UA student team wins Insurance Collegiate Challenge third year in a row


For the third straight year, a team of students from The University of Akron Risk Management and Insurance degree program has won the Insurance Collegiate Challenge. Organized by Fundación MAPFRE, the Insurance Collegiate Challenge introduces students to the various roles within the insurance industry, simulating real-world industry challenges. The competition tests students’ abilities in strategic planning, decision-making, collaboration and other essential skills for operating a successful insurance company, while building their professional network and resume. 


Dr. Jinjing Wang, left, is pictured with the team — Zachary Nolan, Tyler Hornbeck, Rebecca Matty, Nicholas Milich and Kyle Whyte.

The UA team, comprised of Tyler Hornbeck, Rebecca Matty, Nicholas Milich, Zachary Nolan and Kyle Whyte, finished first in the regional competition on Oct. 25 before heading to the state finals at Franklin University on Oct. 26. During the finals, the UA team took the lead after the second round and held it through the remaining rounds to finish first. 

The team was led by advisors Dr. Jill Bisco, assistant professor of finance; Dr. Jinjing Wang, assistant professor of finance; and Suzanne Gradisher, J.D., M.Tax., M.B.A., associate professor of business law.


Team members are seen here in a strategy session at the competition.

In addition to UA, other universities competing in the finals included Bowling Green State University, Franklin University, Shawnee State University and a combined team of students from Ohio Dominican University and Urbana University.

“I can’t express how proud I am of these students and their work on this competition,” said Bisco. “What a great way to demonstrate the strength of our RMI program and our students.” 

“Not only is this an accomplishment in its own right, it [also] marks the third straight year we have won the competition. It is a real testament to the students and to the program leadership of Jill Bisco,” said Dr. James Thomson, professor and chair of the Department of Finance. “A special thanks to Suzanne Gradisher and Jinjing Wang for their contributions to the success of this year’s team.”   

“The insurance industry offers many opportunities for growth across a variety of interesting career paths,” said Alfredo Castelo, chief representative of Fundación MAPFRE in the United States. “We are pleased to organize this competition, which provides valuable industry insights for aspiring insurance professionals.”

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or cboyd