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Striving for Diversity in Actuarial Science

By Drs. Paul Johnson and Margie Rosenberg

June 27, 2023

The UW actuarial program’s diversity initiative, led by Drs. Paul Johnson and Margie Rosenberg, has been raising awareness of actuarial science among underrepresented individuals since 2020. The effort reaches out to faculty and students both nationally and locally to promote actuarial science as a flexible and lucrative STEM career option. 

Over the past year, UW faculty and students connected virtually with students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs). We described our experiences with actuarial work, the many benefits of being an actuary, and answered students’ questions. HBCU students were invited to enroll in Dr. Rosenberg’s online Foundations of Actuarial Applications course where they explored facets of actuarial practice through engaging case studies and interesting hands-on projects.

We participated in specialized actuarial discussions at Madison College. For one session, UW actuarial faculty and students, along with practicing actuaries from local companies, explained the role of an actuary and how to pursue an actuarial career to high school students in Madison College’s STEM Academy in March 2023. A similar session was offered for the College student population in April 2023. We look forward to participating in similar events next year. 

Our goal for the coming year is to expand further and develop relationships with other schools.  We acknowledge and appreciate the support of the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA) and the Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA), and eagerly await further collaboration with both organizations on expanding the program’s diversity efforts.

Dr. Paul Johnson is a Teaching Professor in the Risk and Insurance Department at the Wisconsin School of Business.

Dr. Margie Rosenberg is the Assurant Health Professor in Actuarial Science in the Risk and Insurance Department at the Wisconsin School of Business.