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Published 4/29/2005

Owens Findlay-area Campus Student Organization Honored for Community Outreach

FINDLAY - Owens Community College's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team was recently honored for outstanding leadership and entrepreneurial excellence following a regional competition in Cleveland. The team placed first among five 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 22-24.

"Achieving recognition at the regional level is a direct reflection on the Owens SIFE team and their passion for wanting to make a difference within the surrounding communities through educational outreach initiatives," said Thomas Marshall, Owens Associate Professor of Business Technologies and SIFE team advisor.

The national 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 1,800 SIFE organizations on college and university campuses in 40 countries.

"SIFE is a wonderful student experience," said Joy Stytle, Owens small business management option student and SIFE President. "Although the team is proud of the regional accomplishment, we are more pleased that the organization is making an impact in the community."

Throughout the academic year, Owens' SIFE team has participated in a variety of free enterprise and educational projects and events benefiting the community. This past year, the student organization was responsible for coordinating 39 service learning projects.

Highlighted endeavors included teaching 90 fifth grade students at Washington Elementary in Findlay about the process of creating a business plan, marketing plan and mission statement through the concept of "Building a Better Airplane." As part of the initiative, each student was responsible for creating, testing and marketing their own designed paper airplane.

In addition, the student group hosted a community-wide Veterans Day celebration to pay tribute to service men and women, and reached out to area residents by organizing a professional clothing drive, benefiting disadvantaged women in Findlay and the surrounding communities. Collected clothing was donated to residents of Findlay's Hope House for the Homeless.

Earlier this academic year, the SIFE team also was selected by SIFE's World Headquarters and its financial literacy partners to receive a financial literacy grant for the purpose of increasing the knowledge of financial literacy and entrepreneurship in the community.

Owens SIFE team members include Zac Boehem of Dunkirk, Mich. (marketing and sales), Amy Flores of Findlay (business management), Andrea Kisseberth of Findlay (small business management option), William Looney of Findlay (computer electronics), Retha Luzader of Sycamore (accounting), Pete Macke of Ottawa (pre- business administration concentration), Josh Morris of Columbus Grove (microcomputer business systems), Aimee Newton of Findlay (undecided), Helen Sensabaugh of Findlay (small business management option), Beatriz Steen of Findlay (office administration) and Joy Stytle of Findlay (small business management option).

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new 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, and 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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