The University of Southern Mississippi Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team saw its first effort as a regional contestant pay off handsomely with a Rookie of the Year Award at the SIFE USA Regional Competition in Atlanta earlier this month.
Students in SIFE use business concepts to develop community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Dr. Jennifer Sequeira, team advisor and associate professor in the Department of Management and International Business, said 53 teams from various public and private universities participated in the regional competition.
“The competition was very intense. I was very impressed with the way that our team performed under pressure, given that it was our first time to compete at the regional level,” said Sequeira. “Participating in this competition was a great experience for our team and we look forward to next year’s competition.”
The Southern Miss team was required to give a 20-minute formal presentation of all community projects which had been completed during the academic year. The team was then judged on the overall impact of its projects, which included number of people served, number of people who benefitted, number who were educated or whose awareness was increased.
During the 2009-10 school year the Southern Miss SIFE team has engaged in several community-based projects that directly impacted university students and area residents. In one case, the team partnered with the Hattiesburg Sam’s Club to assist two area businesses in improving their environmental sustainability. In another instance the team joined forces with Campbell’s to Can Hunger in Hattiesburg, collecting and donating approximately 1,800 canned food items to the Edwards Street Fellowship Center.
“The primary thing we are here to do is help the community,” said SIFE team president Nathan Sanford, a senior economics major from Purvis, Miss. “Where we differ from other organizations is how we do it. We try to find local businesses and either help them improve their operation or partner with them to assist others in the community.”
For more information about the Southern Miss SIFE team contact Sanford at
or Sequeira at
Members of The University of Southern Mississippi Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team include, from left to right: Jonathan Jones, Nathan Sanford and James Wilcox. (Submitted photo)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.