May 30, 2006
06-086

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Sementha Mathews Manager of Public Information and Media Relations

Valdosta State University SIFE Team ranked top ten in the nation

Kansas City, Mo., was a tough match for several hundred of the best Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) teams vying for the top prize at the SIFE National Competition on May 21-23. The high caliber of Valdosta State University's SIFE team placed them in the top ten of the best of the best and helped them finish off another successful year.

The VSU team won its 11th consecutive regional championship in Atlanta on April 4 with a spectacular 24-minute multimedia performance documenting service projects and community activities for the year. Representing VSU in both the regional and national competitions were SIFE members Jadrien Grimes, Desiree Metzger, Levy Odera, Nadia Rajjoub, Joanna Lockhart, and Chris Day.

"We fell short in winning the national championship, but we've helped change a lot of peoples' lives, so we didn't fall short in Valdosta�and that's what really counts," said Jason Swinford, a senior in management, marketing and finance and the SIFE president for the 2006-2007 academic year. Swinford, who traveled with the team to Kansas City for the competition, said VSU did exceptionally well all year long.

VSU's non-profit, student-led SIFE organization has a current membership of 430 members, up from 275 members from the year before, and represents over 15 countries. The fast-growing organization is committed to working in teams to design educational outreach programs that help people develop the skills needed to succeed in the free enterprise system. This year, SIFE completed 56 service-learning projects and volunteered over 16,000 community hours in the region.

"I've not only seen changes in those who are impacted by our programs but have also witnessed significant growth in the SIFE students themselves," said Dr. Wayne Plumly, professor and head of the Marketing and Economics Department and founder and advisor to VSU's SIFE organization. "They have become mature, responsible students. Businesses will look for people who have these types of experiences because they tend to make more socially responsible and ethical employees.

The VSU SIFE organization is part of an international organization located on more than 950 campuses nationwide and in 49 countries throughout the world. For more information, visit the SIFE website at www.vsusife.org .