12:17 PM

Industry Veteran to Lead Davies College of Business IRM Center


By Sheryl E. Taylor

After an extensive national search, the Marilyn Davies College of Business selected Priscilla Oehlert to head its Insurance and Risk Management (IRM) Center at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD).

Hailing from Atlanta, Oehlert brings more than 20 years of experience with insurance carriers, operations management and risk management to the director's position. As IRM director, Oehlert will direct and manage all aspects of the IRM degree program, including faculty, curriculum and marketing.

Before joining UHD, she served as vice president of risk management programs for The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, where she helmed The Alliance's advanced programs, including the Certified Risk Manager (CRM) and the Certified School Risk Manager (CSRM) programs.

Now at UHD, she intends to focus on building enrollment in this undergraduate degree program—one of only two in the nation that offers six of the eight courses required to earn the prestigious Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.

The IRM program also provides students the opportunity to complete three of the five courses toward the Certified Risk Manager designation, and they also can earn the University Associate CRM designation while completing their degree at the University. UHD's three financial risk management courses allow students to complete courses toward the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and other professional designations.

"Teaching students courses designed by the industry gives them the practical knowledge to attain careers in the industry," Oehlert noted. "It's the reason for UHD's outstanding placement record."

The UHD curriculum, developed in partnership with its Houston industry leadership Council, is derived from nationally-recognized professional designation courses that incorporate the knowledge, skills and abilities currently in demand for insurance and risk management careers.

Oehlert earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics and finance from University of South Carolina, and an MBA from the W.B. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Additionally, she also has three professional designations, including the Certified Risk Manager, Associate in Risk Management (ARM), and Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), which makes her well-positioned to facilitate her students in successfully completing the rigorous coursework and exams.

Oehlert plans to teach UHD's risk management curriculum, which will use the text she co-authored and curriculum developed for The National Alliance.

"With the input of its industry Council, UHD has developed an exceptional curriculum in insurance and risk management that makes its students and graduates attractive to industry employers," said Oehlert. "My goal is to make more potential students aware of this valuable opportunity to prepare for careers in this dynamic and rewarding field."