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Randolph students to debate multicultural ethical issues in VFIC Ethics Bowl

From left, Christian Ridenour ’18, Paul Hartman '18, Tristina Balsamo ’18, and Helen Macnamara '18 will represent Randolph College in the 2018 VFIC Ethics Bowl.

From left, Christian Ridenour ’18, Paul Hartman ’18, Tristina Balsamo ’18, and Helen Macnamara ’18 will represent Randolph College in the 2018 VFIC Ethics Bowl.

Four students from Randolph College will participate in the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ (VFIC) 19th annual statewide collegiate Wells Fargo Ethics Bowl on Feb. 11-12 on the campus of Hampden-Sydney College. Randolph’s team will compete head-to-head against other highly qualified student teams from Virginia’s 15 leading independent colleges and universities, deliberating a variety of case studies highlighting ethical dilemmas.

The students on Randolph’s team include Tristina Balsamo ’18, Paul Hartman ’18, Helen Macnamara ’18, and Christian Ridenour ’18. The faculty coordinators are philosophy professor Kaija Mortensen and political science professor Vincent Vecera.

“With only one returning member—Christian Ridenour—this year’s team is made up of four seniors who, while new to Ethics Bowl, are no strangers to philosophical argumentation and impassioned discourse,” Mortensen said. “This year’s theme, “Ethical Issues in a Multicultural Society,” is pushing the team to think beyond their experiences and countenance complexities in a time-bounded, think-on-your-feet way. In the process, they are also all becoming more polished public speakers a little more adept at making quick, meaningful ethical arguments.”

Many notable individuals from a variety of career fields including business, law, education, finance, journalism, and others will listen to team presentations and offer reactions to the students’ presentations. The Ethics Bowl program will commence with an opening session on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2:30 p.m. at Hampden-Sydney College’s Johns Auditorium, with the first matches scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in various classrooms throughout Bortz Library, Brown Student Center, and Johns Auditorium. On Monday, February 12, rounds 3 and 4 will begin at 8:45 a.m.  The final round of competition will take place at 11:15 a.m. in the Johns Auditorium. Match sessions are free and open to the public, and the winning team will be announced at 12:30 p.m. on Monday.

Founded in 1952, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges is a nonprofit fund-raising partnership supporting the programs and students of 15 leading independent colleges in the Commonwealth: Bridgewater College, Emory & Henry College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Lynchburg College, Mary Baldwin University, Marymount University, Randolph College, Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College, University of Richmond, Virginia Wesleyan University and Washington & Lee University.  For additional information on the VFIC, visit

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