Published on September 24, 2021 by Morgan Black  
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AlfaLab Opening

Samford University’s Brock School of Business, in partnership with Alfa Insurance®, opened the Alfa® Risk Management and Insurance Lab Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. The lab, paired with expanded risk management and insurance courses and additional experiential opportunities, is a major component of a multipronged initiative to prepare Samford students for careers in the risk management and insurance industry.

Equipped with leading data analytics software used in the industry, students will use the space to work on real-world projects for industry firms such as Alfa as part of course projects and/or internship programs. The space will also allow them to engage with professionals in the industry, many of which are members of the Brock School of Business Risk Management and Insurance Advisory Board.

Members of Alfa’s leadership team attended the ribbon cutting event. They each expressed confidence in the educational purpose of the new facility as well as their assurance in the partnership’s investment in people.

“At Alfa, we are focused on excellence in the four Ps—products, pricing, processes and people,” said Tommy Coshatt, Alfa’s executive vice president of operations. “That fourth P is what distinguishes Alfa from our competitors. This lab is an investment in people. It doesn’t matter how great our products, pricing and processes are if we don’t have people who care about our customers and have the knowledge and expertise to meet their insurance needs. We applaud Samford for its commitment to equipping students for successful careers in the insurance industry.”

In addition to the physical space, Brock School of Business will launch the 12-credit hour risk management and insurance concentration for business majors in Spring 2022, pending final approval. The curriculum will include courses such as International Insurance Markets and a FinTech/InsureTech course.  

Samford’s Gamma Iota Sigma student chapter, another prong of the initiative, has been in place since 2019. This group, a subsidiary of the international risk management and insurance fraternity, allows students to engage with their peers and industry professionals across the country through conferences and seminars.

“The things our students will be able to accomplish with the addition of this lab will set them apart as they go seek out jobs within the risk management and insurance industry,” said Brock School of Business Dean Chad Carson. “Alfa and Samford share the Christian values that are integral to our cultures and that has made this partnership even more significant to us.”

Alfa Insurance President and Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Parnell agreed with the shared values of the two organizations. 

“All companies are looking for people with values,” he said. “Skillsets are important, but values are probably more important and that background that Samford students have is huge. We’re thankful to have this partnership with Samford, and we hope this lab will be a benefit to the university as y’all continue to develop your risk management and insurance program.”

Future goals of the initiative include a student managed insurance company and a study abroad program which will focus on the London insurance market.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.