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.
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Monday, Sep. 30, 2013 4:42 PM
The Ethics Center is featured in Santa Clara Magazine, SCU's alumni publication, with an article detailing the Center's history and current programs in business ethics, bioethics, government ethics, campus ethics, Internet ethics, and character education.
Friday, Sep. 27, 2013 1:47 PM
Monday, Sept. 30, the Center kicks off The Conscience Project, a yearlong series of talks exploring our inner moral core as we confront contemporary challenges in science, technology, religion, education, and business.
The first speaker in the series will be George Lucas Jr., professor of public policy at the Naval Postgraduate School, on robot morality. Other presenters include Stanford Professor William Hurlbut on stem cells and cloning, Notre Dame Professor Darcia Narvaez on teaching moral character, and SCU Professor Manuel Velasquez addressing the question, "Can a business have a conscience?"
We are fortunate to present these speakers in part through the generosity of the "Project on Conscience in Roman Catholic Thought," funded by Phyllis and Mke Shea.
Friday, Sep. 13, 2013 11:40 AM
Father Thomas Reese, SJ, Markkula Center Visiting Scholar and Senior Analyst, National Catholic Reporter, provided humor, inspiration, and savvy commentary on "all things Pope Francis" during the September 12th Ethics at Noon session, entertaining and informing the lunchtime crowd of 80 attendants.
What's in a name? Pope Francis is known for his simplicity, love of the poor and of Creation, and as a celebrant of peace and interreligious understanding. Indeed his first actions are best defined as "simple:" paying his hotel bill, refusing to live in the papal apartments, driving a Ford instead of a Mercedes, and washing the feet of prisoners. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he cooked his own meals and took the bus over limousines. We can almost refer to him as the "cold call Pope," who is not afraid to make his own phone calls and request a direct connection to "he Jesuit switchboard."
And yet, Reese's excellent grasp of the Pope's positions reveal complexity behind the simplicity, and a real ability for both Reese and the Pope, to call it like they see it. For example, the Pope's pastoral priorities conjure a church of the heart, that serves as both reconciler and conduit for justice, charity, and love. His priorities for Bishops include increased involvement of women in the church, a rediscovery of "mercy," and a proactive and entrepreneurial mindset.
Following are additional key soundbytes and questions from the presentation:
- We are a church of symbols, and this is how we communicate
- On sexual abuse: zero tolerance
- Celibacy: "it's a matter of discipline, not faith. It can change."
- The Appointment of Bishops: they should be close to the people, as well as gentle, patient, as merciful.
No princes. "Shepherds should smell like their sheep."
- Denying Communion: One can deny communio to a sinner, "but it's very difficult to check such things."
- The Church: Are we still capable of warming hearts? "I prefer a church that makes mistakes because it is doing something, to one that sickens because it remains shut in."
- On The Vatican and Change: Don't make curia officials bishops or cardinals; call for separation of legislative, executive, and judicial power; Vatican needs to become a modern bureaucracy.
Formerly the editor of America magazine, Reese is the author of a trilogy examining Catholic Church organization and politics on the local, national, and international levels: Archbishop: Inside the Power Structure of the American Catholic Church (Harper & Row, 1989), A Flock of Shepherds: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (Sheed & Ward , 1992), and Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church (Harvard University Press, 1997). Reese is a frequent commentator for national news outlets such as NPR, and major news networks.
MORE: Listen to the podcast here.
Thursday, Jul. 25, 2013 2:13 PM
The Center is pleased to welcome Patrick Coutermarsh as its first Fellow in Applied Ethics. He will work under the direction of Executive Director Kirk Hanson, primarily on researching and writing for the Center's new interactive webpage project. He will also provide research and assistance in case writing and commentary on ethical dilemmas in business ethics, government ethics, and other fields.
A recent graduate of Santa Clara University, Patrick worked as a Hackworth Fellow during his Senior year, and created and lead SCU's first Ethics Bowl team in the California Regional competition. His other hobbies include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Blue Belt), and participating in triathlons and ultra-marathons.
Patrick states:"I am honored to be a part of the team at the Center, and am excited to get started!'
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."
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2013 1:00 PM
Welcome to Ryan F. Holmes, the Ethics Center's new assistant director of health care ethics. Holmes coordinates the Center's Health Care Ethics Internship program. His other responsibilities include ethics consultation and policy development with the Center's hospital partners.