alumni. He proudly noted that the Fox School is educating future generations in this industry, and “we have been doing it longer and better than anyone else.”

“There is great concern over where the next generation of talent and leaders will come from,” Dr. Drennan noted. “Might I suggest to you, based on the facts as presented, that we in the Fox School have assumed the role as the leader in risk management education and research in the country and that we are also playing a major role to close this gap.”