Mines wins first place in regional Ethics Bowl

The Colorado School of Mines team “McBride McEthics” won first place during the recent Rocky Mountain Regional Ethics Bowl held on the Mines campus.

The bowl, an activity of the Ethics Across Campus program and sponsored by the McBride Honors Program, engaged teams from across the region in arguing and defending their moral assessments of some of society’s most troubling and complex ethical issues.

Mines’ two teams, “McBride McEthics” (comprised of students in the McBride Honors Program and coached by Liberal Arts and International Studies professors Toni Lefton and Sandy Woodson) and “The B Team” (coached by professors Rachel Osgood and Cortney Holles) competed against teams from the University of Winnipeg, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Colorado State University, University of Colorado-Boulder and University of Colorado-Denver. This is the second year Mines has competed at regionals.

Courtney Widhalm, a senior studying chemical and biochemical engineering, said the bowl helps students gain skill in engaging in productive conversations about hot topic issues.

“Cases covered everything from the preservation of historical artifacts to forced chemotherapy for minors. These topics are polarized within the media and politics so discussions tend to grind to a halt. In contrast, the unique environment of Ethics Bowl allows a diverse group of individuals discuss these topics and suggest potential solutions to these dilemmas,” Widhalm said.

The exercise also helped students learn new things about themselves.

“I learned that I am far from being right all the time,” said Sean Patrick McGinley, a senior studying mechanical engineering. “During the initial reading of the cases, I had my opinion and I knew that the team would struggle to find me wrong. However, once we dove into the cases, I quickly reasoned through my own bias and eventually presented on the exact opposite opinion that I originally believed. This whole process showed me how easy it is to blind yourself to the best solutions when you only see one outcome.”

Following this win, the McBride team will travel to Reston, Virginia, in February for the national 20th Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.



Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations, Colorado School of Mines / 303-273-3541 / kgilbert@mines.edu
Kathleen Morton, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Colorado School of Mines / 303-273-3088 / kmorton@mines.edu


About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public research university focused on science and engineering, where students and faculty together address the great challenges society faces today - particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment.