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Stetson Business Ethics Team Takes Third at National Collegiate Competition

Stetson University students placed third in the 15th Annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition held this past week at the Eller School of Management at the University of Arizona. This national competition capped the invitation to 25 teams representing the top public and private business schools from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Two students stand outside building, in suits and smiling

Nate Smith (left) and Will Giberson placed third in the national collegiate competition.

Team members included Will Giberson and Nate Smith, who were coached by John Tichenor, Ph.D., Areti Vogel, Ph.D., and Jim Beasley, Ph.D., in the School of Business Administration at Stetson.

“Participation in the Collegiate Ethics Case Competition was an experience that will benefit me for the rest of my professional career,” said Giberson, a business systems analysis major from Ocala, Florida.  “The opportunity to sharpen my research, analytical, presentation, and problem-solving skills in a competitive environment will give me an edge in a job market where employers are seeking persons with this kind of training.”

The Stetson team won their bracket against four other teams, including University of North Dakota, Arizona State University, La Salle University and Universidad Panamericana.  In the finals, Stetson competed against four other bracket winners, with University of Calgary taking first place and the United States Naval Academy coming in second. 

 “I have long had a competitive spirit, but this intellectual challenge moved me to a new level in the development of skills that will undergird my continuing professional development,” said Smith, a double major in finance and economics from Kennesaw, Georgia.

Stetson, one of seven private institutions that participated, was the smallest university to field a team in the national competition, being one of seven private institutions that participated. The University of Florida was the only other participating institution from Florida.

Three weeks prior to the event the teams were given a business case on “hacking back,” an option open to global companies who become victims of criminal hacking and theft of critical proprietary data. Teams were asked to assume the identity of chair of the board of a hypothetical corporation whose data had been stolen and whose executive staff are divided on whether to “hack back” into the network of the hacker and retrieve the stolen data. The teams then delivered a 25-minute presentation on the financial, legal, and ethical implications of the decision facing the company. 

“The outstanding performance of Will and Nate on this national stage is both illustrative of the capability of our students and supportive of the core values of the university,” said Tichenor, chair and professor of the Department of Management.  “We hope to give increasingly more students the opportunity to gain this kind of practical educational experience.”

-Marie Dinklage