2016 News Releases

Enactus business team finishes in the top 20 in the nation

Photo of TWU Enactus team

TWU’s Enactus team and adviser David Rylander, center, compete at Enactus National Exposition in St. Louis, placing in the top 20 for the first time in university history.

DENTON —Texas Woman’s University’s Enactus team advanced to the semi-final round in the Enactus USA national competition in St. Louis May 15-17, placing the team in the top 20 in the U.S.

Enactus is an international non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action.

TWU Enactus team celebrates
TWU’s Enactus team celebrates placing in the top 20 at the Enactus National Exposition for the first time in its history.

The TWU team won the quarterfinal in the national competition for the first time in its history during a competition that started with more than 430 teams from across the nation. TWU placed ahead of teams from the University of Houston, the University of Wisconsin, Drury University, the University of Florida, Syracuse University, the University of Virginia and many more public and private universities.

“National competition was an affirmation for all of the hard work our Enactus students have done all year,” said the team’s adviser David Rylander, TWU professor of marketing and Sam Walton Fellow. “They dedicated themselves to making a real difference in the lives of others, and the competition team put a great deal of effort into making an excellent professional presentation of the impact we have made.”

During the national competition, TWU Enactus presented on projects that team members have been working on for the academic year — providing help for homeless people and veterans in Denton, supporting a local small business, educating children and college students on financial literacy and nutrition, and continuing a legacy project helping people in a small village in Belize.

“Enactus has provided me with the unique opportunity to make a change in my community through entrepreneurial action,” said TWU Enactus team member Michelle Gonnet, a junior marketing major from Mesquite, Texas. “[The Enactus} competition is the culmination of a successful year of showcasing our projects and receiving feedback from those in higher ranks on how to continue growing.”

Gonnet added, “The opportunity to network with these business executives is an exceptional opportunity to learn how to carry myself in the professional world.”

The TWU team was named a regional champion in Dallas April 4 to advance to the national competition along with the University of Texas, the University of Houston and Texas Wesleyan University. TWU’s team won regionals for the 11th time in 16 years.

Competition team presenter members are:  

  • Juan Armijo, a junior business management major from Dallas;
  • Stephanie Avila, a senior accounting major from Denton;
  • Erin Engel, a junior finance and marketing major from Hickory Creek;
  • Alyssa Gaynor, a junior math major from Torrance, California;
  • Michelle Gonnet, a junior marketing major from Mesquite; and
  • Jesse Malone, a junior marketing major from Hurst. 

Competition team support members are:

  • Cristina Barron, a senior graphic design major from Carrollton;
  • Selena Garcia, a sophomore accounting and marketing major from Dallas;
  • David Garza, a junior human resource management major from Lewisville;
  • Naomi McDowell, a senior, business entrepreneurship major from Duncanville;
  • Citlalli Rodriguez, a senior marketing major from Mesquite; and
  • Jasmine Smith a junior biology major from Round Rock.

Sherrie Taylor, TWU senior lecturer emerita, served as the TWU Enactus Business Advisory Team president. Rylander served as the team’s adviser. 


Enactus, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. More than 69,000 students at more than 1,740 universities in 36 countries plan and implement community development projects to improve the world around them. At the end of each school year, the teams present their projects at a regional competition. Top-ranking teams advance to the U.S. national competition.

Texas Woman’s University (TWU) is the largest public university in the nation primarily for women and has an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students on campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Since its founding in 1901, TWU has produced more than 86,000 graduates in fields vital to the growth and quality of life in Texas and the nation, including nursing, health care, education and business.

TWU is:

  • Ranked #2 among 38 Texas public universities in salaries for baccalaureate graduates
  • Median first-year earnings of graduates are almost 20% higher than the Texas state average
  • Ranked in the top 10 nationally for diversity by U.S. News & World Report with a 57% undergraduate minority enrollment.

The university also has earned an outstanding reputation for scholarship, leadership and service.  TWU prides itself on offering women and men a quality education that prepares graduates for the workforce or graduate school.  The university’s facilities, advanced technology and teaching tools mirror the workplace and improve learning.

Notable TWU alumni include public officials, health care leaders, presidents and administrators in higher and secondary education, artists, musicians, actresses, writers and more, including: best-selling author Anne Rice, publishing icon Helen Gurley Brown, Olympic Gold field medalist Louise Ritter and president of Texas Harris Health Methodist Hospital Lillie Biggins.

Media Contact

Page last updated 11:20 AM, June 11, 2019