Enactus (Entrepreneurial. Action. Us.) is the world’s largest experiential learning platform dedicated to developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. Each year, 72,000 student members from 1,800 universities and 35 countries launch social entrepreneurship projects to create a better, more sustainable world.
The national competition allows teams to highlight the collective impact of their community outreach efforts over the past year. Business executives from across the country volunteer as judges to evaluate which Enactus teams most effectively demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership to drive business and innovation for sustainable positive impact related to people, planet, and prosperity.
The Coker University team advanced as a Top 12 semifinalist during the virtual opening round in mid-March, and their 12-minute presentation last week highlighted the outcomes from three of the six projects they have been implementing during the 2021-22 academic year: Mental Health Awareness, Women’s Empowerment, and Fostering Future Success.
Dr. Andy Burkemper, assistant professor of Business and co-advisor of the Enactus team for the past six years, says, “Our Coker students are incredible. They have such a passion for taking on big issues and major challenges that people encounter in our own backyard and around the world. I am so impressed by their creativity, tenacity, and ability to solve problems with their entrepreneurial mindsets. I can’t even describe how well our students represented Hartsville and all of South Carolina during this year’s competition.”
Other national honors for Coker Enactus included Kenzie Griggs ’22 and her teammates earning the National Award for Excellence in Social Media Presence in addition to Burkemper receiving the Jack Kahl Entrepreneurial Leadership Award for the Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow of the Year.
Kerlyn Mondesir ’23, president of Coker Enactus, says, “At this year’s competition, it was inspiring to see the collective impact all Enactus teams are making in their local communities and around the world. Being named the 9th Place team in the country is a strong testament to the hard work and determination shown by every single one of my Coker teammates. We are so grateful for the constant support from our university and the surrounding Hartsville community, and we are so excited to make an even stronger impact next year.”
Coker University is one of approximately 200 Enactus teams in the United States and currently has 41 participating students. The five presenters for the national competition were Beck Johnston ’24 from York, S.C., Seraphin Kibonge ’22 from Raleigh, N.C., Rami Mullen ’22 from Oak Island, N.C., Kelsey Sithole ’23 from Harare, Zimbabwe, and Alex Williams ’24 from West Columbia, S.C.
Additional Coker Enactus team members for the 2021-22 academic year include Chelsey Blume, Bradley Bomar, Sophie Burkett, Catherine Cann, Raya Coley, Nic Curtis, Douglas Easterling, Shannon Felker, Carson Fuller, Amber Garcia, Kelsey Gibbons, Kenzie Griggs, Destiny Harris, Eli Hopkins, Malaysia Irby, Greyson Johnson, Britt Kabo, Abby Kellner, Grace King, Alexis Kopicki, Chase Lennon, Dylan Lloyd, Lauren Loveday, Brandon Mills, Kerlyn Mondesir, Zack Peagler, Kennedi Price, Hannah Quick, Shannon Ratliff, Jimmy Rosengrant, Davion Sebree, Chelsa Sellers, Dylan Smith, Katie Smith, Matty Tricker, and Bethany Weatherford.
Faculty advisors include Dr. Andy Burkemper, professor Phyllis Fields, and Dr. Marvin Keene.
For additional information, visit www.enactus.org or contact Andy Burkemper, Faculty Advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-383-8112.
About Coker University
Coker University is a student-focused, comprehensive institution of higher education with a strong liberal arts core, located in Hartsville, South Carolina. Coker combines round table, discussion-based learning with hands-on experiences to encourage active participation in and out of the classroom. A supportive, close-knit community prepares Coker students with the confidence and practical life skills they need to reach their personal best, in college and beyond.
Founded in 1908, Coker is a bachelor’s and master’s degree-granting institution and competes in 21 NCAA Division II sports. Coker is included among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review, and by Washington Monthly as a “Best Bang for Your Buck” college in the southeast.