Ashland University Students In Free Enterprise Win Regional Competition

3/30/11 ASHLAND, OH -- For the ninth time in the last 19 years, the Ashland University chapter of Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) has captured first place in regional competition. On March 21 in Cleveland, the Ashland University squad topped teams from five other universities in the Great Lakes Region.

After winning the regional championship, the Ashland University team will now go on to compete in the National SIFE Exposition in Minneapolis on May 11. "We are very excited about moving on to national competition and look forward to competing against the best in the country," said Kristen Hovsepian, assistant professor of business administration and the University's SIFE adviser.

"This was some very stiff competition at the regionals, but when the time came for our six students to present, they performed beautifully," Hovsepian said.

Members of Ashland's SIFE team at the regional competition were Emily Denholm of Uniontown, Ohio; Jennifer Winter of Akron, Ohio; Lisa Caron of Utica, Ohio; Josh Drusbacky of Perrysville, Ohio; and Mindy Belden of Port Clinton, Ohio. Joe Budd of Ashland, Ohio, served as the media expert for the team.

For its presentation, Ashland's SIFE team chose the theme "A Hand Up, Not a Hand-out." This theme was evident in a number of projects, including the campus-wide project for Empower Worldwide Outreach. The team focused on the Empowering Grandmothers while Generating Support (E.G.G.S.) program, which gives chickens to grandmothers in Kenya.

Through this project, the grandmothers raise their own poultry and sell both the chickens and eggs to raise money for the orphans they are raising. This micro-enterprise has spread from the first three grandmothers to more than 50, and allows each family unit to become self-sufficient and independent. For the SIFE team, this project was indeed not a hand-out, but a hand up, letting the grandmothers provide for themselves and their loved ones.

Ashland University (<>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.