Saints finish strong in VFIC’s 23rd annual Ethics Bowl

Saints finish strong in VFIC’s 23rd annual Ethics Bowl


Five students from Marymount University participated in the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ (VFIC) 23rd annual statewide collegiate Ethics Bowl last weekend, deliberating on “Ethics and Digital Media” on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach, Va.

The Marymount team – featuring senior Adalie Shotton, juniors Natalia Ivanauskas and Agnes-Laure Signou and sophomores Ella Reither and Melody Salguero – competed head-to-head against other student teams from Virginia’s leading independent colleges and universities on a variety of case studies. The Saints were led by faculty coordinator Dr. Daniel Corrigan, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Marymount and Interim Director of the University’s Center for Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility.

Many notable individuals from a variety of career fields that include business, education, finance, journalism, law and others listened to team presentations and offered reactions to the students’ presentations. Marymount faced off against other teams in four matches over the course of two days, losing the first two rounds on Sunday but rebounding on Monday morning to conclude the event with two victories.

“While the theme of this year’s Ethics Bowl competition was ‘Ethics and Digital Media,’ the cases that we debated connected digital media with issues in business, health care and criminal justice, among others,” Dr. Corrigan said. “Some of our team members have more knowledge in certain areas, depending on whether they are an IT, Criminal Justice or Business major, and I was delighted to see individual team members step up and draw on their expertise when a particular debate called for it.”

Dr. Corrigan also credited Marymount’s success in the competition to Professor Donald Lavanty from Marymount’s College of BILT, who assisted in coaching the team prior to the competition through advice and feedback during each practice session.

“I was really impressed with the perseverance and development our team displayed over the course of the competition,” Dr. Corrigan added. “While we lost to other teams in the first two rounds, our team members never gave up and kept trying their best. They learned from their experiences in the earlier rounds and incorporated new strategies that allowed them to win in both the third and fourth rounds. I was very proud of our team and the growth they showed during the competition.” 

Marymount’s student participants in the Ethics Bowl walked away from the experience with a sense of satisfaction and optimism for next year’s competition, with four of the five team members eligible to return in 2024.

“During our time at the VFIC’s Ethics Bowl, we had the opportunity as a team to further develop our communication, critical thinking and reasoning skills. We significantly improved upon these qualities as we progressed through each round of the competition,” Ivanauskas said. “Overall, in addition to the educational benefits that we gained through our participation, this event was entertaining and enjoyable.”

“The Ethics Bowl has been one of my favorite experiences since coming to Marymount University. Our team took a lot of time to prepare, and it definitely paid off,” Reither added. “We all communicated very well during the competition, and were complimented on our teamwork and organization multiple times. I really appreciated that the Ethics Bowl reinforced communication skills, quick thinking and defending arguments. My entire team was already excited to think about next year!”

The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, established in 1952, aims to advance the distinctive values and strengths of the 16 colleges and universities across Virginia that make up its consortium.