The IRUA is Pleased to Announce the Recipients of its
2017 Scholarship Awards

Twelve essays were received this year and the Scholarship Committee, comprised of representatives from ten member companies, selected the following four authors and papers:

First Place:  Michael Tanner Sowa of the University of Connecticut.  Michael interned at Aspen Re and came in first place for his essay entitled:  “The New Industrial Revolution – Big Data and its Collision with Traditional (Re) Insurance”.

Second Place: Patrick Levandoski of the University of Georgia. Patrick interned at Crum & Forster and received second place for his essay entitled: “Effect of Autonomous Vehicles on Insurance Markets and How to Capitalize”.

Third Place Equally:

Robin Lieb of the State University of New York, Albany.  Robin interned at Arch Re and tied for third place along with Gregory Marzilli  for his essay entitled: “Space Tourism Insurance Isn’t Rocket Science – Is It?”.

Gregory Marzilli of Louisiana State University.  Gregory interned at Aspen US Holdings and tied for third place along with Robin Lieb for his essay entitled: “Unchaining the Insurance Industry: The Impact of Blockchain Technology and Smart Contracts”.

Thanks to the generosity of our members, a total of $17,000 has been disbursed to these awardees.

Congratulations to all four 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.

Over the course of the next 12 months each paper will be published in the Journal of Reinsurance so be sure to read it when it hits your email inbox!

For more information regarding the Scholars Program, please contact Jerry Wallis, IRUA Executive Director, at

 In response to member requests and a thorough review of all IRUA’s services we are changed the former INTERNSHIP Program and renamed it the SCHOLARS Program. works.

The first part of the program enables IRUA member companies to encourage their own interns to apply to participate in the Scholars Awards offering monetary scholarships with amounts determined by the Board based on a competitive written essay submission. Initially, an intern must complete and submit an application since for tax reasons only U.S. citizens and individuals legally permitted to work in the United States are eligible for the program. The specifics of the Scholars Program are subject to change at any time by either the Scholars Committee or the Board of Directors.

Once approved a 2-3,000 word essay on a reinsurance/insurance themed topic must be submitted by September 1st of each year. The IRUA Scholars Committee will review the essays submitted and determine the winners of an award, the number and monetary value of which will be decided each year. The goal is for winners to be announced by mid-October each year.

The second part of the Scholars Program will expand the IRUA outreach to the risk management and insurance schools at universities and colleges nationwide through visits and presentations by IRUA member company executives. The goal is to expand the exposure to reinsurance for students/interns through enhanced networking and interaction with existing industry professionals. This aspect of the program is still being developed.

The Scholars Awards program is funded by member contributions so if you have questions or wish to make a financial contribution please contact Executive Director, Jerry Wallis, at

A copy of the Scholarship Criteria can be obtained by clicking on the link below.  To download a Scholarship application, download from the link below and email it to Maria Sclafani in our administrative office at:

Click HERE to Download the Scholarship Application
Click HERE to Download the Scholarship Criteria

Please note that the specifics of the Scholars Program are subject to change at any time by either the Scholars Committee or the Board of Directors.