Ms. Jean Walker with SIFE Students at National Competition in Minneapolis

Ms. Jean Walker, Instructor of Finance and Miller Professor of Entrepreneurship, was recently inducted into the Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellows Hall of Fame.  The ceremony took place at the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) USA National Exposition in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Sam Walton Fellows are faculty advisors to SIFE teams on campuses at more than 1,500 colleges and universities in more than 40 countries.  The West Texas A&M University SIFE team was founded in 1994.  SIFE assesses the needs of the local communities and creates projects, which build long-term capacity to equip people with the knowledge and skills to move them from dependency to self-determination and independence.  Applying business and economic concepts in a collaborative approach, SIFE creates projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living of people in need, help businesses achieve profitability, and protect the planet.

In addition to serving the community, each spring SIFE competes.  SIFE competitions require a team to communicate the impact of their service learning projects to a group of business leaders from Fortune 500 companies that serve as judges.  The West Texas A&M University SIFE team has won 17 consecutive regional championships and placed as a divisional first runner-up at the National Exposition competition in four of the last five years.  National recognition and competing at the highest level is the explicit accomplishment of the West Texas A&M University SIFE team but team members also gain a sense of teamwork, achievement, confidence, and respect for other people.  The implicit positive traits associated with the West Texas A&M University SIFE experience have clearly translated into academic and professional success for team members.

“Ms. Walker’s induction recognizes her success at helping the West Texas A&M University SIFE team develop projects to educate the public on free enterprise economics and entrepreneurship,” Dr. Neil Terry, Dean of the College of Business, said.  “Ms. Walker has created a legacy of success for our SIFE team that is a great source of pride for the hundreds of past and present students that have participated in the organization.”