SRM Students Recognized as Rising Stars

SRM students

Michael Platt and Heba Yacoub pictured with Shawn Moynihan ’91SVC, Editor-in-Chief of Reactions Magazine.

Photo By: Reactions Magazine

October 2, 2019

Two St. John’s University students from the School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science (SRM) were recently honored for distinction in the classroom and the industry workplace with Reactions magazine’s inaugural Donald J. Greene Student Excellence Award.

Michael Platt and Heba Yacoub, both seniors at SRM, which is part of The Peter J. Tobin College of Business on the Manhattan, NY, campus, were each presented with a scholarship of $1,500 on September 26 at Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York City during Reactions2019 North America Awards Dinner. The trade publication annually hosts the dinner, as well as other events worldwide, to celebrate top companies and leaders in the global insurance and reinsurance industries.

The festivities marked the first time Reactions ventured into identifying students who are rising stars in these fields. SRM’s faculty and administrative leadership recommended the two students, who were also recognized as leaders in the community, for the scholarship award.

“These students represent the best and brightest of our undergraduates, and we are extremely proud of their accomplishments,” said Norean R. Sharpe, Ph.D., Dean of the Tobin College, Joseph H. and Maria C. Schwartz Distinguished Chair, and Professor of Decision Sciences.

“Our faculty in the fields of risk management and actuarial science are world renowned for their scholarship, and they contribute to our ability to attract strong students.”

Heba, of Rockland County, NY, is earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Risk Management and Insurance, with a concentration in Quantitative Risk and Insurance, as well as a minor in Business Analytics. After her graduation in May 2020, she will enter Synchrony Financial’s two-year, full-time Business Leadership Program in Credit and Capital Management. Michael, of Brooklyn, NY, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science. His most recent internship took place this past summer in the Commercial Lines Actuarial Pricing Department at Selective Insurance, in Branchville, NJ.

The scholarships are sponsored by Qualrisk, and Mike Pritula, Managing Director for the company, serves as Vice Chair of the SRM Board of Overseers. The award’s namesake, Donald J. Greene, was a well-known and highly esteemed insurance industry attorney, as well as an SRM Board of Overseers member emeritus. He died this past summer.

“Don was a long-time, dedicated supporter of the SRM,” said Shawn Moynihan ’91SVC, Editor-in-Chief of Reactions, in addressing the gathering at the awards dinner. “Importantly, in 2001, he drafted the legal documents that formed the foundation of the merger of the [former] College of Insurance into St. John’s University, thereby creating the SRM and placing it as a pillar of the University’s Tobin College.”

Michael said he was “extremely honored” to receive the award in Mr. Greene’s name.

“It felt remarkable being congratulated and acknowledged by accomplished insurance leaders and C-suite executives at the awards dinner. This scholarship supports my opportunities for educational growth and lightens the financial burden of my undergraduate career.”

“This scholarship means so much to me,” said Heba. “Not only will it be of great help to me in paying my educational expenses, but it also gives me the opportunity to focus more on my academics. St. John’s, the SRM, and the insurance industry have given me so many opportunities to grow academically and professionally. I am truly grateful that I am able to attend this University.”