SIFE Team Receives Governors Points of Light Award at Capitol

Kyle Petersen
Student Staff Writer

Candlelight vigilThe UNK chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is one of only three organizations in the state selected to receive a Governor’s Points of Light Award. The students met with Gov. Dave Heineman at the Capitol last week to receive the award, which is sponsored by the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission.

According to the commission, honorees for the award are those “who have made a commitment to connect Americans through service to help meet critical needs in their communities.”

Dr. Susan Jensen, SIFE adviser and an assistant professor of management, said that the team is excited about receiving the award and that members of SIFE are appreciative to the campus and community for providing opportunities to serve.

“The SIFE team is extremely proud to receive this award and extends a most heartfelt ‘Thank you’ to Gerry Stirtz of the UNK Office of Student Learning, for graciously nominating the SIFE team for this recognition,” Dr. Jensen said.

The SIFE team has sponsored a number of projects this year, including $martMoney Week activities, Entrepreneurship Day, and other programs developed to foster professional success skills and an understanding of business ethics and world markets.

As part of the $martMoney Week activities, the team collaborated with Mary Sommers in Financial Aid to create an interactive way for UNK students to demonstrate their financial savvy. UNK students answered questions in five “smart money” categories: credit, investing, financial planning, banking and college financing.

The Financial Jeopardy contest was modeled after the popular TV game show, featuring host and SIFE team member Ryan Rodehorst. Participants from various campus organizations were selected to compete for a $150 individual cash prize, as well as a $100 cash prize for the organization they represented. Versions of Financial Jeopardy geared toward high school and middle school students were also offered at Lexington High School and Kearney Catholic.

In addition, the team also hosted a series of Dollars and Donuts workshops on the campus and sponsored a $martMoney Kid essay contest designed for younger students.

Dr. Jensen said SIFE’s diverse project portfolio was key in winning. “I think it’s a reflection of the overall purpose (of the organization),” Dr. Jensen said.

The final service project for the SIFE team this year is a textbook drive to raise money for Latin American literacy programs. The goal of the group is to collect at least 1,000 books, which will raise funds sufficient to equip a 35-child classroom.

Picture: Nearly 50 students gathered for a candlelight vigil at Cope Fountain to honor the students and faculty who lost their lives in the tragic shootings on the Virginia Tech campus April 16. The UNK memorial was one of many that took place across the nation in the wake of the shootings. Amber Lewis, UNK student body president, organized the gathering, which consisted of worship music and candles provided by Campus Lutheran.