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UC SIFE Team Wins Two National Awards, Makes School History with Top 40 Finish

Release Date:  Thursday, May 24, 2012


Kansas City, Mo.  – The University of Charleston Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team claimed two national awards and finished in the top 40 overall for the first time in school history yesterday at the SIFE National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo.

“I am so proud of what our team was able to accomplish this week in Kansas City,” said UC SIFE advisor Briana Cicero-Johns. “To finish in the top 40 and walk away with two other national awards is really special. All of the credit goes to our students for the hard work they put in throughout the school year.”

UC SIFE won a $5,000 grant for claiming first-prize in the TIAA-CREF Financially Empowering Gen Y Project Partnership Challenge. This past spring the SIFE team partnered with local CPA Shehna Khan to create and teach a financial literacy course to UC students and the community. The grant will ensure the course is funded for another year.

UC Dean of Students Bethany Meighen was honored at the national convention with the 2012 Most Supportive Dean Award. Meighen was nominated by UC SIFE for her steadfast support of the team and the many projects they undertake throughout the Charleston community.

“Dean Meighen’s encouragement of, and dedication to our UC SIFE program goes so far above and beyond her responsibilities as Dean of Students that we are constantly in awe,” said UC SIFE president Ryan Moran. “We are so happy that she has been nationally recognized for her leadership and support.”

The first round of the national competition took place yesterday with over 160 teams competing for 20 spots in today’s semifinals. UC SIFE fell just short of the semis, being named the first runner-up in their league and earning a spot in the coveted top 40, along with a $1,000 cash prize. This marked the first time in the team’s existence that it earned this prestigious distinction. UC SIFE was also the only one from West Virginia to finish in the Top 40.

SIFE teams at colleges across the U.S. work throughout the year with businesses and organizations to improve their local communities and then prepare a 24-minute recap to present at regional competitions. UC SIFE completed 11 projects this year and presented on four: teaching financial literacy and donating new computers to the Brookside Family Life Center, working with Maggie’s Salsa on an environmental audit and to create a new trademark, mentoring over 50 students and upgrading facilities at the St. Albans Boys & Girls Club, and enhancing business strategies and assist in promotional efforts at Kelly’s Dance Studio.

Top 20 in the nation (listed from League 1 through League 20, not by ranking):

Belmont University
Drury University
Pittsburg State University
Philadelphia Biblical University
Graceland University
Oral Roberts University
La Sierra University
Texas State University - San Marcos
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
Heritage University
Oregon State University
Flagler College
BYU- Hawaii
West Texas A & M University
Valdosta State University
Roberts Wesleyan College (League 16 champion)
Feather River College
University of Arizona
Syracuse University
Southwest Minnesota State University

Top 21-40 in the nation (listed from League 1 through League 20, not by ranking):

Coker College
Texas A & M International University
University of North Florida
William Jewell College
Northwest Arkansas Community College
University of  Nebraska - Lincoln
Seattle University
Lincoln Memorial University
Loyola University Chicago
Central Methodist University
Penn State Altoona
The University of South Dakota
Kennesaw State University
University of Florida
Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
University of Charleston (League 16 First Runner-Up)
Canisius College
Washington College
North Central University
John Brown University

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