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Making history: Actuarial student first to win two prestigious scholarships in same year

Casualty Actuarial Society Trust Scholarship and Curtis Huntington Memorial Scholarship winner Kristen Marshall.

This past spring, Kristen Marshall, a senior Actuarial Science major, did what no actuarial student in Illinois State history has done before: win the Casualty Actuarial Society Trust Scholarship and the Curtis Huntington Memorial Scholarship in the same year.

The Casualty Actuarial Society is the leading actuarial credentialing organization in the property and casualty industry, with 8,000 professionals worldwide, and the Curtis Huntington Memorial Scholarship is renowned for being awarded to the top actuarial students, with applicants from all over the world.

For the Curtis Huntington memorial scholarship, only one applicant is permitted per school, and Illinois State’s Actuarial Committee nominated Marshall to apply. The nomination is no small feat, considering Illinois State’s Actuarial Program is one of the leading programs in the United States and is one of the first nine academic programs in the U.S. to receive recognition as a Center of Actuarial Excellence in 2009. In other words, Marshall faced tough competition for the nomination.

But Director of the Actuarial Program and member of the Actuarial Committee Krzysztof Ostaszewski noted Marshall’s embodiment of leadership roles (such as being Co-President of the Actuarial Club at Illinois State), accrued industry experience, and immaculate 4.0 GPA lead to Marshall standing out as the ideal candidate to nominate.

“She’s an outstanding student,” Ostaszewski said. “After winning both the Casualty Actuarial Society Trust Scholarship and the Curtis Huntington Memorial Scholarship, she’s shown herself to be one of the top actuarial students.”

Ostaszewski beamed as he spoke of Marshall’s accomplishments. “It feels like we have the greatest students in the world,” he said.

Marshall is humbled by her recognition and acknowledges she couldn’t have achieved such a feat alone.

“I was overcome with joy and gratitude as the awards represented all my hard work at Illinois State,” Marshall said. “I am grateful for the network of supporters who believed in me and encouraged me to dream big.”

Marshall says her faith, family, professors, co-workers, and classmates were all key to her success. Although Marshall sees the awards as a result of her discipline and drive to achieve her goals, she also attests that her success is due to her time at Illinois State.

“The awards are a testament to the quality education and incredible opportunities at ISU,” said Marshall. “The combination of a top insurance program and certification as a Center of Actuarial Excellence makes Illinois State the best college for future actuaries in my eyes.”

Entering her senior year, Marshall is looking forward to mentoring younger students and plans on continuing to work for Pinnacle Actuarial Resources after graduation.

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