Changing the World Through People, Planet, and Profit

by McKenzie Feitler '11

On March 28, Azusa Pacific University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team was awarded First Runner Up against other local universities competing at the regional competition in Orange County.

“Our SIFE team performed exceptionally this year at regionals,” said Dan Kipley, Ph.D., faculty advisor for SIFE. “I am very pleased with all of their hard work and dedication to the projects. After the entire year of weeks and hours of work, we finally got to see the outcome.”

SIFE is a business-oriented program for those with a “head for business and a heart for the world.” It enables university students to apply business principles and create outreach developments that work to recover and progress the standard of living for local families in poverty as well as those living in the poor conditions of third-world countries. Leading companies around the world support the community outreach projects, and more than 30,000 students participate in the program representing 1,500 universities in more than 45 countries.

SIFE empowers university students worldwide to make a difference in their society, while developing skills to become socially responsible business leaders. The program provides an opportunity for college students to integrate their interpersonal and group skills by applying the concepts they learn in the classroom. This year, the criteria was changed to work towards helping other economically, socially, and environmentally.

Led by advisor Dan Kipley, individual groups are formed in the Strategic Marketing Management class in APU’s School of Business and Management, where they are given specific criteria to follow. Although only 6 members present the work, 85 members developed the projects. The presentation team included: Chelsea Quattelbaum, Michael Henderson, Kristie Piethe, Michael Farrell, Kristin Gilbert, and Kristian Montgomery. Presidents Kirsten Garrett and Amanda Crandall supervised the team.

This year, Azusa Pacific’s SIFE team focused their theme on People, Planet and Profit. Four previously started projects carried into this year, and two new projects were added. One of the most impactful projects for the university was the Go Green project. In it’s fourth year, Go Green started four new initiatives to save the university money and protect the environment. From these projects alone, APU’s SIFE team was able to save the university $64,747.

Another project, End of It, worked towards collecting cans to be donated to the soldiers, veterans, and their families at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California. SIFE students collected more than 5,000 cans for this cause.

Finally, a new project this year, A Soldier’s Calling, collected used cell phones. The cell phones were either sold to various resellers and put into a scholarship for soldiers, or were recycled to purchase calling cards for soldiers overseas. As a result of the 1,100 cell phones collected, SIFE generated man than 1,100 hours (or 66,000 minutes) of calling time.

With the entire SIFE class working behind the scenes to develop the projects, the presentation team had more than enough demonstrated accomplishments from the five projects to bring to the table at the regional competition, where they presented to board members and CEOs of Fortune 500 corporations. The panel of judges asked questions at the end of the presentation where they delve into what APU has done to further the communities and regions they help to build up.

“I was very pleased with the team projects launched this year by the SIFE group and that they represented constituents across campus and touched the global community,” said Ilene Bezjian, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business and Management. “I was also pleased to see students from all levels of the university, freshmen to seniors, graduate students and alumni, involved in this year’s program.”