Marymount Team to Compete in Ethics Bowl

Marymount University will participate in the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ (VFIC) 19th annual statewide collegiate Wells Fargo Ethics Bowl on Feb. 11-12 on the campus of Hampden-Sydney College. The MU team includes senior Unaiza Khalid, juniors Kelsey Lynch and Julia Torrico, and sophomore Ibah Odjinar.

This year’s theme will be Ethical Issues in a Multicultural Society, and each competition round will involve an ethical dilemma where a difficult choice must be made.

“It’s like a debate competition but they don’t know what they’re debating until they walk in and get the sample case,” said Dr. Matthew Shadle, an associate professor of theology & religious studies who serves as MU’s faculty coordinator for the team. “These cases will call into question the intricacies people may face when dealing with different cultures, religions and generations within the United States.”

Odjinar said participating in last year’s Ethics Bowl helped her mature.

“The ethics debate helped me learn how to listen for the opposing arguments,” she said. “In order to find the truth, one must engage in discussion to hear what the other is saying. That way, society can find the right answer.”

Khalid, who will participate in her first Ethics Bowl, said it’s essential to have an open mind in today’s society.

“I hope debating with both like- and different-minded people will help groom me and shape me into understanding different opinions and viewpoints,” she said.

Torrico, another new team member, said she was drawn to the chance to be on a team and the opportunity to learn new perspectives on various topics.

Shadle said the team prepares for about a month, with two or three intense practices a week where students play as a team and he serves as the opponent. He said he enjoys the opportunity to work with students outside of class, and their competitive spirit.

“When we practice and travel to the tournaments, we really bond as a team,” he said.

The Saints will compete against 14 other teams from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. The opening session begins at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11 at Hampden-Sydney’s Johns Auditorium, with the competition rounds to follow. The winning team announced at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Founded in 1952, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges is a nonprofit fund-raising partnership supporting the programs and students of 15 leading independent colleges in the Commonwealth: Bridgewater College, Emory & Henry College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Lynchburg College, Mary Baldwin University, Marymount University, Randolph College, Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College, University of Richmond, Virginia Wesleyan University and Washington & Lee University.  For additional information on the VFIC, visit