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UA Cyber Researchers Delve Into the Dark Web

REPRINTED FROMÂ UA NEWS 04/19/2018 The Office of Information Technology works to block dark web traffic from entering UA, but for five students in Cyber Hall, the dark web serves as a place of employment. The Network Intrusion Lab, located in Cyber Hall, houses faculty and student researchers building mechanisms to monitor and analyze dark web network traffic. According to UA OIT, the dark web is a part of the internet that is only accessible by means of special software that allows users to remain anonymous to conduct mostly malicious activity.

The NIL consists of Dr. Diana Dolliver and Dr. Adam Ghazi-Tehrani, both of whom are assistant professors in cyber criminology and criminal justice, as well as five UA student interns: Austin Rife, a junior studying computer engineering and mathematics from Grand Rapids, Michigan Jake Wachs, a sophomore studying computer science from Annapolis, Maryland Austin Hose, a junior in New College studying cybersecurity from Meridianville, Alabama


A Change of Name for Culverhouse Culverhouse Recognizes IRMAS Students Nobel Prize Economist Visits Culverhouse UA Wins SEC Cyber Case CompetitionÂ

Alex Dunbrack, a senior studying management information systems from Orlando, Florida Spencer Fuhriman, a sophomore studying computer science from Meridian, Idaho

The First of its Kind The NIL opened in January 2017 and is a joint project through the continued partnership between UAPD and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Office of Information Technology provides the NIL a secure research environment where students can work with faculty to build network analysis tools. “In the NIL,” said Wachs, “we get to see the real-world implications of what technology can do.” The NIL strives to increase awareness and knowledge about cyber activity, particularly with law enforcement. The NIL is a function of the Joint Electronic Crimes Task Force. Established in August 2014, the JECTF assists local and national law enforcement officials with processing digital evidence for use in cybercrime prosecutions. “People become victims of cyber attacks just because they don’t know any better,” said Hose. “That’s what scares me, the lack of knowledge about cyber activity.” The students in the NIL work not only to monitor network activity, but also to provide necessary information to local and federal law enforcement to prevent malicious activity and to help solve criminal cases.

The students working in the NIL bring a variety of experience and diverse majors of study to the group. “I really enjoy working with the other students in the NIL,” said Dunbrack. “We’re all pursuing different majors of study, and when I hear their perspectives it really broadens my personal understanding of what cybercrime is becoming in this world. We’re all bringing different skills to the table.” The research being conducted at the NIL is the first of its kind. Fewer than 10 academic institutions across the United States have a digital forensics task force, and the UA NIL, as a part of such task force, is the first of its kind. “No one has done the research that we’re doing. We hope that our research opens up a new discussion in the cyber field of study.” Dr. Adam Ghazi-Tehrani, assistant professor in cyber criminology and criminal justice at UA

Network Intrusion Lab Internships NIL internships are available to students in all majors of study. “Through the NIL, we offer students a different way of thinking about problems,” said Dolliver. “There’s a difference between learning something in a classroom and actually applying the knowledge. These students are getting real experience.” Undergraduate and graduate students can now apply for internships at the NIL at “Students thinking about studying cybersecurity should have an interest in computer programming, and a passion for computing with a willingness to learn,” said Rife. “It’s so cool to learn how something works, and then reverse it to prevent somebody from getting in. You always have to think ahead. If there is something out there that you’re interested in, go after it. Ask a faculty member about it and start learning.”


“Ms. LePere has done an exceptional job in leading the Alabama Insurance Society to one of its most successful years in recent history,” said William Rabel, John & Mary Louise Loftis Bickley Endowed Teaching Professor of Insurance & Financial Services. “This award is a true credit to her outstanding leadership and exemplary community service, qualities that were such an important part of Dr. Bickley’s character.”


Laura LePere is the recipient of the 2018 John S. Bickley Award from Culverhouse College of Business in recognition of her academic achievements and civic engagement. She was presented with the award during the economics, finance, and legal studies department's  2018 Honors Day Ceremony on Wednesday, April 4 at the Tuscaloosa River Market. Dr. John S. Bickley, emeritus professor of insurance and founder of the International Insurance Society, was a legendary leader and well recognized for his contributions to academia and to the insurance industry. Named in his honor, the John S. Bickley Award recognizes a University of Alabama student studying in insurance, risk management and actuarial science who is an outstanding citizen of the University, especially the IRMAS Program. The award recipient is elected by the John and Mary Louise Loftis Bickley Endowed Teaching Professor of Insurance & Financial Services. LePere, a native of Westfield, Indiana, graduated on May 5 with an undergraduate degree in finance and specializations in insurance and actuarial science. Since freshman year, she has served on the board of directors for Alabama Insurance Society and has held numerous officers positions within the student organization, including serving as President this year. “I am extremely honored and elated to receive the John S. Bickley Award. Being part of the University of Alabama and IRMAS program these past four years has been an amazing experience. I am so thankful for my professors and peers who have been unrelenting in their support of me,” said LePere.

The business college at The University of Alabama recently announced that it is implementing its new name: Culverhouse College of Business. This name change has been approved by The University of Alabama Board of Trustees and other parties, including the Culverhouse family, which has been a longtime supporter of the college. “The new name more succinctly reflects the comprehensive mission of Culverhouse consistent with its academic, research, and service offerings and initiatives than the previous name, Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration,” said Culverhouse Dean Kay Palan. The College is implementing this name change through the late spring and early summer of 2018 to coincide with the conclusion of UA’s academic year. “This update to our name comes at a unique time, as we prepare to celebrate our centennial in 2019,” said Dean Palan. “As a business school, we’re doing so many incredible things from shaping future business leaders through our highly-respected academics to improving the economic outlook of the region via a rigorous outreach and research agenda. It is truly exciting to be here at the Culverhouse College of Business.”

IRMAS SENIOR FINDS UNIQUE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY undergraduate research program. Over the past 48 years, more than 1,000 students have participated in the program. Laffey first learned about the Randall Research Scholars Program when he applied to the university and thought the opportunity for undergraduate students to work one-onone with professors on research was a fantastic opportunity. “I have always had a strong interest in utilizing computer technology to solve various problems in math, economics and finance, so I thought the opportunity to learn all of these skills was invaluable,” he said. “Defense wins championships” is one of the oldest clichés in sports. In fact, legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant is the person credited with the quote. Sports media has since vehemently debated and widely perpetuated the adage, turning it into gospel in some sports. But is it true wisdom or a mere platitude? Nicholas Laffey, a senior majoring in math and economics, has set out to put an end to the debate. As part of the University of Alabama’s Catherine J. Randall Research Scholars Program, Laffey is working with assistant professor Dr. Brendan Ames to analyze and predict the performance of hockey teams. “Currently I am developing various models to predict playoff success of NHL teams. These models use a machine learning technique called sparse regression that has a few advantages over ordinary least-squares regression,” Laffey said. “Being able to better understand what factors are responsible for a team succeeding in the regular season versus the playoffs can greatly influence the way in which teams are built, players are drafted, and how salary cap space is allocated.” The Randall Research Scholars Program, formerly Computer-Based Honors, is a nationally recognized undergraduate research program, which pairs exceptional students directly with leading research professors and cutting-edge computing technology to conduct research in a variety of disciplines. It is a component of UA’s Honors College. At its 1968 launch, the program was the nation’s first university-wide 

He began working on this particular research topic during his senior year as a means to connect the theories he was learning in class to their real-world applications. “Normally, a lot of the math you learn in class can seem too abstract and unconnected to real-world problems. So, I thought it was a really cool thing to be able to apply math and statistics to something so many people are passionate about like sports,” Laffey said. However, working on this research has not been without its challenges. “I created the models in this project with R, a programming language I did not know when I first started, and had no clue where to begin with understanding what sparse regression meant,” he said.  “Working with Dr. Ames, I’ve learned how to approach a subject that I know very little about. I was able to read the relevant literature and piece together a plan for executing this project. I believe this experience will be a great asset in tackling new problems in my career going forward.” So, what do the numbers say? The results suggest that regular season defensive performance is significantly more influential in predicting playoff performance than in the regular season. In addition, statistics reflecting a combination of both offensive and defensive ability exhibit increased influence in models fit to playoff performance. Laffey said that one interpretation of the results is that teams need to have good offenses to make the playoffs, but once they are in the playoffs, defense is the distinguishing factor. These findings lend credence to the cliché that defense does, in fact, win championships. 

IRMAS PROFESSOR SELECTED AS HUEBNER PANELIST Dr. George Zanjani, Frank Park Samford Chairholder in Insurance, was selected as a panelist for the 2018 S.S. Huebner Foundation Doctoral Colloquium. This selection is a real honor and credits Zanjani as a prominent researcher in his field of economics. The Huebner Doctoral Colloquium supports four outstanding Ph.D. candidates nationally and internationally with scholarship in the areas of risk and insurance. The colloquium will be held on Sunday, August 5, 2018, in Chicago, in conjunction with the American Risk and Insurance Association Annual Meeting. Other panelists include Michael Hoy from the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, and Casey Rothschild of Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

IIS NAMES BICKLEY AND HALL OF FAME LAUREATES The International Insurance Society recently announced Shuzo Sumi, Chairman of the Board of Tokio Marine Holdings, as the 2018 Insurance Hall of Fame Laureate. IIS has also named Dr. Andrew Kuper, Founder and CEO of LeapFrog Investments, as the 2018 John S. Bickley Founder's Award recipient. These Awards – the Insurance Hall of Fame and the John S. Bickley Founder’s Award – are presented annually in conjunction with the IIS Global Insurance Forum.


Joseph Pronti, center in white shirt, and members of the Alabama Association of Health Underwriters (AAHU) met Senator Richard Shelby during the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) Capitol Conference in Washington D.C. 

BY JOSEPH PRONTI I was the lucky student selected for 2018’s National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) Capitol Conference, and I can say it was one of the more interesting experiences I have had in my days as a student. I had opportunities to do things that I otherwise may never have been able to. Getting to talk to Senator Richard Shelby and tell him I had class freshman year in Shelby Hall at the University of Alabama was just one of the highlights of my trip. I had the opportunity to sit above the congressional floor where I observed all 435 members of the House of Representatives as they voted on 5 issues while I was there. Walking the halls of the Senate and House was a memorable feeling as I got to meet and speak with Alabama’s legislators about the latest issues in healthcare reform. It is arguably the most complex issue facing our nation today, and I was able to sit in and learn about it. Lobbying congress is something I had heard about, but to be a part of it all throughout the week and get behind the scenes to see how laws are made, passed, and changed was a treat. Each day I learned more about the lobbying process and its importance, with all the planning and resources allotted to it by organizations throughout the country.  I had been to Washington once before in the 8th grade, but going as a senior in college gave me an entirely new

appreciation for the city. There is so much rich history in the nation’s capital and I was able to see all the monuments during the week. During the days, I learned from healthcare professionals and politicians, and in the evenings I was treated to wonderful dinners followed by touring Washington, D.C. There is so much to do and my sponsor, Paige Phillips, made sure I was able to see as much as I possibly could. Getting to know Paige was a pleasure and I’m sure any student who comes after me will see for themselves how great it is to have someone there to explain everything. Thanks to Paige’s help and the conference being full of professionals from around the country, I was able to network and make connections like never before. So many events advertise great networking opportunities, but I can say that this was certainly the most effective networking I’ve ever done. People from every region of the country come together each year for the Capitol Conference, and I was able to make connections with employers not only in Alabama but also back in my home state of New Jersey. I recommend this trip to anyone interested in the insurance industry, as it is a chance to learn how laws and reform truly occur in Washington, button up a job search, and enjoy an all-expense paid trip to the nation’s capital. I thank Dr. Rabel for giving me this opportunity and Paige Phillips for taking me on the ride as this was a trip I won’t forget. 


RECAP: AIS EVENTS & ACTIVITIES 2017-18 September 19: Insurance Agencies Gary Roberts of HealthMarkets

November 02: Healthcare Insurance

Jim Yablecki, FSA and Laura Yablecki of Cigna

November 07: Actuaries in Healthcare

Jill Cullen, FSA, Cameron Daniel, FSA, MAAA, and Matt Darby, ASA, MAAA, of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama

November 10: Actuaries in Property-Casualty Six students visited Alfa in Montgomery, AL Dean Kay Palan awarded Sarah Boudoin and Dr. David Mothersbaugh the 2018 John S. Bickley Innovation and Creativity Award from Culverhouse College of Business during the annual Faculty & Staff Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 13 at the Dinah Washington Culture Arts Center in downtown Tuscaloosa.

November 14: Insurance Underwriting

The John S. Bickley Innovation and Creativity Award, instituted in 2006 and named in honor of emeritus professor of insurance, Dr. John S. Bickley, honors individuals who have demonstrated innovation and creativity to further excellence within Culverhouse College of Business.

January 30: Global Insurance Market

Sarah Boudoin, a sophomore from Hoover, AL, and Dr. David Mothersbaugh, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, were recognized for their ingenuity in creating Sophomore LAUNCH, a weeklong "boot camp" designed to accelerate the careers of Culverhouse sophomores, which was held January 22-26, 2018. Throughout the week of Sophomore LAUNCH, students were able to attend sessions that highlighted various business majors and minors, receive internship and career advice, and get course advising for the summer and fall 2018 semesters. Sarah brought the idea to the dean’s office during the fall semester and worked diligently with Dr. Mothersbaugh to bring the vision to life. “I am beyond humbled to have received the John S. Bickley Innovation and Creativity Award,” Boudoin said. “Bringing the Sophomore LAUNCH week to life was an incredible journey and I cannot wait to continue pursuing my passion for undergraduate programs."

Mike Stafford, CPCU, AFSB of Travelers

January 23: Environmental Insurance Aimee Byrd of Rivington Partners

Kirsten Flynn of Protective Life - TAL Life

February 13: Cyber Security Tim Searcy of Protective Life

February 20: Work-Life Balance

Christopher Orr of Protective Life

March 06: Sponsor Recognition Banquet

Dow Walker, CPCU, ARM, ARe of ProAssurance

March 20: Actuarial Exams

Daniel Bauer, Ph.D., University of Alabama

April 17: Financial Planning Sam Snider of Merrill Lynch

April 19: Actuarial Consutling

Arthur Randolph, FCAS, MAAA, CPCU, ARM, ARe of Pinnacle Actuarial Resources

YOUNG ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: HANNAH SHAUL '17, FIELD PREMIUM AUDITOR, SUMMIT CONSULTING LLC before I learned about Summit, but it makes sense for me. I have a lot of customer service experience and my job allows me to use those skills in a challenging and ever-evolving environment,” she said. When Summit recently introduced a new predictive analytics model to their claims process, Shaul discovered an opportunity to put more of her education to use. “As an adjuster, it was my responsibility to attend the training,” she said, “but as someone with a background in statistics, I also served as an informal liaison and answered questions from coworkers about the math behind the model.”

Hannah Shaul used her experience at the Capstone and background in customer service to transition from college student to young professional. A math major and economics minor in college, she was heavily involved in the Alabama Insurance Society, a student organization for those interested in careers in insurance, risk management, and actuarial science. “Being a member of the Alabama Insurance Society and serving on its board of directors opened my eyes to all of the different aspects of the insurance industry,” Shaul said. "When I joined my junior year of undergrad, I found the direction I so desperately needed. I met people from all lines and in a variety of roles and began to understand how broad the insurance industry really is. I realized that any job in insurance would serve as a solid foundation for a career in the field because all the pieces that make up an insurance company are so heavily intertwined. That’s why I’m in my current position – it allows me to learn about insurance from the ground up.” After graduating, Shaul accepted a position as a claims adjuster for workers’ compensation at Summit Consulting LLC in Georgia. “I’d never really thought about working in workers’ compensation  

As a claims adjuster, Shaul regularly uses the model as it helps her make more informed decisions and identify highexposure claims as early as possible. “With the model, adjusters have a place where all of the information available for a certain case is condensed into an easy-to-read format and it helps us to make more insightful plans of action for each specific claim,” she explained. Shaul continued, “My job involves a lot of decision making… I have many resources available to make educated decisions, but in the end, the claim (and its financial footprint) are my responsibility.” Yet, this level of responsibility is not without its rewards. “The most rewarding part of my job,” she says, “is knowing that when someone is going through a really tough time, we are able to take care of them... Some of the injuries I see are catastrophic. In fact, some claims involve fatalities. A claim can range from a minor scrape to a person or family whose life/lives are forever changed. When I am able to help make someone’s life easier, I’m doing my job right.” In less than a year, Shaul has been promoted to Field Premium Auditor – a role that will be, as she puts it, “much more numbers focused now.” Her advice to students is to get more involved and “ask questions, get outside your comfort zone, and take every opportunity you can to learn something new.”

NOBEL PRIZE WINNER IN ECONOMICS VISITS CAMPUS Acclaimed economist Dr. Vernon L. Smith, 2002 winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics, visited the Culverhouse College of Business on Friday, March 2 as part of the Lowder Lecture series. His talk explored how commonly held and false beliefs about economic behavior and the market have changed over time. Culverhouse professor and Bidgood Chair in Economics and Finance Cary Deck was instrumental in bringing Smith to campus to participate in a series of engagements, including the public talk. Deck said, “It is a great opportunity for our community to hear from such a respected voice in the field of economics. Dr. Smith’s work has consistently shown how we can gain tremendous social and policy insights when we treat economics as an experimental science.

AIPC MEMBER FEATURED IN SOUTH MAGAZINE Rodney Pilot, Principal of Pilot Catastrophe, was recently featured in South Magazine, the official periodical of the University of South Alabama Alumni Association. The article highlighted the mutually beneficially relationship his company has with USA's School of Computing. Pilot is also a member of the Alabama Insurance Planning Commission, an advisory board for the insurance and risk management program at The University of Alabama.


BY NICOLE PUTRE My study abroad experience was something I will never forget. While those four months flew by in a blink, there is no doubt that the impact they had will last a lifetime. I can now attest to the fact that all the clichés you hear about studying abroad are true. Yes, it was the best months of my entire life so far. No, I cannot stop talking about my experience. Yes, I do feel like a whole new person. I know it can be obnoxious, but if you have spent a semester or year abroad then you know what I mean. They are things that are hard to understand unless you too have also had the incredible opportunity to study abroad. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend a wonderful four months in Europe, and I encourage everyone who has the opportunity and ability to go as well. My choice to spend the fall semester of my junior year at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland was an easy one. As I child I spent six years living just outside of Dublin and I have always known Ireland as home. It was my favorite place on earth, but unfortunately, when I left at the age of 10, I never had the chance to return. Some people did question my decision to return to a country that I already knew so well, but to me, after 11 years away I wasn’t even sure if Ireland would be the place I remembered. Upon my return, I immediately felt a sense of familiarity, but going back at 21 was a whole new ball game. Experiencing Ireland as an adult while living and traveling on my own was a completely different experience. I did not regret my decision to go back at all; in fact, I was so beyond thankful that I did. It gave me a chance to rediscover my past and realize a lot of why I am the way that I am.  

It was also a chance to experience a completely different higher educational system. Trinity College is a worldrenowned university, and I received a first-class education in their Business and Economics courses. It was definitely a challenge learning in an international environment with a new system. For example, in America, most university courses will have a couple tests, homework, quizzes, and maybe attendance making up your grade. At Trinity, you had one paper and/or one test making up your grade. That was it. The pressure was high, to say the least. Now try managing that with wanting to travel Europe and experience new things – again, not easy. However, I managed. It definitely challenged me, but in the best way possible. I thought I was good at time management before, but I can definitely say I am stellar at it now. I was writing papers on airplanes and studying flashcards while on the train to Galway. If you want to see everything and do well in school while abroad, you have to make it work. While it was stressful at times, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I did well in my classes and managed to see a lot of Ireland as well as London, Paris, Switzerland, Amsterdam, and Italy during my four months based in Dublin. Every country has its own culture, its own history, and its own story to tell. I loved every minute of my travels and I am already itching to go travel some more. Overall, my experience abroad was one I wouldn’t trade for the world. I honestly would have stayed a year if I could and I still miss Dublin every day. I made so many wonderful new friends and reconnected with old ones. I fell in love all over again with the stunningly beautiful Irish countryside and the culture of the Irish people. I learned more about myself than I had ever thought possible, and I definitely did not return to America the same person. Studying abroad, living abroad, and traveling abroad – all of it opens your eyes to how big and beautiful this world really is. There is one quote that is my absolute favorite and I think the best possible way to summarize my experience abroad. “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” ― Miriam Adeney I am so thankful for my experience, and I can only hope to call Dublin home again someday.

IRMAS JUNIOR INTERNS WITH ALABAMA STATE SENATE I also would like to spend time bragging about the entire intern group I worked with in the legislature. We all quickly bonded and became friends early on in the internship. The group of interns was truly some of the brightest young minds I know. I have no doubt our future is in safe hands. Despite none of the interns having identical political views, it did not stop us from becoming great friends. I enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them.

BY W. BROCK COLVIN The time I spent interning in the Alabama State Senate was one of the best experiences of my life. I had an incredible opportunity to witness first-hand the legislative process for the state of Alabama. I certainly did not take any of that time for granted. I received great knowledge by sitting in on meetings with my senators, working committee meetings, and observing members debating on the floor. I knew I already liked politics, but this internship just reinforced my belief even more that I would love to work in the political world. Observing the Senate the past three months will benefit me when I decide to run for office in the future. One thing that really caught me off guard about the internship was the people I worked with. Contrary to my original idea, the people who work in the legislature are so nice. The executive assistants I worked with did not hesitate to help me if I ever had questions. They were always there for me and made my internship even better. It was also quite the honor to personally get to know senators who work in the state legislature. The senators I worked with were great about asking me for help and letting me sit in on meetings with them. Senator Arthur Orr and Senator Clay Scofield were exceptionally well at informing me of issues that were taking place in the legislature. It meant a lot to me that they would entrust me with confidential information. Working with these senators was a great experience and something I will never forget.

I was quite sad when the internship ended last, and it is because I truly had a great experience. I am so glad I was chosen to participate in this program, and I would encourage anyone who is interested in politics to look into this program. The knowledge I gained during this internship will help me with my future endeavors. I would not take those three months interning back for anything. It was truly an honor carrying out the people’s business while interning in the Alabama State Senate.

UA WINS SEC STUDENT CYBER CHALLENGE COMPETITION One of his teammates, Austin Hose, a cybersecurity major, added, “This was a really long two days, but it was interesting working as a team. With our different skills coming together, we were able to present a good idea to solve the problem we were given.” The University of Missouri finished second in the competition, followed by host Auburn. All three teams received prizes from Equifax.

REPRINTED FROM SECU NEWS 4/09/18 The University of Alabama won first place in the SEC Student Cyber Challenge at the 2018 SEC Academic Conference being held at Auburn University and entitled Cyber Security: A Shared Responsibility. Members of the winning team were Kevin Poorman, Austin Lucas, James Woods and Austin Hose. The competition highlighted a real-world cybersecurity problem presented by Equifax, and teams had nearly 48 hours to develop a solution in a “hackathon” style challenge. Each SEC university was eligible to enter a team, which could include graduate and undergraduate students and required faculty oversight. “It has been wonderful seeing all of the different views that the students have come together to ultimately develop a system that was deemed the best in the SEC,” said the Alabama team advisor, Dr. Matthew Hudnall. “We had a great group with students from criminal justice, management information systems and cybersecurity. So, it was a very diverse team representing the University of Alabama.” To kick off the challenge, executives from Equifax, the Atlanta-based global information solutions company, explained the simulated problem, and teams then worked at their own pace to devise a solution. Their final submissions were judged by Equifax and other industry experts who ultimately selected Alabama as the winner for the team’s innovative offering. “This was a great learning experience. We brought different things to the table, and it was interesting to see how my teammates could help me learn about how networks connect and talk to each other. That was really fun, said criminal justice major, Kevin Poorman.

In addition to the cyber challenge, students were also invited to present their cybersecurity research during the poster exhibition. The posters were judged by all conference attendees and members of the event advisory board, and the top three submissions were announced during the awards ceremony at the Auburn Arena. “The poster exhibitors offered an array of research for SEC Academic Conference attendees to consider and judge in the area of cybersecurity,” said Dr. Torie A. Johnson, SECU Executive Director. “The research presented ranged from securing USB to cloud computing to blockchain technology. The breath of opportunities to address this significant issue was on display.” Ending on Tuesday, April 10, the SEC Academic Conference included sessions on computer and communication technology; the economic and physical systems that are controlled by technology; and the policies and laws that govern and protect information stored, transmitted and processed with technology. It is one of several programs designed to showcase the academic achievements and accomplishments of SEC administrators, faculty and students.

ALABAMA INSURANCE DAY RETURNS TO UA THIS OCTOBER Alabama Insurance Day returns to the University of Alabama's Bryant Conference Center on October 10, 2018. This is the twelfth consecutive year the conference has been held at the university.  Alabama I-Day features premier speakers in risk management and insurance, provides continuing education credit for professionals, and offers students an opportunity to meet recruiters from some of the best companies in the insurance industry.  The program has a timely theme, Insurance Evolution: Resilience in a Tech Disrupted World, and features industry experts on a wide variety of topics including the future of autonomous vehicles, coastal insurance and disaster readiness, cybersecurity, ethics, retirement planning and other emerging industry trends.   The program also includes breakout sessions focusing on lifehealth and property-casualty insurance, risk management and company operations, and a CEO panel discussion. Visit for a full list of speakers.

IRMAS BIDS FAREWELL TO VISITING SCHOLAR On April 12, the IRMAS Program held a luncheon at the University Club to bid farewell to scholar-in-residence, Masaki Kishida. Several Culverhouse faculty and staff were in attendance to reflect on his time at the Capstone and wish him all the best on returning to Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. in Tokyo, Japan. Since August, Kishida has aking classes at the University of Alabama and conducting his research at Marillyn A. Hewson Data Analytics Lab. His research centers on new models in the life insurance industry.

IRMAS SENIOR TEACHES BUSINESS SKILLS TO VETERANS Taking this to heart, this past semester I signed up to participate and eventually lead my own class for LIFT. My class at the local Tuscaloosa VA was every Friday from 1-2 PM. The class originally sought to teach professional development, but after discussing with the veterans what they would like to learn, I combined our class with money management. This added topics such as budgeting, building credit and investing.

BY TIM BOYLE I first discovered the LIFT program in the fall of 2017. Mrs. McKinney visited my class and gave an impassioned speech about the great work that they do and how they were looking to expand and thus needed more student volunteers who could help teach. I volunteered the following week and spent a Friday teaching professional development to a group of veterans in Birmingham. At first, I was a little skeptical that I could help adults attempting to further their careers. At this point, I have had various internships during high school and college but nothing resembling a career. This weighed heavily on me, especially since the veterans that we were teaching were at least 40 years old and held full-time jobs in the past. Surprisingly, the class ended up being a great success. During the 2 hours, we were able to work one on one with veterans to help build and enhance their resumes. Often as college students, we take for granted the knowledge that we possess. The LIFT program has given us the opportunity to take the knowledge that we have learned at the University and use it to help others in a practical setting. 

Even though we were given a general course topic outline at the beginning of the semester, I decided to base each class on exactly what the veterans wanted to learn. This meant at the end of each week, I asked the group what they liked about the class and what they wanted to learn next. This ensured everyone was getting what they wanted from the class and led everyone to be more interactive and engaged. With the veterans more vocal about their personal experiences with the topics, we were able to reduce the number of student teachers needed and increase the number of large group discussions. With fewer teachers per class, we were able to offer more classes not just to veterans, but people throughout Alabama. The LIFT program was fantastic for this exact reason. I was able to tailor my class, however, I saw fit and really get to the topics my class wanted to discuss. I also was able to bring in my friends of different majors to help with the topic areas in which I was lacking. LIFT gave me the opportunity to go out and expand my leadership and public speaking skills. The program also enabled me to take what I learned in class and apply it outside the classroom to the benefit of those who need it. This program not only helped those in need but helped me become more adaptable and ready for my career.

About Culverhouse LIFT

The Culverhouse LIFT (Learning Initiative and Financial Training) Program provides one-on-one job skills and financial literacy training for Tuscaloosa-area adults and teens at no cost. This program is a joint initiative of the Culverhouse College of Business Dean's Office and The Culverhouse School of Accountancy. Student volunteers from the College and other programs at UA serve as educators.

STUDENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS Samuel Albert accepted a job offer as an Actuarial

Laura LePere accepted a position with Hartford’s

Clayton Cox was inducted into the National Society

Zach Lyles accepted a job offer with Boeing’s

Analyst with Protective Life in Birmingham, AL.

of Leadership and Success, the Golden Key International Honor Society, and The Society for College Leadership & Achievement (SCLA).

Zach Dutton accepted a job offer as a Claims

SURGE Underwriting Trainee Program in Florida.

Business Career Foundation Program in St. Louis, MO.

Jack Lyons passed Exam FM in August 2017.

Trainee with American Mining Insurance Group (a W.R. Berkley Corporation member company) in Birmingham, AL.

Casey McGuirt accepted a job offer with Bank of

John Glowacki accepted a job offer with Vanguard’s

Elizabeth Peplinsk i accepted a summer internship

Retail Investments Group in Pennsylvania.

Sam Green accepted a summer finance internship with Unum in Chattanooga, TN.

America’s Finance Management Analyst Program in Charlotte, NC.

with Cigna’s Actuarial Executive Development Program in Nashville, TN.

Nicole Putre accepted a summer actuarial

Lines Account Manager with McGriff, Seibels, and Williams in Birmingham, AL.

internship with Munich Re US Life in Atlanta, GA. She also selected by the Spencer Educational Foundation to receive the 2018 Liberty Mutual Group Scholarship.

Donald (Champ) Holt accepted a job offer as an

Jack Roberts accepted a job offer as an Actuarial

Austin Houston was selected for the Dai-ichi Life

E'Talia Shakir was appointed to the latest class of

Sally Harris accepted a job offer as a Commercial

Actuarial Assistant with Protective Life in Birmingham, AL.

Insurance summer internship in Tokyo, Japan.

Kayla Jones accepted a summer finance internship as a Controller with Brose in Vance, AL.

Noah Killingsworth accepted a job offer as an

Inbound Sales Specialist with Franklin Templeton Investments in St. Petersburg, FL.

Nicholas Laffey accepted a job offer as an Actuarial Analyst with SCOR Global Life in Charlotte, NC.

Sara Lawson accepted a job offer with Regions' Debt Products Program in Birmingham, AL.

Analyst with Cigna’s Actuarial Executive Development Program in Bloomfield, CT.

Capstone Men and Women, the official ambassadors of The University of Alabama.

Brennan Slaney accepted a summer actuarial

internship with Western & Southern in Cincinnati, OH.

Josh Taggart accepted a summer internship with

Cigna’s Actuarial Executive Development Program in Nashville, TN

Ryan Waelde accepted a summer brokerage internship with AmWINS in Birmingham, AL.

Fan Yin passed Exam P in January 2018.



Masters of Art

Alabama Association of Health Underwriters (AAHU) – Richard K. Beecham Endowed Scholarship

Samuel R. Albert – Clearwater, FL

Masters of Science

Ethan Hester-Hamilton – Lexington, KY Gary Jack Roberts III – Nashville, TN

Bachelors of Science Nicholas B. Laffey –  Columbia, TN

 summa cum laude, Computer-Based Honors

Bachelors of Science in C&BA

Samuel R. Albert – Clearwater, FL  magna cum laude, University Honors Timothy S. Boyle, Jr. – Irving, TX Jennifer L. Cinquemani – Indian Springs, AL Zachary J. Dutton – Moulton, AL    summa cum laude, University Honors Stephen O. Fletcher – Pensacola, FL    magna cum laude, University Honors John F. Glowacki III – Mount Laurel, NJ Elizabeth L. Good – Plymouth, MI   summa cum laude, University Honors Ethan Hester-Hamilton – Lexington, KY James T. Hite V – Smryna, GA Reid C. Jones – Pelham, AL Noah M. Killingsworth –   Signal Mountain, TN     University Honors Sara F. Lawson – Vestavia Hills, AL     cum laude Laura K. LePere – Westfield, IN    summa cum laude, University Honors Zachary V. Lyles – Louisville, KY   summa cum laude, University Honors Rachel A. McCombs – Hueytown, AL    cum laude, University Honors Casey W. McGuirt – Charlotte, NC    summa cum laude, University Honors Harrison Z. Parks – Dallas, TX Joseph M. Pronti – Wood Ridge, NJ   summa cum laude Avery J. Schmitz – Hartland, WI     magna cum laude, University Honors Kylie J. Stoneback – Easton, PA Fan Yin – Zhengzhou, China     summa cum laude, University Honors

Zachary J. Dutton

State Farm – Robert W. Hodgkins Endowed Scholarship Timothy S. Boyle William B. Colvin Stephen O. Fletcher John F. Glowacki Jackson C. Goodwin Ethan Hester-Hamilton James T. Hite Austin R. Houston Kayla N. Jones Noah M. Killingsworth Zachary V. Lyles Jack A. Lyons Harrison Z. Parks Nicole J. Putre Avery J. Schmitz Brennen L. Slaney Tyesha C. Turner Fan Yin

Alabama Chapter of RIMS™ – Maxie Glen Jackson Memorial Endowed Scholarship Casey W. McGuirt

Jack L. McKewen Endowed Scholarship Elizabeth L. Good Laura K. LePere

Jarvis W. Palmer Endowed Scholarship William B. Burkhalter Sara F. Lawson Laine Smith Joshua Taggart



Alabama Center for Insurance Information     and Research Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama CRC Insurance Services, Inc. Holborn Corporation Lockton Companies McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc. Pilot Catastrophe Services, Inc. PricewaterhouseCoopers ProAssurance Corporation Protective Life Insurance Co. Willis Towers Watson

Alfa Corporation AmWINS Group, Inc. Hand Arendall, LLC SCOR Global Life SE Spencer Educational Foundation

BRONZE SPONSORS AlaCOMP Alabama Retail Comp Butler Snow, LLP Commerical Sector Insurance Brokers FCCI Insurance Group Harris Madden & Powell, Inc. Maynard Cooper & Gale, P.C. Palomar Insurance Corporation Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc. The Sheffield Group The University of Alabama's IRMAS Program:      In Memory of Dr. John S. Bickley Warren Averett CPAs & Advisors Zenith Insurance Company

SILVER SPONSORS Alabama Independent Insurance Agents, Inc. American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. American Mining Insurance Group Auto-Owners Insurance AXA Advisors Cobbs Allen EMC Insurance Companies Gen Re Corporation HealthMarkets, Inc. Heritage Insurance Kerper Bowron, LLC Life Insurance Company of Alabama Milliman, Inc. National Security Group, Inc. Nelson Taplin Goldwater S&P Dow Jones Indices Southland Benefit Solutions Wealth Solutions Group, LLC Westfield Insurance

UofAlabama IRMAS Program Newsletter: Spring 2018  
UofAlabama IRMAS Program Newsletter: Spring 2018