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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Haub unfazed by unranked RMI program

Michael Angelina teaches an Enterprise Risk Management class (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

St. Joe’s Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) program was dropped from the U.S. News & World Report 2019 Best Undergraduate Insurance Programs, after consistently ranking in the top five undergraduate insurance programs in the country.

The RMI’s lack of ranking does not concern the program’s leaders or its students.

“I don’t think it reflects anything,” said Joseph DiAngelo, Ed.D., Dean, Haub School of Business. “When you look at those programs as to who’s in there, most of those schools are Ivy League schools and Big 10 schools. What is surprising is when you see schools like us on there.”

According to Michael Angelina, executive director of the Maguire Academy of Insurance and Risk Management, which supports students in the RMI major, students who graduate from the program are very successful.

“The rankings are great, don’t get me wrong,” Angelina said. “But at the end of the day it’s about our students succeeding and to me the metric is, ‘Are they growing?,’ ‘Are they doing well?’. The final stamp of affirmation is the industry.”

Kate Branson ’19, an RMI major and the professional chair on the executive board of Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS), the International Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science Fraternity, was offered a full time position at Marsh when she graduates.

“It doesn’t concern me at all because I believe in this program and it’s done so much for me,” Branson said. “I can prove the program’s worth. I know a bunch of us already have jobs and I don’t think we can necessarily say that about all the other majors in the business school—that kids are getting job offers in August and September going into their senior year.”

In 2017, the RMI program had a 100 percent placement rate for jobs in the industry, according to Angelina. While many graduates landed in Philadelphia, students were also hired in cities across the country. Six years ago, the program had nine graduates. Last year, 60 students graduated from the program.

“We’re the training arm of the insurance industry where national companies are coming to us and taking our students,” Angelina said. “That to me is the key metric.”

James Maguire ’58, a high-profile Philadelphia insurance executive and creator of the Maguire Academy of Insurance and Risk Management, which supports RMI students, donated $50 million to the university in 2017. From the donation, $10 million is set to go directly to the RMI program. The same year, the program was ranked number one in the nation.

In an interview with The Hawk in 2017, Maguire explained his primary reason for investing in the RMI program.

“I want it to continue to be the best insurance school in the country,” Maguire said.

While rankings have helped the program gain national recognition and banners displaying the numbers line the corridors of Mandeville Hall, Branson said she cares more about how the program has helped her in pursuing her professional career.

“A ranking is great but at the end of the day it’s not necessarily about who’s number one or who’s number five,” Branson said.

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