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AACC Team Ties for 2nd Place in 8th Annual Ethics Bowl

May 24, 2011

      A team of four Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) students tied for second place in the 8th Annual Ethics Bowl, which attracted 10 Maryland community college teams.

      Competing for AACC were Christie Curl of Rose Haven, an English major; Heather Hunter of Glen Burnie, a transfer studies major in history and anthropology; Garth Jones of Annapolis, a business administration major; and Margaret Salamon of Pasadena, an entrepreneurial studies major. The team also captured second place in 2010.

      Participating teams represented AACC, Baltimore City Community College, Carroll Community College, the three campuses of the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Howard Community College, Montgomery College – Rockville (two teams) and the host school Montgomery College – Takoma Park/Silver Spring. The host school’s team won the competition. Tying with AACC for second place was the CCBC – Essex team while third place went to the Baltimore City Community College team.

      Sponsored by the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at the University of Baltimore, the annual Ethics Bowl challenges community college students to explore the same cases used in national competition by teams representing four-year colleges and universities. The cases often reflect current events and require students to identify moral and ethical dilemmas and to justify opposing positions.

      This year’s topics were: confronting homophobic comments in a bar; engaging in cybersex with child-like avatars; examining the citizenship afforded persons born in the United States whose parents are undocumented immigrants; making voting compulsory in national elections; relocating indigenous tribes in Brazil to build dams to generate electricity for fueling bauxite smelters; profiting from the purchase of annuities in the names of the terminally ill; accommodating (or not) pregnant women on athletic scholarships; relying on “truthiness” as opposed to the perceived objectivity of mainstream media; advocating animal testing in the college classroom; and selling coal from industrialized nations to developing countries.

      Although given the cases in advance, teams did not know until the competition which cases they would address. No notes were permitted. Each team had three opportunities to initiate the discussion with a ten-minute presentation, followed by a five-minute response from the opposing team and a five-minute concluding analysis by the presenting team. Panels of judges from educational institutions and the business community scored each team’s performance to determine the winner.

      Assisting AACC students with their preparation were head coach Kevin Murphy, assistant professor of philosophy, and Monna Clark, J.D., professor of legal studies. Students engaging in practice sessions and providing research were Molly Brimmer of Severn, a political science and English major; Kerry “Tex” Ellis of Annapolis, a transfer studies major; and Lilie MacGregor of Annapolis, a paralegal studies major.

      Also contributing by recommending team members or attending their practice sessions were Anika Ingram, J.D., assistant professor of paralegal and legal studies; Jeffrey Layne, C.P.A., assistant professor of business administration, and Honors Program coordinator; Mark Ripka, adjunct professor, English; John Sagi, Ph.D., professor of business management and computer information systems; Susan Wilson, adjunct professor, legal studies; and Billy Yuan, assistant professor of business management.

      For information on the competition, contact Murphy at 410-777-7244 or Clark at 410-777-7270.