Sunday, September 21, 2014

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U.Va. Students Host Enactus High School Academic Business Competition

On Friday, the Enactus High School Academic Business Competition will challenge students from across Virginia to present an educational multimedia project focusing on the dangers of cybercrime and the necessity of computer security.

The competition is organized by the University of Virginia chapter of Enactus, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise, an international organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to use “the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world,” according to the Enactus website.

Google funded the competition through a $2,500 Student Impact Award, said third-year commerce major Kyle Bye, a chapter leader in charge of the competition.

“Last year’s competition, sponsored by Liberty Mutual, challenged the students to increase awareness of the negative effects of insurance fraud, and the results were phenomenal,” Bye said.

Last year’s seven teams designed websites, used social media, partnered with local insurance firms and even created public service announcements for local radio stations.

This year, eight high schools across Virginia are scheduled to send four-person teams. The high school students will attend lectures and take exams covering accounting and general business concepts.

For the finale of the competition, the teams will each present their proposals for a community-based project to reduce cybercrime, which affected 71 million people in the United States and cost U.S. consumers $20.7 billion in 2011, according to the Norton Cybercrime report. All participants will receive cybersecurity toolkits to share with their schools, provided by the Department of Homeland Security.

The U.Va. Enactus chapter was founded in 2009 and is affiliated with the McIntire School of Commerce, said chapter president Paola Castillo, a fourth-year commerce major.

The U.Va. students created this competition, including the exams, drawing on lessons learned in McIntire courses, and with guidance from McIntire faculty members Ann Backof and Robert Kemp.

The competition will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in various classrooms in Rouss and Robertson halls.

Team presentations will be judged based on creativity and outreach effectiveness, Bye said. The competition judges will include faculty from McIntire and the School of Engineering and Applied Science; local business leaders from Liberty Mutual, Oracle and Chase Investment Counsel; Charlottesville City Councilor Dave Norris; and a local lawyer who specializes in information technology law.

The participating high schools are John Randolph Tucker High School and Glen Allen High School, both in Henrico County; Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and James W. Robinson Jr. Secondary School, both in Fairfax County; West Point High School; Hopewell High School; and Albemarle High School and the Miller School of Albemarle County.

Robinson Secondary School won last year’s competition.

For information, contact Kyle Bye at kdb2hz@virginia.edu or 609-402-5191.

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