Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl

In essence, ethics bowl is a competitive discussion. Teams compete to give the most accurate, comprehensive, clear, and complete answer to the match question. Each two-match round involves presenting an initial take on the question at hand (10 mins.), defending it against the opposing team’s critique (5 mins.), and responding to questions from a three-judge panel composed of academic and non-academic professionals (10 mins.). The questions focus on one or more aspects of a case drawn from a set of fifteen cases that teams have worked with for roughly two months prior to competition.

Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB) is the arm of the Association of Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) responsible for organizing regional and national competition each year. Regionals are held around the U.S. and colleges and universities self-select which regional they’ll participate in. If a school wins a bid to nationals due to their regional performance, they head to the annual APPE conference/workshop to compete with other bid winners. The University of Nebraska has sent teams to national competition twice since the inception of the UNL Ethics Bowl Team in 2011.

Of course, as the saying goes, ‘Winning isn’t everything.’ That certainly rings true in the case of participating in ethics bowl. The work individual team members due to prepare themselves and the team for competition significantly develops their skills at critical and moral reasoning as well as their abilities to speak and reason publicly with an interested community. In particular, members can expect to (a) sharpen their intellect, (b) develop their interrogative and contrarian dispositions, (c) deepen their interest in exploring and analyzing complex situations and concepts as well as their ability to do so, and (d) cultivate the virtue of epistemic humility. Hence, win or lose in competition participants efforts are meaningfully rewarded.

We’re always recruiting! If you think that you’ve got what it taeks to represent the University of Nebraska as a member of the UNL Ethics Bowl Team or know someone who does, please, don’t hesitate to contact assistant director, Adam R. Thompson (art AT unl DOT edu). Like Lincoln, Nebraska, and the world we can always use more Husker excellence.

picture of current team member Mary-kate Boyle
Mary-kate Boyle

Major: Philosophy

picture of current team member, Ethan Clinchard
Ethan Clinchard

Major 1: Philosophy

Major 2: Political Science

Minor: Criminal Justice

picture of current team member, Will Cook
Will Cook

Major 1: Journalism

Major 2: Philosophy

Minor: Math

picture of current Executive Coach, Adam R. Thompson
Adam R. Thompson

Executive Coach

picture of current Head Coach 1, Jabran Amanat-Lee
Jabran Amanat-Lee

Head Coach 1

picture of current Head Coach, Swarnima Kain
Swarnima Kain

Head Coach 2


lockup for UNL Department of Philosophy shows big 'N' over the name 'Department of Philosophy
UNL Department of Philosophy

For over a decade the Department of Philosophy has generously made room for the Kutak Ethics Center's main office and has financially supported the UNL Ethics Bowl Team and the Ethics and Broader Considerations of Technology Bazaar as well as other ventures. We're lucky to be surrounded by good company and extra lucky to be housed in the home of ethics proper.visit them

lockup for UNL College of Law shows big 'N' over the name 'College of Law
UNL College of Law

Once home of the Kutak Ethics Center (now Ethics Center), the College of Law is a continuing supporter of the center. visit them

lockup for Jan Eric Pusch Charitable Foundation with large cursive and connected lower-case 'j', 'e', and 'p'
Jan Eric Pusch Charitable Foundation

The Jan Eric Pusch Charitable Foundation generously added the UNL Ethics Bowl Team to their extensive list of excellent causes that they current fund and/or oversee. We couldn't make it to regional competition without them. Thank you!!!!!! learn more about them

a picture of the full team standing for staged group photo
Team at 2018 Rocky Mountain Regional Ethics Bowl at University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO
a picture of team members figuring out how to respond to critique in competition
Team discussing how to respond to opposing team's critique during a match at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Regional Ethics Bowl at University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO
a picture of the 2015 team standing in front of distant mountain peek in Golden, CO
Team at 2015 Rocky Mountain Regional Ethics Bowl at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO

UNL Ethics Bowl Team Wins A Bid to National Competition Again!!

For the second time in four years of competing, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s 
Ethics Bowl Team won a bid to Nationals after an excellent showing at Regionals in Boulder, CO.

On their way, they had the opportunity to compete and win against Colorado State University,
Air Force, and The Colorado School of Mines.  The team is resting in preparation for another run
at Nationals in Costa Mesa, CA in February.  

UNL Ethics Bowl Team Outranks Duke, Villanova, Gonzaga, and Wake Forrest in Nation Competition

In their first appearance at the Nation Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Competition, UNL placed 14th out of 32. We're very proud of the team's performance. Not only did we outrank some of the top ranked schools in the nation, Head Coach Clare LaFrance, reported that the team received numerous compliments throughout the competition.  The team looks forward to returning to nationals next year after another successful trip to regionals this coming fall.

(Nationals Team With Certificate:
Back Left to Right: Katherine Miller, R. Walker Edwards, Oliver Tonkin//
Bottom Left to Right: Sarah O'Neill, Mykayla Messing, Kyle Kettler, Clare LaFrance)
Ethics Bowl Team

NET Covers Ethics Bowl Team as They Prepare for National Competition

NET, Nebraska's local NPR station dropped by to catch a glimpse of the Ethics Bowl team in action as they prepared for their run at the National Intercollegiate Competition.  

Read or hear the story here

UNL Ethics Bowl team wins its 1st regional competition

For the first time in three years of competing, one of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s
Ethics Bowl teams won the Ethics Bowl regional competition in Boulder, Colo., last Saturday.

Seven teams total competed, with UNL sending two. The winning UNL team defeated
University of Colorado at Boulder to become one of 10 teams to compete in the 18th
national Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Championship in February.

Read more about the team's win.