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April 29, 2010

Three ULM risk management and insurance students excel nationally

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s risk management and insurance program receives national attention every year, but the 2009-2010 school year has been especially gratifying for the program, with three students receiving national honors.

The program is in the national spotlight with good reason. According to Dr. Christine Berry, director of insurance studies, the ULM program is one of only a few in the world that offers specialized courses in surplus lines and reinsurance, two very large and critical components of the insurance industry.

“These specialized courses have provided ULM students with a competitive advantage in the industry, as evidenced by these national awards,” she said.

Three students have excelled nationally this year. One is Rachel Stark, a senior risk management and insurance student, whose paper was selected as one of two best papers for the American Association of Managing General Agents University’s “Call for White Papers” competition.

Stark will receive a $1,000 award and in addition, she and Berry will receive an all-expense paid trip to AAMGA’s Annual Meeting in Desert Springs, Calif., in May. Stark will receive the award and be recognized for her work at the meeting.

Tamara Ward, a senior risk management and insurance and computer information systems double major, was selected this year as one of 12 interns with National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices Ltd. Ward will spend this summer with W.E. Love, a surplus lines managing general agency, and Markel Corp., a surplus lines insurer, in Richmond, Va.

In addition to receiving a salary from the firms, NAPSLO will provide a stipend and cover Ward’s travel, housing and other expenses. Ward will also compete for additional internships in London or Bermuda that take place next summer.

Last semester, Elizabeth Ragland, a senior risk management and insurance and finance double major was named the Intermediaries and Reinsurance Underwriters Association Intern of the Year. She spent the summer interning for Signet Star Reinsurance in Greenwich, Conn., and Axis Reinsurance in New York as part of a program through the IRU.

Ragland’s award was based on a competitive paper she wrote about the experience, which was published in the December 2009 issue of the “Journal of Reinsurance.” She also received a $2,500 scholarship and an all expense paid trip to attend IRU’s Spring Conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., on March 28-30.

Berry says these awards highlight the insurance industry’s commitment to education and student development. “More importantly, though, it’s a testament to the fine caliber of our students at ULM,” she added.

For more information about the program, please contact Berry at 318-342-1157 or

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