Penn State Abington first-year student earns diversity scholarship

Theophilis (T.J.) Chukwueke, a first term honors student at Penn State Abington, is 2010’s worthy recipient of the Actuarial Foundation's Diversity Scholarship. Chukwueke is one of only 24 students nationwide -- and one of only eight first-year students -- to receive this prestigious award.

This Actuarial Foundation scholarship promotes diversity through an annual scholarship program for African American, Hispanic and Native North American students. It recognizes and encourages academic achievements by awarding scholarships to full-time undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers that require mathematical, statistical and business skills.

"It is very inspiring to see the qualities, accomplishments and aspirations of the Actuarial Diversity Scholarship applicants, and I am pleased to announce that we are awarding a scholarship to Theophilis O. Chukwueke for his studies at Penn State Abington," announced Scholarship Committee Chair Robert F. Conger. "The actuarial profession has continuing needs and tremendous opportunities for people of this caliber, particularly students with demonstrated mathematical, statistical, business and problem-solving capabilities and interests. Our ambition is that through the scholarship and our related initiatives, we will assist Theophilis in achieving his educational goals and preparing him to make a strong entry into an actuarial career."

Just what is an actuary? According to the Smeal College of Business, an actuary is, "a business professional who uses mathematical skills to define, analyze and solve business and social problems. Actuaries generally are employed in life, health and casualty insurance companies, consulting firms and government."

With math as Chukwueke's favorite subject, studying for a degree in actuarial science seems like the perfect fit.

"I love math," enthused Chukwueke. "I scored a 730 on my math SATs. I'm willing to take whatever steps I need to to be successful in an actuarial career. I went to summer camps here (Penn State Abington) when I was younger and loved the campus, so when I found out I could get an actuarial science degree from Penn State I knew this is where I wanted to go. I plan to study at Abington for my first two years and then transfer up to University Park to finish my degree."

For more information about this scholarship and other initiatives and activities of The Actuarial Foundation, visit online.