Stetson University Takes First Place at Annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition

Nov. 2, 2020

The Eller College of Management’s Center for Leadership Ethics held its annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition (CECC) on October 22-23, bringing together student teams from around the globe. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition moved to a virtual format.  

During the competition, student teams were exposed to a thought-provoking business ethics case that they could face in their professional careers. The teams then collaboratively analyzed, presented and responded to questions asked by a panel of judges, made up of esteemed business professionals from across the country. 

Each year a new case is written to address a pressing ethical dilemma in business and society. This year, the case was written on Huawei, 5G and the European Union by Professor Paul Melendez, founder of the Center for Leadership Ethics. The case addressed the geopolitical tug of war between the European Union, China and the United States concerning the deployment of 5G in the European Union amid security concerns. 

The team from Stetson University, comprised of students Abigail Jagos, Zachary Blum and advisor Jim Beasley, took home first-place prize this year. Their response to the case earned the highest score, which was based on delivery, depth of analysis, persuasiveness, creativity, recommendations that are both ethical and practical in a business context and their responses to questions from judges. 

The award for first place includes $1,000 in cash for each student and the opportunity to virtually attend the 2021 Global Ethics Summit, presented by Ethisphere.  

“Participation in the Collegiate Ethics Case Competition was a wonderful experience that will benefit me in my professional growth,” said Jagos. “The opportunity to sharpen my research, analytical, presentation and problem-solving skills in such a competitive environment will give me an edge in a job market where employers are seeking persons with this kind of training.” 

“The intellectual challenge I encountered in this competition moved me to a new level in the development of skills that will guide my continuing education in global business practices and issues.  My experience with the Stetson CECC team has widened my perspective on how to approach business challenges,” said Blum. 

Second place was awarded to the team from the United States Naval Academy, with the team from Concordia University coming in third. 

Due to the virtual nature of the event, the competition was able to accommodate more teams than ever before and made it possible for teams who otherwise might not have been able to travel to Tucson to participate. Twenty-nine student teams participated this year, from institutions large and small from across North America and Europe. 

“The Collegiate Ethics Case Competition is an event we look forward to hosting every year, and I am so proud that we were able to successfully move it to a virtual format,” says Melendez. “As always, the teams did an incredible job of applying what they are learning in the classroom to the ethical dilemmas our world is facing today. I have no doubt that these students will go on to become accountable, trustworthy business leaders.” 

2020 CECC Participating Universities 

Boston College, Brigham Young University, Concordia University, Elon University, Emory University, Georgetown University, Indiana University, Iowa State University, La Salle University, Northern Illinois University, Penn State University, Pepperdine University, Providence College, Stetson University, The University of Texas at Austin, United States Naval Academy, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Universidad Panamericana—Aguascalientes, Universidad Panamericana—Mexico City, University of Amsterdam, University of Arkansas, University of Calgary, University of Florida, University of Idaho, University of Illinois at Champaign, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Utah and University of Vermont.