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May 2, 2011

La Salle Finance and Risk Management Professor Kathi McNichol Receives the Franklin Award from the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Society

Philadelphia Science Festival

Kathi McNichol (left) is presented with the 2011 Franklin Award by Mary Ann Cook, President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society.

Kathi McNichol, CPCU, ARM, assistant professor of finance and risk management at La Salle University, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Franklin Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Society.

Named for Benjamin Franklin, the award is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions not just to the property-casualty insurance industry but whose achievements impact the larger Delaware Valley community.

“It is very gratifying to have the work to which I dedicated time and effort to be recognized by an honor such as the Franklin Award,” said McNichol. “This award reaffirms my commitment to educate students about the insurance industry and to encourage participation in it.”

McNichol started in the insurance industry soon after earning her bachelor’s degree from La Salle. “Although I was a psychology and sociology major, I really loved the research and the numbers aspect of it, so working for an insurance company turned out to be a perfect fit.”

After earning her MBA from La Salle, McNichol was contacted by Greg Bruce, then Director of the La Salle’s MBA program, to help promote and recruit students for the University’s new program in insurance and risk management.  McNichol did so well recruiting for the program, she was asked to teach at the University. She taught part-time at the University for five years, before joining the faculty full-time in 1988.

In addition to teaching for 27 years, McNichol serves as coordinator of the Risk Management and Insurance Program and the Kemper Scholars program, the latter a prestigious scholarship program in which only 16 colleges and universities nationwide participate. She also serves as the faculty adviser for the Alpha Delta Chapter of the Gamma Iota Sigma National Collegiate Insurance Faculty. In 1997, McNichol received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

“Over the years, Professor McNichol has engaged our students and faculty in the insurance and risk management industry,” said Paul Brazina, Dean of La Salle’s School of Business. “She exemplifies the best in Lasallian values by combining practice with theory.”

To help blend theory with practice, McNichol does everything possible for her students to achieve outside the classroom. “I bring students to the CPCU Society meetings. I encourage them to network with the members and help them get internships and co-ops,” said McNichol. “I try to give them the resources they need to succeed in their careers.”

“Professor McNichol has been much more than just a professor to me, she has been one of the most influential persons I have encountered throughout my college career,” said James O”Neill, a La Salle senior finance major. “She continually strives to strengthen student interest in the industry, to foster professional connections for students, and to maintain the stellar Risk Management and Insurance Program at La Salle.”

McNichol is the third La Salle alumnus to win the Franklin Award in its 29-year history. James Sherlock, B.S., ’75, MBA, ’79, and Theresa Kline Macko, B.A., ’74, are also past recipients.