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Whitworth Ethics Bowl Team wins ICW competition for third year

April 26, 2017
Whitworth's Ethics Bowl team, the Philosoraptors, won the fourth annual Independent Colleges of Washington (ICW) Ethics Bowl, held at Seattle University on April 23-24. The team of five students defeated Walla Walla University, Heritage University and Seattle Pacific University in preliminary rounds, Seattle University in the semifinals, and St. Martin's University in the final round.

This is the third time in four years Whitworth has won the ICW bowl, which included teams from all 10 private colleges and universities that are members of the Independent Colleges of Washington. The Whitworth Ethics Bowl team comprises English and philosophy major Kaitlin Barnes, '17; political science major James Eccles, '17; biology major Ibrahim "Abe" Abukhieran, '18; and journalism major Geoff White, ’18.  The coaches for the team are Professor of Communication Studies and Director of Forensics Mike Ingram and Associate Professor of Philosophy Keith Wyma.

“Professor Keith Wyma and I are very proud of this team,” says Ingram. “They have worked hard to research and understand these important ethical issues, and, once again, Whitworth students have demonstrated excellence in reasoning and speaking among their peers. Ethics Bowl is a perfect picture of how liberal arts training serves students well as critical thinkers and problem solvers.”

This season, the team presented on a diverse array of ethical problems, including the issues related to astronauts having children while colonizing Mars; using robots to help care for the elderly; Tesla's responsibility for automobile accidents when drivers use autopilot functions; whether companies have obligations to keep their headquarters in the cities in which they were founded; and the implications of WikiLeaks practices. Examining relevant, real-world illustrations of complex ethical issues showcases students' knowledge of applied ethics and their ability to apply ethics to everyday challenges as future leaders in their own communities and places of business.

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.


Claire Petersen, program assistant, communications studies, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4739 or

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