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May 6, 2002

ISU business students travel to New Orleans

Thirteen Indiana State University business students traveled to New Orleans recently for the annual Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) meeting and the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) annual conference.

The ISU Alpha Epsilon Chapter was recognized with four national awards Chapter Management Award, Public Relations Award, Membership Development Award and Alumni Relations Award.

The chapter is consistently ranked  in the top 25 percent of all student chapters.

The RIMS Annual Conference, which the chapter attends for networking and educational purposes, is the major, national risk management event of the year with more than 5,000 risk managers and another 5,000 insurance industry professionals in attendance. At this conference, awards from the Spencer Educational Foundation, which was established by RIMS in 1979, are announced. The following awards were the result of a national competition in which ISU competed with about 50 undergraduate risk management programs in the United States and 15 international programs. In addition, students from all undergraduate business programs can compete, but the vast majority of awards go to students from the risk management and insurance programs.

ISU had two students Jeff Short and Joshua Simerman who received the Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program (ABSIP) Award to attend the RIMS Conference. These awards, worth $2,000 each, include conference fees, travel, lodging and some incidental cash to carry students through the week. There were 21 ABSIP award winners chosen this year. Throughout the week, ABSIP students receive special attention and meet individually with the industry's leading risk managers who are attending the conference.

Three ISU students won the Spencer Educational Foundation Award for the 2002-2003 academic year: There were 12 Spencer scholarship for undergraduates awarded that were determined on a nationally competitive basis.

The top undergraduate scholarship for $7,500 was awarded to Joshua Simerman, who recieved the highest score by the award committee. Jennifer Gray and Sally Martin both were awarded $5,000 scholarships. Martin was also awarded a $4,000 Student Spencer Internship award for the summer. She will be spending her internship in Seattle working and learning with the YMCA.

Finally ISU was awarded $3,500 to fund the expenses for a "Risk Manager in Residence" program. 

"I believe an important ingredient in this success story is that all of our award winners have been heavily involved in our GIS professional fraternity," said Peter Mikolaj, ISU professor of insurance and risk management who accompanied the students. "They certainly have achieved and maintain the academic credentials to warrant these honors and in addition set a high standard of professionalism and service at this early stage of their career. The School of Business can be proud of the hard work and enthusiasm of these high achievers."


Peter Mikolaj, professor of insurance and risk management
(812) 237-2101 or

Jennifer Kearns, assistant director, public affairs
(812) 237-8037 or

Public Affairs:
(812) 237-3773 or