2001 Activity Report of the Joint Committee on Minority Recruiting
Scholarships and Exam Encouragement
The committee would like to express its sincere gratitude for past donations. For the school year of 2001, $85,000 was awarded; $59,000 in student scholarships and $26,000 in summer actuarial program funding. Most student scholarships were for $1,000; three students received $3,000 and twelve students received $2,000. The criteria for awarding scholarships was minority status, scholastic ability, math aptitude, potential for and interest in an actuarial career, and financial need.
In June 2001, the Joint Committee on Minority Recruiting met to award scholarships. Sixty applications were submitted and forty-two recipients were chosen. These students were awarded scholarship money for the purpose of assisted funding with undergraduate/graduate studies, one or two waivers on exam fees for the 2001-2002 school year, and a calculator as encouragement to take an exam.
Scholarship recipients are assigned committee members as advisors. These committee members take personal interest in their assigned students, fielding questions on the profession and acting as liaisons to the committee. Occasionally, these students seek assistance in finding summer actuarial intern jobs, with hopes of being hired full-time after graduation.
New Actuarial Career Material
At the end of 2001 the Joint Committees on Minority Recruiting and Career Encouragement released a new informational career video and booklet geared toward high school and college students. These materials introduce the profession to students who may be unaware of a career in actuarial science. Members who are planning to make a career presentation to a classroom or math club can contact Susan Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mike Boa (email@example.com) for presentation materials.
Course 1 Actuarial Exam Fee Waiver
Beginning in November 2001, the Minority Recruiting Committee offered a new Course 1 Exam Fee Waiver Program to subsidize the first exam fee. Qualified minority students and career changers that are considering a career in actuarial science can apply for the Course 1 Waiver. 70 individuals received the exam waiver for the November 2001 exam sitting.
Actuarial Career Information Fairs
This year, the Joint Committees on Minority Recruiting and Career Encouragement held their career fairs in conjunction with the SOA's annual meeting in New Orleans, La., and the CAS' annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga. These fairs attracted approximately 300 attendees including educators, parents and students. Thirty-two companies sponsored ads, prizes, giveaways and booths. The fairs allowed students to interact with actuaries and learn about actuarial functions in a variety of workplaces.
www.BeAnActuary.org Web site
The BeAnActuary Web Site, which was established in October 1999, is devoted to providing information on the actuarial career to students, teachers, guidance counselors, and parents. The BeAnActuary Web pages were accessed nearly 100,000 times in December 2001 alone. The Web Site includes a section dedicated to minority programs, and includes information on the minority scholarship program, information on the Course 1 actuarial exam fee waiver program, profiles of members of the Joint Committee on Minority Recruiting, and links to summer actuarial program information.
The Joint Committees on Minority Recruiting and Career Encouragement participates in various external fairs, ranging from college career fairs to exhibiting at annual meetings of mathematical associations. The primary target audience is students and secondarily, educators.
National Council of Teachers in Mathematics
With almost 110,000 members, the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics (NCTM) is the largest nonprofit professional association of mathematics educators in the world.
The NCTM held their annual meeting on April 4-7, 2001 in Orlando, Fla. The committee hosted a booth in the NCTM exhibit hall, which provided an excellent opportunity to interact with educators, and to provide them with materials to bring back to their classrooms. Actuaries who volunteered to staff the booth reported reaching approximately 4,000 educators.
American Indian Science & Engineering Society
In 2001, the Committee on Minority Recruiting began exploring options to better reach the Native American community by researching tribal colleges and universities with a high Native American population. In addition, the Committee opted to participate in the American Indian Science & Engineering Society's (AISES) National Conference in Albuquerque, N.M., November 17, 2001. AISES is a national, nonprofit organization which nurtures building of community by bridging science and technology with traditional Native values. Through its educational programs, AISES provides opportunities for American Indians and Native Alaskans to pursue studies in science, engineering, and technology arenas.
At this fair, Committee representatives met with Native American students interested in mathematics. Other key relationships were established with representatives from colleges/universities with high Native American populations.
The American Mathematical Society & the Math Association of America
The American Mathematical Society (AMS) has approximately 30,000 members and strives to promote mathematical research, increase the awareness of the value of mathematics to society, and foster mathematics education. Closely aligned with the AMS is the Math Association of America (MAA), dedicated to advancing mathematical science, primarily at the collegiate level. This organization also has around 30,000 members.
In January of 2002, the AMS and MAA held their annual Joint Math Meeting in San Diego, Calif. The Committees exhibited at this meeting to pass out its new career materials to attendees. Attendance for this meeting was approximately 5,000 educators, with approximately 2,000 contacts made at the booth.
Visions for High School Summer Programs for 2001
The Joint Committee on Minority Recruiting anticipates funding college-sponsored summer actuarial programs for qualified high school students again in 2002. In 2001, the committee awarded two universities funding for their summer actuarial programs. With awards based on the length of their programs and the number of students involved, Howard University was awarded $20,000 and Illinois State University, $6,000. These programs offer outstanding minority students with high mathematics scores an opportunity to explore actuarial careers and job opportunities. Students are encouraged to pursue actuarial careers through exposure to visiting actuaries and to a variety of courses such as computer literacy and math application. This year, the committee is again soliciting proposals from qualifying schools to encourage continuation of existing high school programs and the development of new programs for the summer of 2002.
Donations for 2001
The steady increase in contributions since the program's inception in 1977 has allowed the committee to quadruple the number of awards to qualified applicants. As mentioned above, the committee has expanded the program to reach high school students through university-sponsored programs, in the hope of exposing students to actuarial science early in their career-decision process.
As the program has grown, so has the demand for actuaries in diverse workplaces, creating more opportunities for students pursuing actuarial science. Our outreach to promising students will be limited unless future contribution levels increase.
To make a donation to help carry out the important goals of the Committee, please make checks payable to: CAS/SOA Minority Recruiting Program and mail the attached contribution form to the Society of Actuaries/Casualty Actuarial Society, P.O. Box 95668, Chicago, IL 60694. Contributions are deductible for U.S. federal income tax. If an employer has a matching contribution program for contributions to a 501(c)(3) organization, an individual contribution is maximized by an employer match.
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