Students and faculty.

2024 Ethics Case Team season highlights

The University of Florida Warrington College of Business Ethics Case Competition Team is celebrating another tremendous season. The team, residing in the Poe Business Ethics Center, provides students with unique opportunities to further develop their strategic decision-making and communication skills by analyzing cases and presenting solutions that satisfy ethical, financial and legal considerations. When competing at a variety of international ethics case competitions, students interact with and receive feedback from business practitioners on the viability of their solutions as well as their potential impacts on stakeholders. The following are highlights from various competitions across the continent.

Top 10 in the nation

Warrington’s Ethics Case Team had its best finish ever in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB), placing ninth out of 180 teams in the nation. During each match of the competition, a case was selected from a set and a moderator posed questions that delved into the multiple ethical dimensions of the case. A panel of judges probed the teams for further justifications and evaluated answers, rating responses based on their intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance and deliberative thoughtfulness.

Dennis Kyrychenko (BS ’25), Iona Brooks (BA ’26), Tejaswi Polimetla (BA ’23), Jaïm Steele (BA ’26, BA ‘26), Arianna Zhai (BSAc ’24), Tatiana Maher (BA ‘24, MSM ‘25), Katherine Bi-Ji (BA ’25, BS ’25, BS ‘25) and Hubert Pugzlys (BS ’26) participated in the competition.

“I could not be prouder of the tremendous showing our team had in this year’s Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl,” said the team’s coach and instructional professor of leadership and ethics, Dr. Brian Ray. “Of all the competitions we have each year, this one is without a doubt the most challenging due to its breadth of topics. This year’s cases included artificial intelligence, environmental concerns, weapons of mass destruction and affirmative action, just to name a few.”

Champions of the 2023 CFA Ethics Invitational

In November, students from the Ethics Case Team won the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society’s Tampa Bay Ethics Invitational. The Invitational is designed to help prepare those entering the investment profession by increasing awareness of the ethical dilemmas they may face as investment professionals, becoming familiar with the CFA Institute’s code of ethics and practicing the steps of a decision-making framework to aid investment professionals in conducting business with integrity.

Sofia George (BSBA ’26), David Walston (BSBA ’25), Bryce Peters (BS ’25) and Drew Siegel (BSBA ’25) were challenged to analyze the ethical infractions of a fictional employee and were awarded first place in the competition for their solutions.

“It is an honor to have won this year’s [Invitational],” the team said. “In the end, we are proud of our work and thank everyone for the opportunity to be a part of this incredible experience. Additionally, we would like to thank our director, mentor and friend, Dr. Brian Ray, for his support throughout this competition and our time at the University of Florida – we wouldn’t be here without him!”

Third place in Canada’s Intercollegiate Business Competition

Two students pose with balloons. Two students from the Ethics Case Team travelled to Ontario, Canada in January and placed third in the Intercollegiate Business Competition (ICBC), the oldest and most prestigious business case competition in Canada. The case for the competition focused on the potential of nuclear energy in Canada’s future. The team was asked to consider the ethical impact of nuclear energy in Canada, as well as the cost involved, its trajectory over time and the regulation of nuclear safety and waste.

Jaïm Steele (BA ’26, BA ‘26) and Tatiana Maher (BA ‘24, MSM ‘25) represented Warrington at the competition.

“The competition was the first of several that Tatiana and I co-competed in throughout the year and [the experience] created a groundwork of friendship and cooperation that has only strengthened over the year,” Steele said. “It developed oratory skills, which are useful [for self-advocacy] in all [skillsets], and deepened global understanding of issues we sometimes neglect to think about within our narrow American perspectives.”

First place in International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition

After starting their preparations for the International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition (IBESCC) in January, the team took first place in two out of three installments of the competition and was a runner-up in the final round. Without a case document to work from, the team’s innovative skills were put to the test, as they had to come up with an idea from scratch and pitch it in a comprehensive way to judges who may not have experience with their topic. The team decided to consult Amazon and Whole Foods and outlined suggestions for how the companies could achieve global sustainability goals.

“I am extremely proud of the IBESCC team,” said the team’s leader, Maher. “We spent a lot longer than we needed to and made it much harder for ourselves because we didn’t only want to win, we wanted to present something that we were passionate about. This resulted in an extremely complex idea that took a lot of time to research and plan and created a very complex delivery that had to balance the need to go into depth about a lot of things, but also make it comprehensive for those who had not spent so much time researching.

“This team is very self-regulated, and there was a lot of individual responsibility to contribute to the project and each person did their task and more. Long nights and days were put in and no one ever complained when someone else needed help. I am so proud of each and every one of them and the final product we were able to achieve together. Not only did we win multiple competitions, but the judges broke character to tell us how impressed they were and to consult us on how we could bring our idea to the actual company, which validated our efforts even further.”

A bright future

Iona Brooks (BA ’26) will serve as the team’s captain in the next academic year, perpetuating the team’s vision to achieve even greater heights.

“The season was one of success both in terms of silverware and personal connections for the team,” Steele summarized. “We had a powerful group of competitors, but more crucially, friends while traveling for competitions and preparing within the university and at the Poe Business Ethics Center. From braving blizzards in Canada to trekking the alleys of Cincinnati to long plane trips passing notes across sleeping passengers in the aisles to finish up last-second presentation adjustments, the entire experience of this year was invaluable and unforgettable.”