U of O's SIFE team places among nation's best

Release Date: 6/16/2003

Clarksville, Ark. ---The University of the Ozarks' Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team finished in the top 12 in the team competition at the 2003 SIFE USA National Exposition, held in Kansas City, Mo., May 11-13.

Also at the event, Ozarks President Dr. Rick Niece received the 2003 SIFE Most Supportive University President award.

The U of O SIFE team finished first in its 10-team league to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in the event that included more than 180 teams from universities throughout the country. In the round of 16, Ozarks finished second runnerup in a bracket that included eventual national champion Drury University.

The competition included SIFE teams presenting multi-media summaries of the educational outreach projects they developed and implemented throughout the year. Ozarks' SIFE members recorded 2,279 hours of service projects that reached more than 2 million people in both the United States and Central America.

"We were one of the smallest universities there and competed against SIFE teams from schools such as University of Arizona, Ohio State and University of Florida," said Ozarks SIFE Co-Advisor Dr. Rickey Casey. "Our students did a tremendous job, but we were just unfortunate to be in the same bracket as Drury. I was extremely pleased with how our students represented our university and our community. Their dedication and hard work throughout the year paid off with the best showing ever by a SIFE team from Ozarks."

The Ozarks SIFE students who made the presentations include Josh Patterson of Clarksville, Megan Binkley of Russellville, Maria Cornejo of El Salvador, Carlos Gonzales of Panama, Jose Barahona of Honduras and Ana Moncada of Honduras. Deborah Estep, assistant director of the international studies program, also serves as advisor of the Ozarks SIFE team.