USD SIFE team reaches top 20

USD SIFE team reaches top 20 After winning the SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) Regional Championships in Minneapolis, MN, The University of South Dakota SIFE Team took a top 20 finish at the Kansas City SIFE USA National Exposition and Job Fair on May 23-25.

Out of 600 teams, USD SIFE earned a spot in the semi-finals along with 19 other teams.

Students In Free Enterprise encourages students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it to real-life situations, using their knowledge to better their communities through educational outreach projects. For one of their projects, The University of South Dakota SIFE team touched the Vermillion and surrounding communities with programs like Fresh Start where students worked with a homeless shelter in Sioux Falls to teach basic life skills like budgeting, computer skills, and interview skills.

The USD SIFE team also collaborated with six different countries on their United Candle project to create a global candle business by creating a candle with each part made in a different country. The candles were sold to the surrounding communities and profits divided between participating countries.

At competition, teams are judged on how well their projects taught others the principles of free enterprise.

Dr. Susan Kruml serves as advisor for the SIFE Team and was named a Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow in recognition of her leadership and support of the SIFE program at The University of South Dakota.

Founded in 1975 and active on more than 1,500 college and university campuses in 37 countries, SIFE is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with business and higher education to provide students the opportunity to make a difference and to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise.

For more information, contact Maya Ristic at 605-624-9485 or Kruml at 605-677-5554, or visit

USD SIFE team members who attended National Exposition in Kansas City are Jackie Mount, daughter of Brian and Janet Mount, and Maya Ristic, daughter of Zoran and Mira Ristic, both of Vermillion; Eric Sivertson, Aberdeen; Melissa Spaans, Beresford; Kyle Niemann, Castlewood; Jon Frary, Chamberlain; Ariel Schlueter, and Janice McFarlane, both of Crooks; Jenna Dreesen and Ryan Pidde, both of Freeman; Luke Garry, Madison; Nikhil Baht, Mitchell; Billie Maxwell, Parkston; Brett Durick, and Brian Templeton, Pierre; Joleen Reule, Rapid City; Aaron Unterbrunner, Jennifer Haas, Joe Fitzpatrick, Justin Smorawske, Pat Colleran, Sadi Larson,Vince Phrommany, Sioux Falls; Lisa Wormsbecker, Tripp; Jennifer Peterson, Kevin Kennedy, senior mass communication major, son of Richard Kennedy and Ursula Mehler, Yankton; Rita Foster, Moville, IA; Kara McGill, Sergeant Bluff, IA; Ali Magel, Sioux City, IA; Jamie Stapleton, and Robbie Stapleton, South Sioux City, NE.

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