IRM Students Awarded Spencer Educational Foundation Scholarships
By Mark Kramer
Two Insurance and Risk Management (IRM) students from the University of Houston-Downtown’s Marilyn Davies College of Business were both awarded $5,000 scholarships from the Spencer Educational Foundation.
IRM majors Elijah Kabalka and Csilla Molnar were selected for the scholarships because of their academic and leadership abilities. The Spencer grants are awarded specifically to students studying risk management, insurance, actuarial science and business.
Kabalka, a senior IRM major, said the scholarship will enable him to further his pursuits of working in the corporate setting in a risk management role.
“As a risk manager I want to ensure and effectively communicate the risk policies as well as the processes essential to the management of a corporate organization,” he said. “I aim to provide hands-on development of the models that cover risk management within the market, the effective operation of controls, operational and credit risks, and the provision of support in the analytical and research departments. With a degree in insurance and risk management, I feel I will be one step closer to my goal.”
In addition, Kabalka intends to pursue special professional certifications that will be important in his career, such as the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, Certified Risk Managers (CRM) designation, Associate in Risk Management (ARM) Certification and Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation.
“All of these qualifications combined will provide me an opportunity to establish myself as a professional in the corporate sector as a risk manager,” Kabalka said.
Molnar said the scholarship will provide her expanded opportunities to excel and focus on her studies.
“It will push me further towards my degree, knowing that I not only completed a very important task, but also created a foundation for moving me closer to my career goals,” the junior IRM major said.
Molnar said she will begin working on her minor in Actuarial Science when the fall semester begins and also intends to pursue industry certifications.
“During my senior year, I am planning to obtain a summer actuary internship, and finish my CPCU and actuary examinations,” she said. “After graduation, I will be looking for a risk analysis or actuary entry-level position.”
Molnar said she is grateful to her professors and mentors that have supported her. “I have found purpose in the insurance Industry and hope to make a positive impact on my community in the future,” she said.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.