Adding up accomplishments 

By Russ Cooper

Mendy Wenger in the ninth floor LB Building math lab. Magnifying glass

Mendy Wenger in the ninth floor LB Building math lab.

Math undergrad Mendy Wenger has always known math would be his life.

"I truly could not see myself going into any other field of work," he says.

Actually, his current specialty is actuarial mathematics/finance. After high school, he was searching for a specific direction in the field. He was introduced to actuarial math by family friends Eli Meroz and Irwin Silber, two Concordia actuarial alumni.

"Until [Meroz] told me about it, I had never heard of the word till then. In fact, I vividly remember going home from my meeting with him and taking out a dictionary to look up the word 'actuary,'" he says.

Intrigued, he chose to take a trip to New York to see Silber, an actuary at New York Life Insurance Co. to find out more. In learning about the field, he recognized the risk management and complex mathematical models used in actuarial math perfectly complimented his technically-inclined personality and aptitude for quantitative calculation – traits he feels are vital in the profession.

"I knew this was where I wanted to be, and I’ve been pursuing that goal ever since," he says.

Through his determination, Wenger has received scholarships each year, he's been an Arts and Science scholar for the past two, received the Towers Perrin award for the highest GPA among second-year actuarial students, and, the crowning honour, he'll be accepting the 2009 Governor General's Silver award for the highest academic standing upon graduation from a baccalaureate program (his GPA was 4.28).

"I am thrilled and honoured to receive this award," he says. "It's always gratifying to be recognized for the scholastic achievements. This award will encourage me to continue to persevere in all future endeavours."

Wenger is on his way back to New York City to begin work at Guardian Life Insurance Company, a company with which he interned last summer. He'll also continue to write actuarial exams over the next couple of years as he moves closer to attaining formal industry accreditation.

"I would also very much like to pursue graduate studies in mathematics sometime in the future," he says. "I know I will always have a thirst for more knowledge in mathematics."


Concordia University