UCCS hosts Daniel Fund Ethics Initiative’s annual Southern Colorado Ethics Case Competition 

The Southern Colorado Ethics Case Competition began in 2010 when the UCCS College of Business was awarded the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative grant, focused on ethics education. This year’s competition marks its 13th year since April 2011.  

Tracy Gonzalez Padron, Director of Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS and professor of marketing, called the competition “a great way for students to demonstrate ethics decision-making.” 

Originally the competition started with six teams from the UCCS College of Business only. It later grew to include USAFA and other colleges on campus. 2015 was the first year in which it invited teams from greater southern Colorado.  

The teams compete in different tracks based on their degree program. The tracks include associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree and graduate programs. Students receive the case four weeks in advance leading up to the competition.  

The case is focused on a single company and their respective issues. Each team must analyze the company and find the relevant issues and decide on a solution or recommendation.  

Students play the role of a consultant during their 10-minute presentations. The judges have five minutes for a Q&A with the teams, expecting students to provide answers while continuing to stay in the role. For each track, the top three teams are announced and given a reward. If a track has less than five teams, only the first-place winner is announced.  

Before the competition, students must prepare an executive summary to be shared with the judges. The team’s score is based on how they use the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative principles, the solution presented, creativity, use of resources and balanced timing of their presentation.  

The 2023 Ethics Case centered around an auto part manufacturer, Relia Inc., which had suffered from issues related to supply chain shortages and problems. Each team, with examples from the prompt, had to prepare a new human resources strategy for the executive team’s approval based on recommendations from a consulting firm, six items from a survey and other notes from company meetings.  

Each team was then ordered to give a formal presentation of their recommendations, which they would be judged on for the requisite awards.     

During the award ceremony, judges provided teams with feedback on their presentation and students are allowed to discuss points of their presentation during that time. 

The 2023 Southern Colorado Ethics Case Competition winners include:  

Undergraduate 2-Year Track 

  • 1st Place  

Odyssey Early College & Career Options: Sammie Coker, Benjamin Trumbly, Keira Potter 

Faculty Advisors: Keith Clayton 

  • 2nd Place  

Pikes Peak State College: Micaela Ortiz, Nicholas Jacobs, Bryce Kindall    

Faculty Advisors: Carol Kurkowski 

  • 3rd Place  

Odyssey Early College & Career Options: Bishop Owens, Aidan Smith, Maryah Brutus, Josiah Ruiz 

Faculty Advisor: Keith Clayton 

Undergraduate 4-Year Track 

  • 1st Place  

USAFA: Helen Agee, Ryan Lilly 

Faculty Advisor: Scott Heyler 

  • 2nd Place  

UCCS: Ebisa Dundas, Robert Drone, Hayley Huschka   

Faculty Advisor: Terri Johnson 

  • 3rd Place  

Fort Lewis College: Avery Wickes, Amaris Hamilton  

Faculty Advisor: Justin McBrayer 

Graduate Program Track   

  • 1st Place  

UCCS: Seth Pruett, Lindsey Romine, Bree Lue 

Faculty Advisor: Tracy Gonzalez 

UCCS hosts their 13th annual Southern Colorado Ethics Case Competition. Photo courtesy of mlc.uccs.edu.