Kent State Salem Receives Ohio Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma for Insurance Studies Program
Salem – Kent State University at Salem, with the support of MAPFRE Insurance and other insurance industry partners, hosted a chartering ceremony for its student chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, the international risk management, insurance and actuarial science collegiate fraternity.
The Salem Chapter is Beta Nu.
To receive a GIS chapter, a college or university must offer insurance or an actuarial science-related curriculum. Kent State Salem offers a bachelor’s degree in insurance studies that can be taken online and through any of the university’s campuses. The program was launched in 2012, the first insurance studies degree program in Ohio in more than 30 years.
Jennifer Buck, a sophomore insurance studies major, worked tirelessly to help organize the GIS chapter at Kent State and is the group’s first president. “Having Gamma Iota Sigma will give our program that missing piece to take our program to its fullest potential,” she said.
“Having a GIS chapter is what every true insurance program hopes to achieve and Kent State is no different. We want to learn how to access and grow our professional network,” Buck continued. “We want to give our majors a reason to not just want to be in our industry, but to love it.”
The other officers include senior Dan Newlin, vice president; senior Michelle Quinn, secretary; and junior Robin Kovacs, treasurer.
Tim McFadden, academic program director for business management technology programs at the Columbiana County campuses, is the club’s co-advisor and helped develop the insurance studies degree program. “The students worked hard to get this Gamma chapter organized and chartered,” he said. “Gamma Iota Sigma is a professional fraternity that allows students to become leaders on campus and in the insurance industry when they graduate.”
GIS at Kent Salem is not exclusive to students majoring in insurance studies. “This is open to all majors,” Buck explained. “All we ask is that students have an interest in insurance. The insurance industry has many different career options that can align with many different majors. It will help create real professional networks that can lead to real jobs, which is crucial for so many Salem students, many of whom are first generation college students trying to launch themselves into the workforce.”
“We are proud to support the opportunity to promote organizations that foster career growth in Ohio’s insurance industry,” said Jeff Alexander, senior vice president and regional Manager for MAPFRE Insurance. “MAPFRE is among the 260 insurance companies in Ohio and like others, we look to fill positions as they become available with high quality insurance experience and education.”
The officers have been meeting bi-weekly since July and are working out a schedule for club meetings. “With today’s technology, we will be able to have virtual meetings with members from all across the state and beyond,” Buck said. “The GIS motto is connecting top talent with industry. That is exactly what we hope to do through this organization.”
MAPFRE Insurance, the 19th largest provider of personal automobile insurance in the United States, is part of the MAPFRE Group, an international insurer with business in 47 countries on five continents. The MAPFRE Group is the leading insurer in Spain. It is also the leading insurer in the non-life market in Latin America and the sixth largest non-life insurer in Europe. The MAPFRE Group has 36,000 employees and over 23 million customers worldwide. In 2013, the MAPFRE Group had net earnings of $1.05 billion with revenues of $34.4 billion.
GIS began in 1965 to promote, encourage and sustain student interest in insurance, risk management and actuarial science as professions. The organization works to encourage the high and scholastic attainments of its members and to facilitate interaction of educational institutions and industry. This is done through networking, fostering research activities, scholarships and improved public relations.
GIS’s annual membership is more than 2,100 students at 60 colleges through North America and an alumni network of more than 21,000 individuals.
Photo: Jennifer Buck, charter president of Gamma Iota Sigma at Kent Salem, and an insurance studies major, signs the official chartering document and receives congratulations from Grace Grant, director of chapter services for Gamma Iota Sigma.
Tina Smith, 330-337-4247, tsmit170 [at] kent.edu