Coker SIFE Advances to National Competition, Again

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. –  April 18, 2012 – Now in its second year, Coker College’s Students In Free Enterprise team won its league’s regional SIFE competition in New York City last week and, with it, the opportunity to compete for the national title next month in Kansas City, Mo.

The team’s work and its achievement in New York were publically recognized this morning during the 2012 annual shareholders’ meeting in Hartsville.

"Sonoco is a supporter of SIFE, and we're proud that the Coker team will have the opportunity to compete for a second time for the national title next month,” said Harris E. DeLoach, Jr., Sonoco chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“I could not be more proud of Coker’s team,” said Harrison Waters, one of the team’s advisors.

“Not only did they win the regional competition for the second year in a row – which, this year, involved going up against a number of formidable institutions including the College of St. Rose, Colby-Sawyer College, William Patterson University and the University of Massachusetts-Boston – but they really made it their business to make the most of the entire event.  They challenged and engaged each other, and they learned more about what it takes to make positive change happen.”

Coker’s winning presentation, a 24-minute multimedia production, featured five projects they supported in the region, three campus initiatives and, for the first time, an international project.

Three SIFE students, Cody Ellison, Kaitlynn Jessup and Lindsey Allen, traveled with Waters and Coker SIFE Director Neil Sickendick to the small village of Muhuru Bay, Kenya.  While there, they helped open a Learning Resource Center for the community.  A renovated building purchased by Coker SIFE to house a library and multiple vocational training classrooms, the Center is the only facility of its kind in the town. The project was originally developed through a contact of Associate Professor of Communication Richard Puffer and now includes a partnership with Maseno University in Nairobi and two other SIFE Teams: SIFE Maseno and SIFE Kenya.

Coker SIFE’s campus programs this year included launching a recycling program in the residence halls in conjunction with Sonoco’s recent community-wide recycling effort; teaching Finance 199, a financial literacy course for both evening and day students at Coker; and hosting College to Career, an event designed to help students develop proficiencies in professional etiquette and protocols.

Local programs the team supported this year included:

Kalmia Gardens Second Annual Duck Cup;

Marketing support for Hartville downtown businesses;

Pee Dee Mobile, an iPhone business directory for Hartsville and Florence, S.C.;

SAT Prep, a program to help college-bound high school students prepare for college admissions examinations; and

Freedom Schools, a reading-based program administered by the Children’s Defense Fund to provide summer programming for elementary school students that will begin in Hartsville later this summer.

Five students served on the presentation team:  Brianna Fowler, Kaitlynn Jessup, Eren Moses, Tyler Staub and Timothy Strickland.  The other team members included Lindsey Allen, Adam Bedard, Lucas Britt, Jessica Covington, Cody Ellison, Leslie Hanna, Austin Harper, Sarah Kinsey, Matthew Kreider, Noah Lascell, Mark Nankervis, Halee Polson, Tyler Senecal, James Sweeney, Jasmine Brown, Steve Marciano and Amy Nelson.  They were also assisted by faculty advisor Brianna Douglas.

Coker’s 22-member team will compete in the SIFE National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo., May 22-24.

Connecting generations of leaders to create a better world, SIFE is an international business and higher education network with programs in 39 countries and more than 1,600 teams.  It works to improve lives, strengthen communities and develop socially responsible business leaders. Every country that operates a SIFE program is eligible to organize a national competition for the teams in their country. The National Champion team from each country is then invited to compete at the SIFE World Cup.

For more information about Coker’s SIFE program, contact Sickendick at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  To learn more about the SIFE network, visit



Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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