April 19, 2013 12:00AM
When Kaitlin Bristley began her tenure as president of the Pittsburg State University’s Enactus group, one of her main objectives was to improve and expand the group.
“We wanted to get more students involved,” she said, “and we wanted to place higher at nationals than we did last year. We finished in the top 16 last year, and this year I wanted to get into the top four.”
With 55 members this year, the group’s highest ever total, the first mission is complete.
In about a month, the group will get its chance to accomplish the second.
The PSU Enactus team, formerly known as Students In Free Enterprise, was crowned as one of the Midwest regional champions at Wednesday’s regional competition in Rogers, Ark. The team will travel to Kansas City in late May to compete at nationals.
The competitions include both a written annual report and live audiovisual presentation, through which the teams report the results of the community outreach projects they have conducted. Panels of business leaders serve as judges. The teams are evaluated based on how successful they were at using business concepts to improve the quality of life and standard of living for those in need.
For this year’s competition, Bristley said the PSU team focused on its most impactful projects, including assisting a small business recover from a near shutdown and helping to develop a tourism map for this summer’s “The Way We Worked” Smithsonian exhibit at the Miners Hall Museum in Franklin.
“We were very proud of those projects, and I felt strongly that we’d come out of regionals with a championship,” Bristley said.
Founded in 1975, Enactus has grown to become one of the largest university-based organizations in the world. Teams are active in more than 40 countries on 1,500 campuses with more than 42,000 participating students around the world.