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Lisa A. Gardner, Ph.D., CPCU, AIDA, API

Visiting Assistant Professor of Actuarial Science

As a native Iowan, Dr. Gardner counted several Drake graduates among her family friends when she was growing up. Through those friends, she came to respect Drake as a great University.

Drake's reputation for excellence, its relatively small size and location in Iowa's Capitol, and a research assistantship offer from The Insurance Center made her choice of MBA programs easy: it was Drake. And a great choice it was, not just for research and learning opportunities but also for some good mentoring she received here. Encouraged by one of her professors, she went on to earn a Ph.D. and became a professor, a career that she enjoys.

Over the years, she has taught courses in risk management and insurance, statistics, and finance. Her students range from first-year students to soon-to-be-graduating seniors; from graduate students interested in improving their job promotion prospects or changing careers to front-line workers from a manufacturing company. She feels more than lucky that many of these learners were Drake students.

In addition to teaching and learning, Lisa likes writing and researching, doing work in service to others, and thinking about ways to build or rebuild programs, processes, and systems in higher education.

She has many interests outside of work, most shaped by her growing-up years in Decorah. Truly an outdoors person, she loves spending time bicycling, canoeing, hiking, kayaking, and running. She also likes making and appreciating art (photography, printmaking, watercolor painting) and music, reading, and playing with her dog, family, and friends.

Contact Information

Phone: 515-271-3561
Address: 2847 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Office: Aliber Hall 358


  • Ph.D., Risk Management and Insurance, Georgia State University
  • MBA, Drake University
  • B.S., Economics, University of Wyoming

Areas of Expertise

  • Risk management and Insurance, emphasizing personal lines
  • Selected topics in univariate and multi-variate statistics and statistical sampling
  • RMI program development
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