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Business Insurance announces scholarship winners, mentors

Business Insurance Scholarship

Business Insurance on Tuesday announced the 10 inaugural winners of the Business Insurance Scholarship and their industry mentors.

The scholarships are administered by The Institutes Griffith Insurance Education Foundation and support students at universities without risk management degree programs. The BI Scholarship is funded with proceeds from the U.S. Insurance Awards program, which began in 2018.

The scholarship recipients for 2019 and their industry mentors are:

  • Alexandra Hermanek, a junior at the University of Nebraska – Omaha, who majors in management information systems and accounting and is taking a minor in computer science with a concentration in IT audit and control. Ms. Hermanek’s mentor is Carey Anne Nadeau, founder and CEO of Open Data Nation, a Washington-based insurtech firm.
  • Nahla Shepherd, a freshman at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, who is a business management major. Ms. Shepherd’s mentor is Bonnie Boone, executive vice president – p/c health care practice at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
  • Kaitlyn Townsend, a sophomore at the University of Kansas in Lawrence who majors in exercise science. Ms. Townsend’s mentor is Deborah Watkins, founder and CEO of Care Bridge International Inc. in Sarasota, Florida.
  • Quentin (Spencer) Washington, a sophomore at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, who majors in film studies and is taking a minor in creative writing. Mr. Washington’s mentor is Darryl Dortch, business development manager at Aon PLC’s Global Entertainment Group.
  • Gabrielle Pietanza, a sophomore pursing a major in management and a minor in legal studies at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. Ms. Pietanza’s mentor is Samara Jaffe, managing director at InsureTech Connect LLC and co-founder and executive director of HR Transform LLC in New York.
  • Brooks (James) Joiner, a sophomore majoring in cyber engineering and computer science at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. Mr. Joiner’s mentor is Leslie Chacko, director – transformative technologies at Marsh & McLennan Insights, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.
  • Armoni Ross, a junior pursuing a major in communication and a minor in business administration at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. Ms. Ross’s mentor is Pam Humphrey, global client executive at Chubb Ltd.
  • Olivia Curbeam, a junior at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln who is pursuing a major in advertising and public relations and minor in leadership and communication. Ms. Curbeam’s mentor is Nina Boone, US sales leader mergers and acquisition at Aon PLC.
  • Milena Berestko a freshman at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, who is pursuing a major in neuroscience and theater and a minor in creative writing. Ms. Berestko’s mentor is Raissa Correa, public relations and corporate social responsibility consultant at CNA Financial Corp.
  • Kieara Fagan, a freshman at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who is majoring in psychology and taking a minor in Africana studies. Ms. Fagan’s mentor is Noelle Codispoti, CEO of Gamma Iota Sigma, the insurance and risk management fraternity based in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

In addition to the mentorship, each student receives: $3,500, free access to two Institutes courses — Insurance Essentials and Introduction to Risk Management and Insurance — and a one-year membership to Gamma Iota Sigma.

Applications for the 2020 BI Scholarship will be accepted in Spring 2020.



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