By Gabrielle Geesey, BSBA Accounting ’10
April 3, 2009 approximately 65 high school students participated in the Phoenix High School Ethics Forum along with ten faculty members from various schools. Four to six students from twelve different schools were seated with an Eller Board of Honor and Integrity (EBHI) facilitator for discussions of three cases. The cases were written by Paul Melendez, the Director of the Ethics Program and Professor of Business Ethics at the Eller College of Management. Each student and their facilitator were given about twenty minutes to read through the case and discuss different ethical elements contained within until Professor Melendez would call on various students to present the consensus of their table. The end of the day consisted of a superb guest speaker, Patrick Khuse.
Throughout the day, the students were engaged and interactive. I was amazed at the diverse aspects the students brought forth to the discussions, many of which I hadn’t thought of. EBHI members did an excellent job of compelling the students to probe deep into the cases and think beyond the surface of the issues. During the lecture given by Patrick Khuse, I could tell the students (and even their faculty) were inspired by his arduous journey through fame, riches, corruption, jail, and reconciliation.
Coordinating and participating in the Phoenix High School Ethics Forum was one of the most positive and inspirational experiences I have had in a long time. EBHI members were the driving force behind the Forum and did an amazing job putting on the event. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing high school students from all different schools being given the opportunity to have intellectual discussions about ethical issues relevant to them. With integrity and ethics becoming incrementally essential in business practices, the High School Ethics Forum started the students on a new pathway of thinking and decision-making. This event is an invaluable start towards equipping students with the skills and mindset to be stronger and ethically-minded future leaders.