By Gabrielle Parisi
This article can also be viewed in Issue 13, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (April 14, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue.
It had been three years since DeSales has won the Fleming Ethics Bowl, but on Wednesday, March 30, two teams represented DeSales proudly, placing first and third out of the eight teams in the competition.
The team advised by Dr. Amy Scott, which consisted of team leader Francesca D’Annibale, Tyler Davis, Holly Palan and Sean Palen, took first place. Third place went to team leader Stanley Anton, Mark-Anthony Gaunt and Matthew Houseal, with their adviser being Dr. David Gilfoil.
“I think having two out of the eight teams [that] placed speaks to the fact that we [the professors] are incorporating ethics into our business classes every day,” said Scott. “It is a testament to our university.”
The Ethics Bowl is a regional collegiate competition hosted at DeSales which is made possible through the generosity of the Robert Fleming Institute of Business Ethics. It challenges students to analyze and respond to a case study which poses questions to the ethics and morals of a business and its employees.
This year, each team delivered a presentation that answered questions pertaining to a case study entitled “Big Beam’s Drug Policy Conundrum.” Following their presentation, a panel of judges critiqued their performances and asked questions about the decisions they made. The judges then selected four teams which continued on to the final round.
In the final round, the teams were thrown a curveball, and the case study was modified with even more perplexing questions to answer. The teams had a mere 45 minutes to prepare for their presentations, and the judges fired questions at them again.
Scott described the judges’ second-round questions as very hard and intense. Palan said, “The questions that were thrown at us during the second round were tricky and a little unexpected, but kudos to my team members for handling them so well.”
Davis agreed that their team performed well under the high-stress situations and commended his teammate, Palen, for doing a fantastic job of “spearheading the bulk of the hardball questions that the judges hurled.”
D’Annibale and Scott recalled making eye contact when they realized they had won.
“I immediately cried,” said Scott. “I was so happy for all of them.”
She also acknowledged that the other DeSales team did a phenomenal job and she was very proud of both teams for all of their hard work.
Some of the judges in the past have been so impressed by the students’ performances that the participants were required to bring copies of their resume to the competition in case any employers were interested in hiring them.
Dr. Jeffrey Focht, who is the Edward A. McCabe Chair of Business and Society, co-wrote the case with Dr. Charles Jobs and was in charge of overseeing the Ethics Bowl. He shared his admiration for all of the teams that participated this year, and said that even the teams who didn’t make it to the final round were still exceptionally good.
“Students inspire me,” said Focht, adding he knows that all of the students who participate are the future of the business world, and it brings him hope in knowing that they are academically and morally proficient.