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UMass Dartmouth Students in Free Enterprise named New England Champion

Local students create award-winning projects that serve the community (Names and hometowns included)

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team recently won the New England Regional Championship at the SIFE Regional Competition held in Providence, RI. The team was named a SIFE USA Regional Champion after presenting a 24-minute summary of its year-long community outreach projects to a panel of judges consisting of business executives from leading American companies.

"This is by far one of the best experiences of my college life," said Kathryn Noonan, an accounting student from Holliston and one of the four presenters on a team of 24 students that attended the competition. As a result of this regional win, the UMass Dartmouth team is one of 119 teams nationwide that will compete at the 2009 SIFE USA National Exposition in Philadelphia, May 10-12.  If successful, the UMass Dartmouth team will join national SIFE team champions from 45 other countries in October 2009 for the World Cup competition in Berlin, Germany.

"SIFE students are some of the most active students on campus,'' said Dr. Godwin Ariguzo,  a marketing lecturer in the Charlton College of Business and the club advisor.  "They use teamwork, good communication and leadership skills to professionally implement their projects.  The written annual report the UMass SIFE team submitted was considered one of the best by the judges."

SIFE students use social entrepreneurship and business concepts to develop community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in their region. During this academic year, the UMass Dartmouth SIFE team organized and implemented 10 projects including a Market Economics Education Project (MEEP).  In this project, the SIFE team used a practical hands-on approach to teach fourth and fifth grade students at New Bedford's Sgt. William H. Carney Academy Elementary School the principles of supply and demand, advertising, consumer behavior, target marketing and product costing. The team also helped students prepare for two holiday market fairs on the UMass Dartmouth campus.

The SIFE team worked with the UMass Dartmouth Sustainability Office to create a website (  that invited the community to log complete an energy efficiency survey and receive a follow-up report on ways to increase energy efficiency in their homes and businesses.

In addition, SIFE students organized various workshops to teach their fellow students about personal financial management such as budgeting, managing savings and checking accounts, the ins and outs of borrowing, establishing good credit, monitoring one's credit score, and how loan consolidation works.  

The UMass Dartmouth SIFE team was started in November 2003 by six students with the help of Dr. Ariguzo.  After winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 2004, the club won the first runner-up awards in subsequent years prior to this year's championship.  The club members were delighted to finally secure the top spot.
Today, the club has 35 members and is one of the university's Student Recognized Organizations (SRO).

"I had a chance to meet some of the SIFE team  members at the Joint New Bedford and Fall River Chambers of Commerce Business After Hours held at the Charlton College of Business last month. They are an impressive group," said Provost Anthony Garro.

SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) is an international non-profit organization that brings together the leaders of today and tomorrow to create a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business and social entrepreneurship.  Founded in 1975, SIFE has active programs on more than 1,300 college and university campuses in more than 45 countries.  For more information, contact SIFE World Headquarters at 417 831 9505, Dr. Godwin Ariguzo at 508.999.8403 or visit

Members of the winning team, their majors and hometowns follow:

Tye Andrade, human resources management, Dartmouth;
Ibitayo Ayeni, accounting, Boston & Manchester, NH;
Kara Basque, marketing and sustainability, Plainville;
Stefanie Bello, marketing, Franklin Lakes, NJ;
Hana Durakovic, marketing, international business, economics minor, Framingham;
Roberta Foster, marketing, economics minor, Methuen;
Krista Gallant, human resources management, Lakeville;
A.G. Garthaus, production and operation management, Apple Valley, CA;
Andrew Gifford, marketing, Phillipston;
Stacey Ho, human resources management, international business, political science minor, Quincy;
Chris Jablonski, marketing, international business minor, Ware;
Charles Lu, accounting/MIS, Dartmouth;
Joseph Martelly, marketing and sustainability, Swansea;
Timothy Medeiros, marketing, Dartmouth;
Caroline Moore, marketing, Southbridge;
Kathryn Noonan, accounting, Holliston;
Bryan O'Brien, political science and economics, Marshfield;
Joshua Pacheco, finance, New Bedford;
Kayla Rogers, marketing, Taunton;
Christina Sokol, marketing, Brockton;
Melissa Spadafore, marketing, international business minor, Leominster;
Laura Taylor, marketing, human resources management minor, Mashpee;
Jacob Ventura, finance, Dartmouth;
Thomas Witherell, finance, Raynham.


Author:  "John Hoey"
Date:  09-Apr-2009
Department:   Charlton College Of Business

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