UPEI actuarial sciences student earns ASNA-CIA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion scholarship
Varesh Kumar Beeharry, a fourth-year actuarial sciences student at UPEI, has won a prestigious scholarship, valued at $3,000, from the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) and the Actuarial Students’ National Association (ASNA).
Beeharry won the Academic Achievement Award, one of three awards that comprise the inaugural ASNA-CIA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarships. The others are the Inclusive Culture Award and the Indigenous Award.
The awards were conferred at the CIA gala dinner at the 33rd ANÉA-ASNA Convention in Toronto on January 14. They support individuals from underrepresented groups working toward associateship or fellowship with the CIA and further recognize those who have dedicated themselves to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in the actuarial community.
UPEI has over 50 students majoring in actuarial science. The program began in 2016 when the UPEI School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences was established. The program is continually expanding, attracting new students and faculty members. Eleven students from UPEI attended the ASNA conference with many of those students completing actuarial professional exams outside of their regular courses.
“This national award is a great accomplishment and quite an honour for Varesh and speaks to the strength of our program,” said Andrew Godbout, interim associate dean of the School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences.
The scholarships aim to increase Indigenous representation in the actuarial profession, recognize outstanding efforts toward making Canada’s actuarial community more diverse and inclusive, and provide financial support based on demonstrated need to help students achieve their professional qualification goals.
“As an international student from Mauritius, Africa, I was honoured to receive an award, and I am very grateful for this recognition,” said Beeharry. “I dedicate this success to my family, friends, work colleagues, and most importantly, UPEI. The University has always promoted diversity and inclusivity, and I have always felt included in the campus community. Additionally, this conference helped me build many connections and learn new things in the actuarial field. I hope that UPEI students will continue to be supported at similar events, as they can be life changing.”
CIA President Hélène Pouliot said in a recent news release announcing the award winners that the CIA is proud to partner with ASNA in offering scholarships to exceptional students.
“We recognize that excellence must be nurtured, and we are committed to reducing barriers and providing new and equitable opportunities to join the profession.”