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Learning While Serving the Community

Enactus attracts its share of business majors, but adviser George Cravitz says the group includes majors from across campus who share something more important—a desire for service. Fittingly, the motto for Enactus is, “A head for business, a heart for the world.”

Enactus is an international nonprofit organization with chapters on more than 1,600 college campuses in 40 countries. Student teams bring business acumen to community service projects while practicing leadership, teamwork and communication skills. SU’s team has also garnered five regional championships and national awards by presenting its best projects before judges and peers.

One student, an earth and environmental sciences major, wanted to put his expertise and interests to work on campus, Cravitz says. "He started with a small recycling program and a few containers spread around campus. Then he heard about a nearby university’s biodiesel project, in which they turned used oil from the cafeteria into fuel for campus maintenance vehicles. His first step was to take our oil to this other school, but the team soon created a plan for SU to have its own biodiesel program.”

Having a diverse team is important. “The environmental engineer knew the science, the business majors did the analysis and made the business case, and the communications majors helped the team clearly articulate the whole thing,” Cravitz says.

Besides learning skills that will be useful in whatever future they choose, Enactus team members give back today in meaningful ways. One favorite project is the Ethics Essay Contest for fourth through 12th graders. Winners visit SU to read their entries and collect small prizes, but the big payoff, Cravitz says, “is the sense of accomplishment visible on all those young faces and the fact that Enactus has encouraged these youngsters to think about how to do good in the world.”

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