Seton Hall University

SHU Ethics Bowl Team Places 6th in National Competition  

Ethics Bowl 2018 320 picSeton Hall University's Ethics Bowl team placed sixth in the nation in this year's Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB). The IEB gives students a chance to present and defend their moral assessments of current ethical issues, including nuclear proliferation, big pharma and the opioid addiction epidemic, ethical issues concerning the NCAA and student athletes, environmental ethics, and the ethics of voting.

Created in 1993, the IEB is now one of the premier academic debate events. The national competition took place on March 3 and 4 in Chicago.

This year's Seton Hall team includes junior William Moore (Accounting and Philosophy Major) and sophomores Mark McGuire (Diplomacy and Philosophy), Kelsey Gonsalves (Communication and Psychology) and McKinley Brock (Modern Languages and Philosophy). Professors Abe Zakhem (Philosophy) and Cathy Zizik (Communication and the Arts) coach the team, along with assistant coach and former SHU ethics bowler Erica Genabith.

"Every single member of our team has put in the hard work and dedication it takes to have made it as far as we did," Moore said. "I am extremely proud of our team and we have ultimately proved to each other that there's no ethical quandary we can't take down together."

Out of a preliminary field of about 230 teams, the top 36 were featured in the national competition. Only the top four teams in each region (10 regional tournaments in total) qualify for nationals. According to Dr. Zakhem, despite having great success at past regional tournaments, this was the first time Seton Hall qualified for the national tournament since the team was reestablished in 2013.

"I am incredibly grateful to have been afforded this opportunity to partake in such spirited ethical discourse at the national level with other students from around the country who share the Seton Hall team's passion for ethical dialogue," says team co-captain McGuire.

Dr. Zakhem, the team's co-coach and an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department, says, "The students did a remarkable job. They delivered philosophically rigorous and rhetorically elegant commentaries and critical analyses on some of today's most pressing and complex ethical issues."

Seton Hall's sixth place finish in the final national ranking beat out such institutions as Loyola University Chicago, Stanford University, and the US Naval Academy. Their only loss was to the University of Oklahoma, who finished second in the nation.

With this firsthand experience in working out the hard-to-answer questions in life, the students have the knowhow and philosophical reasoning skills to navigate the pitfalls and ethical dilemmas that arise in their academic, personal, and professional lives, and also as a result of future technological advances.

"The Ethics Bowl is an amazing opportunity that I was elated to be a part of. To be able to speak on contingent issues with other universities and colleges while also competing is both exciting and fun. Being on this team was the highlight of my year," says team member Gonsalves.

"I am so very proud of their dedication and hard work," said Dr. Zakhem. "An inspiring example of 'what great minds can do'." Associate Professor Zizik adds, "Our Seton ethics speakers represented our University with grace and dignity. They truly embodied our mission when they tackled ethical concerns facing our nation and our world. I was astounded by their rhetorical prowess."

For more information about the Seton Hall Ethics Bowl team, please contact co-coaches Professors Abe Zakhem at and Cathy Zizik at

Categories: Nation and World

For more information, please contact:

  • Catherine Zizik
  • (973) 761-9759