Using Math to Prepare for the Future: Three UConn students receive Actuary of Tomorrow award

The award recognizes three UConn CLAS students for their excellence in actuarial science.

Three students selected as Actuaries of Tomorrow pose for their portraits.

Senior actuarial science majors James Petersen (left), Sai Manasani (center), and Eleanor Willis received the Stuart A. Robinson Actuary of Tomorrow award in 2021.

Three UConn students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences received the Stuart A. Robinson Actuary of Tomorrow award in 2021. 

Sai Manasani, Eleanor Willis and James Petersen turn their passion for mathematics into helping families by using math, statistics and financial theory to predict future events and financial risks.  

The Stuart A. Robertson Actuary of Tomorrow award recognizes the achievements of undergraduate students who are pursuing a career in actuarial science, and includes a scholarship of up to $10,000. The award is named for Stuart A. Robertson, a successful actuary who dedicated his practice to helping businesses worldwide.   

“I like to study actuarial science because of how limitless it is,” said Manasani ’22 (CLAS), also a CLAS Student Leadership Board ambassador. “I wanted a career that encompassed all those fields of study and actuarial science allowed me to do that. Actuaries indirectly help ensure a family’s financial stability in the event of a catastrophic event. Being able to provide people with this type of protection through the various insurance roles is extremely fulfilling.” 

“The work actuaries do is challenging and dynamic, which excites me,” added Willis ’22 (CLAS). “As an actuary, there is the potential to work in a wide variety of roles, including executive leadership teams. It is exciting that there is so much growth potential throughout your career.”  

Willis said not only is the information she learned from classes and internships interesting, but she enjoys the problem-solving that comes with taking actuarial exams. 

Since the start of the Stuart A. Robertson Actuary of Tomorrow award in 2006, 11 UConn students have received this award, said James Trimble, director of the actuarial science program at UConn.   

Petersen, ’22 (CLAS), said the award helps him financially and pushes him to succeed.  

“The Actuarial Program at UConn does an amazing job of teaching its students about the career field and how to have success as an actuary,” Petersen said. “Many of the faculty in our program are or were practicing actuaries, so their industry experience is incredibly valuable.” 

“Since UConn is one of the best actuarial schools in the country and is also in close proximity to Hartford, we have many industry connections that allow actuarial students to gain meaningful work experiences before we even graduate,” Mansani added.  

“I’ve had the opportunity to intern at four different companies during my time here at UConn. That wouldn’t have been possible without the speaker series through the UConn Actuarial Society (UAS), the annual Actuarial Career Fair, and of course the awesome professors that prepare us for our careers as actuaries.” 

 Mansani, Petersen and Willis also participated in actuarial clubs and events that have helped create connections and opportunities for internships. 

“I was ecstatic and so honored to have received it alongside some very accomplished actuarial students,” Mansani said. “It means so much to be able to connect this award back to one of my very first experiences with the actuarial program at UConn. Thank you so much to the Actuarial Foundation for your support!”  

“I am very honored to have been chosen as a recipient,” Willis said. “It means that my hard work and dedication toward this career path have not gone unnoticed. I plan to embody the dedication and excellence of Stuart A. Robertson during my time as an actuary.”  

“It is definitely a great honor to be recognized for my hard work,” Peterson said. “I appreciate being chosen to represent the Actuary of Tomorrow since so few students in the country are chosen each year. I also feel the responsibility to live up to the award it also helps build some additional connections within the Actuarial world that may not be made otherwise.”