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Franciscan students win competition

April 22, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

STEUBENVILLE Franciscan University of Steubenville's chapter of Students in Free Enterprise won first-place honors for achievements in business, economics and philanthropy at the SIFE Regional Competition in Cincinnati, competing against schools from New York, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

Next they'll travel to the SIFE National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo., where they'll compete in May against some of the leading universities in the nation.

"The judges seemed impressed with the diversity of our projects, the thoroughness of our annual report and the amount of people we helped," said Eric Paskie, a presentation team leader. "They liked our professionalism and the ties we have with the community through our projects."

SIFE Faculty adviser Thomas Kelly, associate professor of accounting and business, said Franciscan's team won first place in part for its active community participation and business initiatives, including Project Bootstraps, which helps entrepreneurs in Jefferson County to start new businesses and expand existing ones, and the SIFE Entrepreneurial Alliance Program, which pairs students with local entrepreneurs to observe the day-to-day workings of hometown businesses.

The team also sponsored several fundraising projects for local and international charities, including Just One Dollar for Africa, an organization founded by Dr. Mark Miravalle, a theology professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville; the AIM Women's Center; the Water for Africa Project; Adopt a Highway; and Urban Mission.

"The Franciscan University chapter of SIFE was recognized for its belief that the mission of Franciscan University of Steubenville and the free enterprise system represent a powerful combination that can greatly improve the lives of citizens locally and throughout the world," Kelly said.

SIFE is a global organization comprised of university students, professionals, and industry leaders who work together to improve their communities through positive business endeavors. Chapters from participating schools compete in annual regional competitions where they present written and audiovisual presentations of their business and philanthropic initiatives from the past year. The teams are evaluated by judges from Fortune 500 companies based on "how successful they were at using business concepts to improve the quality of life and standard of living for those in need," according to the SIFE website.

Representing Franciscan University of Steubenville at the regional competition were Chapter President Matt Wester, senior political science major; Cecilia Wetzel, a sophomore business management and marketing major; and Catherine O'Camb, sophomore accounting major, chapter vice presidents; Anna Tang, a senior international business major and chapter secretary; Joseph Houde, senior marketing and multimedia major and the chapter's annual report officer; Tim Michaud, senior management major, the chapter's fundraising officer; Eric Paskie, sophomore international business major and a presentation team leader for the chapter; Ryan Mullen, sophomore international business major and a presentation team leader; Michael Blankenberger, senior finance major and a member of the presentation team; Claire Lattire, junior accounting and management major and a member of the (presentation team; and Ryan Gietman, a freshman accounting and finance major and a member of the presentation team.

SIFE is a global organization comprised of university students, professionals and industry leaders who work together to improve their communities through positive business endeavors. Chapters from participating schools compete in annual regional competitions where they present written and audiovisual presentations of their business and philanthropic initiatives from the past year. The teams are evaluated by judges from Fortune 500 companies based on "how successful they were at using business concepts to improve the quality of life and standard of living for those in need," according to the SIFE website.

Also competing at this year's regional competition were teams from Roberts Wesleyan College in New York; Indiana Wesleyan University in Indiana; the College of Mount Saint Joseph in Ohio and Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky.

 
 

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