BACK-TO-BACK: Saint Joseph's University Wins 2020 Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge

Teams Deliver Solutions for Re-Opening College Campuses Post-COVID-19

May 15, 2020

NEW YORK (May 15, 2020) — For the second year in a row, St. Joseph’s University was named the champion of the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge. This year’s case study, provided by the University of Dayton, was centered on risks facing the higher education space, with a final question focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and risk management strategies for re-opening the campus in Fall 2020.

The St. Joseph’s team, comprising four risk management students, competed against 23 other universities and delivered the award-winning risk management presentation, virtually to a panel of industry leaders. Presentations from the three finalists are available here (

Members of the Saint Joseph’s winning team included:

  • Joseph Angelina
  • Kayla Cecchine
  • Nicholas Myers
  • Brendan Tarte
  • Academic Advisor: Michael Angelina

“Even in our challenging environment, Spencer is proud to say that we have never stepped away from our commitments to risk management and insurance students, and the risk management challenge is a great example of our continued support,” said Spencer Chairperson Marya Propis. “Thanks to all the students and advisors for their hard work this year. Our judges, RIMS, and the risk management team at the University of Dayton is also to be commended for creating an outstanding virtual experience.”

“As COVID-19 has left business leaders with many questions to answer, our Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge students took on the biggest one – how do we re-open for business – and demonstrated an extraordinary command of complex risk management practices and the creativity needed to support decision-making,” said RIMS CEO Mary Roth. “St. Joseph’s University, our participating teams and our student members continue to show great promise and we are proud to welcome them to RIMS’ global community.”

The challenge began with 23 universities, eight months ago but, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the program evolved to reflect current events. The final round of the competition asked the teams to assess the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and uncertainty regarding return to work schedules and develop a strategy to bring students back to the University of Dayton for the Fall semester. Normally awarded at RIMS Annual Conference, the final rounds of this year’s competition were conducted virtually.

Second place in this year’s Challenge was Florida State University and the third place team was Butler University.

About Spencer
Spencer was founded in 1979 and to this day remains the premier organization funding the education of tomorrow’s risk management and insurance leaders. Over the last 40 years, Spencer has awarded more than $7.35 million to support 1,141 scholarships, and another $4.1 million in grants to aid universities and professional institutions in preparing students to work in our industry. To learn more about Spencer, visit​ 

For more information, contact:

Josh Salter, Director of Communications, (212) 655-6059 or

About RIMS

As the preeminent organization dedicated to promoting the profession of risk management, RIMS, the risk management society®, is a global not-for-profit organization representing more than 3,500 industrial, service, nonprofit, charitable and government entities throughout the world. Founded in 1950, RIMS is committed to advancing risk management capabilities for organizational success, bringing networking, professional development and education opportunities to its membership of more than 10,000 risk management professionals who are located in more than 60 countries. For more information on RIMS, visit

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