University of St. Thomas Actuarial Science students took first place in the sixth annual Travelers Case Competition, which took place Friday, Oct. 11, in St. Paul.

They were awarded $1,500 and were among five teams that participated in the competition, including the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Drake University.

This is the second year in a row UST has taken home the prize, and last year’s winners (Trevor Rolando, Christine Kluempke, Rory Donovan, Clement Foltz, Samantha Delperdang and Heather Clayton) gave valuable tips in preparing this team for the competition.

This year’s team consisted of all juniors:

  • Alexander Kapraun
  • Molly Wickenhauser
  • Yabing Yang
  • John Kumerow
  • Rachel Holmes
  • Andrea Peterfeso

Accompanying the team were faculty advisers Arkady Shemyakin, associate professor of mathematics; Thorsten Moenig, assistant professor of mathematics and actuarial science; and Heekyung Youn, director of the St. Thomas Mathematics Department’s Actuarial Science Program.

The case topic they worked on was “Automotive Classification Plan.” According to Youn, “our students acted as a consultant group to a small insurance company that plans to add one more rating variable to the company’s auto insurance pricing model. They analyzed several variables and came up with a recommendation combining actuarial analysis with sound reasoning.”

According to the Actuarial Case Competition professor’s guide, Travelers invites schools it believes to be developing “the caliber of student who could be successful at the company.” The competition provides students an opportunity to apply their studies to a real-world problem in a business setting. The winning team is chosen based on quality of research and analysis, understanding and articulation of the case, creativity of the recommendations, quality of the presentation and teamwork.