At the Center
Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
Monday, Jul. 15, 2013 4:44 PM
Kirk Hanson, Center executive director, was the top academic on the 2012 list of the most influential people in business ethics, compiled by Ethisphere magazine. The citation reads, "Hanson leads the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, which is a leading organization that covers ethical issues in a range of areas, including a particular focus on business ethics."
Winners came from 10 core categories including academics, business leadership, philantrophy, and government and regulatory. Other academics on the list include Ann Tenbrunsel, director of the Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide at Notre Dame; Alex Plinio, co-founder of the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers; and Joshua Margolis, professor of business administration at Harvard.
The magazine named Brandley Birkenfeld as the most influential person in business ethics "for his role blowing the whistle on alleged tax fraud occurring at UBS."
Monday, Jul. 8, 2013 3:10 PM
How should a student balance the demands of team sports and academics? That's the current dilemma on the Big Q, the Center's online dialog about everyday ethical issues for undergrads. The best student response wins a $100 Amazon gift certificate.
Friday, Jul. 5, 2013 11:38 AM
A meditation on how to increase access to solar power by low income communities, Standing Together in the Sun details the efforts of Melissa Giorgi, a 2012-13 Environmental Ethics Fellow at the Center, to involve the city of San Jose in the University's Solar Decathlon project. The Decathlon is a contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in which teams from selected universities build a solar-powered house.
Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2013 3:50 PM
All Santa Clara University students have the opportunity to declare a "Pathway," a cluster of courses with a common theme, which promotes integrative and intentional learning. Students reflect on this theme in an essay at the end of their college career.
This year, Jessica Reiner, one of the students in the University's Applied Ethics Pathway, won a Distinguished Pathway Essay Award for her reflection on how she came to choose a focus on ethics and how her ethics courses have helped shape her college experience.
Friday, Jun. 28, 2013 11:21 AM
“The Person is Not the Problem…the Problem is the Problem,” stated Mary Kindig and Dan Sackheim, keynoters at the June 27th Third Annual Catholic School Principals’ Institute, a program of the Ethics Center and the SCU Department of Education, in collaboration with the Diocese of San Jose.
Kindig has a masters in social work from Columbia University and is Program Development Consultant with the Restorative Schools Vision Project. Sackheim is a consultant for the California Department of Education. The speakers explored a number of key concepts surrounding restorative justice, primarily focusing on the three distinct stakeholders in a scenario where harm has been done: the community, the offender, and the victim(s). Harm, in this context, is defined as bullying, incidents of violence or acting out, or any disruptive behaviors by students from kindergarten age and up.
The restorative approach essentially focuses on understanding the harm done, and developing empathy for both the harmed and the harmer; reintegrating the harmer back into the community as a valuable contributing member; and implementing customized systems into schools such as planning, training, and focus groups, all of which recognize parents, students, teachers, and potentially clergy as key players and decision makers. It also focuses on greater accountability on the part of the school and the community when an act of harm has taken place, and innovative and interactive models as solutions.
Kindig and Sackheim identified challenges such as the role of parents, teachers, and clergy in healing and moving forward; the role social media plays both in exacerbating incidents and potentially providing healing (by replacing negative posts with positive ones); and how to best embrace new and progressive definitions of discipline, self-discipline, and forgiveness. The challenges struck a cord with the audience of educators, many of whom had experienced or witnessed incidences of harm.
The speakers contrasted the restorative justice approach with a more traditional model. In the case of harm, the tradition approach would be to ask: What rules have been broken? Who broke them? What punishment do they deserve? The restorative model asks: Who has been hurt? What are their needs? Whose obligations are these?
What does the model for restorative justice in schools look like in action? Regularly healing circles in which all parties engage in healthy communication would be one example. Contracts between students, teachers, and administrators that describe acceptable behaviors are another. Finally, traditional disciplinary measures are still a fall-back option in some scenarios.
Mary Kindig serves as the Program Development Consultant for The Restorative Schools Vision Project, which brings restorative justice philosophy into schools as a solution to high rates of student expulsions and suspensions. Dan Sackheim is Education Program Consultant, California Department of Education.
Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 4:27 PM
Graduating SCU senior Aven Satre-Meloy is the winner of the 2013 Markkula Prize, honoring the student who, in the view of the Ethics Center staff, has advanced the mission of the Center most effectively during the past year.
A combined Political Science and Environmental Studies major from Helena, Mont., Satre-Meloy addressed an ethical oddity at Santa Clara: The University aims to educate students of character and has an academic integrity policy but does not have the higher profile commitment to academic integrity that comes with having an honor code. Aven took the preceding years' efforts by students to adopt an honor code and advanced the cause miles down the road with his extraordinary efforts this year. He worked extensively with his peers; co-chaired a university-wide committee that completed a draft of an honor code; and spoke before pretty much every important governance committee on this campus (and I know they were not always easy meetings). Aven's grace under pressure and drive have brought us to the brink of actually adopting such a code -- a matter that looks like it will be decided finally in the next academic year.
Satre-Meloy also was the winner of the University's Nobili Medal, awarded to the male undergraduate judged outstanding in academic performance, personal character, school activities, and constructive contribution to the University.
Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 3:37 PM
Your chance to ask questions for 2 special guests we welcome to the Center this week! Joining Executive Director Kirk Hanson (center) is Fr. Jerry Cavanaugh, (right), Distinguished Visiting Scholar, who will be here through Wednesday to serve as a resource and advisor. Fr. Jerry is the Charles T. Fisher III Chair of Business Ethics and Professor of Management at University of Detroit Mercy. In addition to many distinguished academic honors, he served on the Board of Trustees at SCU for 10 years. At left is Distinguished Visiting Scholar Thomas Reese, S.J., currently a senior research fellow at Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center. Read more about Thomas here.
Thursday, Jun. 20, 2013 10:47 AM
Irina Raicu, the Center's Manager of Internet Ethics, recently published “Powering the Search for More Women in Tech.” Her article uses Google's Keynote Address, presented by Larry Page at its recent "I/0 2013 Developer's Conference," as a platform to explore the ongoing challenge of recruiting and retaining women into technology fields. It also suggests that the U.S. learn best practices from China, India, Russia, and Eastern European countries, which continuously produce higher numbers of engineers than the U.S. Despite Google's efforts to offer internships, scholarships, and other incentive programs for women, Page's admission at I/0 2013 that he and Sergey Brin had been working on this “particular problem forever,” highlights the long road ahead for recruiting women into tech, as well as the need to end sexism and gender stereotypes.
Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013 9:56 AM
Executive Director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Kirk Hanson was interviewed yesterday on ABC7 regarding social media and privacy. The issue has been in the headlines recently as a result of the disclosures by Edward Snowden, former intelligence contractor turned whisteblower. Hanson told reporter David Louie that there needs to be a national debate on government surveillance and how it will affect society.
Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2013 4:27 PM
Carrie Jaffe-Pickett joins the Ethics Center as assistant director of communications. She will manage the Center's social media, in addition to writing and editing for the Center's publications and website.