SMSU Enactus finishes in top 8 nationally
The Southwest Minnesota State University Enactus club (formerly SIFE) finished in the top eight at the national competition in Kansas City, Mo., recently.
It was the highest finish ever for Enactus, a campus group with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. The group had finished in the top 20 nationally two out of the past three years.
The team qualified for nationals earlier by taking its 10th straight regional competition, held this year in Minneapolis.
A presentation team of four SMSU students competed, led by club president Ben Tiensvold, a senior speech communication/public relations major from Sioux Falls, S.D.
The rest of the presentation team was comprised of Laura Johnson, a senior public relations major from Buffalo; Sidne Gardner, a freshman marketing major from Comfrey; and Andrea Marsh, a freshman international business major from Lake Crystal.
Tiensvold said 154 teams were at nationals and the SMSU group gave its first presentation May 22. The team advanced as one of 20 semifinalists, and gave a second presentation May 23. SMSU finished as first runner-up in its semifinal group, placing it between fifth and eighth place in the nation. Group winners advanced to the "final four."
"They don't give specific scores for the first runner-up teams, which make up five through eight, so we are in the top eight nationally," said Tiensvold.
"I thought our two presentations were the best we've ever done," said Tiensvold. "The judges were impressed with our presentation team, our annual report and video."
He said the SMSU support was amazing.
"We had a total of 18 students and three professors with us, 21 total, one of the bigger groups at the competition," he said.
The team's presentation was judged based on social, economic and entrepreneurial criteria. The team's presentation centered on three main projects the club has been focused on this year.
Two of the projects were continued from last year. The club worked with the MECLA alternative school in Marshall to open a coffee shop and bookstore at the MECLA campus in the Market Street Mall, and club members again traveled to Jamaica to make more improvements to the Faith's Pen rest/food stop area.
A new project started this year at Robin's Nest Children's Home in Jamaica.
"It's the equivalent of an orphanage. Many of the children there come from troubled homes and have parents but don't live with them," Tiensvold said.
Tiensvold said a total of 26 SMSU Enactus students have gone to Jamaica for those projects, "and that fact set us apart and put us into the top eight. Given what we accomplished, and the budget that we did it on, we had an amazing finish."
"I'm so proud of this year's club. The team sacrificed so much of their time and money to help others. Twenty-six students went on a mission trip to Jamaica and paid their own way. They saw a level of poverty and suffering they will never forget, and they worked hard to improve the lives of others," said Dr. John Gochenouer, management professor at SMSU and the group's adviser. "We competed against much larger schools, and our students did just a great job. It's our highest finish ever, and it's nice to see all of their hard work recognized."
Moorse admitted to SMSU
Denaca Moorse, the daughter of Greg and Sheryl DeVos from Marshall, has been accepted for the 2013 fall semester at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.
Her planned major field of study is social work.