IRUA Announces 2018 Scholars Program Essay Winners

November 20th, 2018

The IRUA is pleased to announce the recipients of an IRUA Scholarship Award for 2018.  Of the many essays received this year, the Scholarship Committee, comprised of representatives from seven member companies, selected the following three authors and papers:

First Place:  Luke Schwenke of the College of William & Mary in Virginia and who interned with Markel Corporation for his essay entitled:  “Insuring Against Unknown Cyber Attacks in the Age of the Internet of Things”

Second Place: Sean McDermott of Loyola University in Maryland and who interned with Transatlantic Re for his essay entitled: “Blockchain Technology – Why the Insurance/Reinsurance Industry will Never be the Same”

Third Place:  Elizabeth Cunningham of the University of New Hampshire and who interned with Crum & Forster for her essay entitled: “Cannabis Coverage: A Redirection of Insurance?”

Thanks to the generosity of our members a total of $17,750 has now been disbursed to these awardees.

Congratulations to all winners and our thanks to all the other student interns who submitted papers and our member companies for making this the highest award level year in IRUA history.

IRUA’s President, Arlene Kern (Munich Re America) said:

“I’m thrilled that the IRUA member companies are supporting the efforts of these students who have already interned in our industry and are likely to join our ranks in the coming months and years.  Given the quality of the papers authored by the winners, our industry can look forward to welcoming bright minds that will help to shape the future of our industry. “  

Over the course of the next 12 months each paper will be published in the IRUA’s Journal of Reinsurance, which is available as a benefit of membership or as a paid subscription. The unique Journal has, over the past 25 years, provided over 400 articles on technical reinsurance texts; financial related articles; current, emerging & potentially future risk explanations & analysis and is used by, among others, The Institutes as a source for CPCU study materials and by attorneys as a source of expert reference. All articles are available to members and subscribers in the “JOR Archive” section of our website.

For more information regarding the Scholars Program or becoming a member of the IRUA, please contact Jerry Wallis, IRUA Executive Director, at