Coker SIFE to Compete in National Exposition

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – May 21, 2012 – Now in its second year, Coker College’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team travels to Kansas City this week to compete at the SIFE National Exposition, May 22-–24.

Coker’s team will give its presentation during the opening round of competition on Wednesday morning.  Their competitors in round one include seven teams from across the country including Belmont University, the 2010 USA National Champion and third place winner at World Cup.

To advance to the national competition, Coker’s team won its league’s regional SIFE competition in New York City in April.

“While an objective assessment of the opening round bracket looks daunting for our young team,” said Coker SIFE Director Ben Chastain, “based on the determination and energy they bring to the table, I am confident we’ll be extremely competitive.  These students have what it takes to succeed at any level.”

Coker’s presentation, a 24-minute multimedia production, features highlights from many of the projects they supported during the 2011-12 academic year, which include, for the first time, an international service project.

Three SIFE students, Cody Ellison, Kaitlynn Jessup and Lindsey Allen, traveled with College staff to 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.

This year, Coker SIFE’s campus programs 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 serve on the presentation team:  Brianna Fowler, Kaitlynn Jessup, Eren Moses, Tyler Staub and Timothy Strickland.  The other team members include 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.

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 Chastain 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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