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

In 2018, we will present the 12th 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.

For more information and to register, visit the RISC Conference event page.

Retirement-planning seminars

VCU RISC offers retirement-planning seminars taught by industry professionals six times per semester. Class sizes are limited; choose one to register for below.

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.

Upcoming courses

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

Register for Thursdays at Markel
January 25th & February 1st from 6:30pm – 9:30pm (180125MK)

Register for Tuesdays at Markel 
January 30th & February 6th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm (180130MK)

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

Register for Wednesdays at John Tyler
January 24th  & January 31st  from 6:30pm to 9:30pm (180124JT)

Register for Saturdays at John Tyler
February 3rd and Feb 10th  from 9am to noon (180203JT)

Powhatan Public Library
2270 Mann Road
Powhatan, Virginia 23139 

Register for Thursdays at Powhatan
February 8th and 15th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm (180208PW)

Rejuvenate Your Retirement

Making your money last throughout retirement has never been more challenging. People are living longer, and fewer retirees have traditional pensions. The volatility of the stock and bond markets has been high in recent years, and interest rates paid by banks have been low. This course will help you develop a personalized retirement income strategy, plan for any adjustments and calculate the impact of investment choices on your retirement plan.

Upcoming courses

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

Register for Tuesdays at CCWA
February 20th & 27th 1pm to 3:30pm (180220Tu)

Register for Thursdays at CCWA
Thursdays, Feb. 22 & March 1 from 9:30am to Noon (180222TH)

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