A team of 12 Lyon College students participated in the Enactus United States Regional Competition in Rogers, AR, on April 18. Lyon’s Enactus chapter was formed only this year but was recognized with the Rookie of the Year Award for what it has already accomplished and what it plans to do in the next academic year.
Chapter advisor Dr. Al Holliman, Assistant Professor of Management, said he expected this competition to be part of a “learning year,” but it far exceeded his expectations. “Many judges and faculty from other colleges came to our team after our presentation and said how well we did for our first time,” he stated.
The chapter’s annual report noted two campus-focused projects and two community-focused projects as its initial efforts. On campus, the group conducted student surveys about food services and recycling. The first of these found high dissatisfaction and led to meetings with campus leaders and dining hall personnel about the need for an alternative food delivery mechanism.
Lyon Enactus also joined with the campus Recycling Club to raise awareness about recycling and its benefits to Lyon College and the surrounding community. Survey responses indicated a distinct lack of knowledge about recycling. A second survey will be distributed to the City of Batesville by Lyon Enactus at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year, with a goal of increasing awareness of recycling efforts for both the Lyon community and the City of Batesville.
Enactus has also become involved with Main Street Batesville’s Business Incubator Committee, completing a needs assessment through a survey of 15 downtown businesses. An Enactus advisor is a member of the committee, and Enactus members have assisted businesses with marketing and organizational efforts.
Another project was to conduct a needs assessment for a possible Boys and Girls Club in Batesville. The first step was to send a survey to such key organizations as the Chamber of Commerce, local school districts, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville to be distributed to their members and employees via email. Results will determine the next steps to be taken.
Holliman also noted that Olivia Iriana, one of the Lyon students attending and speaking, received special recognition at the awards ceremony. With the competition taking place in “WalMart country,” the company’s Director of Human Relations, David Scott, and other WalMart personnel interviewed students throughout the day for management intern positions or permanent entry-level management or professional positions in a variety of areas. During the awards ceremony, Scott said he wanted to introduce some very special people and began calling out names, including Ms. Iriana. He then stated that WalMart was very impressed with the ten students called to the front and said that all were being offered either management intern jobs or permanent fulltime management/professional jobs after graduation. Ms. Iriana was offered an internship.
Other Arkansas institutions winning recognition as “Champions” included John Brown University, Siloam Springs; Northwest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville; and University of the Ozarks, Clarksville.
Enactus is an international organization that connects students with academic and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement entrepreneurial projects. The experience helps students develop the talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in a challenging world.
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