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2016 University News

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2016 University News

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Students Earn Slot to Compete for National Ethics Title

If the contentious atmosphere in the country has you losing sleep at night, take heart in the fact that future generations are constantly working on upholding ethics in professional life.

Coached by Larry Udell, assistant professor of philosophy, the WCU Ethics Bowl team tied for third place (along with Villanova’s A team) in the Northeast Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl on Nov. 19. In only their second year competing, the students finished behind only West Point (United States Military Academy) and Tufts University. Udell will soon begin preparing the team to compete for the national championship on Feb. 26, 2017, in Dallas, Texas.

"This competition is not a debate format," notes Joan Woolfrey, interim chair of the philosophy department. "It is judged on the basis of civil discourse, and acknowledgement of the breadth and depth of the ethical issues involved in the cases explored – a most necessary venture in these times."

West Chester's team brings together studies from a variety of majors, some of whom are minoring in applied ethics (housed in the philosophy department). Most people have heard of business ethics, legal ethics, and medical ethics (bioethics), but nearly every professional field has a code of ethics and a set of literature and thinkers associated with the ethical questions of that area.

The five students who competed at the Northeast Regional Ethics Bowl are: Madison Algayer, second-year computer science major; Julianna Brodhecker, fourth-year pre-med major, applied ethics minor; Laura Bruce, fourth-year history major, geology minor; Jacob Galligan, fourth-year accounting major, applied ethics minor; and Alexa Radke, fourth-year psychology major, applied ethics minor. Alternates were Amanda Lee, third-year marketing major; and Rachel Logan, fourth-year English major.

Hundreds of students and teams across the United States and Canada compete in 11 Regional Ethics Bowls each fall. The teams argue and defend their moral assessment of some of the most troubling and complex ethical issues facing society today. Questions address a wide array of topics in business and professional ethics, personal relationships, and social and political affairs. The competitions are organized by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, a comprehensive, international organization advancing scholarship, education, and practice in practical and professional ethics.

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