BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — For the fourth time in the past seven years, Illinois Wesleyan
University’s Ethics Bowl team qualified for Nationals by placing fourth out of 32
teams at the Upper Midwest Regional competition on Nov. 17 at the Illinois Institute
of Technology in Chicago.
Illinois Wesleyan went 4-0 and earned 40,473 total points at the regional to top 28
contending schools, including Carleton College, DePauw University and Northwestern
University. By finishing among the top-four teams, IWU earned a spot in this year’s
National Ethics Bowl, to be held March 2-3 at the Inner Harbor Hyatt Regency in Baltimore,
hosted by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE).
“I'm especially excited about Nationals this year because no member of our current
team has ever made it this far,” said Associate Professor of Philosophy Emily Kelahan
’05, who serves as one of the team’s faculty advisors. “They're all rookies. That
makes us underdogs going into competition against more experienced teams.”
In several rounds of head-to-head debates, team members collaborate to present compelling
arguments for a series of cases regarding current ethical concerns, and then rebut
the opposing team’s argument. Since the team was established in 2011, Illinois Wesleyan
has qualified for Nationals in 2013, 2014, 2016, and now, in 2019.
The team’s success this year is notable given that most of the members are first-year
students, many of whom are exploring their passion for ethical debate through their
First-Year Experience (FYE): Policy and Ethics Partners, taught by Assistant Professor
of Philosophy and Ethics Bowl faculty sponsor Andrew Engen. With five first-year students
on the eight-student team, Kelahan is eager to see how these young competitors will
gain experience and develop in the coming years.
“Our team is resilient and self-aware,” Kelahan said. “Each member has a good sense
of his or her strengths and weakness as well as those of his or her teammates. They
pick up each others' slack and set each other up to shine. They know how to take criticism
in stride. They are tenacious and never rest on their laurels. Even after the competition
ended, they spent the ride home vigorously debating the cases. They are a team, sharing
successes and taking responsibility for disappointments as a unit.”
The 2018-19 Ethics Bowl Team members include: Allen Cook ’22 (Springfield, Ill.), physics and political science double major Matthew Galvan ’22 (Los Angeles, Calif.) political science major Emma Gray ’21 (Urbana, Ill.) biochemistry major Jonas Maes ’22 (Redmond, Wash.), political science major Kayley Rettberg ’20 (Carol Stream, Ill.), political science major Juan Rios-Narcisco ’22 (Arrowsmith, Ill.), Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship
(DTE) and political science double major Jared Schneider ’22 (Lombard, Ill.), economics major Adeline Schultz ’20 (Bloomington, Ill.), philosophy major