Gallaudet undergraduate and graduate students will have unparalleled opportunities to gain experience in the growing financial services sector through DISB’s new Financial Service Academy. Gallaudet University and the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (DISB) signed a memorandum of understanding in a ceremony held on the Gallaudet campus in Northeast Washington. The MOU formalizes an already-existing relationship and expands it beyond its current scope, giving Gallaudet students practical work experience in municipal government and in financial services regulation.

Roberta J. Cordano, president of Gallaudet University, and Karima Woods, commissioner of DISB, participated in the signing ceremony. They were joined by other university officials, faculty members, and Risk Management and Insurance students, and by several DISB administrators and staff members.

The mission of the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (DISB) is three-fold: to cultivate a regulatory environment that protects consumers and attracts and retains financial services firms to the District; to empower and educate residents on financial matters; and to provide financing for District small businesses.

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, DISB will create fully accessible internships for Gallaudet undergraduate and graduate students, including those who are underrepresented, to introduce them to the financial services sector, with the goal of opening full-time employment opportunities. These internships will be offered through DISB’s newly formed Financial Services Academy. Gallaudet students will also have the opportunity to put their newly acquired skills to use within the local deaf community. There will be robust partnership development and industry partnership engagement, and joint marketing of the program. 

According to James H. Bruner, executive director of Gallaudet’s Maguire Academy of Risk Management and Insurance, “Gallaudet was the first university in the Washington metropolitan area to place interns with DISB, starting in 2016. I believe that because of the overwhelmingly positive experience DISB has had with Gallaudet’s Risk Management and Insurance students, and the students with DISB, the Bowser administration is opening up internships with other universities, not just for insurance, but for banking and securities.”

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