Piedmont Chapter’s Student Involvement Program Gathers Steam
After many fits and starts, 2009 will go down in chapter history as the year of revival for our Student Involvement Program (SIP). After many years, the Piedmont chapter meetings are brightened by the presence of young men and women from area universities that are interested in the risk management profession.
Old-timers may remember when UNC-Greensboro had a robust risk and insurance management program that was led by Dr. Joe Johnson, Dr. George Flanigan, and Dr. Robert Cline. Piedmont RIMS meetings were attended by many undergraduates during those years, and the chapter sponsored several students at our national and regional conferences. Unfortunately, the program at UNC-G fizzled when these respected educators moved on to other institutions or retired. As a result, the chapter’s SIP declined and became dormant.
After repeatedly banging on several area B-school doors, the chapter found willing professors at East Carolina University and Elon University to steer interested students our way. Between them, Dr. Jim Westmoreland of ECU and Dr. Christy Benson of Elon have sent nine impressive undergraduates to our meetings. Chapter members have been amazed to learn about the accomplishments and perspectives of these Millennials/Gen-Y’ers. We could not fathom some of their achievements when we were in college! The students’ feedback indicates a real appreciation for the insurance industry, and an eagerness to get educated about a career in risk management.
Our challenge is to nurture the SIP and encourage our academic institutions to develop a risk management curriculum. We can take giant steps toward this objective by sponsoring students at the 2010 Southeastern Regional Educational Conference and the 2011 RIMS National Conference. Get involved! Engage the students and professors at every opportunity! You will be glad that you did!