The VCU Risk and Insurance Studies Center is home to a nationally recognized program that prepares students for high-demand careers in risk management, financial services and other areas of the insurance industry. Opportunities include:

  • Networking — Attending career-enhancing meetings and conferences will expose you to networking opportunities with industry leaders and professionals.
  • Scholarships — Through ongoing industry support, we were able to offer $30,000 worth of scholarships in 2017.
  • Internships — Paid and for-credit internships with industry employers are available to help bolster your resume.
  • Employment — Risk management insurance is a high-demand industry with 500,000 new jobs projected in the next five years.

Gamma Iota Sigma

Gamma Iota Sigma is the international business fraternity for students pursuing careers in insurance, risk management and actuarial science.

Our faculty adviser works with chapter members on resume review, interview preparedness and finding internships, scholarships and full-time employment. Active GIS students who are successful academically often graduate with multiple job offers in the industry.

To apply, bring your completed application form and dues ($55 for a new member, $35 for renewal) to Snead Hall, Room B2111. Make checks payable to Gamma Iota Sigma. For more information, email

RISC Conference

On March 5, 2019, we will present the 13th Annual VCU RISC Trends Conference. This signature event examines the trends and emerging risks in the industry during a half-day format filled with intriguing speakers and topics.

The conference is supported by major industry sponsors. Proceeds support the Risk Management and Insurance Studies program and fund student scholarships.

Visit the conference webpage for details and registration.

Retirement-planning seminars

VCU RISC offers retirement-planning seminars taught by industry professionals. Class sizes are limited. Classes meet at the following locations:

Markel Corporation
Carpenter A & B Rooms
4501 Highwoods Parkway
Glen Allen, VA  23060

Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA)
John Tyler Community College's Midlothian Campus
Eliades Hall – Room E201
800 Charter Colony Parkway
Midlothian, Virginia 23114

Retirement Planning Today

Learn how to manage investment risks, use new tax laws to your advantage, make informed decisions about your company retirement plan and adjust your estate plan based on new laws. This course blends financial education with life planning to help you build wealth, align your money with your values and achieve your retirement lifestyle goals.

Register for Retirement Plannint Today - Tuesdays at Markel 
October 2 and 9 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm (181002Mk)

Register for Retirement Planning Today - Thursdays at Markel
September 27 and October 4 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm (180927Mk)

Register for Retirement Planning Today - Tuesdays at John Tyler
September 25 and October 2 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm (180925JT)

Register for Retirement Planning Today - Wednesdays at John Tyler
October 3 and 10 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm (181003JT)

Wealth Creation Today

Wealth Creation Today® is an interactive, lecture-format adult financial education course for successful professionals ages 35-50. Classroom sessions are taught by highly qualified financial practitioners who will use real-world examples to identify key concepts and strategies. Participation is highly encouraged and classroom questions are always welcomed.

Tax regulations can change with little warning. Headlines blare about the uncertain future of personal debt, retirement programs, and the housing market. Few of us truly understand the enormous, ever-growing body of financial legislation that affects so much of our daily lives, especially when facing the pressure of saving for college or caring for an elderly parent. How should one navigate these challenging and perilous waters? Wealth Creation Today® is a comprehensive, insightful approach to building the personalized tools and strategies necessary for a lifetime of informed financial decisions. Whether your objective is to grow your investments, protect your family, or maximize your employment benefits, this course will help you plan for the future with confidence.

There are many ways of planning and saving; each with their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. This course will show you how to assess your current wealth, hone an effective, personalized plan and take better advantage of the resources available to you.

Register for Wealth Creation Today - Thursdays at Markel
October 18th and 25th from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Register for Wealth Creation Today - Tuesdays at John Tyler
October 23 and 30th from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Meet the director

Tim Cook began his insurance career in 1980 after obtaining his bachelor’s degree in risk management and insurance from Michigan State University. He spent more than 26 years in claims, moving from outside multi-line claims adjuster to claim manager, followed by six years in the underwriting side of the industry. He has worked for insurance carriers and a large regional agency.

Tim is a strong supporter of continuing education. He has obtained his CPCU, ARM, AIM, AU, AINS and SCLA designations, and has been an instructor through the Richmond Chapter CPCU Society since 1998. In 2014, Tim was awarded the national Jack Derrickson Award for Outstanding Course Leadership given by The Institutes.

RISC partners

Thanks to the generosity of our corporate partners, we’re able to bring you conferences, internships, scholarships and continuing education.  

  • AIG
  • Allianz Global Assistance
  • ARGO
  • BB&T Insurance Services
  • Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group
  • CPCU - Richmond Chapter
  • Continental Underwriters
  • The Hanover Insurance Group
  • Independent Insurance Agents of VA (IIAV)
  • James River Insurance
  • Kinsale Insurance
  • Markel Corporation
  • Marsh
  • Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • Northern Neck Virginia Insurance
  • PMA Companies
  • RCM&D
  • The Hartford
  • Virginia Chapter - Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Willis Towers Watson
Quote icon
  • Insurance is the backbone of the American economy. It is the key tool of risk management that helps to facilitate commerce.
    Kyle Samuel, CIC
    Managing Director at USI Insurance Services
  • Becoming a part of the RMI program was one of the best decisions I have made.
    Alan Castillo
    Associate Underwriter with James River Insurance Company, Class of 2016