SIFE Named Regional Champion

Ouachita’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team traveled to Dallas, Texas, last Friday to compete in the SIFE Regional Competition. Ouachita, one of 45 schools competing in Dallas, was named a Regional Champion, advancing to the national competition in Kansas City in May.

The competition assesses teams based on their presentation of projects their SIFE organization sponsors throughout the year. Teams were divided into leagues of five or six schools each. The top two to three teams in each league were named Regional Champions and advanced to nationals. The teams competed against each other based on presentations given for a panel of judges.

Ouachita’s team of six presenters and its director showcased the 11 projects SIFE has been involved with in the past year, including working to open a pregnancy resource center, “Go Green or Go Home” and “Servant’s Heart for Honduras.”

“We’ve practiced [our presentation] since February,” said Britta Stamps, a senior management, marketing and political science major and the SIFE president. “Our presentation is scripted and memorized by six presentation team members, and we have a DVD video that shows us working with the kids in Honduras and teaching classes that plays on screen and is timed perfectly with our presentation.”

After the presentation, the judges asked team members specific questions about the projects.

“They would ask us questions about different things they learned during our presentation,” said Stephanie Batsel, a senior marketing and music major and another one of the presenters. “And we designated ahead of time who would answer the specific questions.”

Other members of the presentation team include Michael Crowe, a sophomore finance and biology major, Brittney Jones, a sophomore finance and management major, Judith Brizuela, a junior management and psychology major, and Austin Walsh, a senior psychology major. Tanner Ward, a junior management, finance and mass communications major, is the presentation team’s director.

Schools are randomly placed in the leagues, meaning small schools like Ouachita can be placed against larger schools such as the University of Texas at Austin. And for OBU SIFE, that stiff competition against such a large school did not pose a problem; they walked away as the Regional Champions — something Frank Hickingbotham, the namesake of the School of Business, did not let go unnoticed.

“Tanner [Ward] posted a picture on Facebook and [Hickingbotham] commented on it and just said that he was so proud of us,” Stamps said. “It was pretty much the best comment on a Facebook picture you could get.”

Despite minor setbacks such as a hotel mix-up, which ended in an automatic suite upgrade, and a less-than-exciting bus wreck on the way home, OBU SIFE will head out to Kansas City, Mo., for the SIFE National Competition on May 21 with hopes to continue on to the World Competition in Washington, D.C., in September.


Picture courtesy of Tanner Ward.

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