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SIFE at USD is national qualifier for 11th straight year

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) at the University of South Dakota has advanced to the national competition for the 11th consecutive year.

USD’s SIFE team was awarded top honors at the SIFE Regional Competition and Career Opportunity Fair in Minneapolis, Minn., on March 22, one of 11 regional competitions across the United States. By winning League 4 in Minneapolis, USD SIFE qualified for the 2012 SIFE USA National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo., May 22-24.

Additionally, USD SIFE was awarded the prestigious SIFE 4.0 Club recognition – the highest level of recognition awarded based on overall team quality; and became a member of the 44 Club, which recognizes teams for having 44 or more active SIFE members. Only 25 percent of all teams qualify for this award, according to Mark Yockey, Ph.D., associate professor, Beacom School of Business at USD and SIFE adviser.

“Only 10 percent of all SIFE teams qualify for both awards, so that is a tremendous honor for USD SIFE,” noted Yockey. “I’m so proud of our students and all of the hard work they put in each year to earn these accolades.”

Projects submitted by teams were evaluated by a panel of judges at the regional competition. Each project must meet at least one of six judged criteria, including market economics, ethics, environmental sustainability, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and success skills. SIFE encourages students to complete service-learning projects that teach lessons outside the classroom using real-life situations such as developing corporate partnerships with area businesses and industries, teaching marketing and entrepreneurship skills or preparing people in need for job opportunities.

For more information about USD SIFE, please email or go to


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News