Student News & Accomplishments
- Light Up Africa, a cross-college student team project wins Social Venture Business Plan Competition (December 2011, also see the December 11, 2001 Chicago Tribune story: "NIU Kids Do Good")
A student team of NIU Business students and an NIU Engineering student won $10,000 in seed money to implement their innovative business solution that addresses the problem of unreliable access to electricity in many parts of the world, including Kenya. The Light Up Africa team members consists of: NIU Business students John Harkness, Mike Sutarik, Jason Schwebke and NIU Engineering student Alan Hurt. For their semester-long project, the Light Up Africa student team members were challenged in the college's management course -- which culminated in its first annual Social Venture Business Plan Competition -- to identify a social "gap" anywhere in the world. The students then were required to perform market research on their idea, develop a fully articulated business plan, and present and defend it to a panel of judges -- including angel investors -- in the final competition, which was held December 8, 2011. Light Up Africa's businesss solution involves utilitzing kinetic energy in an innovative way: by applying this technology in the form of a personal device designed specifically to attach to bicycles, motorbikes, livestock, and boats. Light Up Africa addresses the problem of unreliable access to electricity by providing African residents with the means to supply their own electricity for a small upfront investment, instead of having to wait for a large government investment in energy infrastructure. The college's Social Venture course offered out of its Department of Management saw enrollments from students across the university.
The college congratulates the winning team Light Up Africa, with honorable mentions of the remaining five teams and their proposed business concepts: Appropriate Technologies, focused on water extraction technology to produce safe drinking water from oxygen; New Horizons, provider of incubator services to help poor Latinos gain the necessary business skills to start or run an income-generating business, in the DeKalb/Aurora area; Revolution, a cosmetology school in Aurora designed to help students with learning disabilities; Open Door, a job training and placement for homeless and other disadvantaged people in Rockford; and, Holistic innovations, provider of sustainable, organic food sources for university dining halls.
- NIU College of Business student-athlete named Second-Team All-American (December 2011)
Scott Wedige -- senior marketing major in the NIU College of Business -- was named Second-Team All-American by CBSSports.com. Wedige has the distinction of being the only Mid-American Conference player on either first or second team. Additionally, he is the first NIU student to be named to an All-American team since 2008, when Larry English was named as a third team selection. The CBSSports.com All-American teams are typically littered with big names from big schools, making Wedige and NIU's placement among them another mark of distinction. Student-athletes who have the honor of being named to the All-American teams are voted there by sports writers, bloggers, and CBSSports.com staff.
- NIU Business students place among the top in national sales competition (November 2011)
Paul Nowak and Corey Kravitz -- both NIU College of Business seniors and students in the college's sales classes -- won high honors at the 2011 Russ Berrie Institute National Sales Challenge at William Paterson University in New Jersey. The competition ran from November 9th-11th and attracted student teams from some of the nation's leading business programs. The 2011 National Sales Challenge (NSC) brought sales students from 29 schools across the country to meet with representatives from major corporations for competitive events, including a sales role play and speed selling. The speed selling round allowed competitors the challenge of selling themselves to potential employers in a 2 minute timeframe, followed by a 1 minute question and answer period. Paul Nowak placed 3rd in the speed selling event and was ranked 2nd in the overall NSC competition. The NIU College of Business team of Corey Kravitz and Paul Nowak also earned 4th place team honors in the competition. Kravitz said, "It was a frenetic, real setting" ... an experience that helped build his confidence and improved his sales abilities. Nowak shared how his coursework at NIU's College of Business, particularly two sales courses in the Department of Marketing, "naturally prepped us for the sales competition." The college's professional sales program in the Department of Marketing was named among the "Top University Sales Programs for 2011" by the Sales Education Foundation, an organization that reviews existing university sales programs worldwide each year to identify and recognize the top programs.
- Business Student-Athletes named to 2011 Academic All-MAC Baseball Team
Marketing major Kyle Glancy and BSBA major Troy White were two of three NIU student athletes named to the 2011 Academic All-MAC Baseball Team. The Academic All-MAC honor is reserved for student-athletes who have excelled in athletics and academics. BSBA major and co-captain Troy White carries a 3.25 GPA and turned in equally impressive athletic performances that caused White to be a two-time 2011 MAC West Division Player of the Week honoree. Ranking ninth in the MAC in runs and triples, the Chicago native was also named a Second Team All-MAC performer. Marketing major Kyle Glancy carries a 3.388 GPA and also turned in an equally outstanding athletic performance...enough, in fact, to be named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NBCWA) Stopper of the Year watch list. During this baseball season, the Oak Park, Ill., native led the team with a 2.89 ERA and 24 appearances. In 28 innings, he fanned 23 and held opponents to a .262 batting average against while posting a 1-0 record. His 12 saves ranked second in the MAC and 26th in the nation (as of June 13). read more...
- Business Students received Outstanding Women Student Awards
Four NIU Business Students received the university's 2011 Outstanding Women Student Award for their academic and personal achievements as well as their contributions to the overall NIU community. The NIU business students to win the award are: Adoree Bryant (Business Administration), Deidre Evans (Business Administration), Kathleen Johnson (Accountancy), and Kylie Revelle (Business Administration). These outstanding individuals were among 48 women from across the university to receive the award. Collectively, the 48 award winners represent undergraduate, graduate, and law students. The university's program to recognize outstanding women students was created in 1980 and is held annually to celebrate their achievements, encourage participation in all facets of the university experience, and support the development of collaborative and competitive strengths. read more...