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K-State Today

November 19, 2012

Making their case: Teams compete for scholarships in Phillips 66 Business Ethics Competition

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Six Kansas State University students are earning scholarships for their performance in the Phillips 66 Business Ethics Case Competition.

The competition is hosted by the Phillips 66 Excellence in Business Ethics Initiative in the College of Business Administration. Sponsorship and scholarship money is furnished by Philips 66. The competition puts students in a real-world simulation. Each team is given a business ethics case study, and is required to write a four-page solution and present their solution to deal with the ethical dilemma within a 15-minute time frame.

Ten teams from across the university entered the competition. Team Integrity came in first, with members Gavin Koester, senior in economics, Concordia; Alex Severance, senior in history, Lenexa; and Mark Holton, master's student in architecture, St. Louis, Mo. The team received a $1,000 scholarship.

"We thought it would be neat to submit a solution that incorporated some of our shared principles. We were confident we could submit a strong argument, but weren't sure how it would be received by the judges," Holton said. "The entire experience was fantastic and we enjoyed trying to implement free-market ideals into a business scenario; specifically, creating incentives and better working conditions through professionalism and maximum efficiency."

Coming in second was Team Transparent and Accountable, which received a $750 scholarship. Team members include Krisha Stoss, junior in accounting, Great Bend; Jordan Misunas, senior in marketing, Manhattan; and Shuwa Zhang, senior in finance, China.

"The generosity of Phillips 66 allows the College of Business Administration to provide unique business ethics learning opportunities that enhance our students' critical thinking skills. The students performed tremendously and displayed professionalism,” said Olivia Law-DelRosso, then program coordinator for the initiative and competition organizer. Law-DelRosso is now working very closely with Phillips 66 in her new position, director of Professional Advantage in the College of Business Administration.

"We were very happy with the student presentations. They did an excellent job of balancing ethical considerations with the need to make fundamental sound business decisions,” said Bill Turnley, professor of management and the Sam and Karen Forrer chair in business ethics.

"All thanks is due to Phillips 66 and the College of Business Administration for making this unique experience possible. We recommend it to anyone interested in developing their reasoning and communication skills," Holton said.