AppRISE Research Cohort

rise_logo_0.pngAppRISE Research Cohort

In 2016, the idea of creating a Risk & Insurance Research Center was proposed by a member of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center Board of Advisors.  In August 2017, Dr. Lori Medders joined the Walker College of Business Faculty as the Freeman Professor of Insurance.  Dr. Medders’ experience and interests dovetailed with this proposal so she, with the support of the Brantley Center Board of Directors, initiated a student research-teaching-learning opportunity at AppState as a collaboration between the Finance, Banking & Insurance faculty-students and the Brantley Center.   Currently, AppState RISE (Risk Initiative for Student Engagement) consists of nine students and Dr. Medders.  

The team conducts 4-5 research projects annually. The findings of recent work on sexual discrimination, the #metoo movement and employment practices liability will be showcased at the North Carolina InsureExpo in April. Two team members parlayed research on cyber and supply chain risk into an essay on how these risks could be efficiently financed through the use of captives. They submitted their essay to a national competition sponsored by the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA), and have been selected as finalists. Read more about the CICA competition here. The team is also finalizing the development of an Emerging & Evolving Risks Register, which will be an ongoing work effort, and be made publicly available.

This initiative is providing valuable experiential learning experience for the students and distinguishes the Appalachian RMI program.  For more information about the initiative, please contact Dr. Lori Medders


Current Projects

The current 2021-22 AppRISE team includes students Ariela Allen, Hannah Bagley, Madison Browne, Omar Gonzalez and Sasha Sterling as well as Professor Lori Medders. 

The first project is a continuation of the ASU property inventory project that began in early 2020, prior to the pandemic. The team is taking inventory of campus buildings, along with their primary and secondary risk characteristics and their contents. This project is in conjunction with ASU's risk management staff and general counsel.

The other two projects are behavioral studies of individual and business decision making under risk.

The second project is an experiment-based look at why individuals make consumer decisions during and surrounding disaster events that might be viewed as 'weird' (e.g., the toilet paper hoarding during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, bread and milk panics just before winter weather). We hypothesize that some of these behaviors are based on 'unfiltered advice' (usually in the form of stories) passed down from parents or others who have experienced past disasters. If and when filtered, we also hypothesize that several behavioral variables come into play, thus influencing an individual's consumer decisions, right down to what to purchase at the grocery store.

The third project is a study of psychology within the business decision environment, namely how diversity of thought (or lack thereof) contributes to differences in enterprise risk management decisions and to the quality of these business decisions. We expect overall that decision groups with a wider diversity of backgrounds, demographics and even personalities make risk management decisions that have superior outcomes to those groups having less diversity.

If you are interested in our projects, let us know! Write to Professor Medders at