A team from Central Wyoming College (CWC) recently won the inaugural Wyoming Collegiate Business Ethics Case Competition (WCBECC) hosted virtually by the University of Wyoming College of Business’ Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program. Eight Rocky Mountain region community colleges were invited to compete.
CWC team members were sophomores Talia Atkins, studying business management and organizational leadership, from Jackson, and Alpine’s Emily Richards, studying business management. Faculty adviser Tammy Forbis, CWC instructor of business, coached the two students.
The competition is the brainchild of Kent Noble, UW’s Bill Daniels Chair of Business Ethics, and Chase Thiel, UW management associate professor and the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program Professor of Business Ethics. The goal of the event is to provide student teams a space to practice and hone their use of business ethics.
“Real ethical dilemmas are often more complex and challenging than those presented in textbooks. The purpose of the business ethics case competition is to prepare students to navigate real-world ethical dilemmas by simulating one that is highly realistic and, thus, complex,” Thiel says. “The winning team must identify a solution that is practical, in addition to ethical and legal. This year’s winning team did just that.”
Richards says “knowledge is power,” and the real power is in learning and continuing to push oneself to reach new heights.
“That is what I did when I entered the Wyoming Collegiate Business Ethics Case Competition. I entered to try something new, and it was very out of character, as I am not very competitive,” she says. “In addition to stretching my brain, our team won and, best of all, I got to make a lifelong friend with my teammate. You could say I got more than I bargained for.”
Atkins adds that the WCBECC was an opportunity to be a part of “this inspiring competition.”
“Not only did I learn so much through the process, but I also had the chance to work on a fulfilling project with my teammate that will have a lasting impact and greater understanding as I view ethical cases around me in everyday life,” she adds.
Forbis says she was glad to see the CWC team excited to synthesize theory and apply it to a hands-on case.
“They had to think and present as consultants. I am beaming with pride for my team, Talia and Emily, who competed as professionals; overcame obstacles with COVID-19; rocked their college finals; and still went beyond in this competition,” Forbis says. “It was fun and educational, and I hope Central Wyoming College is able to participate in the WCBECC in the future.”
The CWC team received $500 each for Atkins and Richards, and a $1,000 faculty adviser stipend for Forbis.
“The team from Central Wyoming College should be very pleased with its performance. The students and their faculty adviser did a nice job of using principle-based ethics to address the issues in this case,” Noble says. “We look forward to working with CWC and our other community college partners in next year’s case competition.”
Community college teams wishing to learn more or compete in the spring 2022 WCBECC, or those seeking more information, should email Josie Voight, UW College of Business project coordinator, at email@example.com.