La Sierra SIFE leader inducted to Hall of Fame
May 11, 2009
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – ( www.lasierra.edu )For Heather Miller, involvement in the international Students In Free Enterprise organization presents opportunities to better the world in which she lives while helping La Sierra University students reach their potential.
On May 10, Springfield, Mo.-based Students In Free Enterprise, or SIFE, recognized Miller, a La Sierra SIFE faculty fellow, for her dedication to these causes. Through nearly 11 years of service she has worked steadfastly with the SIFE faculty fellows team and others to help La Sierra’s team, based in the university’s School of Business, develop numerous economic empowerment and business-related educational programs locally and around the world, impacting thousands of lives.
During SIFE’s annual Sam Walton Fellow Dinner, SIFE leaders inducted Miller and educators from two other higher education institutions into the SIFE Hall of Fame. The event preceded the Rally of Champions which kicked off the 2009 SIFE USA National Exposition involving 137 U.S. teams. On May 11 and 12 the teams, who all won regional events, will present multi-media annual reports on the impacts of their empowerment projects during the past year. The SIFE U.S. national winner will compete against other countries for the 2009 SIFE World Cup in Berlin, Germany this October.
“I’m honored and humbled,” Miller said of the award. “It’s very humbling to me because it’s not the work of a single person. We have an incredible team in the School of Business.”
Watching La Sierra’s SIFE students “develop, or at times struggle, watching them learn and progress over the school year, or two or three years, and seeing the leadership skills that develop is very invigorating and very rewarding,” Miller said. SIFE students come to realize their lives “make a difference, what they do now makes a difference.”
Miller also loves the ideals upheld by SIFE, that societies can be helped through America’s free market system and life-changing, positive impacts made by using business and entrepreneurial models. “That is incredibly motivating. It’s part of life’s purpose for me,” she said.
Miller, a SIFE faculty fellow, joined La Sierra University’s SIFE team during the 1998-99 school year. Over the past decade she and the faculty fellows team have helped propel La Sierra toward record-setting wins in national and international SIFE competitions. Over the years, La Sierra’s SIFE team brought home six national trophies and two world cups, more wins than any other SIFE campus organization.
This year in Philadelphia the team is presenting a report highlighting 13 projects for panels of senior executives from some of the country’s largest companies. The team’s efforts range from teaching business startup skills to villagers in Thailand to teaching elementary students in Riverside, Calif. the importance of ethics.
“Heather is a deeply conscientious and caring individual who tonight was recognized for the things we most value in her,” La Sierra University President Randal Wisbey said following the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “We’re incredibly proud she’s a part of our La Sierra family.”
“We’re very excited about Heather receiving this recognition,” said La Sierra’s business school Dean John Thomas, citing the performance of Miller and La Sierra’s faculty fellows group. “Heather and our faculty fellows have worked hard and done a very good job to help the students succeed.”
SIFE World Headquarters staff nominate Hall of Fame inductees based on years of service with SIFE, mentoring and assistance to team members, and the team’s competitive successes, said Mindy ver Steegt, SIFE’s campus program director. SIFE’s President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Alvin Rohrs gives final approval of the staff’s nominations. On May 10 SIFE also inducted Dr. John Frith of Central Texas College and Professor Fred Pragasam of the University of North Florida.
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University