Part of what makes the Ethics Bowl programs so vibrant at UC Santa Cruz is the enthusiastic, multi-generational collaboration among five distinct groups: high schools students, undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and members of the community. Here’s how it works:
In 2014, UCSC’s intercollegiate team won the coveted…
Bob Ladenson Award at the national competition. This award is given to the one team that most embodies the spirit and values of the Ethics Bowl.
In 2015, Santa Cruz's Georgiana Bruce Kirby High School won the same award at the high school level, making UC Santa Cruz the only institution affiliated with the award at both levels.Go slugs!
Juan Ruiz Cortes/ M.A. Student, Philosophy Coach / Coastanoa High School
Jasmin Alemin/ Philosophy Alum Coach / Alisal High School
Nima Agah / Philosophy Alum Coach / Aptos High School
Undergraduate students are the lynchpin of the entire program, owing mostly to UCSC’s intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team.
Each year, the most qualified on the intercollegiate team are selected to serve as coaches for the high school teams, traveling weekly to the high school to prepare and encourage the school’s team.
Undergraduates play another key role by serving as judges at the Regional HS Ethics Bowl alongside faculty, graduate students, and community members.
This Year's Judges
Alan Christy (History Professor and UCSC Cowell College Provost) questions student from Ruth Asawa S.F. School of of the Arts.
History of Consciousness Ph.D. students, Robert Cavooris and Delio Vasquez
Philosophy Lecturer, Sandra Dreisbach, and Laura Gottlieb, Associate Professor of Family Medicine (UCSF)
Philosophy Ph.D student, David Donley, keeps time.
Kyle Robertson, Director of Northern CA HSEB Regional
Faculty and graduate students play a variety of key roles in our program. Alongside community members and undergraduate students, they serve as judges at every Bowl we host. Faculty from Philosophy, History, Linguistics, Psychology, and other departments participate.
They also help to coach the undergraduate team, judging their practice rounds in the weeks leading up to the intercollegiate competition.
And every Fall one faculty member or graduate student teaches the upper-level undergraduate course on applied ethics and the Ethics Bowl (PHIL 143).
In fact, the entire program is primarily the creation of graduate students in the Philosophy Department. The Northern California HSEB Regional was founded by Kyle Robertson (Ph.D. 2015).
UCSC’s intercollegiate team was founded by Sanda Dreisbach (Ph.D. 2012) and Carmen Zinn (MA 2005).
Mark Stone/CA State Assembly Member
David Terrazas/Vice Mayor, Santa Cruz, CA
Cynthia Chase / Mayor, Santa Cruz, CA
It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of the community at our events. Their enthusiastic participation and encouragement make our events particularly meaningful, especially for the high school students.
Community leaders such as Mayor Cynthia Chase, and city council members, Pamela Comstock and David Terrazas, are regular judges at our events and a key presence.
And when Santa Cruz’s Georgiana Bruce Kirby made it to the quarter-finals of the national event in 2015 and won the prestigious Bob-Ladenson Award, then-Mayor Don Lane issued a proclamation designating May 12, 2015 Georgiana Bruce Kirby School Spirit of the Ethics Bowl Day in the City of Santa Cruz.
For more information on participants from the community, or to get involved yourself, see our NorCal Regional page.
Bree is a perfect example of the variety of ways Ethics Bowl impacts the UCSC community. She was an anchor member of UCSC’s 2014 National IEB team, she coached the High School Ethics Bowl team from Georgiana Bruce Kirby School in Santa Cruz to consecutive appearances at the National HSEB in 2015 and 2016, and she now works to introduce Ethics Bowl cases in her classroom at San Diego’s High Tech High as an alum. Breeann is an ongoing collaborator with the CPP’s Ethics Bowl program, and a wonderful ambassador for UCSC and for Ethics Bowl.
Juan Ruiz Cortes
Juan is one of the exceptional undergraduates who work with the Center. In addition to competing for UCSC’s collegiate ethics bowl team, he coaches a local high school ethics bowl team from Ceiba College Preparatory Academy in Watsonville. Juan is also an accomplished philosopher, last summer participating in the PIKSI Boston program at MIT. You can see Juan working with students from Ceiba in this documentary.
The UCSC Ethics Bowl Team
Every Fall a group of UCSC undergraduates compete in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.
2017-2018 UC Santa Cruz Ethics Bowl Team
The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB) was founded in 1996 by Robert Ladenson, at Illinois Institute of Technology, as a format for teaching applied ethics to engineering students. The competition has since grown into an annual national event with over two hundred universities fielding teams. The top 32 teams, determined by a set of regionals around the country, compete at the national IEB every year.
The UCSC Ethics Bowl team was founded in 2005 by Sandra Dreisbach and Carmen Zinn. The team is co-sponsored by the Philosophy Department and taught every Fall as Philosophy 143. We compete yearly in the California Regional, and have a tradition of qualifying for the National IEB on a regular basis. All interested UCSC undergrads are encouraged to contact the coach, Kyle Robertson.
If you are a community member of UCSC graduate or undergraduate student interested in ethics, please volunteer! We are always looking for new excellent high school team coaches and competition day moderators and judges.