SIFE Team Advances to National Competition

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Medaille professor Dr. Kotzin
March 24, 2011 - 8:41am

The Medaille College chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) won its division at the SIFE USA Regional Competition on Monday, March 22 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Medaille team now advances to the National Competition in Minneapolis, Minn. from May 10-12. Founded in 2009, this is the first opportunity for the team to advance to the nationals. The team came close in last year's competition by winning "First Runner Up" and "Rookie of the Year".

At competition, SIFE teams present community service projects they develop and implement to create economic opportunity for others by effectively educating and empowering people in need by applying business and economic concepts and an entrepreneurial approach to improve their quality of life and standard of living. Competition requires a 24-minute oral presentation and video, accompanied by a four-page annual report, and is followed by questions from a panel of business executives. Teams are judged on the basis of needs addressed and the relevance, depth and meaningful impact that their projects have on the lives of others.

In 2010-11, the Medaille SIFE team implemented projects across a diverse range of communities, from large urban areas of the inner city to a small rural town located abroad. Each of these communities offered access to a variety of populations and problems, offering a number of unique and interesting challenges to the team. Projects include a student run business that provides experiential learning opportunities for Medaille students, new venture creation opportunities for students in grades K-12, after school programs for inner city youth, money management and financial literacy training to young adults, and global outreach projects to benefit female artisans and their families in Guatemala.

The competition presentation team includes Dan Tomaka '11, Erin Driscoll '12, Gerard Jackson '12, Danielle Rollins '12 and Colleen Wagner '14. The team's advisors include four faculty, each from the Business Department: Michael Lillis, Ph.D., professor and chair; Ken Radig, associate professor; Pat Johnson, associate professor; and, Kevin Bosner, Ph.D., assistant professor.

"Medaille SIFE students have contributed over 1200 hours to developing and implementing service projects this year, having a direct and measurable impact on over 500 lives across the globe," said Dr. Lillis. "Though their service, students develop leadership and professional skills and fulfill Medaille's ideal of linking the curriculum and the co-curriculum in order to promote active, collaborative, problem-based, and experiential learning."

SIFE is an international, non-profit organization active on more than 1500 university campuses in 40 countries. Medaille SIFE activities are supported, in part, by the voluntary efforts of 25 business advisory board members who lend a hand when fundraising, develop organizational accountabilities, create valuable connections and help to foster a strategic focus for the team.

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