Alabama Center for Insurance
Information and Research




  • Dr. Lawrence S. "Lars" Powell — Director



    Focus and Current Research: Insurance markets and regulation, insurance operations, insurer capitalization, and predictive analytics

    Education: Ph.D., University of Georgia (Terry), Risk Management and Insurance 2002 BBAs, University of South Carolina, Finance; Insurance and Economic Security, 1996.

    Honors, Achievements, and Affiliations:
    Dr. Powell’s work appears in several academic and practitioner journals including Journal of Financial Service Research, Journal of Insurance Regulation, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Risk and Insurance, and the Risk Management and Insurance Review. From 2010 to 2013 he served as editor of the Journal of Insurance Regulation. He is past President of the Risk Theory Society and the Southern Risk and Insurance Association. He serves as Associate Editor of Journal of Insurance Issues, Journal of Insurance Regulation, and Insurance Markets and Companies: Analyses and Actuarial Computations. Dr. Powell has served as an expert to federal and state courts and legislatures. He has also participated in the creation of insurance companies and related entities. He is a founding board member of Arkansas Mutual Insurance Company and a recipient of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies’ NAMIC Service Award.



  • Dr. Sebastain Awondo — Associate Researcher



    Focus and Current Research: Insurance ratemaking and loss reserving, catastrophic risk, decision making under risk and uncertainty, insurance regulation, micro-insurance, and predictive modeling

    Education: Ph.D., University of Georgia, Agricultural & Applied Economics, 2014; M.S., University of Georgia, Statistics, 2013; M.A., University of Toledo, Economics, 2007; Ingénieur Agronome, Université de Dschang, Cameroon, 2003.

    Honors, Achievements, and Affiliations:
    Dr. Awondo obtained his Ph.D. in Applied Economics and an M.S. in Statistics from The University of Georgia. His Ph.D. dissertation investigated new methods in designing insurance contracts using shrinkage estimators and informational insurance complementarities. He showed that efficient and actuarially sound premiums could be realized using these approaches. His M.S. combined a spatial simulation-based ratemaking with an economic decision model under risk to investigate market gaps in area-level and unit-level Crop insurance. He is the recipient of The University of Georgia AAE outstanding Ph.D. student award in 2014 and Cameroon Ministry of Higher education best student award in 2001. His research has been published in Agricultural Economics and Marine Resource Economics with several under review. Prior to joining the center, he served as Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Georgia, Tifton Campus and a Research Economist with RTI International in RTP North Carolina. He also served as Programs Support Officer for DED/COMINSUD in Cameroon where he helped design, implement, and evaluate several economic development projects.



  • Dr. Boyi Zhuang — Postdoctoral Researcher



    Focus and Current Research: Insurance and risk management, catastrophe insurance, decision making under risk and uncertainty, insurance financing

    Education: Ph.D, The University of Alabama, Economics, 2016; M.S., The University of Alabama, Finance; B.A., Fuzhou University, Law, 2010.

    Honors, Achievements, and Affiliations:
    Dr. Zhuang received his Ph.D in Economics and M.S in Finance from The University of Alabama. His research interest includes topics in the areas of insurance, risk management, and behavioral economics. He has several essays under review by academic journals. He is the recipient of Marvin L. Mann Graduate Scholarship in 2014, EMBA Mitchell Scholarship in 2013, and Fred Bostwick Fellowship in 2012.
    He has presented some of his work at academic and professional meetings including: Southern Risk and Insurance Association Annual Meeting, Southern Economic Association Annual Meeting and Munich Risk & Insurance Summit.




    Reginald Allison II — Program Coordinator


    Kaylin Bowen — Communications Specialist