Monthly Archives: October 2015

ECU Insurance Student Earns National Scholarship, Attends Conference

Kylia Hodge

Kylia Hodge; Risk Management and Insurance

ECU Risk Management and Insurance student Kylia Hodge recently earned a national scholarship from the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD), a nonprofit organization serving the insurance industry.

More than 90 students and young professionals applied for the ACORD2015 Student and Young Professionals’ Scholarships, and winners  will attend the organization’s flagship conference in Boca Raton, Fla. in early November. The students represent 13 universities including Florida State University, University of Georgia, University of Alabama, and St. John’s University.

“We have plenty of great things planned for the students this year, like our Student’s Night Out and more,” said Malou August, ACORD Director of Conference Programs and Virtual Events. “This is a great group of young people with a deep pool of talent that we will foster and develop at ACORD2015.”

“I’m so excited to attend ACORD2015 as one of the ACORD scholars. I can’t wait for this opportunity and will represent ECU proudly,” Hodge said.

Hodge, originally from Charlotte, plans to graduate in May 2016.  After graduation, she hopes to work in entry-level underwriting for an insurance company and complete her Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation.

The Textchange App Created by ECU Student Sara Dover

thetextchangeThe Textchange is an app that provides a marketplace for ECU students to buy, sell and trade textbooks among their peers. The business was founded in August of 2013 and launched in April of 2015. Sara Dover, the founder, recruited a marketing team of 11 ECU undergraduate students from the College of Business during the fall semester of 2014. Together, the team was able to successfully execute several marketing efforts throughout the course of the spring semester. These included hosting events at student apartment complexes, working closely with established small businesses within the community, and sponsoring Relay for Life. The Textchange also participated in the pitch competition at Spazz Fest in March of 2015, and worked closely with the American Marketing Association of ECU throughout the start up process.


The Textchange is currently undergoing some changes to promote future growth. Dover has taken on a partner, Ferdinand Rouse, an MBA student at ECU. Rouse is in the process of pursuing new directions to help students have access to more affordable textbooks in the future.

The Textchange recently participated in the Emerging Issues, BB&T, and ECU Small Business Institute for the Discovery Forum on October 1, 2015. Here The Textchange pitched their idea to a group of judges. The Textchange team, consisting of Sarah Dover and Ferdinand Rouse, placed third in this competition and will be moving forward in the competition for a chance to win $10,000 to help their idea become a reality.

The resources at ECU have been essential in the beginning successes of The Textchange. The support of the faculty along with the focus on entrepreneurship makes the environment at ECU an excellent place from small business to thrive.

College of Business Student Named NAPSLO Scholar

IMG_0080The National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO) recently named ECU senior Houston Pittman of Greenville as its Bermuda Scholar for 2015.

Pittman completed a competitive 10-week NAPSLO summer internship program in August, selected as one of 16 interns nationwide – out of a pool of nearly 100 applicants. Those interns attended NAPSLO’s Annual Conference in September and competed for three scholarships to study the London and Bermuda markets. Pittman is the first student from ECU to be admitted to the NAPSLO internship and scholar programs.

While in Bermuda for three weeks, Pittman will learn the particulars of that marketplace and how it interacts with the U.S. and U.K. industries more broadly. There will be an emphasis on reinsurance, as well as an examination of how the industry interacts with the local economy.  He will spend time with a home office in Bermuda, but he will also visit its regulatory authorities and the Chamber of Commerce to get a comprehensive view.

Dr. Brenda Wells, director of ECU’s Risk Management and Insurance program, said, “I couldn’t be more proud of Houston. He put forth an amazing effort to earn a position in this prestigious group of students, and not only was he selected for the program, he earned one of its two highest honors. He is a pleasure to have in class and a wonderful ambassador for ECU’s College of Business.”

Pittman plans to graduate this December with a concentration in Risk Management and Insurance. During the school year, he has worked 30 to 40 hours each week as an ECU Transit supervisor, along with his work as a full-time student. He currently serves as president of ECU’s Gamma Iota Sigma chapter, the international risk management, insurance, and actuarial science collegiate fraternity. Pittman has earned three scholarships for academic achievement during his time at ECU.