Gift Supports Women in RMI Program

Published on October 23, 2017

“The insurance industry,” said Dr. Burke Christensen, “is a place where women are free to rise as high as their talents will take them.”

Now, thanks to a $25,000 donation from the Kentucky-based Women Leaders in Insurance and Financial Services (WLI) to the Eastern Kentucky University Risk Management and Insurance Program, women have additional help in reaching their educational and career goals.

The funds will be used toward scholarships that help students in the program remain in school, according to Christensen, the Robert B. Morgan Chair of Insurance and director of the program. “WLI is helping us recruit more women students, and then the WLI members are mentoring those students to ensure their success.”

Noting the importance of such relationships, Burke said EKU will partner with WLI to host a conference at the University to “help women students know how to succeed.”

The bachelor of business administration (BBA) and bachelor of science degrees in risk management and insurance, offered on the EKU campus since 1977 and the only undergraduate insurance degrees in Kentucky, are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Earlier this year, EKU’s College of Business and Technology selected the BBA degree in risk management and insurance as its first fully online degree in order to meet increased demand from those in the profession.

Thanks to an agreement between EKU and the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, online students are also able to waive two of the exams required for CPCU certification. Graduates are prepared for careers in risk management, underwriting, claims adjustment, company operations, agency and brokerage, and related occupations.

Burning Glass Labor Insight has reported that regional demand for bachelor’s-level risk management and insurance professionals grew 50 percent between 2013 and 2016. According to the Ohio Insurance Institute, those with a bachelor’s degree and multiple years of related work experience can earn $50,000-$100,000 annually.

“EKU has a unique program in Kentucky,” said Sandra Torstrick Blain, president of Al Torstrick Insurance Agency Inc. of Lexington and secretary of the WLI. “Our goal is to empower women in the insurance industry and to monetarily help with insurance/risk management education.”

For more information about EKU’s Risk Management and Insurance Program, visit