DATE:  November 2 , 2006       
CONTACT: Dr. Andrew Piker (361) 825-6035; or Steve Paschal (361) 825-2336

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi One of Four State Universities to Earn Spot in National Ethics Bowl Competition

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Three teams from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi finished in the top five at the Texas Regional Ethics Bowl in San Antonio with the top-ranked University team advancing to the national competition in Cincinnati next February.

The A&M-Corpus Christi teams took third, fourth and fifth place in the competition defeating teams from Texas Wesleyan University, Texas State University, Texas-Pan American, St. Mary’s University and Brazosport College. Overall, Texas-Pan American took first place followed by Texas State University. The A&M-Corpus Christi team was in position to win the competition before losing a narrow 112-109 decision to Palo Alto College. Southern Methodist University placed fourth and will also compete at the national level.

Ethics Bowl debates are similar to debates with teams of students giving presentations and responding to questions on ethical issues. A moderator poses scenarios to teams of three-to-five students and a panel of judges evaluates answers based on soundness of intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance and deliberative thoughtfulness.

This year students were challenged to address concerns such as the disruption of military funerals by protestors, environmental problems resulting from the dismantling of aging ships, the disclosure of classified information concerning Iraq by a whistle-blower and a reporter, and a grading dispute in a dual-credit program.

A&M-Corpus Christi students taking part in the competition were Michael Cogan, Jack Ghably, Jacob Spicer, Amanda Dillon, Francisco Guerra, Rachel Gunter, Brittany Hardy, Phillip Levasseur, Joshua Lowry, Nicholas Rodriguez, Clara Schwendeman, and Vidya Venkatraman. Professors Stefan Sencerz and Andy Piker coached the A&M-Corpus Christi teams.

A&M-Corpus Christi has fielded teams in regional and national Ethics Bowl competitions since 1998, winning the 2001 national championship and finishing in the top 10 nationally three times. In addition to two regional championships, this year marks the third time that an A&M-Corpus Christi team has placed in the top three at the regional competition.