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SU Team Ranks Top in U.S. in Society of Actuaries Case Challenge

SU Team Ranks Top in U.S. in Society of Actuaries Case Challenge

By SU Public Relations

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University mathematics students are top in the U.S. in actuarial analysis and case study research. 

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) Research Institute recently announced SU as the third-place winner in its 2024 Student Research Case Study Challenge — the only U.S. institution to win a prize — behind two University of New South Wales, Australia teams. 

The winning SU team included seniors Cameron Cash, of Georgetown, DE; Carly Pfaff, of Oakland, MD; Emily Shaeffer, of Odenton, MD; and Lauren Specht, of Frederick, MD. 

“I’m so proud of the true team effort this accomplishment was,” said Pfaff. “We all aligned on our goals, worked equally hard to use our individual strengths to our advantage and made our submission and finalist presentation the best final product it could be.”

Their project agency, “Mew Consulting” spent 10 weeks under the advisement of Dr. Jiacheng (Jason) Cai, SU assistant professor of mathematics and actuarial sciences concentration program coordinator, as students analyzed patient and demographic data from the fictional world. The group was tasked with reducing the mortality rate while saving its parent insurance company overhead funds. 

“To be the top team from the U.S. is an incredible resume builder for our future careers,” said Pfaff. “Our success shows how well prepared our courses and instruction at SU have made us. We are able to address real-world scenarios, and when it’s time to apply hands-on actuarial work, we can translate what we’ve learned in the classroom.”  

The name “Mew” represents both the Greek letter used in relation to mortality rates in insurance assessment and the mew gull, paying homage to SU’s Sea Gull mascot. 

Each team member earned a $500 cash prize. Their third-place win also came with a $2,000 grant, which will be split between the members and the SU fund dedicated to test-fee reimbursement for mathematics students who take and pass actuarial certification exams while enrolled.  

“SU does a great job preparing students to succeed and then supporting them when they do,” said Pfaff. “There is always continued investment in resources that allows students to have less barriers to becoming as prepared as possible before embarking on their future careers.”

The 2024 challenge included more than 250 students on 57 teams representing 27 universities, spanning 12 countries and six continents.

To view the team’s full report visit the SOA challenge website. To learn more about SU’s six mathematics concentrations visit the mathematics major webpage.  

Learn more about SU and opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at the SU website.