SIFE team finishes among top 40 nationally

Northwestern College’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team was named first runner-up in its league at the SIFE national contest in Kansas City, Mo., on May 22–24, finishing among the top 40 teams out of 200 at the competition. There are well over 900 SIFE teams in the country.

Roberts Wesleyan College of New York won Northwestern’s league. Other schools in that league were Bryant University of Rhode Island, Claflin University of South Carolina, Georgia College and State University, Penn State Abington, Southern Arkansas University and the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Graceland University of Lamoni, Iowa, was the only school from Iowa, Nebraska or South Dakota to do better at nationals than Northwestern, finishing as one of the 20 semi-finalists.

“Our students did exceedingly well,” said Dr. Mike Avery, the Northwestern team’s adviser and an assistant professor of business and economics. “A number of observers and judges came up after their presentation and complemented them on their professionalism and preparedness. The judges were also very impressed with their character and personality.”

This was Northwestern’s second-best performance at the national contest since the school began a SIFE team five years ago. In 2002, NWC placed among the top 16 schools nationally.

This year’s Northwestern presentation focused on several projects, including developing a self-sustaining kit—requiring only sunlight and water—that could enable Third-World families to raise fish and grow vegetables; teaching business ethics and personal finance to high school and college students; providing consulting services; and developing “The GM,” a business-oriented reality TV show.

Northwestern’s SIFE team includes 24 students. Members of the presentation team in Kansas City were Megan Grooters, a senior business administration/management major from Des Moines; Katrina Kramer, a junior business administration/management major from Fulda, Minn.; Mary Kummerfeld, a 2005 graduate from Sutherland, Iowa, majoring in applied design; Carly Miller, a senior communication studies major from Humboldt, Iowa; and Anna Persuitti, a senior majoring in business administration/management from Arden Hills, Minn.

Isaiah Lockard, a 2005 graduate with a business administration/management major from Oelwein, Iowa, developed a multimedia summary of the team’s projects that was shown during the competition. Shahyan Qureshi, a 2005 graduate with a business administration/marketing and management major from Toronto, Ontario, serves as team coordinator.