Enactus team

Message from the President – June 2017

City University made it to the Elite Eight! Not the NCAA Basketball Elite Eight, but the Enactus Elite Eight, which is really sort of cooler.

Our Enactus team competed in the annual Enactus United States National Exposition in Kansas City late last month. At the national competition, more than 100 university teams qualified, and of those, only 16 advanced to the semi-finals, the Sweet 16. CityU was one of the teams. Not only did CityU advance to semi-finals for the first time in school history, our team placed second in its semi-final league, ranking it among the top eight teams in the country. What a great accomplishment!

In case you have not heard about Enactus, it is a community of student, academic and business leaders “committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world.” There are thousands of partner universities around the world. Arizona State University, University of Texas-Austin, University of Nebraska, Montana State University, and Valparaiso University to name a few! With our finish, we are in the top 10 in the United States. Top 10, not top 10 percent. Pretty cool. Compliments and thanks to Kathy Cox for her Enactus leadership.

The City University of Seattle mission recognizes that peace and global harmony requires an understanding of the needs of other people. There is a philosophy that all fighting among people is sparked by economics, and another that says there is no freedom without economic freedom. The students involved in CityU’s Enactus group take their classroom education and apply it to real-world entrepreneurial projects that help solve local, and even global, needs. That leads to more peace on the planet.

Enactus team

CityU Enactus presentation team members. From top left: Trinh Nguyen, Emily Trang Nguyen, Oanh Lam, Anastasya Hong, Kathy Cox (advisor), Anshu Shrestha, Indraja Patnam, Sophia Haccou. From bottom left: Anton Bernatskyi, Michael Baskoro, Sabally Lamin, George Halim.

The team’s presentation highlighted the great work it has done this year on four projects: Fertilives, One Call Away, Sens+Sum, and Green Energy Center.

  • For Fertilives, the students partnered with Rainier School, which provides training to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping the school develop organic compost so that the school can produce and sell it and use the proceeds to help run the organization.
  • One Call Away helped provide local homeless individuals with free cell phones to use to find work through Seattle’s Millionaire Club Charity.
  • For Sens+Sum, the students collaborated with local coffee roaster Alchemy Fine Coffees to learn how to roast, brew and package coffee. The coffee is distributed with Braille cards, which were transcribed by women in prison, to help raise awareness of Braille and its importance to the visually impaired community.
  • The Green Energy Center the team designed provides a smokeless way to cook food while generating electricity through thermal energy, meeting two key needs of women in Africa.

The creativity, ingenuity and talent that our students displayed through their projects is truly inspiring, and this year the judges at the competition agreed. MBA student and CityU Enactus President Anastasya Hong who was part of the competition team had this to say:

“To me, our members are all walking as champions everywhere they go. With compassion, determination and perseverance we are making history together each year. This means that we are closer to making dreams and hope happen each day, and that our story will continue to impact and change more lives in the world!”

As I mentioned in last month’s message, a key characteristic of CityU is our belief that we’re a stronger, more vibrant university community because of our international students and international partnerships. As one of the most diverse Enactus teams in the country, our students are an excellent example of that. Members of our students’ competition team represent eight countries, and the CityU Enactus team overall represents 25 countries and six continents. Through their involvement in the organization, not only are these students gaining practical business experience, they’re developing broader, global perspectives that will benefit them – and importantly those they work and live with – long after they finish their academic programs.

Congratulations to our Champions, the Enactus students who competed and contributed to the organization’s projects over the last year. Thank you for volunteering your talents and your skills and working hard. Hard work pays off, and you have helped make Seattle and the world a better place. Thank you also to the faculty and staff who supported and encouraged the team along the way. We are fortunate to have a talented, engaged, and accomplished university community, and the Enactus team’s success is an excellent example its work.