Wednesday, April 10, 2013
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College students participated in the Enactus Competition March 21-23 in Baltimore, Md., earning a second-place finish.
"Enactus teams take what students have learned in the classroom and in other areas of life, and use this knowledge to create and implement educational outreach projects in their community," said Dave Smith, associate professor of accounting and faculty advisor for Enactus. "The goal of the projects is to promote financial, economic, and ethical well-being in the community. Projects capitalize on our members' knowledge and experiences to address issues involving market economics, entrepreneurship, business ethics, environmental sustainability, and the financial skills needed to survive in today's financially demanding world."
Presentations were made at the competition by President Caitlin Oertly (Introduction and Credit Card Seminar for Incoming Freshmen), Vice President Jeffrey Miller (Introduction and Credit Card Seminar for Incoming Freshmen), David Paladino (Investment Challenge), Treasurer Evan Del Bene (ArtCava), Katelin O'Loughlin (Fireworks Festival) and James DeBone (Employment Workshop)
"This team went to Baltimore and gave its all. We practiced in the hotel the night before, and all 27 of us played an important part... from the presenters to the critical observers. We were ready for our presentation the next day, and we came through in almost flawless fashion," Smith said. "While second place is not bad, nobody likes to lose. We gave a game-winning performance. The judges just did not see it that way. After we presented, we watched several other teams and their presentations. We came away with some ideas for next year. We learned and we will build our team stronger."
Westminster Enactus members who attended in support of the presentations were: Harry Bittle, Matt Biamonte, Alijah Buckham, Garrett Conn, Stephen Crowe, Ed Domitrovich, Sarah Ebbert, Erin Erdley, LaShawnda Gilbert, Travis Kelly, Jeff McKim, Rebecca Mobley, Nicole Omeis, Corey Pelkofer, Adam Robb, Kait Roth, Eric Shumaker, Rebecca Tomson, Eric Trylko, Tom Turnball and Quincy Walker.
Several other members contributed to the year's activities but were unable to attend, as the team has grown to 45 students from several majors.
"This team is made up of individuals who care more about others than they do about themselves. So whether we win or not, we make our community a better place to live. I am proud of them," Smith said.
The competition format involved team presentations highlighting each team's annual accomplishments. The Westminster group's community service activities included:
- The Fresh Start credit card presentation to incoming first-year students
- Cash Cart, as part of Student Government Association Day
- Running a three-month online stock market simulation for high school students
- Training technical school students in job interview techniques
- Research and market analysis for Artcava, a sparkling wine producer located in Barcelona, Spain.
- Creating and evaluating a survey analyzing the specific demographics of festival goers for the Lawrence County Tourist Promotion Agency's Firework Festival
- Program Sustainability - environmental projects
"This year's Enactus trip to Baltimore was one of the best memories I have as a member of this organization. Being President this year and actually competing in the competition, I couldn't have asked to work with a better group of students and am so proud of how hard our team worked this year," Oertly said. "While runner-up isn't quite what we were hoping for, at the end of the day just knowing that our team worked hard, made a difference in people's lives and did the best we possibly could was still a lot to smile about and be proud of."
Oertly continued, "Attending these competitions is a very valuable learning experience. You not only get to network with fellow business leaders, but also learn and hear about so many wonderful projects that students our age are completing to make a difference in the world. I believe every student who attends these competitions also learns a lot about themselves in the process. I walk away with an overwhelming pride for my school and a joy for just having had the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing organization."
In addition to the competition, a career fair provided students with an opportunity to talk with recruiters from a variety of businesses and industries. According to Smith, several team members in the past have had correspondence or interviews with companies represented at the fair. Students have already received emails from many of these recruiters.
"I love going to the competition because we get to come together as a team," Tomson said. "It's the final event that culminates everything and we get to present ideas to a bigger audience and get feedback. Enactus has definitely prepared me for life after college. You get to interact with other members in your field, and getting mentored by more-experienced adults is beneficial. Also you get to be around other members on campus who are interested in the same thing. It could lead to future possibilities."
The remainder of the current year's activities will involve completion of projects, transitioning responsibility to the new officers who will be elected later this month, and planning for next year's projects.
Contact Smith at (724) 946-7161 or email for additional information.
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.
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