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DeSales Team Places Third, Northampton Places First in Annual Ethics Bowl Competition

by Janelle Hill Mar 29, 2019
DeSales University's Ethics Bowl 2019
you're missing out on a true learning

experience that I don't think really

exists in many other places a capstone

event that should it be missed it should

not be missed

students get so much out of it it's an

opportunity we're really merging

academia and business leaders come

together and talk about ethical dilemmas

and so it's a great opportunity for

students to work on their presentation

skills to network to meet with students

from other universities in the area and

so it's just a great opportunity to also

think more deeply about the topic of

ethics so it's critical that we're

getting our aspiring business leaders to

look at ethics early on before they get

into those times where they have to

actually make those decisions it's

invaluable that broad spectrum of

thought and an experience in that

thinking will carry them I think really

far in their professional lives


Students from DeSales University took home the third place prize in the Fleming Institute for Business Ethics’ 2019 Ethics Bowl competition. 

Six teams from local colleges and universities took part in the competition, which centered on artificial intelligence. Students played the role of a software developer who creates an AI program that can thwart privacy breaches while also advancing medical treatment at an exponential rate.

“The Ethics Bowl is a great tool for universities to really get their students engaged in the ethics dialogue and begin to think about the implications of the work they do,” says Ramona Hollie-Major, who served on the panel of judges and who works as director of field operations for the National Institute for School Leadership. “It’s critical that we’re getting our aspiring business leaders to look at ethics early on.” 

Teams had to decide between three options: sell the software to a large conglomerate, which would charge a premium but also end up saving 500 lives; sell the software to a smaller company that would make it commercially available but would only have the medical resources to save about 100 lives; or keep the software and develop the business themselves without being able to save lives in the short term. 

Each team presented its plans before a panel of business executives serving as judges. The panel then chose four finalists. Those remaining teams were then given a twist related to the case and had a limited amount of time to come up with a response. 

Team C from Northampton Community College took home the top trophy along with $2,500; Team E from Penn State Lehigh Valley came in second place and won $1,500; Team A from DeSales received the third place trophy and $500; and Team F from Wilkes University came in fourth and won $500.

“I’m very happy that the team was able to come together and put together such a strong result,” says Robert McLean ’20, captain of Team A from DeSales. “I think this is a good reward for our efforts.”

Richard Fleming and his family foundation established The Fleming Institute for Business Ethics in 2009 with a goal to promote a culture of ethical awareness and action in business professions through the collaborative efforts of corporate and educational groups. The work of the institute is administered by the DeSales University Division of Business, in collaboration with the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture.