BCU student leaders on the award-winning Enactus team, l-r: Dominic Wetzbarger, Bridget Lyons, Vince Lund, Samantha Neumann, Mark Samuelson, Erica Zuhlke, Logan Murray and Brendan Gill.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Briar Cliff University earned a first runner-up finish this week at the 2013 National Enactus Exposition, placing BCU among the top 40 college ENACTUS programs nationwide.
This marked the 10th consecutive year that Briar Cliff's ENACTUS team has competed at the national exposition. BCU won an April regional competition in Chicago to qualify.
“The students really have experienced the winning ways of Briar Cliff ENACTUS and they’re determined to continue that success,” said advisor Marilyn Eastman, an assistant professor of business and Briar Cliff’s Sam Walton Fellow. “The awards are just a small part of it. Our students are even more passionate about going out into and making a difference in the community.”
Briar Cliff ENACTUS has 40 active members on campus. The presentation team consists of students Brendan Gill, Sioux City; Vince Lund, Sioux City; Bridget Lyons, Overland Park, Kan.; Logan Murray, Sterling, Ill.; Samantha Neumann, Creighton, Neb.; Mark Samuelson, Sioux City; Dominic Wetzbarger, Sioux City; and Erica Zuhlke, Creighton, Neb.
During the 2012-13 academic year, the BCU team organized a number of projects locally, hosting a weeklong event to support aspiring Siouxland entrepreneurs; raising $34,000 in grant funding to promote environmental sustainability through recycling, education, and technology; and expanding the “be Somebody” anti-bullying video contest and texting database for local middle and high school students.
Internationally, the team also partnered with Siouxland Tanzanian Educational and Medical Ministries (STEMM) to create “Zidisha, Africa.” Zidisha, the Swahili word meaning “business success,” is a coop of women working in Mbuguni Village, Tanzania. Six women were provided funding and training in basket weaving.
Two BCU students, Neumann and Lund, will travel to Tanzania for two weeks beginning May 29 to work on the project that enables women there to produce and export those baskets and other goods to the United States.
ENACTUS, formerly known as Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), is a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to enable human progress. Participating students use business concepts to develop community outreach projects, transform lives and shape a better and more sustainable world. Briar Cliff’s program is one of more than 500 ENACTUS teams nationwide.
Briar Cliff’s league — one of 20 at the national competition — was composed of eight different colleges, varying in size. The winner of each league qualified for Thursday’s semifinals, and Washington College (Chestertown, Md.) edged BCU to advance.
BCU’s best national exposition showing was in 2009, when the team advanced to the semifinal round and placed fourth in that round.