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City Council Awards Professor Naveen Malhotra Key to St. Petersburg, Students in Free Enterprise Recognized as Sunshine Ambassadors

posted on 04/22/2009

City Council Awards Professor Naveen Malhotra Key to St. Petersburg, Students in Free Enterprise Recognized as Sunshine Ambassadors

Naveen Malhotra, Professor of Management and Finance at Eckerd College, has been awarded a Key to the City by the St. Petersburg City Council for his outstanding work with the Eckerd College Students in Free Enterprise (EC SIFE) team. During the same presentation, the City Council recognized the 2008-09 EC SIFE Team by awarding them the Sunshine Ambassador Award. James Bennett, District 5 City Councilman and an adjunct instructor in the Program for Experienced Learners (PEL), has been an avid supporter of EC SIFE over the years.

In a recent letter congratulating Professor Malhotra, Governor of Florida Charlie Crist wrote, "You are taking steps to protect our environment, help the homeless, fight hunger, promote local businesses, provide safe rides, and many other issues important to our state... I am especially impressed when young people and future leaders get involved in programs like the SIFE program at Eckerd to help make Florida an even better place to work, live and enjoy."

The EC SIFE team is composed of a combination of residential and Program for Experienced Learners (PEL) students: Stephanie Bowen '09, Jamie Gaviglio '09, Devin Pedone '09, Kate DeVries '10, Walter Heinzinger '10, Gabriel Hardy '11, Gillian Liddicoat '11, and PEL students Gwynn Virostek and Maureen Witt.

SIFE encourages students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it to real-life situations, and to use their knowledge to better their communities through educational outreach projects. "We have students from every class standing and a number of majors," says Professor Malhotra, "It is truly rewarding to teach these students and see them apply what they have learned to better the lives of others in the community."

Established in 1995 by Professor Malhotra, the Eckerd College SIFE team has competed in numerous regional and national competitions, winning 10 of the last 14 regional championships. Since its inception, EC SIFE has logged over 20,000 volunteer hours and received numerous awards.

In April 2005, the members of EC SIFE were recognized by the City Council as Student Citizens of the Month and, in 2003, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker proclaimed November 13, 2003 Professor Naveen Malhotra and Eckerd SIFE Team Day.

About Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)
SIFE is an international non-profit organization active on more than 1,500 university campuses in 41 countries. SIFE teams create economic opportunities in their communities by organizing outreach projects that focus on: market economics, entrepreneurship, personal financial success skills, and business ethics. For more information about EC SIFE, visit the EC SIFE webpage, contact Dr. Naveen Malhotra at 727-864-8678 or Stephanie Bowen, SIFE Eckerd College President.

About Dr. Naveen K. Malhotra
Dr. Naveen K. Malhotra has been dedicated to SIFE for 14 years as the Sam Walton Fellow. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Delhi, India; his MBA from the University of Tampa; and his Ph.D. from the University of South Florida. He joined the Eckerd community as Assistant Professor of Finance and Management in 1985 and through the last twenty-three years has become a full professor. He was appointed as the first occupant of the Tom and Mary James Professorship in Finance in 2008. Currently, he is the discipline coordinator for the Business Management major in PEL, and a mentor for students in the field.

Along with teaching and working with EC SIFE, Professor Malhotra has published numerous articles and frequently presents at national conferences. Two of his articles have received Best Paper awards at the respective conferences. He is an author of two books, one on financial management and one on adult education.

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