Students from USD net accolades at 2012 SIFE National Exposition

University of South Dakota's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) finished as first runner-up in their league at the 2012 SIFE National Exposition in Kansas City, MO, May 22-24, placing the USD group in the top 40 SIFE teams nationwide.

USD SIFE completed several noteworthy projects during the 2011-12 academic year that benefitted local charities. Some of the 11 projects completed this past year included SIFE's annual Coyoteopoly Food Drive during Hunger Awareness Week and a project that teaches resume writing and interviewing skills to job candidates at the Rosebud Reservation. Additionally, USD SIFE worked with charities and businesses to collect 7,000 pairs of shoes to be distributed in South Dakota.  USD's SIFE team advanced to the national exposition for the 11th straight year after earning top honors at the SIFE Regional Competition and Career Opportunity Fair in Minneapolis, Minn. in March.

"A big round of applause goes out to the students, especially the executive team, including Katie Gamber and James Payer our president and vice president this past year," stated Mark Yockey, Ph.D., associate professor, Beacom School of Business at USD and SIFE adviser. "The national competition is incredibly competitive. All of the teams are amazing and they all created and carried out tremendous projects."

According to Yockey, each team is required to do a 24-minute presentation explaining their project to the judges and how those projects impacted and changed lives. The competition is judged by business executives from Fortune 500 companies such as Wal-Mart, Hershey's, Cargill, Unilever, PepsiCo and ConAgra.

USD SIFE was one of 156 teams to qualify for the national exposition (out of more than 550). The national exposition brings together the top student, academic and business leaders from around the country to experience special events, including the SIFE Executive Reception and Dinner, and Top to Future-Top Forum, and provide attendees with unique opportunities for networking and mentorship.

USD SIFE encourages students to complete service-learning projects that teach lessons outside the classroom using real-life situations such as developing corporate partnerships with area businesses and industries, teaching marketing and entrepreneurship skills or preparing people in need for job opportunities.

For more information about SIFE, please email sife@usd.edu or go to www.usd.edu/business.

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