Walters State’s Students in Free Enterprise Team finished its season as one of the top twelve in the country.The team was defeated by Louisiana State University at Eunice in yesterday’s semi-final rounds at the SIFE National Exposition. Over 4,000 college students are participating in the event. Walters State’s team earned the right to compete in the national competition by winning their 15th regional title in April.“Our team did a great job. Of course, the students would have liked to have made the finals, but we’re very proud of them,” said Amy Ross, associate professor and head of Walters State’s Office Administration program. SIFE is an international organization that helps students learn leadership skills through community service projects. Students from all majors are invited to join. At competitions, teams make detailed presentations detailing projects completed during the last year and are judged by leaders of many prominent corporations.Ross, who will become the team’s advisor after long-time advisor Dr. Orville Bach retires this year, said the team’s presentation was great and she was most proud of the hard work the students have done throughout the year.“Team members have gone into elementary schools and showed students how much more money they’ll make by staying in school and going to college. The SIFE Team has presented fraud prevention workshops to over 200 senior citizens. This team has had an incredible impact through those projects,” Ross said.This year’s team was made up of Nicole Waddel of Cosby; Regina Ladd of Del Rio; Cathy Gormley of Newport; Jamie Marques of Sneedville; Brandon Brooks of Tazewell and Richard Derry, Franklin Lee and Meagan Landry, all of Morristown. In addition to Ross of Seymour, the group was accompanied by team advisor Dr. Orville Bach, professor of Economics and a SIFE Sam Walton Fellow, and Jim O’Connor, telecommunications technician. Bach is a Morristown resident and O’Connor lives in New Tazewell. Bach said SIFE Teams at community colleges have a slight disadvantage because members are on campus for only two years, versus four years and universities. He adds that two-year colleges have a distinct advantage, too. Teams include both younger college students and older students who have returned to school later in life. “That’s the strength of community college teams. The nontraditional students bring maturity. They become role models to the students that are right out of high school,” Bach said.Today, students will have the opportunity to visit the exposition’s career fair, where most of the nation’s top companies will have representatives. Ross said many students had already passed out dozens of resumes and made some important contacts for their futures.“We’ve collected a lot of business cards,” she added. The team will return home on Wednesday.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.