Close Menu

Whitworth Ethics Bowl Team Wins Regional Competition

November 15, 2016
Whitworth’s Ethics Bowl team, the Philosoraptors, won the Northwest Regional Ethics Bowl Nov. 12-13 at Pacific Lutheran University. The team took first place among 10 universities from three states, including University of Portland, Seattle Pacific University and Pacific Lutheran University in the preliminary rounds, Washington State University in the semifinals, and Whitman College in the final round. Other teams attending the bowl included Montana State University, Seattle University and St. Martin’s University. This achievement makes the team eligible to attend the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl in February 2017, for the eighth time in the past nine years.

During an Ethics Bowl match, a moderator poses questions with ethical problems on a wide range of topics to teams of three to five students. Each team receives a set of ethical issues in advance of the competition, and questions posed to teams at the competition are taken from that set. A panel of judges evaluates answers based on intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness in considering opposing viewpoints.

“Coach Keith Wyma and I are very pleased with the high quality of our team’s work,” said Professor of Communication Studies and Director of Forensics Michael Ingram. “They spent nine weeks in research and practice to sharpen their understanding of these complex ethics cases and their ability to offer well-informed perspectives about the cases. The team’s strong showing reflects the value of a liberal arts education in that our ability to examine ideas through multiple disciplinary lenses and ethical perspectives helps us advance well-informed arguments about these important issues of our day.”

The Whitworth Ethics Bowl team comprises English and philosophy major Kaitlin Barnes, ’17; political science major James Eccles, '17; biology major Zach Halma, '18; philosophy and psychology major T.J. Westre, '16; and communication studies major Geoff White. ’18. The coaches for the team are Ingram and Associate Professor of Philosophy Keith Wyma.

In addition to the Northwest Regional win, the Philosoraptors celebrated several other victories last season, including first place at the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl in Washington, D.C., and first place at the Independent Colleges of Washington (ICW) Ethics Bowl. The team was 16-0 across three bowls in 2016.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Mike Ingram, professor of communication studies and director of forensics, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4428 or

Lauren Clark, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or