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Mary Embry
Lecturer, IU Apparel Merchandising & Interior Design

Last modified: Friday, May 11, 2007

IU SIFE team receives recognition at national competition

May 10, 2007

SIFE students

Callie Blyze (left), Leela Summers, Anne Cornett, Skylar Edwards, Nicole Gump, Calvin Craig and Lauren Perri pose for a photo after winning top honors at the SIFE USA National Exposition in Texas.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Bloomington SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) team won high honors after participating in the SIFE USA National Exposition, May 6-8, in Dallas, Texas. After presenting a report of its year-long community outreach projects, the IUB SIFE team was awarded second runner-up in the "4-Year Division Opening Round Competition."

"The National Exposition offers recognition by corporate America of some of the highest-performing students in the nation," said Mary Embry, a lecturer in the IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design (AMID) and the SIFE faculty advisor. "In three years, our SIFE team has risen to the top, executed by students who truly prove they have immense capability to contribute to a more equitable world."

SIFE is an international, non-profit organization active on more than 1,400 university campuses in 48 countries. SIFE teams create economic opportunities in their communities by organizing outreach projects that focus on market economics, entrepreneurship, personal, financial success skills and business ethics.

The event in Texas drew more than 150 competing teams, with 3,000 students presenting their work to 650 business executives serving as judges. IUB SIFE team members who presented at the Dallas national competition included: Callie Blyze, Annie Cornett, Calvin Craig, Skylar Edwards, Nicole Gump, Lauren Perri and Leela Summers.

During the 2006-2007 academic year, the IUB SIFE team organized 10 Bloomington-area projects. One was a business ethics initiative in which IU apparel merchandising students worked with local community members to form Fair Trade Bloomington, a non-profit fair trade store that supports economic development opportunities through business cooperatives in the world's most poverty-stricken areas.

In March, the IU Student Activities Office recognized the IUB SIFE team with its Leadership Development Award.

"SIFE develops leadership through quality projects that provide students true collaborative experiences that produce measurable results," said IUB SIFE President Anne Cornett. "If students reach out to accomplish goals, projects can show impact and success within a semester, which encourages students to stay involved and gives them a sense of affecting change."

Indiana University's Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design is a multidisciplinary academic environment within the university's College of Arts and Sciences that helps motivated students shape their futures in retail and design fields. The department's educational programs offer a blend of academic theory combined with practical knowledge and skill-building techniques to encourage critical, independent thinking by students and prepare graduates to be leaders in their chosen fields. Located in Memorial Hall on the IUB campus, AMID enrolled more than 450 undergraduate majors in the fall 2006 semester.