University of Connecticut

Faculty and Instructors

Terryn Boucher, FSA, MAAA, is an Adjunct Professor in Actuarial Science. He has thirty years of experience in the life insurance and pension industry. He is experienced in annuity valuation and financial reporting as well as life insurance pricing. Terry’s most recent experience has been 8 years with Phoenix Life Insurance company, where he was 2nd Vice President and Actuary serving as the valuation actuary for annuity products, including variable, fixed indexed, and payout annuities. Before that, he worked for 5 years in annuity valuation at ING. He also worked for 15 years as an actuary at Aetna in several roles including annuity valuation and life insurance pricing, and 2 years at The Pension Service, Inc. Terry has been a frequent speaker at the Valuation Actuary Symposium and Actuaries’ Club of Hartford and Springfield meetings. He is a past president of the Actuaries’ Club of Hartford and Springfield.

Michael Braunstein, ASA*, MAAA, is Assistant Director of the Actuarial Science Program. Prior to joining the program, he was with Aetna with overall responsibilities for Actuarial Talent Management. His experience includes 15 years working for The Hartford Life Insurance Company doing traditional life/health pricing and financial/actuarial work, 12 years as President/Owner of an actuarial recruiting company, and 5 years in actuarial publishing as President/CEO of ACTEX Publications and as Director of North American Operations for BPP Professional Education. A 1973 cum laude graduate of the University of Connecticut, Michael also provides extensive volunteer work for the Society of Actuaries and the American Academy of Actuaries, has chaired several committees, and has served as President of the Actuaries’ Club of Hartford/Springfield.

, MS, FSA**, MAAA, PRM [Professional Risk Manager] is an Adjunct Professor in Actuarial Science. She holds a masters degree in Applied Mathematics from NYU, and bachelor degrees in physics and mathematics from North Carolina State University. She has been VP, Insurance Research at Conning in Hartford since 2011. Prior actuarial-related positions were at Scor Global Life Americas, The Infinite Actuary, and TIAA-CREF. She has been active in the Society of Actuaries, being a frequent contributor to its publications as well as a presenter at its meetings.

Guojun Gan, PhD, ASA*, is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Connecticut, where he has been since August 2014. Prior to that, he worked at large life insurance companies in Toronto, Canada for six years. He received a BS from Jilin University, Changchun, China, in 2001 and MS and PhD degrees from York University, Toronto, Canada, in 2003 and 2007, respectively. His research interests include data mining and actuarial science. He has published two books and several papers on data clustering and its applications. He also published a book on mathematical finance.

James Geyer, FSA**, MAAA, is an Adjunct Professor in Actuarial Science. He served for many years as the Chief Actuary at Aetna Inc. and was responsible for all actuarial functions throughout the company, including (but not limited to) pricing, experience studies, and reserving. Since retirement from Aetna in 2007, Mr. Geyer has worked as an actuarial expert witness for a law firm.

James Head, FSA**, MAAA, is an Adjunct Professor in Actuarial Science. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Binghamton University in New York State. He has worked as a health actuary at Aetna as well as ConnectiCare, focusing on reserving and pricing of Commercial and Medicare products. He is currently a Senior Staff Actuary for ConnectiCare’s Medicare business segment.

Gao Niu, Ph.D., is a visiting assistant professor in Actuarial Science. He graduated from UConn in August 2016 with a Ph.D. in actuarial science. He has interned at AIG – Commercial Pricing Center (Atlanta, GA) and General Reinsurance – New England Asset Management (Farmington, CT). His research includes actuarial applications of predictive modeling and agent-based modeling. He is also currently the assistant director of the Janet and Mark L. Goldenson Actuarial Research Center.

Louise O'Brien, FSA**, MAAA, is an Adjunct Professor in Actuarial Science. Louise graduated from UConn in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education, summa cum laude. She also completed a Master of Science in Business Administration degree from Boston University in 1981. Louise worked for thirty-three years in a variety of actuarial roles at Travelers Life & Annuity and MetLife. Her primary focus was in the Institutional Products and Employee Benefits areas doing pricing, experience studies, and financial management. Louise also has five years of academic work experience ranging from high school, undergraduate, and graduate level instruction. She taught in public and private schools in North Carolina, Germany, and the Hartford, CT area. Louise received a U.S. Army Commander’s Commendation for her outstanding contribution to the Berlin, Germany community where she served as Master Teacher for the Adult High School Diploma Program for soldiers and family members.

Edward Perry, MS, is an Adjunct Professor in financial mathematics. He has served as a Senior Quantitative Analyst in several large life insurance comapnies. He has also served as a Trader and Portfolio Manager in hedge funds.

Pawel Szeszko, ASA*, MAAA, is an Adjunct Professor of Actuarial Science. A cum laude graduate of the UConn School of Business, Pawel holds Bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Actuarial Science and a Certificate in Management Information Systems. His professional experiences at Aetna and UnitedHealthcare focused on the pricing of specialty benefits. Pawel enjoys campus recruiting, mentoring, and researching the implications of early retirement on personal finance and decision-making.

James Trimble, FSA**, CERA, is Director of the Actuarial Science Program. Jim graduated from UConn in 1978 with a BS in Mathematics, summa cum laude. He then worked for The Hartford Life Insurance Companies for over 30 years in actuarial roles of increasing responsibility, including Chief International Actuary, Chief Risk Officer and Chief Actuary, and he was the director of its actuarial student program.​ Jim is currently an elected Board member of the Society of Actuaries.

Jeyaraj Vadiveloo, Ph.D., FSA**, MAAA, CFA is the Towers Watson professor-in-residence in actuarial science who has taught at UConn for 20 years. He holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of California Berkeley. Dr. Vadiveloo currently is a Senior Consultant in the Risk Consulting Services practice of Towers Watson in Hartford, Connecticut. Although he normally teaches only one course each semester, Dr. Vadiveloo is actively involved in several important administrative aspects of the Actuarial Science program such as curriculum development and Ph.D. student supervision. He is also currently the Director of the Janet and Mark L. Goldenson Actuarial Research Center.

Emiliano Valdez, Ph.D., FSA**, is a Professor in actuarial science and has a joint appointment with the Department of Statistics. He holds a Ph.D. in Business from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and has been in academia for over 15 years. His most recent post was at Michigan State University in East Lansing as Professor and where he served as Director of their Actuarial Science program. His primary research interest is actuarial science that cover topics in copula models and dependencies, applications of statistics to insurance problems, managing post-retirement assets, and risk measures and capital requirements related to enterprise risk management. In recognition for the quality of his research, he has been awarded several prizes that include the E. A. Lew Award, the Halmstad Memorial Prize, and the Hachemeister Prize.

Charles Vinsonhaler, Ph.D., ASA*, is Professor Emeritus, former Head of the Department of Mathematics, and former director of the actuarial program. He holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Washington. He has been honored as Connecticut Professor of the Year and as a UConn Teaching Fellow. Dr. Vinsonhaler was very instrumental in the creation and development of the Actuarial Science Program.

Bin Zou, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Connecticut. Before joining UCONN, he worked as an Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Washington from September 2016 to August 2017, and a TUM foundation fellow in the Department of Mathematics at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany from May 2015 to August 2016. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematical Finance from the University of Alberta (Canada). His main research interests are stochastic control and optimization with applications in actuarial science and mathematical finance.

* Associate of the Society of Actuaries
** Fellow of the Society of Actuaries