By Sheri Sides
If Cammie Hunt was a basketball coach, she'd be in the hall of fame.
SIFE Team - Front row from left: Patrick Harrison, Genevieve Lebeau, Christy Blue, Sheri Sides, Jolee Fedak, Telisa Goins, Danna Bullard and faculty advisor Cammie Hunt. Back row from left: Paul Fowler, Shereene Fulmer, David Jones, Thomas Brewington, Venessa Jones, LeShari Hancock and Shannon Ward.
This spring, the business professor from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, led her SIFE club (Students in Free Enterprise) into the national championships for the fifth straight year.
In regional competition on April 5, UNCP's SIFE team defeated rivals like the University of South Carolina to advance to the finals in Kansas City, Mo., on May 23-25. Twenty-five teams from North and South Carolina universities battled in Charlotte for a chance to become regional champions.
Dr. Eric Dent, Dean of UNCP's School of Business, praised the accomplishment.
"What makes this story even more remarkable is that UNCP has had a SIFE team for five years under the direction of Cammie Hunt, and we have advanced to the nationals all five years," Dr. Dent said. "I don't have to tell you how improbable this feat is."
SIFE is a non-profit organization that brings students and faculty advisors together to teach the principles of free enterprise to businesses and individuals, from elementary school children to senior citizens, Hunt said.
"UNCP's SIFE members have developed leadership skills by creating and carrying out plans to improve the standard of living in their community," Hunt said. "I was proud to be a part of such a motivated and professional group of students."
Teams were evaluated by a group of judges based on criteria, such as the effects of their volunteer work in the community, their ability to present and communicate details of their programs, and how they addressed issues regarding a free market economy.
The UNCP SIFE team's presentation included a PowerPoint presentation with video clips and a four-page, color annual report to present the programs the club created and worked on.
"I am extremely proud of all of our business faculty and staff who prepare these students so well that they can bring their education together and achieve such an accomplishment," Dr. Dent said.
SIFE competitions also offer the opportunity to speak to employment recruiters from a variety of companies, who set up at a job fair at the regional competition.
"It was good to be able to speak to recruiters and to find out what they are looking for in potential candidates," SIFE member Paul Fowler said. "They know that SIFE members are self-starters and are passionate about what they do and companies notice you for that."
If UNCP's SIFE team wins the national championship in Kansas City, they could go on to the international competition in Barcelona, Spain in September.
UNCP's SIFE travel team includes: Christy Blue, Thomas Brewington, Deanna Bullard, Paul Fowler, Shereene Fulmer, Telisa Goins, Lashari Hancock, Patrick Harrison, David Jones, Vanessa Jones, Genevieve Lebeau, Sheri Sides and Shannon Ward.
For more information about UNCP's SIFE program, contact Prof. Hunt at 910.521.6466 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.