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Catawba College Students among Those Tackling Ethics, the Future of Community

February 21, 2018

Category: Academics, Business & Economics, English, Environmental Science, Events, History, Politics, Students

ethicsbowl2018..jpgFront Row (L-R): Brianna Gordon, Taylor Cielo, and Cassie James; Back Row (L-R) Norris Feeney, Jon Rife, Ethan Chirico, and Darin Spencer.

A team of six Catawba College students joined more than 120 other college students from 24 of North Carolina’s independent colleges and university in debating “Ethics and the Future of Community.”  The Catawba students were participants in the annual Ethics Bowl sponsored by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) and held Feb. 16 and 17 at the State Legislative Complex in Raleigh.

Catawba team members included senior Ethan Chirico of Salisbury, an International Affairs and Economics major; sophomore Taylor Cielo of Raleigh, a Literature major; senior Brianna Gordon of Chapel Hill, a History major; sophomore Cassie James of Robbins, a sophomore Politics major; and junior Jon Rife of Apex, a Literature major.  Although he practiced for the Ethics Bowl competition, senior Seth Stephens of Lexington, a Sustainable Business & Community Development major, was unable to make the trip to the competition. Traveling to the competition were Dr. Norris Feeney, an Assistant Professor of Politics, who serves as Campus Coordinator for the Catawba team, and Dr. Darin Spencer, an Assistant Professor and Chair of Accounting, who serves as Assistant Campus Coordinator for these competitors.

"The Ethics Bowl has a positive and significant impact on the individual student participants,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. "It is a challenging competition and a rewarding experience that many students have indicated is a highlight of their college careers."

Each team participated in four rounds after which the four teams with the most “wins” – Barton College, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University and Salem College - met in two semifinal rounds. The semifinal round topic focused on cyber communities and how to exercise personal responsibility to ensure ethical standards and practices in social media.

Advancing to the final round were Chowan University and Salem College. The topic for the final round centered around the ethics of deporting undocumented immigrants. In the end, Salem College won the competition.

At a banquet honoring the participants Friday evening, five individuals presented their diverse interpretation of ‘community’. The speakers were Dan Gerlach of the Golden LEAF Foundation; Leslie Garvin from NC Campus Compact; Roman Bouchev, formerly an international student, now US citizen; Lauren Raiford, a high school student; and David Heinen with NC Center for Nonprofits.

The Ethics Bowl is made possible because of the support of 29 sponsors, led by Duke Energy and Wells Fargo, and the participation of more than 70 volunteer judges and moderators who are leaders in business, government and non-profit organizations.

NCICU is the statewide office of North Carolina’s 36 independent colleges and universities.  NCICU represents independent higher education in the areas of state and federal public policy and on education issues with the other sectors of education in the state. It also raises funds for student scholarships and enrichment experiences, provides research and information to and about independent colleges and universities, conducts staff development opportunities and coordinates collaborative programs. For more information about NCICU, visit

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