Seven Industry Leaders named to Spencer Board
Spencer awarded a $50,000 grant to New York University’s Center for Data Science to pilot and develop a course that is focused on insurance and insurtech. The course is anticipated to be taught in Fall 2019 and Fall 2020. Michel Léonard, PhD, CBE, who applied for the grant, will create and teach the course.
“We are excited to be investing in curriculum that ties into risk management and insurance industry priorities,” said Spencer Grant Committee Chairperson Andrea Dudek. “Data analytics has become a critical component in corporate and industry decision making. It is critical that our future leaders have the skills needed to make data valuable and actionable. We look forward to working with Dr. Léonard and NYU on this grant.”
Said Dr. Léonard, “The course will showcase the insurance industry’s leadership in expanding the use of A.I. in our daily lives, from self-driving cars to smart homes, cyber security, and predictive modeling, while providing the machine learning skills needed for students to succeed in insurance”
"We are excited to broaden our successful Data Science Masters Program with this offering connecting data science to insurance and insurtech,” said Julia Kempe, Director, NYU Center for Data Science. “This will significantly strengthen the profile of some of our students and prepare them as leading actors in the corporate sector.”
Established in 1979, the Spencer funds the education of tomorrow’s risk and insurance leaders by awarding scholarships, facilitating internship opportunities, providing Risk Manager in Residence programs to universities, and awarding grants to help promote the industry to the next generation. For more information, visit www.spencered.org.
Established in 2013, under founding director Yann LeCun, the NYU Center for Data Science is a focal point for New York University’s university-wide initiative in data science and statistics. The Center was established to help advance NYU’s goal of creating the country’s leading data science training and research facilities, and arming researchers and professionals with tools to harness the power of big data. For more information, visit www.cds.nyu.edu.
Spencer is a proud supporter of the 2019 Spencer/RIMS Risk Management Challenge, and we would like to congratulate the top nine teams that will be traveling to the 2019 RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Boston to present their findings before a panel of distinguished industry judges. The nine teams are from (in alphabetical order): Appalachian State University, BCIT, Butler University, Florida State University, Fudan University, St. Joseph’s University, St. Mary’s University, Temple University and the University of Georgia.
To reach this stage in the competition, teams submitted a written paper on a case study. This year the case study involves IKEA. After each team makes its presentation on Sunday, the top three team will be identified and will present in a public session on Monday, April 29. The winner will be announced at the Spencer reception Monday evening.
The Foundation began its 40th anniversary celebration in the city where it was established — Atlanta. The Atlanta RIMS Chapter’s Education Conference served as the venue for the foundation to begin celebrating 40 years of funding the education of industry leaders.
Joining the celebration were Robert Spencer’s widow, Charlotte Spencer, and their daughter, Libby Swinson. Founding board member Jim Newton and his wife Judy also attended. A reception also was held for local alumni.
Here is a link to a video of the celebration, streamed live on Facebook. During the event, we debuted a new video:
The Atlanta chapter made a $25,000 contribution to Spencer. Over time, the chapter has contributed more than $500,000 to the foundation. The Chapter has established two named scholarships and has supported the foundation’s ongoing programs.
Foundation highlights awards new scholarship opportunity in 2019
“For many years we have offered a Pre-Dissertation Ph.D. scholarship,” said Mr. Tim Meacham, Chair of the Scholarship Committee. “We need to make sure that there are professors in the schools to teach risk management and insurance and are pleased to extend our scholarships to doctoral candidates.”
The Doctoral Candidate Scholarship application will follow a slightly different schedule – opening in November 2019 with a deadline of March 1, 2020.
In 2019, two Doctoral Candidates were awarded $10,000 scholarships: Ms. Juan Zhang of Temple University and Ms. Chenyuan Liu of University of Wisconsin-Madison
2019: FULL-TIME UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS
“What’s new this year is that we are recognizing academic performance, leadership, community service and commitment to the industry,” said Tim Meacham, chairperson of the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee and COO of Lockton Benefit Companies. “The top five undergraduate applicants as determined by our committee will receive a $7,500 scholarship and named a Spencer Honors Scholar.”
Spencer awards undergraduate scholarships in the amount of $5,000 and Master and pre-dissertation scholarships in the amount of $10,000. Among the criteria students must meet are: they must be a full-time student for the full 2019-2020 academic year; have major or minor in risk management, insurance, actuarial science, business/finance; and have a GPA at or above 3.3. The full list of criteria can be found at https://www.spencered.org/students/scholarships/. Completed applications are due by January 31, 2019.
“Our grants enable risk managers to provide experiential learning opportunities to students,” said Marya J. Propis, chair of the Spencer’s Internship Committee and SVP, Director of Distribution& Broker Partnerships at All Risks, Ltd. “To keep pace with the job market, we are delighted to increase our grant from $5,000 to $7,500 for 2019.”
The Foundation will only be awarding 40 grants for 2019. Risk managers interested in applying for this grant should read the criteria. Applications must be completed by January 9, 2019.
Established in 1979, the Spencer Educational Foundation changes lives and propels careers by awarding scholarships, facilitating internship opportunities, providing a Risk-Manager-in-Residence program to universities, and awarding grants to help promote the industry to the next generation. For more information, visit www.spencered.org.
Total value of scholarships awarded for 2019 exceeds $600,000
June 27, 2019 (NEW YORK) – Spencer, the premier foundation supporting risk management and insurance education, awarded scholarships to 16 industry professionals who are seeking master’s degrees part-time. Each recipient was granted up to $10,000; a total of $148,315 was awarded. Combined with its full-time scholarships, the Foundation awarded 93 scholarships this year totaling $600,815. Since its inception, the Foundation has given out more than 1,143 scholarships.
Tim Meacham, Chair of the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee and COO of Lockton Benefits Companies congratulated the recipients, “These individuals are taking an important step to further their education. Their dedication and commitment to advancing themselves also helps advance the industry as a whole. We would also like to thank our donors, for making the education of tomorrow’s industry leaders possible and accessible.”
The 16 outstanding industry professionals receiving the scholarships this year can be found here:
Spencer Scholars are selected through a rigorous and competitive process. Criteria for evaluation include field of study, career objective, work experience, leadership skills and academic performance.
Applications for the Foundation’s Part-time Master’s Scholarships will be available on the Foundation’s website (www.spencered.org) in February, 2020.
We’re moving offices! Our new address is effective June 4th.
Starting at 12:00pm (eastern time) on Thursday May 31st, we will close the office and suspend our phone and e-mail service as we physically move to our new space. Our website should be unaffected. We will be available to speak and respond to e-mails on Monday, June 4.
Our new address is:
Spencer Educational Foundation
1407 Broadway, 29th Fl.
New York, NY 10018
Board names new chairwoman and elects new officers, board members
The Spencer Educational Foundation announced that its board has elected new officers as well as new board members. C. Zakia Phillips, formerly of Willis Towers Watson, was elected Chairwoman for 2018-19 and five new board members were named: Dr. Cassandra Cole (Florida State University), Andrea Dudek (Accenture), Stephen Grabek (AIG), Dr. Weili Lu (California State University – Fullerton), and Debbie Michel (Liberty Mutual).
Serving with Phillips on the Foundation’s Executive Committee will be Marya J. Propis (formerly of AIG) -- president, Robin Joines (Sedgwick) – vice president, Matthew Schneider (Aon) – secretary, and Peter Heard (Travelers) – treasurer.
“I look forward to working with the board as we continue,” said Phillips. “I would be remiss if I did not thank and acknowledge the great contributions made by our outgoing chair Ron Davis and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of departing board members Peggy Accordino, Roger Andrews and Debbie Rodgers.”
Phillips worked at Willis Towers Watson for ten years, most recently as the East Region Director for Corporate Risk and Broking, Large Accounts. She provided her colleagues and their clients with thought leadership, strategy, coordinated relationship management and other assistance for those large, complex corporate accounts. Her broking experience also includes work at Aon. Prior to being a broker, she was an Executive Director in the Risk and Insurance Management Department of Morgan Stanley, where she worked for 23 years. Phillips graduated with honors from the State University of New York, she is a licensed New York insurance Broker and has her ARM certification. She has been actively involved in RIMS where she served on the board of the New York Chapter for a number of years and is a Past President. She has served on the Foundation’s board since 2013.