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By Emily Carson, ’14
St. Bonaventure University’s ENACTUS team moved to the semifinals for the first time in school history while presenting at the 2014 ENACTUS United States National Exposition.
Held last month at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, St. Bonaventure earned a spot among the top 16 ENACTUS groups in the nation.
ENACTUS, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), is an internationally recognized nonprofit organization that promotes partnership between leaders in business and university students to make a difference in their local communities.
St. Bonaventure offers academic credit through its Gubbio Leadership Program, a program that bonds teams of students together to gain leadership perspective, teamwork skills and entrepreneurial mindsets to design and execute legacy projects.
The annual competition is open to each ENACTUS team across the country. More than 200 schools in attendance gave a 17-minute presentation, followed by a question-and-answer period led by a panel of judges.
This year’s ENACTUS team included St. Bonaventure students Michael Pingelski, an accounting major from Medford, N.J.; Devin Kane, a journalism/mass communication major from Binghamton, N.Y.; Thomas Green, an accounting major from Rochester, N.Y.; Carrie Wozniak, an accounting major from Tonawanda, N.Y.; Jamie Zoerb, an accounting major from Painted Post, N.Y.; Ryan Cooke, a journalism and integrated marketing communications student from Rome, N.Y.; and graduate assistant Nicholas Garuckas, an MBA student from Kirtland, Ohio, who provided coaching.
Garuckas said the team began putting their presentation together in January.
“The presentation is basically a report about what our ENACTUS team has done in the past year and how well it measures up to the ENACTUS criteria,” he said.
Garuckas said the team’s semester-long preparations have paid off.
“When they gave the presentation during the semifinal round they were perfect,” he said. “Their timing was great, and they gave the entire presentation without flaw.”
Green said he is happy to see that the presentation painted a clear picture of the impact that SBU’s ENACTUS team has had on Western New York and beyond.
For instance, some of the group’s local projects included My Happy Healthy Kids, a program to show children how to cook healthy meals; The Challenger Learning Center Executive Leadership program, a space-themed training program that allows regional companies to train their employees; and the Rubberband 500, an engineering event for local high school students.
SBU ENACTUS also provides small-business consulting and business seminars in the Bahamas, and supports an orphanage of more than 700 students through its Embrace It Africa program.
“It wasn’t until the later rounds that I realized just how spectacular and how incredible the projects that we have done over the past year really were,” added Pingelski.
The team is looking forward to preparing for the competition again in years to come.
“It was great to see them go from being skeptical about the whole thing to having so much confidence in their abilities,” Garuckas said. “They really were a great group, and it is nice to show how far our chapter of ENACTUS has gone and see the potential for us to continue to move forward.”
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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