SIFE groups at IU East, IU Bloomington move on to the next level
Students in Free Enterprise groups from Indiana University East and IU Bloomington won regional championships and will go on to national competitions.
SIFE is an international nonprofit organization active on more than 1,400 university campuses in 48 countries. SIFE teams consider the relevant economic, social and environmental factors, and empower people in need by applying business and economic concepts and an entrepreneurial approach.
Participating students use business concepts to develop community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. The SIFE network includes 24,000 students and 175 partner companies who support student projects and help to judge student impact at regional and national competitions.
The regional competition is one of 12 SIFE Regional Competitions that take place across the U.S. each spring.
Both teams will next compete in the national competition in Kansas City, Mo., May 23 and 24. IU South Bend received a Rookie of the Year for its first time participating.
First, regionals. Now: nationals.
The IU East Students in Free Enterprise team won a regional championship in its league during the SIFE United States Regional Competition Exposition on April 10 in Cincinnati.
Team members are James Healton and Shawna Sparks, both of Centerville, Ind.; Ryan Doughty of Richmond, Ind.; Nick Miller of Winchester; Brittany Hostetler of Camden, Ohio; and Rick McKinney and Megan Winn, both of Eaton, Ohio.
Throughout the year, the IU East SIFE team has worked on various projects related to teaching financial literacy concepts and entrepreneurship. SIFE members also featured the recent "Who Are YOUtube" contest videos they filmed with businesses in the Richmond Depot District and Center City Development Corp. Other projects included "Stage 2," in which families received baby food and then made a product from the jars to sell; a math entrepreneurship curriculum book, "ME," for students in K-12; and a birdhouse project that teaches participants to take natural resources to develop a product.
"Our team worked diligently to create our presentation and should be proud of this accomplishment. You could feel the passion we have for our work as we presented," Healton said.
Tim Scales, lecturer of business and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, is the team's advisor.
"The projects which are presented at the SIFE competitions evolve from many hours of planning, executing and evaluating projects," Scales said. "Each project has an impact on our school, our community and the educational experience of the team. This year the Indiana University East SIFE team presented the impact of 10 projects, over 2,000 SIFE team hours. We are pleased to move on to the national competition and to be recognized in the top 10 percent of the universities in the country."
IU East competed in league five, which included co-championship team Malone University from Canton, Ohio; first runner-up Anderson University; and Rookie of the Year IU South Bend. There were 400 teams participating in the SIFE USA Regional Competition.
Competing against 59 other universities and colleges, Indiana University Bloomington's Students in Free Enterprise group won a regional competition in Chicago on April 16. This is the team's sixth regional championship.
Members of IU's winning presentation team are Alicia Leffers of Fort Wayne; Eric Hasty of Jefferson City, Mo.; Chad Edgington of Fishers, Ind.; Danielle Thoe of Plymouth, Mich.; Ashley Sowders of Tipton, Ind.; Stephanie Biggs of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Irfan Ibrahim of Baltimore, Md.; and Samantha Snyder of Knox, Ind.
IU Bloomington's SIFE chapter is one of more than 577 such programs in the U.S.
During the 2011-12 academic year, IU's SIFE team organized seven projects that work with local organizations, yet also have global reach. Students worked this year with Girls Inc. to produce a sustainable fashion show; worked with the IU Licensing and Trademarks to designate an official IU Plaid; and held Fair Trade events that provide sources of income for artisans in resource poor areas.
This year, the IU Bloomington chapter was recognized for the second consecutive year as part of SIFE's 4.0 club, composed of teams recognized as achieving long-term sustainability to improve the quality of life and standard of living for others.