The UCF Ethics Bowl Team placed first in the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Competition, defeating 31 teams from schools such as the United States Naval Academy, Dartmouth College and Clemson University.

Topics such as computer hacking, immigration, academic dishonesty and racial stereotypes were discussed during the competition last week in Cincinnati. During each of the six rounds, 16 of the 18 judges scored UCF higher than the opposing teams.

“This success brings national recognition to UCF in an academic area that is of great benefit to both individuals and communities that strive to deal reasonably with new and complex moral issues,” said Michael Strawser, an assistant professor of Philosophy and one of the team’s coaches.

The team was also coached by Nancy Stanlick, associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Philosophy, and Madi Dogariu, director of Student Services at The Burnett Honors College.

“The UCF team’s success is due to careful research on the specific cases, a deep understanding of ethical theories and principles, and the wonderful intellectual chemistry demonstrated in their exceptionally clear and well-organized arguments,” Strawser said.

All of the team members are Burnett Honors College students, and five of the six are enrolled in the Case Studies in Ethics honors course. Team members include Alexander Kaplan, a senior Philosophy major; Jessica Fears, a junior Economics major; Stephen Oldham, a junior Philosophy and Political Science major; Kevin Dupree, a senior Humanities major; Ramon Lopez, a senior Political Science major; and Catherine Perrault, a senior Molecular Biology major.

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl began as a small intramural program at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1993. Since then, it has expanded into a national competition that develops students’ intellectual abilities, deepens their ethical understanding and reinforces their sense of ethical commitment.

UCF has qualified for the national competition each of the past three years. This is the teams’ first national championship.

To learn more about the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, click here .