Barton College’s Ethics Bowl team finished first recently in competition among 22 schools affiliated with the N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities.
The ethics bowl is an annual academic competition for students to debate and solve ethical problems. Each team is allowed 4-6 team members.
Each ethics bowl has a specific theme. The goal of these teams is to argue particular ethical situations and case studies. The ethics bowl’s goals are to offer student participants academic leadership and understanding, the opportunity to apply ethics in leadership and to improve critical decision making skills.
The ethics bowl first started in 2012. Barton College joined the competition last year in 2015.
In Barton’s inaugural season, the Bulldogs placed second out of 22 teams with Wake Forest University taking first. Members of the team last season who returned were both Hannah Finkelstein and Allison Dellinger, while John Sloop, Gabe Farris, Shane O’Daniel and Jake Carter did not return.
The non-returners were replaced by Marcus Strath and Seth Russ. Barton’s ethics team was coached by Shawn McCauley and advised by Dr. Rena Corbett.
Barton College’s team represented a range of academic disciplines with Dellinger, a senior theatre performance and management major from Durham, Finkelstein, a senior middle school education major from Washington, N.J., Russ, a sophomore mathematics and business administration major from Beulaville, and Marcus Strath, a junior business administration major from Norrkoping, Sweden.
“I felt exceptionally nervous going into the semifinals, but was comforted by the confidence of our coordinator, Rena Corbett, and our coach, Shawn McCauley,” said Finkelstein. “Shawn was an incredible asset to the team to analyzing and polishing our arguments, giving constructive feedback between rounds, and in keeping the team’s energy positive.”
“I am so immensely proud to be on the 2016 Ethics Bowl Team,” added Finkelstein. “This year, our team came together a little differently. We had quite a few last minute team changes, but quickly found camaraderie and bonded in a manner that allowed us to create synergy that made us shine before the judges.”
“I’m very happy with our performance,” she said. “The whole team did great and every member was important. Hannah and Allison had experience from the competition last year, which definitely gave us an edge and helped us prepare even better,” said first year member Marcus Strath.
“I joined the team a couple of weeks before the competition because another intended participant, Omar Gonzalez, had other commitments,” said Strath. “I really am glad I did join, it all was a humbling experience. Even though we won, I know now more than ever, how many intelligent individuals there are out there,” said Strath.
According to multiple team members, Montreat College was the toughest opponent Barton faced. Montreat was either always one step ahead or not too far behind.
“Montreat College was an exceptional opponent, keeping us on our toes and pushing each of us to polish and plan our speaking. We all breathed a sigh of relief as it was announced that we would go to the finals,” said Finkelstein.
In the end, Barton College came out on top with the victory, and the team could not have been more ecstatic, said newcomer Seth Russ.
“Walking away with the win was amazing vein,” said Finkelstein. “A small school competing against institutions like High Point and Wake Forest. I’m proud of my team and I want them to be portrayed well. They deserve it.”
“Our Barton College Ethics Team of four students was phenomenal,” said Corbett, assistant professor of accounting and coordinator of the Barton College Ethics Team. “Not only were they well prepared, but they gelled, thinking quickly on their feet, and working cohesively to create superb answers to the other teams’ questions as well as summaries at the end of each round.
“Almost all the judges remarked on how skillfully their presentations flowed from one team member to the next. I am so proud of our students and feel so fortunate to have shared such a surreal experience with them and with my faculty colleagues Shawn McCauley, who was so integral in developing our Ethics Team, and George Loveland for his helpful LibGuide.”
By Wyatt Kimbrough