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Owens Findlay-area Campus Student Organization Honored for Community Outreach

FINDLAY - Owens Community College's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team was honored for outstanding leadership and entrepreneurial excellence following a regional competition in Cleveland. The team placed first among nine participating community colleges from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Owens' selection as a regional champion was determined by a panel of approximately 30 judges' overall consensus on honoring a SIFE team, which epitomized an extraordinary commitment and dedication to its respective academic institution and area communities throughout the academic year. The team now will compete against other regional winners at the National Championships in Kansas City, Missouri, May 23-25.

In addition, Owens Associate Professor of Marketing and Management, Tom Marshall of North Baltimore, was honored as the Sam Walton Free Enterprise Fellow in recognition of his work as the College's SIFE team advisor. Marshall's responsibilities as an advisor include overseeing project development, motivating team members and serving as a mentor to the students.

"Owens Community College's Business, Public Service and Information Technologies Division is extremely proud of our SIFE team for their dedication and commitment to this professional organization," said Myrna DeAustria, Owens Dean of Business, Public Service and Information Technologies. "SIFE is a wonderful educational experience for our students and a great service to the community. Winning this competition for the second consecutive year is a tremendous achievement."

The SIFE organization was founded in 1975 to provide college students with educational opportunities designed to enhance their leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Such educational opportunities are initiated by practicing the principles of market economics, business ethics, entrepreneurship and personal financial success through the implementation of various projects and SIFE- sponsored events. Currently, there are more than 1,600 SIFE organizations on college and university campuses in over 40 countries.

Throughout the academic year, Owens' SIFE team members have been involved in the development, funding and implementation of several free enterprise educational projects and events. Among their activities included paying tribute to service men and women by organizing a community-wide Veterans Day celebration and sponsoring a DECA Day competition for Findlay area high school students.

As part of a collaborative effort with the Arts Partnership of Greater Hancock County and the Hancock County Prosecutors office, the SIFE team also developed an arts based intervention program for middle school at risk youth. In addition, several team members traveled to Mexico and taught English lessons and provided school supplies for local children. The student organization also hosted its third annual spaghetti dinner for the business community, coordinated a community-wide scholarship program and taught career skills lessons to high school students.

Owens SIFE team members include Emily Mantooth of Findlay (Entrepreneurial Studies Option), Sonya Walburn of Findlay (Pre-Business Administration Concentration), Steve Walburn of Findlay (History Concentration), Joy Stytle of Findlay (Entrepreneurial Studies Option), Helen Sensabaugh of Findlay (Small Business Management Option), Josh Enstminger of Findlay (Accounting Technology), Kelly McCoy of Findlay (Pre-Nursing Program), Josh Sharninghouse of North Baltimore (Business Management Technology), Margaret Brickner of Fostoria (Business Management Technology), Juan Castillo of Leipsic (Entrepreneurial Studies Option), Amanda Wirgau of Findlay (Business Management Technology), Shellie Chalfin of Ottawa (Accounting Technology), Dorothy Bowling of Arlington (Office Administration Technology), Thomas Khun of Findlay (Middle Childhood Education Concentration), Jennifer Dukes of Findlay (Photography Concentration), Harold Handshoe of Findlay (E-Business Technology), Kyle Bates of McComb (Business Management Technology), Brian Patterson of Findlay (Business Management Technology), Monica Larson of Findlay (International Business Option), John Hayes of Findlay (Networking and Information Systems Support), Christina Kuzma of Tiffin (Business Management Technology) and Deb Dible of Fostoria (Accounting Technology).

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 27 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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