UST Business Students Take Top Honors at National Business Ethics Case Competition

Graduate and undergraduate teams from the Opus College of Business each took home top honors at the Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) in San Diego, California, May 9 and 10, 2013.

Each team selected a topic from any area of business ethics and described both the problem and a proposed solution. The competition required teams to deliver their case in three formats, all of which were judged by practicing ethics and compliance professionals:

  1. 30-minute presentation with all team members, to illuminate the financial, legal and ethical dimensions of the problem and to recommend a solution, followed by Q&A.
  2. 10-minute presentation on the ethical implications of the topic with two team members.
  3. 90-second core ethics summary by one team member.

The UST MBA team, including Joseph Grodahl, Jay Rajararatnam, Kasey Grams and Sean Higgins, won first place in its division for the 30-minute full presentation, “Violent Video Games: Ethical Implications of an Acquisition.” The team also took first prize in the 90-second competition and was division runner-up in the 10-minute competition. The undergraduate team won first place in its division for the 90-second competition on the topic “Using Child Labor to Source Cocoa.” Team members were Alex Bearson, Veronica Flamo and Gabe Monson.

Members of the winning UST MBA team were selected this spring through the CEBC Ethics Case Competition hosted by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC), University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business and St. Jude Medical.

This year, IBECC had 25 teams with separate divisions for undergraduates and graduates. Nine international teams took part, from Canada, Denmark, France, Hungary, Spain, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. UST brought home more than $2,000 in prize money of the $15,000 awarded. Winning team members each received $150 for first prize in an event and $100 for runner-up.

Dr. Kenneth Goodpaster, Koch Endowed Chair in Business Ethics at St. Thomas, was faculty sponsors of the UST MBA team. Dawn Swink, J.D. and Rosemarie Monge West were undergraduate team faculty sponsors. Jim Arnold, professor in the Full-time UST MBA and UST MS Accountancy programs served as communications coach.

IBECC is generally recognized as the premier competition of its kind. The competition was held in conjunction with the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association’s Sponsoring Partner Forum. It was hosted by Loyola Marymount University, the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association and the University of St. Thomas. More details are available on the IBECC website.

With the vision of excelling in educating highly principled global business leaders, the Opus College of Business at St. Thomas serves more than 5,000 students in both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In addition, its executive education programs and its centers and institutes serve more than 18,000 participants annually. The Opus College of Business is the only private business school in Minnesota accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) and is ranked in the top 25 percent of accredited business schools nationwide.